All Posts By FN Dish Editor

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Kelsey Milos

by in Shows, February 14th, 2011
The Blue Team race between Kelsey and Georg was neck-and-neck. Last week Kelsey's fish took the win, but this week, too-rare venison was her downfall.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I needed to be on Worst Cooks in America because I just got married and I kept screwing everything up! I tried to cook all the time and the outcome was never good. I have: Given my husband food poisoning twice, once from not cooking the turkey burgers all the way, once from old food; blown up a gas grill and burned off my eyebrows, eyelashes and bangs; tried to make seven different kinds of Christmas cookies and ruined every single one; made chicken for two of my close friends and somehow it came out purple; set a whole pan of bread on fire — I mean actual flames! Despite what my husband says, he can’t cook either. We want kids soon and one of us needs to be able to cook or they will starve!

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne or Chef Robert?
The most valuable thing I learned from the chefs is how to dice an onion. Normally when I dice onions I am crying and just trying not to cut off any fingers. It always ends up different sizes and with pieces of the skin in with it too.

What did you take away from the experience?
I have learned so much from this experience. I actually love to cook now! I literally cook three to five nights a week. When I first started this journey, I said my dream is that 10 years from now my husband will have gotten nice and fat and he will say, “I wouldn’t be so fat if Kelsey wasn’t such a good cook!” Just the other day he came out of the bathroom and said he gained 8 pounds which he blames on my cooking. My dream has come true! I feel like we will now be able to start our perfect little family complete with a mom/wife who is a whiz in the kitchen.

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Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Carlos Manuel

by in Shows, February 14th, 2011
Carlos says Boot Camp with Chef Anne taught him, first and foremost, to "let loose and really have fun while cooking!"

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I definitely belonged on Worst Cooks for several reasons. I am the youngest of 6, live alone, and do not have the comfort of my “mommy” to cook me dinner. Most of my family is in Michigan, where I was born and raised. I moved to Atlanta in hopes to find a better career and prove not only to myself, but to my family that I am a self-sufficient adult who is not afraid to follow his heart. I miss my entire family; all of my loving brothers and sisters, my hilarious cousins, and my adorable nieces and nephews. The main thing that kept my family together was the dinner table! My mother loved cooking. She made three meals a day, enticing my entire family to come over and eat. Since she was always in the kitchen, there was no reason for me to be. Now that I have moved away, it’s time for me to pick up a knife and learn to cook!

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne?
Learning to let loose and really have fun while cooking!

What did you take away from the experience?
I realized that I wasn’t alone; lots of people struggle with the same things I do. And most importantly there is always someone worse! I had such a great time, it really helped me learn to relax and loosen up in the kitchen.
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Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Ty Miller

by in Shows, February 7th, 2011
"I took away from the experience that cooking can be fun when you're not burning everything," says Ty.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I was the worst cook in America because when I cooked no one enjoyed it, me included.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Robert?
I learned that not cooking everything on high will not burn the food.

What did you take away from the experience?
I took from the experience that cooking can be fun when you are not burning everything.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
I will continue to cook and get better and better. You may see me on The Next Food Network Star soon.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I would not change a thing about my last dish. I cooked it with love and had a good time making it.

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
I felt great about my last dish because when I got to boot camp, I never could have made it.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
The advice I would give to future competitors is to relax, have a good time and enjoy the experience as much as possible. And listen to your chef.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
When I got home, I made fried fish and potatoes with steamed broccoli. My whole family actually ate it! Priceless.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
My best feeling during taping was making football dishes and talking with the Jets players. They liked my food, so I liked them. Also, Joshie eating the seafood. That was hilarious because he was scared of the shrimp.

Find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.

Worst Cooks, Episode 6: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, February 7th, 2011

Kat was "traded" to the Red Team mid-season. "If I had her from the beginning, she might have won," says Chef Anne.

After each elimination on Worst Cooks in America this season, chefs Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine share their candid impressions of the booted recruits with the FN Dish. This week, they bid farewell to Kat from Robert’s Team and Ty from Anne’s Team.

