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Food Network Star: Interview with Eliminated Chefs Juba Kali and Katy Clark

June 13, 2011 05:23 PM by Megan Thompson

Last night on Food Network Startwo hopeful chefs were eliminated from the competition, Juba Kali and Katy Clark.  Keep reading to find out what they have to say about their experience on the popular Food Network show.

Juba and Katy dished on numerous topics in a phone interview today, check out their comments below.

Question:  What if anything would you change if you had the chance to do this process over again?

Juba:  I would be more myself.  A lot of people, who know who I am and what I’m about, they say that was not Juba.  I wish I was a little bit more loose.  It is such a crazy environment that nobody is really themselves.  I wish that I could have brought more of the Juba factor. 

Katy:  I feel the same way about the nerves and finding yourself throughout the process.  I think I would have highlighted more of my fitness and health aspect, because I feel America and the Food Network needs more of it.

Question: What was the biggest surprise for you compared to what you expected?

Katy:  In one word – Penny.  Can we just say whoa!  I was not expecting to have to deal with that.  I often looked to Juba when things started going haywire and he was my pillar of peace.   We would step back from situations and just look around and say really?  Is this what this show is about?

Juba: There are so many crazy variables that you don’t really get on television.  When you hear contestants say it’s a lot harder than you think it is, believe them because it really is.  I was trying to stay sane in a crazy environment.

Question:  Of all the people remaining on the show who do you think has what it takes to be the Food Network Star?

Juba: In terms of entertainment value: Jeff and Orchid.  In terms of cooking: me, Justin D, Justin B, and Whitney.

Katy: Jeff, he’s hilarious and his concept is great!  I think there are a lot of sweet personalities and I love the energy of Susie and I love the sweetness of Orchid.  I think those two ladies have a great chance as well.


Question:  What lessons from this experience will best serve you in your future endeavors?

Juba:  I have never experienced anything like this before, I have never been in front of millions of viewers. What I’m taking from it – is being okay in front of a large group of people.  Which I thought I was, until I was in front of the cameras and the only thing I could think of was that millions of people are watching this!  

Katy:  It is a very vulnerable experience.  I grew in personal strength of knowing who I am and even defining myself more.  The judges gave me some harsh criticism, but a lot of it was right on.  Bobby Flay said I should be an ESPN sports center girl.  They mentioned I would be a good morning talk show host and a motivational speaker.  When they said those things they registered with me and I thought –  I’m going to run with that. 

Question:  How has your life changed since the show?

Katy:  I’m on the computer a lot more, which I don’t necessary love.  I’m learning social media, interacting with people all over America who are excited about me and all of us. 

Juba:  I got approved for a Visa check card, (laughing) which was pretty cool.  I get more shout-outs, I got more friends on Facebook and I have fans now.  

Question:  If you were given your own show what would it be about?

Juba:  I have a lot of concepts –  but what I think the most important one is  – Louisiana and New Orleans food and culture preservation. 

Katy:  A food and fitness combo show.  I love to speak to woman and especially busy moms.  Something that addresses the fact they have to get to soccer practice, come home make a meal that’s healthy for everyone and they want to get a work-out in too.    

Question: If there is an ideal Food Network star, what percent should be personality and what percent should be cooking abilities?

Juba:  I guess I come from a different bunch because I appreciate technique.  I’m not too big into the entertainment side, entertainment is important but I’m more of a knowledge person.    

Katy: I think they need to throw a percentage in there for just likeability.  I want someone if I’m ever going to meet in person  who is kind-hearted, encouraging and well-spoken.  I have met Paula Deen before and the woman was a peach! 

Question:  What did you guys do when you weren’t cooking or doing challenges?

Juba:  There is a lot of down-time and a lot of waiting, which is a challenge for me.  I was more than happy to get into the kitchen. 

Katy:  We chatted away; we hung out with the crew and got to know them too. 

Question:  What did you learn that you need to work on?

Katy:  I love the idea of being a TV host.  Watching myself on TV, I do smile a lot.  On camera I need to tone it down a bit.  Bob Tuschman told me, “edit, edit, edit”. 

Juba:  We all saw the tape; everybody knows what I need to work on! 

Question:  The season seems more confrontational than past seasons.  What was the overall feeling of the contestants? 

Juda:  I tend to shy away from that kind of behavior, so I wasn’t in the mix. 

Katy:  I tried to handle it with grace and finesse, especially working with Chris over the beer issue.  I definitely didn’t go in thinking there would be that much drama, I felt like I was back in high-school. 

Question:  Would the winner be different if the audience was voting versus the Food Network Executives choosing the winner?

Juba:  Definitely, definitely, man. 

Katy:  For sure. 

Thanks to both Juba and Katy for taking time out of thier busy schedules!  We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.  Tune in to Food Network on Sunday night at 9 pm EST for the next episode of Food Network Star.

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Photo Credit: Food Network

Topics: Food Network Reality TV Shows, The Next Food Network Star |

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Food Network Star: Interview with Eliminated Chefs Juba Kali and Katy Clark”

  1. Joseeeeeephus Says:
    June 15th, 2011 at 9:03 am

    That girl Katie wuz robbed I tell ya, robbed!


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