Tag: Worst Cooks in America

Worst Cooks Finale: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, February 21st, 2011

Chefs (and Boot Camp Sergeants) Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine let us in on their candid conversation about the two Worst Cooks finalists, Joshie and Georg.

Anne on Joshie: If you had asked me at the beginning if Joshie was going to win, I would have said no way. But at the same time, I had a little glimmer that this was going to be my Rachel Coleman [last season’s winner]. You know, I really did. I said it on the first day, Robert, when you put him on my team.

He got it together after a while of me being like “Dude, take this seriously.” He came in to do his flambé or something and he’s like “I’m not going to that…” and I’m like “You’re what?” And he’s like “I mean, I AM going to do that.” His girlfriend was like “Wow, how did you get him to do that?” I whipped him into shape. I put the fear of Chef Anne into him. He grew not to irritate me.

I wouldn’t say that Joshie and I are going out to drinks anytime soon, but at the beginning I thought I was going to kill him. He kind of grew on me like a wart. He was not the crowd favorite, the team favorite, or my favorite. That he could transform himself and buckle down and take it seriously, I have to applaud him for that. I think he really wanted it; his eyes were opened up to so many different things. On the first day, when he was making his mess of a dish and brought it up to us, he said “I feel bad because my station was so messy and someone had to come behind me and clean it up.” I thought, that right there is the door opening. That right there, that is my Rachel Coleman. I can probably do something with this kid if he can get out of his own way.

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Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Georg Coleman

by in Shows, February 21st, 2011
Georg Coleman stuck it out all the way to the finale and became a confident cook with stellar knife skills — and she came into Boot Camp afraid of knives!

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
When I initially found out that I had been nominated by my beloved wife, I did not believe that I needed to be on Worst Cooks in America. After giving a grand attempt at cooking for the audition process, my perception quickly changed. The chefs were eager to point out that processed foods are not of the greatest quality for my family, especially my toddler. They also helped me see that cooking with only myself in mind (my likes/dislikes) might actually be contributing to the tension in my marriage around domestic responsibilities and that my wife might actually have a valid point. I now realize that I still prepare foods and eat like a bachelorette – that I really need some guidance in how to be a better partner and mom when it comes to cooking. I have always liked food prepared on the caramelized (burnt) side – and have set off many a fire alarm to prove it. If I did not get on WCIA, there is a good chance that my marriage would have been doomed.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Robert?
I learned so many valuable tips and tools from Chef Robert. Three things are most prominent in my mind from my experience on WCIA. One of the most important pieces of advice he gave was how to keep my fingers out of the way when cutting, chopping and preparing foods to cook. I am still not the greatest at this… but have a lot more awareness. A second tidbit of information that was emphasized and reemphasized during the show was ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ regarding keeping our stations clean. However, the most valuable tip I personally received from Chef Robert was to cook with confidence… no matter how it all turns out!

What did you take away from the experience?
I took away so much more from this experience than I ever bargained for. I went into the show thinking that I would learn some great cooking skills from the top chefs on the Food Network, that I would have at least a few days in NYC, and that I would possibly meet some cool people. What I came away with was a new perspective on cooking, my family and life overall. I walked away from WCIA a transformed person in many ways. Being in such intimate circumstances with virtual strangers forced me to bring forth compassion, understanding, tolerance and acceptance in ways I have never known before. I have been married for 5 years… and this was a more intimately challenging situation that lasted a lot less than 5 years. That being said, I developed friendships that will last for a very long time as a result of mutually sharing such a bizarre and awesome experience. I would not be able to adequately articulate what I experienced to anyone who was not there to share it with me. It was the experience of a lifetime and one I am so grateful to have had.

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Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Joshie Berger

by in Shows, February 21st, 2011

36-year-old Joshie Berger of Brooklyn is the Season 2 Worst Cooks in America winner. "It sounds cliche, but this experience was really life-altering," he says.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I really needed to be on Worst Cooks because of my background and personality. I grew up a Hasidic Jew, so I was limited to eating only strictly kosher foods. While the community I grew up in did a reasonable job (considering the limited ingredients available) in presenting edible food, in no way did it prepare me for the range of food options I was presented with when I entered the normal secular world. Additionally, I have a childish palette that prefers chicken fingers and french fries. Combine all this with a healthy dose of A.D.D. and sprinkle in some A.D.H.D. for good measure and you can understand the horror that is me in the kitchen. I would love nothing more than to overcome my idiotic food issues and confront my fears of strange foods. My relationship and social interactions literally depend on it.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne?
The turning point for me in boot camp was when it Chef Anne finally got it through my thick skull that I can have fun in the kitchen without needing to resort to my usual shenanigans. Preparing food and adjusting recipes can incorporate all of a person’s creative energies without the need to be a comedian or clown. Focusing my positive energies on producing restaurant quality meals is a great challenge and the results are a lot more rewarding than the laughs I know I can get elsewhere. Bottom line: if you’re having fun in the kitchen, the food will reflect that.

What did you take away from the experience?
It sounds quite cliche, but this experience was really life-altering. Cooking, and food in general, is such an important part of our lives and having confidence in preparing delicious meals changes you in so many ways. I am an extremely extroverted and social person, and making meals and preparing dinners is something that I love doing routinely. I have very little patience at restaurants and always preferred to eat at home, but ordering in was usually the method employed in the past. Being able to now sit around and entertain and chat while preparing food is a wonderful aspect of hosting. When my girlfriend comes home after a long day’s work, she can rest while watching me cook for her. This is something I cherish and find cathartic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still fun and loud, but it’s a lot more tolerable when I’m producing great results.

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Worst Cooks, Episode 7: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, February 14th, 2011
Carlos was a little timid with the flame...and with the seasoning on his final dish.

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. In the last challenge before the finale, they bid farewell to Kelsey from Robert’s Team and Carlos from Anne’s Team.

Anne on Carlos: This is when their families came! It was a little fire; it boosted them. They were really lonely; it had been a long time. I can’t imagine doing what they did, quite honestly. They completely had a breakdown when they saw their family members. Carlos was really cute; his sister came and he cried. We asked them what do they like to eat, and Carlos’s sister said a Thai dish. I gave him a lob; that’s how easy this dish was. I was begging him the entire time: Show us your personality. Let it come out. This is the time to let it rip. I remember saying that to him so many times. He’s like, “I love spicy food,” and then he made the drippiest, personality-less Thai dish. There was no spice, no big flavors. He was great; his mise en place was always so good; his shrimp was cooked perfectly. I really thought for a while that Carlos was going to be my guy.

Kelsey spent the first half of Boot Camp on Chef Anne's team, but really made progress once she moved over to Chef Robert's team — at least that's what he says!

Robert on Kelsey: I was shocked that Anne sent Carlos home. I thought this was going to be her soldier. Kelsey’s husband came. He was deer hunter guy. He loves to hunt, so she wanted to make him venison. She went from burning everything to serving it raw, still bleeding. And it was such a shame because she knew how to cook it. She did well when she moved over to my team; she turned a corner. The pan wasn’t hot when she seared it; all the things that she had been taught, she didn’t do. That was heartbreaking. She was so afraid of burning everything, so she overcompensated.

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: 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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