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FN Dish is counting down to the Season 3 premiere of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off by introducing a new celebrity contestant every day. During the competition, the celebrities will be tested in a number of different challenges to see who has the most culinary chops. The winner will be awarded the title of Cook-Off Champion and $50,000 for the charity of his or her choice. Watch the premiere Monday, Jan. 6 at 9pm/8c, and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.
Penn Jillette is best known as one half of the world-famous, Emmy award-winning magic duo Penn & Teller, which is the longest-running headlining show in Las Vegas. Penn has also appeared on Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Apprentice. His latest book — Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! — takes a humorous look at holidays from an atheist’s perspective. Penn is competing to try his magic in the kitchen and to prove he’s not all smoke and mirrors. Penn is playing for Opportunity Village.
Describe your cooking style in three words.
Penn Jillette: Spicy, fatty, salty
What’s the first food you recall making?
PJ: I remember I would help my mom stir her delicious molasses cookies. They were more like molasses gingerbread, really.
What’s the most-memorable meal you have ever had?
PJ: My mom’s New England boiled dinner, with orange Jell-O with grated carrots and crushed pineapple in it, and a dab of Miracle Whip on top. I would give anything to have that again.
Who is your favorite chef or food TV personality, past or present?
PJ: I love Rachael Ray, but that might be personal.
What food will we never catch you eating?
PJ: I’ll eat anything, but I don’t like bell peppers. They feel like the end of my nose and they think they’re all fancy. Give me a carrot.
What’s your signature dish?
PJ: I can cook a fine steak most of the time.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
PJ: Brownie batter, but there’s no real guilt.
What’s your favorite kitchen tool that you can’t live without?
PJ: A spoon
What’s the weirdest item we’d be surprised to find in your fridge?
PJ: Almond milk. I didn’t even know they were mammals.
What music do you like to listen to in the kitchen?
PJ: The Ramones
Going into Rachael vs. Guy, who would you pick as your biggest competition and why?
PJ: They can all take me down, any one of them. They are all great cooks. I don’t have to pick one.
Why do you want to be the next Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off Champion?
PJ: Because I never win anything.
Rapid fire: Think fast!
Sweet or Savory? Savory
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Vanilla or Chocolate? Both
Ketchup, Mustard or Mayo? Mayo
French Fries or Onion Rings? French Fries
Salt or Pepper? Both
Burger or Hot Dog? Burger
Beer, Wine or Liquor? Never had a drink in my life, so I don’t know.