Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Carlos Manuel by FN Dish Editor in Shows, February 14th, 2011
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Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I definitely belonged on Worst Cooks for several reasons. I am the youngest of 6, live alone, and do not have the comfort of my “mommy” to cook me dinner. Most of my family is in Michigan, where I was born and raised. I moved to Atlanta in hopes to find a better career and prove not only to myself, but to my family that I am a self-sufficient adult who is not afraid to follow his heart. I miss my entire family; all of my loving brothers and sisters, my hilarious cousins, and my adorable nieces and nephews. The main thing that kept my family together was the dinner table! My mother loved cooking. She made three meals a day, enticing my entire family to come over and eat. Since she was always in the kitchen, there was no reason for me to be. Now that I have moved away, it’s time for me to pick up a knife and learn to cook!
What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne?
Learning to let loose and really have fun while cooking!
What did you take away from the experience?
I realized that I wasn’t alone; lots of people struggle with the same things I do. And most importantly there is always someone worse! I had such a great time, it really helped me learn to relax and loosen up in the kitchen.
Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
How can I stop? If I didn’t love cooking there would have been no way I would have been able to finish Boot Camp. Now that I have the basic skills to create amazing dishes, I’m only more motivated to make more!
If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I really thought that my dish was great. I was so proud of it! If I had just taken a risk with adding some more salt and curry, I would have nailed it and taken the final prize home. I almost felt defeated, but after a few minutes of shameful sobbing I realized that I really did win! I was able to go home and feel empowered and motivated to continue cooking. I really felt that I gave my all in the competition and it showed. Although I didn’t get to take the money home, I took a lot more than I could have hoped for.
When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
I felt confident. I think that my dish looked amazing; it smelled amazing and tasted amazing. I was a little nervous with the whole cooking in front of my sister aspect of things, but I managed to pull myself together.
What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
Bring your running shoes, bring your notebooks and bring your hat! For extra peace of mind, bring duct tape. The duct tape can be used to stop annoying contestants from talking. Man, I wish I would have had some duct tape!
What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
I cooked Chicken Cacciatore and it was amazing! Everyone loved it and it was a huge success. I have made it three times since then; it’s a great and easy meal that all of my friends and family love!
What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
I think the most memorable moment for me was the first day of boot camp when I was working alongside Erika. My pan caught on fire; she was on the floor passing out. And the entire team had their mouth open. It felt like a circus. Because it was.
Find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the finale on Sunday at 9pm/8c.