Anne on Kat: When we had to swap team members, I was really scared about Kat. She had done terribly before that. And all of a sudden, she came on my team and suddenly she turned a corner. Now I feel good about having her on my team, and I had really high hopes for her. If I had her from the beginning, she may have won. I did not have enough time with her. She made a big transformation on my team. Sometimes she’d just give up. In the game day challenge it was profiteroles she was making and she was going to give up; I told her she had enough time. She didn’t get sent home on that one. In the seafood challenge, the funniest moment was when Kat was cleaning the calamari and the little fish fell out! It was giant dirty calamari; they must have gone to the ends of the earth to find the dirtiest calamari that they could. This little fish came flying out and I happened to be standing there right when it happened. It was hilarious. I was bummed to send her home.

Ty's food failed to impress Chef Robert in last week's game day challenge, but the football players saved him. This week's undercooked okra was his final downfall.

Robert on Ty: Some women can deal with women better than they can with men. Kat was much more comfortable with Anne and much more confident with Anne. Ty, this guy wouldn’t shut up! I get the team-building and cheerleading and all of that, but come on. He was a character; he was funny. He was saved the week before because the football players actually liked his food. When you get six or eight big dudes liking your food, who’s going to argue with a football player?

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Worst Cooks recruit in our Fan Vote, up to 10 times per day.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Kat Rose

by in Shows, February 7th, 2011
After her elimination in the seafood challenge, Kat returned home to cook her kids something other than PB&J.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
My kids were tired of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that they have been eating for dinner for the last 5 years of their lives. There is really no good reason for why I am such a terrible cook; my mother tried to teach me and I have never given up on the desire to be a great cook. However, every time I got the nerve up to cook, the results of my cooking were inedible, disgusting and embarrassing. I have very low cooking self-esteem…I really stopped believing that it was possible to present a meal to my family that they will be excited about, so I just served the one thing I knew they would eat…P.B. and Jelly.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from your Chef?
The most valuable advice that I learned from my team leader was how to use fresh herbs in my cooking, as well as how to cut up and prepare the herbs.

What did you take away from the experience?
I took away better cutting skills, more confidence in the kitchen and a lot of great memories!

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
Worst Cooks was only the beginning of my cooking education. I will continue to practice my cooking skills until I can present a decent meal without embarrassment to friends and family.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently? I wish I could change a few things on my last challenge. For starters, I would have cut the calamari on a clean cutting board…no ink in the stuffing. Second, I would have taken more time on my eggs and sprinkled paprika on them instead of dumping it on them.

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
When I presented my final dish to the chef, I believed that I had done a pretty good job. I thought I was going to make it to the next round.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
I would tell future Worst Cooks to take good notes and enjoy cooking…don’t over-think the food; just enjoy the process of cooking.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
After returning home I attempted to cook roasted chicken, and to my surprise it was pretty good. Not one of my boys asked if they could make a P.B and jelly sandwich instead of eating the roasted chicken!

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
My most memorable moment was when I pulled out a little guppy from the squid’s guts….so gross! One of the funniest memories was when Kelsey tried to kill us all by over-seasoning her dish. We could hardly talk or keep our eyes open.

Find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Jen MacLean

by in Shows, January 31st, 2011

Jen, a surgical nurse, was a pro at butchering chicken. "It was a great feeling of accomplishment," she says. "Especially since I was scared to death."

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I actually thought metal measuring cups (given to me as a gift at my bridal shower) were TINY POTS!!! My younger sister had to correct me in front of all my bridal shower guests. I also served Oregano-Encrusted Lasagna (after the bottle of oregano accidentally spilled on my lasagna) at Christmas Eve dinner to my family only to make my brother-in-law choke after his first mouthful…he actually choked, and that was the end of Christmas Eve Dinner.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from your team leader?
My most valuable piece of advice from Chef Anne was to have confidence in myself. Confidence equals a good cook.

What did you take away from the experience?
I took some great cooking skills away from Boot Camp. I can now cut with a chef’s knife (correctly); I season food appropriately and I am not afraid to try new recipes. I am a confident cook thanks to the show.

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Worst Cooks, Episode 5: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, January 31st, 2011
NFL star and food enthusiast Kris Jenkins wasn't a fan of the game-day fare prepared by Kelly and Jen.

After each elimination on Worst Cooks in America this season, chefs Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine share their candid impressions of the booted recruits with the FN Dish. This week, they bid farewell to Kelly from Robert’s Team and Jen from Anne’s Team.

Assigned to make both potato pancakes and corn cakes, Jen was in "pancake hell."

