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

by in Shows, February 17th, 2013

Chef Bobby Flay and the Blue TeamFor 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 Anne’s Red Team
Top Photo Moments of the Premiere
Video: Episode 1 in Review
Sneak Peek at Next Week’s Show

Tasked with recreating their coach’s dish of filet mignon with bacon smashed potatoes, Chef Bobby’s Blue Team recruits struggled with all aspects of meat-and-potatoes cooking, including over- and undercooked beef and unbalanced sauces. Alina Bolshakova and Tim Burger cooked the least successful plates of the day due to dry meat and a raw Brussels sprout side dish, respectively. Come elimination, Chef Bobby realized that both recruits still “have a lot to learn,” but he ultimately asked Tim to turn in his Blue Team apron. Before leaving, Tim promised that despite being the first to fall, “I will learn to cook for my family.”

Bobby Flay said after the Main Dish Challenge, “I thought you started off like you were going to kill” it. What went wrong? Was there one element of your dish in particular that you felt did you in?

TB: I WAS going to kill that challenge. I was a freight train of culinary confidence, for the first 20 minutes anyway. Then my train was derailed by a shallot! A simple shallot on my tracks derailed my train. Or was it a scallion? I got so confused on whether to use a shallot or scallion in my potatoes that I froze and panicked. From that point on my confidence was shot. I was absolutely amazed at how one tiny thing could have thrown the entire competition. By the time I recovered from that, there was no time to boil the water for my Brussels sprouts, no time to reduce the wine in my sauce and I completely forgot I had to present it all on the same plate! I told you I was a bad cook; now do you believe me?

Tim BurgerAfter nearly making yourself sick with the feta-broccoli dish you brought to the audition, have you retired that concoction once and for all?

TB: My Hippie Balls? I’m telling you that dish is better warm! Ok, yes, it made me sick and I almost honked on Bobby Flay, but I think it was mainly nerves. And possibly that rancid broccoli. But regardless, no, I have not retired it. I love my Hippie Balls. Had I made it further into the show and actually learned a little bit more, then maybe I would have retired them, but for now, don’t touch my Hippie Balls!

What do you think is more important for a kitchen novice to have: the correct ingredients or the right equipment and utensils?

TB: The ingredients are the key. Equipment and utensils can be made from anything. Just ask any soldier or marine who can fashion an excellent meal by combining different elements of an MRE using a canteen cup and a KA-BAR knife. Their kitchen is in the middle of a jungle or sun-baked desert, but their meals are every bit as ingenious and tasty as you’ll find in any world-class kitchen.

Chef Bobby Flay and Tim BurgerYou said that if you cooked them a filet with red wine-mushroom sauce at home, your family “would be very impressed.” Have you cooked for your family since the competition? If so, what do they think of your food?

TB: I do insist that we only use kosher salt and canola oil for cooking now, and that we salt and pepper everything. Also, my blanching technique for cooking vegetables has greatly improved. And yes, maybe I strut around our little kitchen and exclaim to my wife that “I was classically trained by an Iron Chef” and that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about when she suggests I do something different. But that usually only lasts for a minute or two until I get the look; then she takes over.

Which Blue Team recruit do you think is the competitor to watch, the one you think is most likely to take his or her team to victory?

TB: I think my man Chet is going to carry the Blue Team to victory. He’s a sharp dresser. Have you seen his ties? With an eye for fashion like that, his dishes have to be equally impressive.

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

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Comments (58)

  1. dee says:

    HAY ANN how come when i try to vote for you for who i would invite to a dinner party it will only record guy?

  2. Mountain girl says:

    I've watched this show since it first began and have always loved it. This season seems a bit fake, as some of the other bloggers have noted. I enjoyed the show last night, but it seemed more stiff and "not real" than the other seasons. I'm hoping I'm wrong and that as the weeks go by that my view will change. I will watch the show, but something just didn't "click" last night with this season. I know that both Anne and Bobby are good teachers, so I'm looking forward to watching the contestants gain their confidence and hone their skills.

  3. Donald says:

    Although this show wasn't nearly as bad as this last season of Rachel vs Guy, it was also far from great. I'll give it one more week.

  4. MJP says:

    My mistake, it was not a cooking show Alex was in. It was a reality show called "Glass House".

    • Terri says:

      Thanks for clarifying, but I still wonder how much he is "acting" about not knowing how to cook. If they want to keep even an oz. of creditably to this season he needs to go. I believe there is a mix of real worst cooks and others that are complete fakes. Come on Louisiana – you can't cut an onion but you fine chop a shallot first try and garnish your plate perfectly????

  5. Joanna says:

    I had a feeling these people were actors. There is no way in hell a grown woman would describe a vegetable as "some long green thingy with a bush on the the end" (meaning Asparagus). Really? did you grow up in a cave with dirt and bugs to eat? You never saw a picture of asparagus or saw it labeled in a grocery store? I am not giving my time to this dumb show but I do like Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell and I like Bobby Flay's Dinner Battle.

