The Next Food Network Star: Exit Interview With Alexis Hernandez And Bob Tuschman Answers Some Questions
June 07, 2010 03:25 PM by Lisa Princ
We all watched last night as Alexis Hernandez was the first contestant eliminated on the premiere of The Next Food Network Star on Food Network. Hear what Alexis had to say about his time on the show and what the future holds for him, as well as hear some questions and answers with Bob Tuschman! Keep reading for all the details and make you sure you register to win The Next Food Network Star Prize Pack.
Question: If you were given another chance, what would you do differently?
Alexis Hernandez: I would probably show my personality more in front of the camera. In was evident, in the interviews, that showed my personality much better and was a more realistic snapshot of who I was than when I was presenting my dish.
Question: Do you think cooking for Wolfgang Puck affected your performance?
Alexis Hernandez: I have always wanted to meet Wolfgang Puck. I was thrilled to see my idol of food, and it didn’t change my performance. I would not have done much different, while I would have done same I
would have made sure it was cooked.
Question: what are your future plans?
Alexis Hernandez: I have been on the farm, experimenting in growing ingredients. Kind of figuring out what I want to do with the privilege of being on The Next Food Network Star on Food Network. I am not sure whether I want to be on tv or not be on tv yet.
Question: Do you have a favorite that you would like to see win?
Alexis Hernandez: I have an affinity for Doreen, Aarti and Herb. I connected with Herb immediately as we grew up in the same town. Aarti and I were sitting at dinner, talking about life and we hit it off. With Doreen, we just started pow wowing about life and food and had a good time.
Question: Was it difficult to hold it together when Wolfgang Puck was reacting to your dish?
Alexis Hernandez: I am a very emotional person as it is. Inside my head I was thinking “here you are, finally got the opportunity to cook for Wolfgang Puck and you made the error of not cooking the dish completely”. I did feel like crying, my heart just felt that this mega god of food that I look up to was disappointed in the dish that I made for him. I tried to be professional and not break down, although I did start to tear up a bit.
Question: With everyone being together, what are the living conditions like on The Next Food Network Star?
Alexis Hernandez: It was alot of fun, the personalities on the show are not quiet or small personalities. You learn to be in turn and be respectful. You learn alot about people and its kinda nice to do family dinners after competing.
Question: Do you think the camera threw you off your game?
Alexis Hernandez: A little bit but, the camera challenge was in a big studio with so many people and it was something that I really wanted to do really well. And I think that for me wanting to do so well, got me thinking too much and ended up not being myself.
Question: You’ve watched the show at home, can you tell us something that came as unexpected from watching The Next Food Network Star?
Alexis Hernandez: To sit at home and say that you can’t believe that happened, whatever it may be. Believe me, when you’re in the environment when you want this so bad, you’re not around your normal
cooking utensils, it is a little overwhelming. It’s difficult with all the pressure from star power there to the amazing equipment and amazing ingredients they had to use that I normally would not have at home. It’s so easy to make a mistake under all that pressure, even though it may seem like the smallest thing.
Question: What is your signature dish?
Alexis Hernandez: I would say a braised beef chuck with a red wine reduction with honey infused with rosemary. Then I would add shaved carrot ribbons on top, and place it on a bed of puree of parsnips or ramen noodles.
Question: What piece of “science of food” advice would you like to share with people?
Alexis Hernandez: I would tell people that since I think everyone at home in the summer makes salads. Making a vinaigrette is not as difficult as you think. When people follow the recipe, they always end up adding more oil due to the vinegar taste. Instead they should add an alkaline to it, which would be salt. If you add salt little by little it will balance out the vinegar.
Question: Since you brought up the ramen noodles and most college kids eat them, what do you think of doing a show for cooking on college budget and what would you add to it?
Alexis Hernandez: I think that’s an interesting idea, some of the things I would add would be using polenta or corn meal as it’s inexpensive to make and you can infuse alot of flavors into it.
Question: You said you were also a private chef, what type of clientele do you serve?
Alexis Hernandez: I do very small parties…I don’t have a catering company or anything like that. I’ll do a party for a friend, or for their clients. It is very far and few in between, but my clients are bankers, real estate brokers, and people in the medical field.
We got to listen in on some questions for The Next Food Network Star judge and Food Network Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, Bob Tuschman. Here are a few questions that Bob was kind enough to answer:
Question: What is the biggest challenge thus far on The Next Food Network Star?
Bob Tuschman: The camera, it intimidates people.
Question: What is your advice for the contestants?
Bob Tuschman: My advice is to listen to the mentoring they are going to get. We are not there to try to eliminate them, but to help them win. We try to give the best winning tips.
Question: How do you feel about telling someone they are eliminated?
Bob Tuschman: It’s the worst part of this job, I have to do this everyday on the show and in my office. We get thousands of ideas that we have to turn down everyday. It’s like giving them a kick off what they want to spend their lives doing. It never gets any easier. Later in the season, you will see that Susie is so distraught she couldn’t get a word out and told me I had to do it.
Question: With such a rough start, do you worry that people are going to lock into a favorite already?
Bob Tuschman: I always think about who people will lock onto, I think no matter what happens in episode one, it is no predictor of what will happen in episode two, three or even ten. You’ll see people rise and fall and people will be surprised both pleasantly and unpleasantly as their favorites move up and down.
A huge thank you to both Bob Tuschman and Alexis Hernadez! Be sure you remember to register to win The Next Food Network Star Prize Pack and tune in next Sunday for a brand new episode of The Next Food Network Star on Food Network.
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Photos courtesy of: Food Network