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. Sandee Jackson says:

    This is a very interesting show -but really misleading. Bobby and Anne are not getting the Worst Cook in America and training them. It's kind of the opposite – they're disheartening and crushing the "Worst" cooks and getting the best of the worst to show off how they can teach folks to cook.

    The title is a little misleading as well as the concept. They should allow everyone a few weeks to get their skills then start doing some sort of elimination . . . what they do now is just making bad cooks depressed.

  2. Guest says:

    Don't care what people say, I LOVE THIS SHOW AND I GET LOTS OF GOOD LAUGHS!!!

  3. Stacy says:

    I get a good laugh out of this show. It's more of a comedy than a cooking show, however, especially when one guy gagged on his own food. But, the one thing that got on my nerves was Carla. I felt like taking a shower after watching her slobber all over Bobby Flay the entire time. She looked at him like she would jump his bones at any time. I was so embarrassed to see her. Hopefully, she'll be voted off soon. It seriously took 4 tries to cut an onion and he still didn't get it? People really can't be that brain dead in the kitchen, can they? I understand that some people can feel uncomfortable in the kitchen. But to this extent?

    • R. Anne says:

      Stacy, I completely agree!!! she's got to turn in her apron before she makes even more of a fool out of herself. I thought she was inappropriate and not the least bit funny. I also think Alex needs to go – he's a bit of a "ham" and thinks he's funny – I find him equally as annoying. also, does it seem to anyone else that Anne is "screaming" more than ever. I mean really, I know it's "boot camp" but it's not PRISON! these people want to learn – I don't remember ever being screamed at like that in school. just sayin

  4. Steven says:

    I was a great show, I am pulling for Big Mike! Loved it when he lifted up Anne! His steak looked perfect!

  5. Can't Cook Either says:

    I'm rooting for Team Bobby, I can't seem to find a full episode online though…

  6. It really enjoyed my brief time on the show. Sorry you had to see me gag, not one of my finer moments! I've since mastered the steak Bobby showed us, the sauce…not so much. If you're bored at work, please check out my YouTube home videos. Mostly harmless nonsense stuff. Search for TJBurger123

  7. Diana says:

    Love that last comment. I was the first along with Tim to go and I would have liked more time to learn to cook. And yes we are real and all really bad cooks. I hate to admit that but it's the truth. I am good at lots of things but cooking is not one of my skills. I know you'd like to believe we were faking it, but we weren't and we all honestly wanted to learn. That's why I am so sad that I was chosen as THE worst cook in America and only had one chance to learn from Anne. This is Diana

  8. Nancy says:

    bobby, would you post the steak recipe from this seasons first show. i not a novice cook and would like to cook it for my family.

  9. C Vera S says:

    I would love to know what happens between the weekly competitions. Are the contestants in culinary classes 8 hours a day? I noticed they all carry notebook. Who teaches them between shootings? It's hard to believe that culinary superstars like Ann and Bobby drop everything for 7 weeks to tutor their teams. I would like to hear more from the contestants.

  10. Dawnskye says:

    I have to say that I get a kick out of this show. Aadip trying to get a sear on cheese brought me to hysterics with the laughing. And cinnamon on a burger? GEEZE! These people are hilarious! Some of their flavor combinations sound pretty nauseating yet, somehow, some of them worked. Not sure if it was shear luck or some random act of the Almighty but things worked for some people.

    Kudos for people admitting that they cannot tell a fry pan from a sauce pan or one veggie from another. Takes guts to admit you suck at something and want to do better. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

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