Season 7 of Worst Cooks in America is a little bit more star-studded, as seven recruits from Tinseltown are joining the ranks of the culinarily challenged. Like in previous seasons, the recruits will be split into teams, but this time their coaches will be Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray. For one of these stars, getting through all six weeks of trying challenges will mean $50,000 for his or her charity and bragging rights for the star’s mentor.
Jersey Shore will forever be considered a phenomenon, if only for making JWoww and Snooki household names. Although she now goes by Jenni, JWoww hit the reality television scene on MTV’s wildly successful show, which later spun off into Snooki and JWoww, featuring the adventures of the two best friends from Jersey. Since then Jenni’s appeared on Marriage Boot Camp. Her first book, The Rules According to JWoww, was released in 2012.
Get to know more about Jenni and her love for food, and why she signed up to be whipped into culinary shape in Boot Camp. Watch the premiere of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9|8c.
How would you describe your cooking style presently?
Jenni Farley: Presently, my cooking style isn’t terrible. Uh, I’m just lazy at it, and I need a fire lit back in me to learn new things, especially now that my daughter’s eating adult food.
Have there been any really good or really bad cooks in your life? Do you think that had an effect on you?
JF: I didn’t really have any good cooks or bad cooks in my life. I kind of just did it on my own. I was raised by my dad … and he was more of the steak and potato kind of cooker. Well, I wanted to experiment more, so I had to kind of learn — or I was getting steak and potatoes every night.
Is there something that has kept you from learning to cook all this time?
JF: I just get really lazy when it comes to cooking. I love cooking for a lot of people, because my house only has me, my fiance and daughter. I’m always like, “Well, we can just order in or get meals delivered,” because then I don’t have to clean up, and then we don’t have all these leftovers, because I have a tendency to overcook. So if it’s just me and Roger, I’ll cook for, like, eight people, and then the food goes to waste. And I hate cleaning.
What do you hope to gain from this competition?
JF: I just want to expand my cooking abilities. I find it to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be working under Anne and Rachael, and that’s just freaking awesome. Like, nobody really gets to say that.
Besides the show’s mentors, is there a chef or food personality whom you admire?
JF: I love Guy Fieri, only because I’m obsessed with his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He’s just so nice, and … he’s something fun to watch, even though I don’t actually see him cook.
Does anything scare or intimidate you about being in the kitchen?
JF: The only thing that really intimidates me in the kitchen, especially on a cooking show, [is that] there’s a time limit. And, you know, that puts a lot of pressure [on me], and I’m such a person of, like, OCD, where everything has to be lined up and perfect, and we’re putting a time crunch on that, and I get in my head almost. I, like, overwork myself, and then the day’s ruined. I give up, I quit, I go home, I go to bed.
When you do go into the kitchen, what are some of the things that you try to cook for yourself or others?
JF: I love cooking chicken Parm. I love cooking lemon chicken, penne alla vodka. We do a lot of steaks. That trend stays in my family, for me, 30 years later. You know, my fiance loves grilling, and I’ll make a bunch of side dishes. But overall we try and eat healthy, and that’s why I don’t cook what I cook, because the plates are not healthy.
What’s your signature dish or what do you make most often for yourself or others?
JF: I’d say I cook chicken Parm and penne alla vodka more, but everyone is obsessed with my lemon chicken.
What’s the worst kitchen disaster you’ve had or the worst dish you’ve made?
JF: One of the worst I made, that I saved, was honestly an embarrassment. It was in the winter, and I was cooking steaks in my house, and it was really my first time cooking, like, grilling steaks, and I went verbatim on the instructions, kind of like on the Web of how to cook, like, a fillet. And I undercooked it so bad, and I served it to my friends. … I had to take it back from them and reheat it, and that just embarrassed me.
If you had a choice, who would do the cooking for you?
JF: I would pick Gordon Ramsay to cook for me forever, because he needs to be somebody’s b—-.
Is there something we would never catch you eating?
JF: I don’t eat pork, even though I’m on a cooking show. And if somebody makes it, I will eat it out of respect for them. … I love my piggies. And if I could, I would be total vegan. So, I don’t eat meat or pork. But I do eat poultry; I eat fish.
What’s your most-memorable meal you’ve ever eaten?
JF: I would actually say that one of the coolest meals I’ve ever eaten was in Episode 1. And, since it’s not airing yet, I can’t wait for everyone to see.
What’s a favorite dish you remember from your childhood?
JF: God I … loved ramen noodles growing up. I used to put hot sauce in there and a little sour cream, and, like, drain the water and make it like a pasta, and that … is so freaking bad for you, and I lived on it for years.
What’s the first thing you learned to make?
JF: One of my girlfriends, when I told her I was on this show, kept saying, “You’re known for your soup.” And I forgot that in high school I won a competition. Because I was actually very terrible at science … school let me take home [economics] instead of science, to make up the credits, and I used to kill it: scrap soup. So one day I forgot to put in my order for a chicken dish, and so they didn’t get the groceries for the chicken. So I had to take everyone’s scraps and make a soup, just so I could make something for that class, and they ended up putting it in for the state competition.
Do you have a guilty pleasure food?
JF: I love pizza. Pizza in the morning, afternoon, at night — I could eat it.
What’s the weirdest thing we’d find in your fridge?
JF: The weirdest thing you’ll probably find in my fridge is a lot of, like, substitute stuff. I’m trying to be dairy-free, gluten-free. So it’s like the fake gluten-free pasta. The fake, you know, cheese — all that stuff. A lot of things that my friends make fun of me for.
Which of the other celebrities do you want to take down?
JF: I think Jaleel’s going to be my biggest competition.
If you won Worst Cooks, how would you celebrate?
JF: If I won the show, I would celebrate huge, because I’m [planning on] giving the [money] to Pick Your Paw Rescue; we’ll be saving animals from kill shelters.