One-on-One With the Latest Red Team Recruit to Go Home — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, February 24th, 2013

Team Anne BurrellFor the 14 recruits competing on Worst Cooks in America, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to learn kitchen basics and culinary how-tos from Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay — two of New York City’s top restaurant chefs and some of Food Network’s most celebrated stars. It’s up to the contestants to use the tools the chefs provide to learn how to master certain skills on their own and demonstrate progress in the kitchen. Despite their best efforts, however, one recruit from Chef Anne’s Red Team and another from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team will ultimately succumb to the challenges of Boot Camp week after week as they compete for $25,000 and bragging rights for their coach.

Check back with FN Dish every Sunday after the episode for the first interviews with the latest eliminated contestants to read their exclusive reflections on the competition, thoughts on difficult challenges, plans for the future and more.

Also see:
Find out who went home from Chef Bobby’s Blue Team
Top Photo Moments of Episode 2
Video Highlights
Sneak Peek at Next Week’s Show

At the start of week two of Boot Camp, the recruits ditched their aprons in favor of fishing poles, and took to the waters off the coast of New York City to reel in their own black sea bass. The focus of the week’s challenges was knife skills, and the fish plus various pieces of produce provided ideal vehicles to practice proper techniques on. While attempting to recreate Chef Anne’s seared bass and grapefruit salad side dish, Dr. Bob Schaefer cut himself and bled onto his finished plate, forcing his mentor to avoid tasting his offering. Come the Main Dish Challenge, the recruits found another whole animal to conquer, this time a chicken with its head and feet still attached. While Dr. Bob performed a successful spine-ectomy on his bird to replicate Chef Anne’s chicken scarpiello, he barely followed her recipe, adding extraneous ingredients and utilizing different cooking methods. Rasheeda, too, offered a disappointing dish, one that was incomplete because it was missing sauce. Together, she and Dr. Bob faced potential elimination, but ultimately Dr. Bob was sent home after Chef Anne questioned whether or not he was receptive to her lessons.

Dr. Bob SchaeferAfter the elimination, you explained, “I’m going to go home with my head held high because I gave it my best shot knowing that my abilities were nonexistent.” What is your greatest accomplishment during your time in Boot Camp?

BS: Bonding with the other contestants was without question the greatest accomplishment for me personally, because whenever you put together a group of people from such diverse segments of the population there can be friction. I was able to get to know each one of the other contestants during Boot Camp, and I respect them for their unique qualities. They’re now a special part of my life, and I truly hope to meet them again.

What element of Boot Camp were you least expecting?

BS: I had no idea what to expect, from the layout of the kitchen and equipment to the rush of adrenaline that courses through you when you first begin Boot Camp — it was all very intimidating to be so far out of my comfort zone. I’m used to helping others become more confident and improving their health. The fact that I was the one with no control and had to ask for help in the cooking arena was new for me, and slightly humbling. It turned out to be a good thing.

Sue Mangogna and Dr. Bob SchaeferChef Anne said that “you were the most successful at butchering your chicken” in your final Main Dish Challenge. Did the knife skills Chef Anne taught come easy to you?

BS: Precision is an important skill to have as a doctor, so that was one thing that came slightly easier to me. Which knife to use when cutting each ingredient? That’s an entirely different thing, and something the other contestants helped me a great deal with. They taught me how to hold the knives properly and which ones to use on which foods. I could not have done it without them.

“Now I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I was and I can enjoy time spent with my wife in the kitchen on a whole new level,” you said after the competition. Have you showed off to your family any of your newly learned skills? What do they think of your cooking today?

BS: I do have a renewed sense of purpose in my life thanks to the show. As long as there are chefs out there, I’ll be able to eat, and I can do what I love and do best, which is helping others. I’m happy with my purpose in life. As far as my family, there is no better feeling than knowing I have their full support and love.

Visit Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America headquarters for more insider coverage of the show.

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Comments (15)

  1. Stacy says:

    When the cooks opened that silver top and saw they would have to break down the entire chicken from beak to feet, they looked like they were asked to diffuse a bomb. Carla made it by a small fraction because it's obvious that the Big boy would go home after serving Bobby raw chicken. She freaked out for far too long instead of cooking when she saw the head on the chicken. She eats chicken so why would she have a coronary when she saw it? Did she think they came prepped like that in nature? She's too busy giving Flay the sex-me eyes to do justice to the chicken–the most common food in the kitchen. Drawing the 'honey heart' didn't impress Bobby at all. He said that her flirting didn't mean she was going to stay in this competition. I'm tired of her wet-panties look every time Bobby steps near her. I have to mute it while she's talking or wailing from what she had to do. UGH!! Is she the next to go?

    • Robert Ostrowski says:

      Stacy – I, too, am tired of Carla's wet-panties look – she seems to be passionate about cooking but right now, I don't believe she will last another week – maybe 2 weeks at most. Chet, Alex and Elena are right now the potential top 3 contenders for Chef Bobby's team and I only hope they realize how serious this now is. As for Carla, when I saw her whining over the chicken issue, it reminded me of how upset I can get over something I can't handle, and that's not going to help her win the contest.

      • guest says:

        thank God for carla……ive been going through some rough times…she makes me laugh..hopes she gets antoher show….

    • Dawnskye says:

      Carla had me in stitches with the chicken! OMG! I think most people do not get to see a dead chicken with both head and feet are still attached. I know I got freaked out the first time I saw an entire duck cooked in China Town with head and feet still on. It was freaking haning int he window! GAH! Thanks for a funny memory Carla!

  2. DOUG says:


  3. Can't Cook Either says:

    Where are the full epsiodes for the show I see only all the previews…?

  4. devbeth says:

    I'm familiar with the "farm to table" concept, having lived in rural areas all my life. What I am not familiar with is how they killed, plucked and cleaned chickens leaving their heads/necks intact. Can someone who knows more about, or who has experience with custom butchering enlighten me?

    • MoHub says:

      When I was a kid, all the kosher butchers used to display plucked, cleaned chickens with the heads and feet still on. In fact, the feet were essential to making really good homemade chicken soup.

      • devbeth says:

        Kosher would make sense – the spinal cord is not severed, just the arteries and wind pipe.
        I'm most familiar with a hatchet severing the neck, and those few who just wring the birds neck.
        Thank you!

  5. browniebear says:

    This show reminds me of a cartoon with lots of "characters". Hard for me to believe sometimes that these people are for real. Too many "one liners"…makes you wonder if there's a script going on here somewhere. Wouldn't surprise me. Still entertaining but I thought last years crew was better.

  6. Nancy says:

    Is this show for real? The chefs aren't "teaching" the "recruits" to cook as far as I can see. I also think the way they send people home is a little suspicious! I think in particular they are keeping one woman around for her "laughter" value!

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