June 28, 2010 06:27 PM by Lisa Princ
We all watched as Darrell “DAS” Smith was eliminated from The Next Food Network Star on Food Network last night. Darrell sat down and shared his thoughts on the show and his raw chicken ordeal that haunted him throughout the competition. Before you read on though, make sure you register to win The Next Food Network Star Prize Pack!
Question: Was it difficult get your groove back after the raw chicken?
Darrell Smith: It was, that first challenge was all about timing. It haunted me the entire competition and from that day I could not get into my groove.
Question: Can you give us your thoughts on the camera challenges?
Darrell Smith: You know what, I didn’t have much time to prepare for the show. I was not as comfortable as I could been on camera. With that amount of pressure you wanna be the best and be completely sharp and I was not as comfortable as would have liked to been, that is for sure.
Question: What did you enjoy most about being on The Next Food Network Star?
Darrell Smith: I enjoyed a lot of things about the show. Meeting Wolfgang Puck and Guy Fieri..I mean these are the guys we look up to. I love Wolfgang, his story is amazing and I think he is a culinary god. Also the bonds and relationships with the other finalists. This was the first step in my culinary career, it was my television wish and it was a big step.
Question: What lessons did you learn from this experience?
Darrell Smith: This experience was a soul searching experience where we put ourselves out there for the whole world to see us, criticize us, and view us. The experience lesson that I really got from it was basically to
do more camera stuff, and view in on my culinary point of view. Most of us didn’t even think of our culinary point of view prior to the show.
Question: Do you have any advice for remaining chefs?
Darrell Smith: Just have fun, I think was too busy worrying about the raw chicken and the past and forgot to have fun. It was too much high pressure, I was stressed out and forgot to have fun.
Question: What do you hope people will take away about you from watching The Next Food Network Star?
Darrell Smith: I hope they think I am charismatic, I am a fun guy,and I can definitely teach viewers about food, I am a teacher at Beverly Hills High. I have a great personality and I don’t think the show put that out there that much. I am a cool, confident guy but not cocky. I love people, I love food.
Question: If you were given another chance, what would you do differently?
Darrell Smith: I would remember to have fun, we were all there to have fun. I’d tell myself this is a competition for sure, but don’t stress out and put that much pressure where you are second guessing everything.
I let that raw chicken haunt me in the kitchen. I’d also practice in the mirror [chuckles], to try to get comfortable in front of the camera.
Question: What is one ingredient would you have dreaded to deal with?
Darrell Smith: Anything with baking. I am not a pastry chef. When I do events, I call out to all my pastry chef friends for dessert.
Question: Are there any contestants that you are really close with?
Darrell Smith: Yes, Brad, he is from Michigan also, so we had an instant bond. Briana and I got really close, as she is from Atlanta and I went to school in Atlanta. Aarti & Doreen and I are really close as well.
Question: Have you had a chance to taste everyone else’s cooking and if so, who would win based on that?
Darrell Smith: Everyone is good, just like Bobby Flay said in the promo they all can cook but only one can shine. At this point it’s still wide open, it’s anybody game. Everyone can cook and it’s all about who’s hot that week and who’s not.
Question: What’s your favorite food memory?
Darrell Smith: I’m from Michigan, and come from a big family with 28 first cousins. My grandma lived out in the countryside, on 5 acres where she had hog pens, chicken pens, and fresh gardens. I guess I was about 5 or 6 years old, she would tell us to go outside and play and we had assignments to do outside. One day I got assigned to pick tomatoes, and I picked the ripest tomatoes and watched my grandma make tomato and basil soup from scratch.
Question: Do you feel this exposure will help you in the future?
Darrell Smith: I hope so, I believe it will, but I don’t know if my personality got out there enough. But I do believe the exposure will open up more doors for me. It’s a stepping stone and good things will continue to come.
Question: What’s your signature dish?
Darrell Smith: Potato crusted halibut over assorted fresh vegetables and a rosemary sauce.
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