Tag: Exit Interviews

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.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Erika Rumsey

by in Shows, January 24th, 2011
This challenge was not Erika's finest moment: She served crackers decorated with squeeze cheese.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I have always loved the idea of cooking, but could never really figure it out. I live on processed foods. Some of my favorites include hot dogs and macaroni and cheese! I once microwaved a cookie to get it warm. I realized that two minutes was way too long when the microwave caught on fire.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne?
Be organized! Mice en place (or whatever that was).

What did you take away from the experience?
I overcame my fear of the kitchen. I’m not afraid to at least TRY and cook.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
Now that I have learned some helpful tips, I can’t wait to continue cooking at home!

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I wish I would have been more relaxed. My nerves got the best of me.

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
I felt so proud. I knew Chef would probably hate it but I couldn’t believe I actually made that!

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
Pay attention, be relaxed, and FOCUS!

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
I bought a mandolin and attempted to make the potato cake. The potatoes were way too thick and it took forever. It was not good at all, but I did use a non-stick pan!

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
Starting a fire on the first day and almost crying when I had to tear apart a chicken.

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

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Matt Crespi

by in Shows, January 17th, 2011
Matt's overcooked turkey and uneven potatoes sent him packing, but he remains convinced that his final dish tasted good.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
Where to begin…I once went through (read: destroyed) most of a loaf of bread in an attempt to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. To this day I maintain it was trick peanut butter, and not actually spreadable. The first time I tried to cook salmon; I took a piece of salmon, put it on a frying pan, and held it over a burner. Eating that salmon out of principle marked a low point not only in my cooking career, but also my life. I once ate a chicken sandwich out of vending machine that was better. (Years later, I found out you’re supposed to preheat the pan and put something like oil on it. Who knew?) My brother told me I made sushi-grade fish taste like cat food, but I think he’s just being kind because he’s my brother. While baking a brownie recipe which included instructions to “fold chips into the batter,” I laid out the batter, poured chocolate chips on half of it, picked up the other half and folded it over. When I couldn’t get the viscous chocolate mixture off my hands, my roommate had to hold a cell phone up to my ear so I could ask the recipe’s creator (my mother) what went wrong. Apparently “fold” is a metaphor.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Robert?
The most valuable thing I learned from Chef Robert was how to effectively use knives without injuring myself.

What did you take away from the experience?
Some cooking skills, some confidence in the kitchen, the ability to feed myself, 15 friends, 3 knives and one great story.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I’d spend more time on the earlier steps, putting greater emphasis on thoroughness and less emphasis on speed. Multitasking to that degree with stringent time constraints was a new experience for me, and I overestimated my optimal pace.

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
I knew it had some technical problems, but I actually felt pretty confident. I may be a bad cook, but I’m awesome at eating, and I don’t mind telling you the dish tasted really good. Losing that challenge has in no way changed my favorable opinion of my dish’s flavor.

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 cooked a pretty simple pan-fried chicken dish with peas. By my pre-show standards, it was epically edible. Since then, I’ve even invented a few successful recipes.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
Have fun. If you’re freaking out and getting intimidated by free cooking classes, then you’re not doing it right. Also, don’t run while holding out a freshly sharpened chef’s knife. I cannot stress this enough.

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

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Priscilla Harden

by in Shows, January 17th, 2011
After gaining confidence on the show, Priscilla invited 20 people over for the Worst Cooks in America premiere and cooked for all of them!

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I need to repay my husband for cooking every meal for us from the time we dated to the present. The last time I cooked him a meal was in 1979 while we were dating. For two days, I called everybody I knew, in and out of state, to get advice on how to cook the meat (beef tips), the vegetables (turnips, corn, green beans) and the rice. After I was done, I invited him over to my apartment for dinner. I noticed that he took his time eating, and afterwards, he thanked me and told me I didn’t have to cook for him ever again! I thought he was just being nice, but I could never get him to come over and eat again. So, for 31 years, my sweetheart has cooked every meal for our family, including holiday meals, even after working all day. I need to learn how to cook so I can cook for him in order to show him how much I have appreciated his kindness all these years.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne?
I learned that plating the food aesthetically was as important as seasoning and cooking it correctly, because if it looks good, then it probably tastes good.

What did you take away from the experience?
Being on Worst Cooks in America gave me enough confidence to lose my fears about the notion that I can’t learn how to cook. Although I have a long way to go, I am now inviting people over to our home to eat. Now I have enough confidence to quit saying I don’t like to cook, which allowed me to hide behind the fact that I could not cook! I actually go into the kitchen and experiment with cooking and I find myself having fun and enjoying it as well.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
Instead of taking so many notes as if I were journal-writing, I would jot down the bare essentials for prep, seasoning and time allotment for cooking each dish, and then proceed as if I got this!

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
When I presented my final dish, I felt awful! I seasoned the steak with the wrong seasoning. I used hot pepper instead of the correct seasoning. When Chef Anne tasted my meat, she spit it out and poured it into the trash can! I was embarrassed and I felt incompetent because I made mistakes that should not have been made, including the fact that I did not plate the food cleanly or properly!

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
The first dish I attempted to cook after I was eliminated was a chicken. Although I cut myself while cutting it up, I had fun! I tried cutting up the chicken in the order that we were taught, but I abandoned the procedure along the way when I became confused. Still, I got it done. And, although I did not use a “thank you for coming bowl,” I used a “thank you for coming bag,” which aided me in keeping my area clean. Chef Anne would have been proud of me! Furthermore, I have to admit, I ignored Chef Anne’s rule about not using black pepper to season food and it tasted fairly good to me. I remembered to taste the food as I cooked it, and I added more salt as I needed it.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
Yes, just this past Saturday, I cooked some chicken breasts, green beans, cabbage and sweet potatoes. And, for the first time, I did not cut myself.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
My most memorable moment happened during an interview. I was trying to pronounce the name of a food seasoning item, or maybe it was a vegetable, but, regardless, my pronunciation of the word was terrible. Not only could I not master pronouncing it, I told the person who was interviewing me that I didn’t know if it were something you poured or cut. He said it would be our little secret.

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

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Next Iron Chef Exit Interview: Chef Estes’ Parting Words

by in Shows, October 25th, 2010
Chef Estes' advice to future rivals: "Never have a bad day."

FN Dish: What did you take away from the experience of competing on The Next Iron Chef?
Duskie Estes: I loved the chefs I met. I loved going out to dinner with all of them—we all are voracious eaters. I did not think I would like anyone going into it, so I was thrilled that I was so wrong. In restaurant life, you are not challenged to think about food in that way—ever. It was fun to stretch your skill set into unknown direction.

Dish: How did you feel about the dishes that sent you home when you presented them?
D.E.: I hated them. I’d never serve them in my restaurant.

Dish: If you could have a do-over, what would you change about that fateful caramel apple?
D.E: I would not have done a caramel apple on that fire. I would have only done vegetarian food with fair ingredients. That would have been the safest with bad protein sources.

Dish: What advice would you give future Next Iron Chef contestants?
D.E.: Never have a bad day.

Look inside Chef Estes’ Next Iron Chef journal and flip through our behind-the-scenes gallery from Episode 4.

More about Chef Duskie Estes:
Zazu Restaurant and Farm
Chef Estes on Facebook