On Worst Cooks in America, 14 recruits have the opportunity of a lifetime: to be mentored by two renowned chefs, Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay. They arrive at Boot Camp with some of the worst skills imaginable in the kitchen, but if they’re able to last seven weeks of competition without getting cut, they get the chance to be named the best of the worst and win $25,000 in prize money. Plus their mentor gets bragging rights — and this year Anne is fighting to win her title back after losing it to Bobby last season. Unfortunately, every week two recruits, one from each team, must be eliminated.
Every Monday night, FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team.
More Worst Cooks in America
Exit Interview with the Eliminated Red Team Recruit
Episode 3 Highlights (Photos)
Doughnut Delights (Video)
On this third week of competition, the remaining 10 recruits found themselves making a popular confection in their Skill Drill challenge: doughnuts. Not only did they have to make the dough, they also had to come up with a unique flavor combination. But not everyone’s doughnut turned out to be appealing. Luckily Joe’s pistachio and chocolate ganache doughnut rose to the top of the chart, but it still wasn’t enough to win him the challenge. When it came to the Main Dish challenge, Joe decided to go for broke and ended up putting too many ingredients into his roulade. Bobby warned him about restraint and keeping things simple. In the end, though, Bobby decided it was time for Joe to go.
Anne and Bobby thought you had a good doughnut, but you just missed winning the challenge. Is there anything you think you could have done to make it better?
I think the biggest issue with the doughnut was the ganache filling. I should have figured out a better way to inject it, but I had never done that before. So I was kind of shooting in the dark. But they said the flavor profile was really good, so that was a plus.
What do you think you could have done differently with your roulade dish? Bobby thought you had too much going on, especially with the sauce.
I made the decision at the time because I thought it was the best move to make. I tasted the sauce. It was complex. It had a lot of layers. But I thought overall it finished really well and went with the ingredients that I was using for the roulade. I’ve used a similar sauce on chicken before. Bacon and blue cheese sounded like a match made in heaven for me.
Bobby referred to you as a precisionist a lot and it’s a reason he chose you for his team. Do you think that ever got in the way of your cooking?
No, I think it actually helped me in a lot of ways. But I think the downfall for me was just the fact that I went for too much flavor. Bobby always said that it’s better to go for too much than not enough. I went for broke and it’s just the way that it panned out.
What was the hardest challenge for you during competition?
Honestly, the Main Dish challenge that I won. That was the hardest dish that I felt that I had to make, because the fish had to be cooked just right. It was also the first time we were doing sauces. I actually wasn’t nervous about the roulade at all. In fact, I was pretty confident going into it, especially when I made it.
What’s the No. 1 thing you learned during your time on the show?
The lesson that sent me home, which is to keep it simple and less is more. That proved to be the case with the last dish I made. I mean, I don’t think it was grounds for dismissal, but it was a tough challenge and everyone turned in a good dish. If I would have gone onto next week, it would have been an easy thing for me to fix, but, unfortunately, I won’t get a chance to show that.
Who do you think on your team has the potential to make it the farthest?
Amber. She has shown tremendous growth, and she’s won two challenges already. She’s a hustler. If anybody has the chutzpa to do it, I think she does.
What’s next for you? Will you be cooking a lot more?
I’m definitely going to be getting in the kitchen and cooking more. And I’m going to see if I can come up with an idea for my own TV show that I can pitch.