    • Alina says:

      Hi Joanna,

      Just to explain why I didn't know what the vegetable was, is because I am not from america and don't know all of the american words for the vegetables, so I did the best I could to explain what I was cooking.

      Alina

  6. snipsnip says:

    this show is so fake Alex was on Masterchef he knows how to cook

  7. Carlos Mejia says:

    I would visit Tim twice a year for quite some time while he was living in Northern Michigan…once in the Summer and once in the Winter. Everytime I would arrive I would have to toss out the food I left there 6 months ago…yikes. Also I remember introducing Tim to Bread with herb infused dipping oil, he called it "bread and grease" and it was a culinary Quantum leap for him!

  8. AnthrFakeFNShow says:

    I plead complete ignorance in this matter but….. There is NO WAY anyone can be sooooooo dysfunctional in a kitchen!!!… Come on….. FOUR times you try to cut an onion and EACH and EVERYTIME you cut it along the same wrong transect???? — AND did not have the grey matter to remember what you did wrong the first threee times???? How the hell he is still in the competition??? And this person is employed?? As I have been saying …. This is just going to be another over scripted, fake, FN drama.

    I completely agree with Abby, all the contestants conforms to some stereotypical character.

    Please bring back LDP!!!!!

    • @aadip says:

      I'm posting your response on my blog because it's hilarious. Also, you really like ALL CAPS and question marks a little too much. It gets in the way of your message of peace and harmony. Love, Aadip

      • Can't Cook Either says:

        I love the previews to this show, is there a full episode up to watch?

      • AnthrFakeFNShow says:

        My apologies for the CAPS and the "????'s". They were expressions of being in a state of total and complete dumbfoundedness! I have tried to analyse this show, even after promising myself I would not watch another fake (I would have normally used "fake" in caps there) FN competition after watching The Next Iron Chef and Celebrity Cook-off. It is really blatant that the shows are rigged and the FN producers have no moral or ethical responsibility to even try to cover it up. However, after watching all you guys, and gals in a kitchen in this next FN drama, I am just confused as to how the hell in the world anyone can be so clueless in a kitchen. This show cannot be rigged or staged. This is just comedy at its best where truly may the "worst" cook win.

        Seriously though dude, you really didn't realize after the first three times trying to cut the onion what you were doing wrong? Please Please tell me that the FN producers told you to do that to enhance the drama. To be totally honest with you, I envy you…. you get to see, talk to and and have Anne Burrell teach you to cook. Could you please please please tell her for me that her BIGGEST (sorry..couldn't help that one) Fan is from Trinidad and Tobago (my name is Sunil) and is rooting for her to win Again and if she could just mention it on the show. I thin k she is just Totally Awesome. Thank you. Peace, Harmony, Love and sincerely..BEST of Luck. Even if you do not win, I hope you at least learn to cook.

  9. Erica Weidner says:

    Hi, this is Erica from WCA season 3. Like Tim, I am the "real deal" in the kitchen. I can't speak for any "acting" recruit, but please know, nothing was "staged." I can't tell you how many strangers (not family/friends) because the know me, asked if "turning the food processor upside down" was scripted….it was not! It was the very first time I ever used one and I could not open it and just figured if I got all the ingredients that way, I should be able to get it out that way as well! Please give all the contestants a chance–they are trying to learn under such intense pressure and it is such a nerve-wracking experience. There were times I wanted to throw a frying pan at that clock! Please continue to watch and support your favorite team!

    • CARLA JOHNSON says:

      THANK YOU ERICA…I WAS THERE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME…NOT FOR ALL THESE HATERS TO HATE…I ENJOYED MY SELF….AS WELL AS MY TEAM MATES..I LEARNED ALOT ABOUT MYSELF…BOBBY FLAY IS MARRIED..HES A GREAT GUY AS WELL AS COOK….THANKS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK CARLA…IT WAS HARD THERE

    • Dawnskye says:

      Hey don't feel bad about the food processor. My sweetie got me a stainless steel Cuisinart, top of the line Elite model. I always preferred using a knife because it was far less complex (even though my knife skills do not come close to his). My first time using it was to puree my roasted pumpkin for my creamy pumpkin soup (easy and yummy) and I could not understand why the blade would not fit in the work bowl. It turned out I did not need the freaking extension and I had the wrong damn blade to start with!! SHEESH! I am a good cook and the damn thing had me so frazzled that unless my sweetie wants to use it, I keep the pretty torture device on the top shelf in my pantry….far far away, hidden behind my more useful gadgets. HOORAY FOR THE IMMERSION BLENDER!!! :). That being said, I think that the folks on the show need to give a course of gadgets and how to use them and for what purpose.

  10. @Psywiped says:

    i don't get it. why are they kicking off anyone if they are this bad it looks like it would be better to keep them all and use the show to teach everyone how to cook. Sounds like this show is really the best actor in america, who can fake being just the right amount of cooking skill the longest.

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