Fresh off a game-changing Season 12 of Food Network Star, Tregaye Fraser joined the Food Network family as an on-fleek chef with an uncanny ability to entertain. But that doesn’t mean the search for Star power has ended. In fact, the journey is set to continue this month when Donal Skehan and Tia Mowry team up to discover the next budding culinary talent — a young talent, that is. On Food Network Star Kids, the mentors will ask pintsize cooks to not only strut their kitchen chops but also shine on camera, just as an adult Food Network Star needs to be able to do.
Recently we checked in with Donal to get his take on what it’s like working with kids and the joint culinary-camera challenges he and Tia have in store for the finalists. Check out his exclusive interview below for a preview of the season and learn more about Donal.
Just like Food Network Star proper, this competition is special in that it asks kids to not just cook well but to also present and perform well. Do you think one part is trickier to master than the other?
Donal Skehan: It’s a tricky one because, like, obviously, to be a cook you have to have incredible skills to make people enjoy your food, that’s — I think sometimes I believe it’s something you’re kind of born with. Either you can do it or, I mean, you can learn it, but I think it’s something that you know if you have it in your heart and it’s something that that’s the place that you cook from, I think that’s something really cliché, but it is, and it’s true, though. And I do think that side of it is such an important part to have because you can teach most things, but if you don’t kind of have it from the outset, it’s going to be very hard to kind of create. So I think in this competition you do, but as soon as people start cooking you see who’s a natural cook and who’s someone who has learned it as a skill. Both can be very good, but you do see it more out there than ever before.