Tag: food interviews (Page 1 of 2)

A chat with Debbie Lee of “The Next Food Network Star”

It seems like many viewers of “The Next Food Network Star” were up in arms about Debbie Lee because of several questionable tactics and comments she made during more than one episode. They were letting judge and network exec Bob Tuschman know how they felt in responding on his blog last week. Well, Debbie was eliminated this past Sunday, leaving Melissa D’Arabian and Jeffrey Saad to battle it out for the crown. Was Debbie singled out for previous missteps? Good question, but we think so, and we think she had it coming either way.

Anyway, we had the chance to ask Debbie about her experience on the show and on her future plans…..

Premium Hollywood: What do you think ultimately was the deciding factor in your being eliminated?

Debbie Lee: It’s hard to say. I would love to get inside the judge’s minds to figure out what they were thinking. I know it was a very hard decision, but I think ultimately with Melissa’s being a mom, Jeffrey’s consistency…it just was a tough decision.

PH: Do you plan to pursue your own cooking show regardless?

DL: Yes, I would love the opportunity. I would also love to do some books and have the opportunity to express my Korean-American background.

PH: Who do you think will win now, and why?

DL: That’s a tough one. Melissa is a mom, has the all-American skills, Jeffrey is a fascinating chef with an interesting background, he’s exciting to watch. Let’s just say I’m glad I’m not a judge!

PH: What can you tell us about your new hot dog restaurant?

DL: The restaurant is going to be a hot dog concept that also integrates that comfort food with Southern spirit.

5 questions with Jamika Pessoa of Next Food Network Star

Jamika Pessoa was the latest contestant to be eliminated on Food Network’s hit reality series, “The Next Food Network Star,” as her exit last night leaves three standing–Melissa, Jeffrey and Debbie. Jamika had a difficult time adapting to the curveballs that the producers and judges were throwing at her in last night’s episode, but there is no doubt she has talent as an entertainer and cook. We had the chance to ask Jamika a few questions about her elimination and her future career:

Premium Hollywood: Do you regret how you reacted in the Red Lobster challenge and would you react differently if you could turn back time?

Jamika Pessoa: No, I don’t regret it because I live life with no regrets. I am the type of person who tells you exactly how I feel and think and think I am very real all day every day. You never have to guess about me or how I am feeling. I would rather be sent home for being too real than being considered a phony. I felt like I handled myself well throughout the competition in a very honorable and respectful way.

PH: Have you cooked with celery root again since that challenge?

JP: I have not cooked with celery root since then, but I am thinking of refining that dish and making it one of my signature dishes.

PH: What are your career plans at this time and do you feel there may be a Food Network opportunity for you even if you didn’t win this?

JP: I certainly would like to continue in television and entertainment. I think I could offer Food Network viewers (and beyond) a unique perspective and style people would love to watch. I would love to have a traveling food show like diners, drive-ins, and dives with a more upscale twist to it. Traveling and eating cross country, now that’s a dream job!

PH: Aside from yourself, who was your favorite contestant this season, the one that you would watch as a fan?

JP: Besides myself, I would watch a show with Debbie or Michael. Debbie is very creative and shines on camera. Michael is hilarious and cooks some great food.

PH: What advice would you give someone auditioning for Food Network Star?

JP: I would tell anyone auditioning to be themselves at all costs. Once you lose your credibility as a personality on TV, it is hard to get it back. Although I did not win, I have gotten much respect from fans and viewers honoring me for being the real deal. And say lots of prayers; you are going to need them!

4 questions with Michael Proietti of The Next Food Network Star

Michael Proietti was the latest contestant to get kicked off of Season 5 of “The Next Food Network Star” this past Sunday, and while Michael showed flashes of brilliance with his outgoing personality and mad cooking skills, his basic fear of the camera seemed to be his undoing. We had the chance to ask Michael about just that, as well as his future plans after his brief stint as a reality TV star:

Premium Hollywood: Did you feel like your comment of being intimidated by the camera was your undoing?

Michael Proietti: It was meant to be humorous but I do think the judges take everything seriously. My performance on camera was a critique I had gotten a lot so I am sure it was a factor in my elimination.

PH: Did you feel Debbie should have been eliminated this week because she wasn’t exactly honest with the judges and you guys?

MP: I am a big fan of Debbie and I actually think it was just my time to go.

PH: Do you see yourself having your own show even if you didn’t win this particular competition?

MP: Yes, I think being in entertainment is definitely in the cards for me. Making great food and making people smile is what I love to do!

PH: What’s next for your career?

MP: I am working on a cookbook, and I continue to work on my web site www.mvpchef.com to provide great videos and recipes. I would like to open a restaurant in the next year.

A chat with Teddy Folkman of Next Food Network Star

Thanks to Electric Artists and Food Network PR folks, we’ve had the privelege of interviewing each contestant from “The Next Food Network Star” as they are eliminated from contention every week. This week, we got to ask recently booted Teddy Folkman a few things, but we think he may have become a bit annoyed with our first question, but we had to ask….

Premium Hollywood: Did you feel like you were eliminated based on what happened between you and Debbie last week? (Teddy kind of threw her under the bus at judgment time and later apologized)

Teddy Folkman: Absolutely not.

PH: Tyler Florence referred to your shtick as that of a cartoon character and you seemed to have over-the-top presentations almost every week…or was that your true personality coming through?

TF: Tyler’s line of “you seemed like a used car salesman” really made it hit home to me. I was constantly being told that I “wasn’t being myself” over and over from the judges. But what Tyler made me realize was that I was trying to “sell” my food and advice rather then just talking about it and making it interesting without having to be a cartoon character. It made sense. Immediately in the next challenge, I got to work with one of the best of the presenting contestants, Debbie, and who I really am started to come through. And after the burger presentation and the Intrepid challenge, you could see the change. I am a laid back pub owner with a silly side.

PH: Would you do anything different if you could go back and start over?

TF: First off, I would never have worn that awful orange shirt in the first episode. Ugh. I would have also focused on being who I was rather then who I thought they wanted me to be. It took me too long to realize and ultimately became my downfall.

PH: What’s next for Teddy Folkman and who do you like to win the competition now?

TF: I am going to continue with my restaurants and putting some love into them for a little while. I am also in the process of writing a cookbook for kids and another on Gourmet Bar Food. I would like the opportunity to pitch the Food Network a few ideas I have on shows and continue to pursue my passion and love for everything food.

A few questions with Eddie Gilbert of The Next Food Network Star

Eddie Gilbert was the third contestant to be eliminated on Season 5 of “The Next Food Network Star” this past Sunday. Gilbert made a watermelon/red onion/feta salad that one judge claimed was “indedible,” and he was on the elimination block each of the first three episodes. We had the chance to ask Gilbert a few questions (thanks Food Network and Electric Artists!) about his experience on the show and what the future holds:

Premium Hollywood: Do you think you should have chosen your own recipe instead of using a Paula Deen recipe, and do you think that was ultimately your downfall?

Eddie Gilbert: It wasn’t an exact recipe from a Paula Deen cookbook. I definitely put my own spin on it. As far as it leading to my downfall, I don’t know.

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