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On tonight’s finale of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, the kid chefs cooked a family-style meal for a group of celebrity chefs who were led to believe that they were eating food cooked by adult contestants from Celebrity Cook-Off instead. Jaws dropped once the curtains were drawn to reveal eight little kids. After the guest judges evaluated each kid’s show pitch, it was time for tallying up the final scores. With an award of a Web series on the line it was a close race, but only one kid could win the ultimate prize.
Brandon got the highest score, earning the win and the prize of his own Web series on FoodNetwork.com. On Cooking in the Fast Lane, Brandon shows viewers it’s possible to cook a quick and easy meal. And he’s able to come in at under 20 minutes — watch out Rachael Ray! See him in action as he goes out on the streets of New York City in search of busy people he can cook for. Click on the play button below.
FN Dish caught up with Brandon after his win to find out more about his time on the show, how he hid his win from friends and what he wants to be when he grows up.
What was your favorite part and least favorite part about the competition?
My favorite part of the competition was especially the cooking and always being timed on everything, because it was so exciting and fun at the same time. My least favorite thing was screwing up because that really gets me off track.
What was it like being around Rachael and Guy? What kind of advice did they give you?
It was really great working with them. I had a great time. I took some advice from them and it worked well. There are a few tips from Rachael that I use, some time-saving tips: Like, instead of baking my potatoes, which takes a really long time, I would rather boil them.
Do you have a favorite Rachael Ray or Guy Fieri recipe?
Guy has this recipe for Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo that I actually keep in my recipe book. I also use Rachael’s recipe for Paco’s Fish Tacos in Lettuce Wraps.
Do you think you are a better cook now than before the show?
Oh, I think I’m a much better cook now. The main thing I learned was “do not rush.” I’ve rushed a few times — sometimes it would pay off but sometimes bad things happened.
What do your friends in school have to say about you being on TV?
They want to learn from me and they’re really supportive of me.
What is it like seeing yourself on TV?
I like watching myself on TV. It’s a real joy. I’m really proud of myself.
What did you like most about making your own Web series?
The Web series episodes are a big woot! My favorite part was going out on the street and talking to random people and making dinner for them.
How hard was it keeping the secret that you were the winner?
It was really hard. Lots of people tried to get it out of me, but I just zipped my lips and didn’t say anything. They couldn’t get it out of me. My friends wanted me to win so badly, but I just kept telling them I didn’t know who won.
Has winning helped you avoid getting any chores at home?
Not at all. My parents expect me to do even better at stuff. Well, this is not really a chore, but I’m making dinner tonight.
Where does your saying “bejabbers” come from?
I think that came right out of me! But I have a friend who used to say funny phrases all the time. And I would say “Gee, that scared the bejabbers out of me.”
What’s your favorite food to cook? What’s your favorite food to eat?
My favorite food to cook is steak because I’m a Texas kind of guy. I like making those nice grill marks and everything. And that’s actually my famous thing. I like to eat ribs a lot, but if I had to pick my No. 1 favorite food, it’s also a steak with a huge potato.
What was the first dish you learned to cook?
The first dish that I learned to cook was crepes. It’s actually very funny. My mom is a stay-at-home mom and she liked to cook back then. I always liked to stir the bowl, and make the crepe batter with her. And then she showed me how to pour the crepe batter in the pan. And I was actually pretty good.
Who or what was your biggest influence in learning to cook?
Well, throughout my whole life, my biggest influence — no offense to Rachael or Guy — was Emeril Lagasse, then Bobby Flay.
It already looks like you are halfway to becoming a chef. Is that what you want to be when you grow up?
Being a chef is actually the No. 1 thing I’m thinking about becoming when I grow up. But my two other options would be a racecar driver or a lawyer. But right now I’m aiming for chef.
Chocolate or vanilla
Hot dogs or hamburgers
Cream cheese or butter
Soda or juice
Ketchup or mustard
French fries or onion rings
Salt or pepper