Chatting With the Latest Celebrity Cook-Off Exile

by in Shows, January 11th, 2012

alyssa campanella
Every Sunday, two of Food Network’s most popular personalities, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, go head-to-head in Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. Divided into Team Rachael and Team Guy, the celebrity contestants face intense weekly challenges that have them racing against the clock to prepare elaborate meals for up to 150 guests. The winning and losing teams are chosen by guest diners and after six episodes, the last celebrity standing will win a cash donation to his or her favorite charity.

Every week, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Celebrity Cook-Off exile to get the boot.

This week, Alyssa Campanella, winner of the 2011 Miss USA Pageant said goodbye.

The profiteroles did look tasty. Is that your go-to dessert recipe? If not, what’s the one dish or dessert your family would say you’re known for?

AC: I’m not known for profiteroles in my family. I am well known for my pasta dishes, where I make my own sauces from scratch and combine several ingredients. The dessert dishes I am most known for are my cupcakes and my cakes. I prefer making them all from scratch with a recipe I came up with through trial and error, and mixing my favorite flavors.

You said that Coolio was the most confident man you’ve ever met in your life. Do you think he’s the celeb to beat in this competition?

AC: I don’t think he is THE celeb to beat, but he definitely has a shot. Remember, I was the youngest contestant on the show. I am only 21 years old, and these guys have been cooking for as long as I have been alive. I still have a lot to learn and, in fact, I did learn a lot from some of them.

Were you surprised at Rachael and Guy’s decision since Summer’s salmon wasn’t cooked all the way through?

AC: I was surprised. I don’t eat mushrooms but knew how to cook them and knew they’d take the least amount of time — we only had 10 minutes. I was always told to fill my dishes with color, which is what I did. I also made a dressing I had been previously taught how to make that’s been a hit with my family. So when I saw Summer’s salmon was undercooked and how flustered she was, I thought I would be okay. I truly was very disappointed my dish was the losing dish because I felt so confident and followed the rules.

You hinted at the fact that we might see a Miss USA cookbook in the near future. Is this something you’re seriously considering?

AC: We shall see. I can see myself releasing a cookbook someday, but the dishes I make would not be appropriate for most pageant girls who like to watch what they eat during competition mode. I am Italian with a very large sweet tooth, so there might be too many carbs and calories for them in my cookbook.

It’s obvious you’re very fit and strive to be healthy. What do you eat when you’re out on the road being the glamorous Miss USA?

AC: First, I have to thank my mother’s side for my high metabolism because I don’t eat healthy at all. With my Italian and Scandinavian background, I was raised eating lots of carbs, pastas, fish and sweets, so that is what I tend to eat when I’m on the road.

What tips from the show will you take back home into your kitchen?

AC: I think the biggest tip I will be taking back home with me is to always be creative. Since the show, I have this fearless attitude toward making new dishes and recipes, whereas before I would stick to the simple things. With that said, this will not be the last time you see me in the kitchen.

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Comments (10)

  1. Diane Merlock says:

    I feel that the judges' decision to eliminate Miss Campanella was completely wrong. First I should state that I was not for any specific contestant on the show; in fact, the show that Miss Campanella was on was my first time watching Celebrity Cook-Off. My opinion is based on the fact that the other contestant served a raw product, when the conditions of the contest were stated that there had to be a cooked ingredient.

    Serving a raw product is dangerous, and should not be rewarded with a win. On any other show on the Food Network, this would be a disqualifying factor, period!

    • jeri says:

      Not necessarily. On Chopped undercooked dishes win a lot! It's the overall dish that is judged.

      • Debbie says:

        The important thing is that it was supposed to be "cooked" maybe Alyssa could have been more creative if she knew she didn't really have to worry about properly cooking her "required" cooked ingredient…just sayin.

    • Kary says:

      I totally agree. The dish with the uncooked salmon should NOT have won. She did NOT follow the rules which stated, "One component HAS TO BE COOKED." It's wrong of them to say that it "would be" the salad they would like to eat in a restaurant. "Would be" isn't good enough to win.

      It is wrong and I will NOT be watching the rest of the show. Besides, it looks like no one else is getting into the show either. The ratings are not very good.

      Boo on you Guy and Rachael!!!

  2. Wendy S. says:

    I totally agree with Diane (above). Serving raw or undercooked fish should have disqualified endyimmediately! I can only think that Rachael and Guy did not want Rachael's team to be down 2 members while Guy's team had all four. Such a copout and a great disappointment. Will I watch it next week – highly doubtful.

  3. Ruby says:

    I agree with Diane and Wendy, serving raw product is deadly especially fish, What a cheat Rachael Ray,
    How disappointing and you could actually see the disappointment on Guy's face.

    • Rose says:

      Raw salmon deadly? Are you kidding me? Raw salmon is a delicacy and NOT dangerous as long as it is frozen first at -31F. Do you think Food Network chefs and staff would not know this and offer anything other than sushi grade salmon? Rachael and Guy wouldn't risk getting a tapeworm, which is the real threat when eating raw salmon. Deadly is a little melodramatic. The whole show is fixed anyway…

  4. Guest says:

    Neither Guy nor Rachael knew whose dish was the mushroom or the salmon dish. They were both complimentary as well as critical of both dishes. We have no idea as an audience all the discussion which took place for the final decision. Remember that like all "reality" and "live-action" type shows the viewers only see selected highlights from all the recorded video.
    I think the upcoming episode with the "Chopped" judges will be especially enlightening! I've never seen them hold back – even when they don't agree with each other. That's why they are three vice two.

  5. Lou says:

    Bummer. There goes the eye candy on the show.

  6. Debbie says:

    I enjoy this new show and appreciate the fact that it's for charity. I do have a problem with the tie breaker 10 min salad result though. Alyssa created a salad with saute'd mushrooms that both hosts enjoyed but thought was a little simple. They both agreed that if they were served this salad as a house salad in a restaurant they would come back. Summer created a salad with more variation of ingredients but for the "required" cooked item she chose salmon and failed to cook it well enough for it to be eaten. If I were served raw food that was supposed to be cooked in a restaurant they would not get my rave review. I don't understand how a contestant can be allowed to move on when a "required" portion of her entry was not edible???

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