Anne on Jen: That party challenge, every time, is a tough day. That’s the one on the first season where Jenny Cross had her big crash and meltdown; and that’s the one when I cried. Jen came in and she would start off really well in the challenges, and then she’d take a big fat nose-dive. She had no confidence, and she didn’t seem very happy. She’s a surgical nurse. I would always say to her, “I want to see happy Jen. I want to see strong, confident Jen.” And I think towards the end, she had a little bit of fun with it. By the end, when she left, she told me, “thank you, you made happy Jen reappear.” She wrote me a really sweet card with a picture of her family. She was really sweet and it was hard to send her home. She started to peek open but she never could let herself go to get there. She couldn’t deal with the pressure of it. I bet she handles stress fantastically in the operating room. This [cooking] is like surgery; you have to learn how to do it. And here we are, giving you an opportunity to learn how to do it.

Kelly feared cooking meat, but in the end she went home for her vegetarian black-bean fritters.

Robert on Kelly: Kelly wouldn’t touch meat because animals are her friends. She kept calling them her friends: “I don’t want to eat my friends.” But she butchered the chicken and actually did a really good job with it. She started to do better. In the Game Day Challenge, Kelly added too much liquid to a black bean fritter and they wouldn’t fry because they were so soft; they were so wet. She didn’t season one thing. She couldn’t put out enough food. Neither did Ty, but all the football players liked his food, so that’s what saved him.

See what Kelly and Jen are up to in their exit interviews. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite Worst Cooks recruit in our Fan Vote, up to 10 times per day.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Kelly Gray

by in Shows, January 31st, 2011
Kelly's advice for future recruits: "Relax! Maybe they should let the recruits have a cocktail while cooking on the next season."

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I needed to be on Worst Cooks to be saved from myself and my terrible culinary skills. Up until now, virtually all my cooking stories involve something catching on fire and that totally had to stop.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from your team leader? 
Chef Robert gave good advice like, “Relax” — but of course, I am a crazy woman and didn’t.

What did you take away from the experience? 
Friendship with some AMAZING people. The cooking is almost secondary to the experience of living and bonding with 15 other people.

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Sandra’s Saturday Savings: Fun Facts

by in Shows, January 29th, 2011

Sandra Lee Every Saturday morning in January, Sandra Lee teams up with the FN Dish to bring you budget-friendly tips for creating delicious dishes and meals for your family. From the supermarket to the stove, she’ll help you stretch every dollar and minute.

This week, Sandra shares some useful facts about grocery store prices and American eating (and spending) habits.

1. Freeze leftovers as soon as possible to maintain quality. Cooked meats can be frozen for up to 3 months.

2. In 1959, Americans spent $2.7 billion annually on frozen food. Today we spend $26.6 billion!

3. Boxed pie crust mix costs 73% less than refrigerated pre-made pie crust.

4. Check the unit price. Those little stickers on the grocery store shelves tell you how much you may or may not save by buying in larger quantities.

5. Americans spend approximately 4.1% of their annual income on food outside the home and 5.8% of their income on food in the home.

Want more tips? Sandra’s shows are full of ‘em. Catch Money Saving Meals on Saturdays at 9am/8c and Semi-Homemade Cooking on Sundays at 11:30am/10:30c.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Anna Altomari

by in Shows, January 24th, 2011

Anna had a little not-so-secret crush on Chef Robert.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I didn’t even know that my friend Theresa had nominated me until I got the call and email. Then she said, “Oh, yes…didn’t I tell you?”

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Robert?
Chef Robert was so awesome. He taught me how to use a knife properly… but we fought about olive oil vs. grapeseed oil.

What did you take away from the experience?
It was fun to get to know everyone on the show. I realized I could cook if I just had the time and someone to show me how.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
I would like to, but my work keeps me so busy and my mom continues to cook for me. Maybe if I find a nice boyfriend, I would have someone to cook for.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I would follow my gut instinct and start cooking the duck first, then chop things up as I was cooking. The chopping got me behind.

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
My dish looked good; the only thing that didn’t make it on the dish was the sauce. I knew though from the end of the challenge it would be me to go home. I was tearful the whole night even past elimination. The cast was like family and I was leaving.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
Be prepared to live with strangers that will become your friends and enjoy the experience. It’s hard at the time but afterwards, you’ll have lots of fun stories.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
I made an omelet and it came out great! My mom was gone so I had control over the kitchen.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
Every day was memorable. I have never laughed so much. We had a great cast.

Read Erika’s Exit Interview, find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.