A Letter to Damaris, from the Rebel

by in Food Network Star, August 13, 2013

Food Network Star Season 9 WinnerHey, Damaris,

As I'm sure Bob, Susie, Alton, Giada and Bobby have already done so, I'd like to be the sixth person to welcome you to the Food Network family. I'm sure you'll fit in quite nicely, as we are all really just a bunch of food-obsessed kooks who like to entertain and have a good time.

Having been through the process, I know exactly what it takes to get where you are, and you've got it. Your poise during the Chopped challenge led me to believe you were a contender. Your pilot really sealed the deal. Your sense of humor is a perfect fit for our audience, and your optimism and good vibes just leap from the screen. Your POV is as solid as it gets. It is who you are: a teacher, a romantic and someone who isn't afraid to sing Bonnie Tyler karaoke after just one drink. Congratulations on finding the sweet spot between all of those Damarises. Also, as a dude who was chastised for winning the home ec award in middle school, I appreciate you championing the idea that everyone should love to cook for each other.

Congratulations on also having the largest gain in Twitter followers since the start of the competition. Interacting with fans is the name of the game. I look forward to seeing your "blue check" soon.

So what else is in store for you? Lemme tell you this: everything.

From here you will begin the process of developing a show, creating your brand and figuring out exactly who Damaris is — but on very valuable paper. Jay-Z once said, "I'm not a business man; I'm a business, man." The same applies for you. Don't be afraid to make the most of your new career in TV and beyond. You showed no signs of fear during 11 episodes of grueling competition. It should be a cakewalk from here.

Just so you know, you are about to meet thousands of people who can't speak, simply because you are in front of them. You may have to pay someone to escort you to public events just to hold strangers' cell phones and take pictures of you with them. Note: Do not ask your significant other to do this task in order to save a couple bucks. Trust me, the results are not cute.

Oh, one more thing: We're doing a demo together at the New York City Wine & Food Festival in October. Text me so we can go over the details.

Best of luck — even though you won't need it,

J

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Comments (65)

  1. Rags_McTattershanty says:

    I considered that, too. I'm wondering if FN tried to screw with Justin's POV and that's why Alton walked away, because he couldn't stand to see him compromised. As for his food, it was different, but I like being adventurous in my eating, so I definitely would be happy to eat at his restaurant.

    And yes, THAT would have been the ultimate show, Marty and Justin together. Their friendship was really sweet.

  2. Kacey says:

    Disappointed, bring back Paula for southern cooking!!!

  3. The Hawk says:

    I found her pilot to be not only demeaning to men but to be incredibly boring. Teaching a man how to cook to woo his girl? Really?? Is this 1945? I hate to remind the Food Network but most men can, and do, cook. I believe all of your Iron Chef's but 2 are MEN. I will not be watching Damaris' show.

    • Baker Babe says:

      Oh, please. Anyone, can use what she teaches on her show in their own life, regardless of who she is teaching it to. Adapt!

    • crystal says:

      EXACTLY! Every man in our famiy has been a fabulous cook. I found this pitch pathetic and demeaning as well. Sort of reminds me of the adage that blondes are dumb.

  4. Janelle says:

    Just think, if Damaris cooked you and 10 of your relatives a Thanksgiving feast. MMMMMMM!

  5. CarrieAnn says:

    Damaris and Justin, whomever is blessed enough to see both at the food & wine festival is in for a special gift : your presentation would be funny , honest and of course tasty ! I love. Damaris' choose of food and pov . I'f not to impress a date to impress any one special to you .
    All the best to Damaris again , Carrie

  6. Guest says:

    I really would have liked to see Justin make it, but, he didn't. I know the Sandwich King made it through his competition, and still is around on the Network. But I never saw the Pie Man making it to the finals; I thought he should have been blown away very early in the competition, which I would have agreed to.

  7. Pat says:

    Please go back to your old format and don't let America vote for the winner!!!! We haven't tasted their food, the experts have.

    • Dori says:

      That's a real gamble. "America", voted for Justin and his food no one would eat along with a dull camera-presence last year. Go figure.
      They voted for Damaris and food we will eat with a really good camera-presence this year. Thank. God. Thank the Universe. Thank somebody.
      Having contestants who are shabby-dressed night-clubber types who's idea of "a novel idea" is to get us to eat: Frog legs, garlic, black licorice and radishes just because no one else is doing it and it's "cutting edge" isn't my idea of Hip.

  8. guest says:

    Damaris has her Boots on. Bobby Flay has just challenged her to see who's better at a Kentucky 2-step dance. Damaris high-five's him says: "you're on!"

  9. cathy says:

    At last! ...not to put down down the last four winners, but this lady is a star! She will help define and shape the direction of FN for years to come. Please FN, do and good job and let this flower blossom!

    • Lynn says:

      Normalcy has been restored to the Universe. The voters were sane this year. The voters chose wholesome and decent, not some downtown rebel with purple hair and a neck tattoo trying to convince the judges that Mint, Whiskey, Squid, and habenaro peppers are the latest in cutting-edge cooking creativity. Enough! I hope Damaris sets a tone for male and female winners. It's what the voters chose. Expect next year's hipster-viewers to slam anyone conventional as boring, or anything else they can dream up. Let 'em, go sell Bongs in a record-shop where they belong.

      • Dori says:

        Yes. Like some of the weird people we see on Chopped. Ugly people trying to be even uglier and more outrageous in order to be cool. It's not the past winners, it's the new contenders each year. We don't need anyone on TV that will scare the kids.

  10. AndyJ says:

    Wasn't too impressed with ANY of the contestants this year... Or last year... Or the year before... But of all the contestants presented this year, Damaris was the best of the bunch. No idea how Rodney even got that far. His show would have turned into another drinking game, just like the sandwich guy from a couple years ago. I'll actually check out here show though, there were some good moments.