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Food Network Star: Interview With Eliminated Chef Alicia Sanchez

June 20, 2011 05:21 PM by Megan Thompson


Alicia Sanchez was the fatality of the dessert challenge last night on Food Network Star.  What does Alicia have to say about her emotional battle?  Alicia answers all the questions you want to know – so keep reading to find out about her rollercoaster of a ride at the Food Network.

If you had the chance to do the show all over again- would you do anything differently?

Yes.  I’m a pretty fun person, and I just don’t think that I was having enough fun.  That translated into my food that translated into my camera challenges.  I would approach it from a different place, not put so much pressure on myself. 

What was the most surprising thing for you in this experience?

There were a lot of things that were surprisingI got use to having a camera in my face, pretty fast.   I had a camera in my face when I went to bed at night and then I would wake up with a camera in my face.  At first it was strange, but I got use to it really fast.  

Which of the remaining contestants has the best chance at winning?

I’m definitely on team Whitney.  I love Whitney – she’s a rock star.  She killed it on the dessert challenge.  She has the cooking chops to win the competition. 

What was it like taking direction from Alton in the marketplace?

It was a huge surprise that Alton Brown showed up there.  Alton really, really knows what he’s talking about.  Even though I had a min-breakdown, he really calmed me down.   I can’t think of another star on the Food Network that would be better suited to help us do our promos.    

In what ways has being on the show changed your life?

A lot of different ways, including that I’m getting recognized places, which is hilarious to me.  Somebody recognized me in the bathroom yesterday!  That part has been really fun for me.  I made a lot of new friends on the show.  Although it was a challenging experience, it was a positive experience. 

Who are you good friends with on the show?

I am still good friends with Whitney Chen.   I talk often to Orchid.  I love both the Justins.  I love Juba.  Katy actually stayed at my apartment!  

Do you think you would have prepared differently to be on the show?

It’s hard to prepare yourself for getting up in front of a panel of judges and being criticized on TV.  I’m not really sure how one prepares for that.  Another really difficult element for me was not being in contact with my family and friends.  It was eight days into the competition before I was able to call my fiancé.  You can’t prepare yourself for what emotional toll that’s going to take on you. 

How is your relationship with Penny throughout the show?

A lot of what was said about me on the first episode was said behind my back.  I mean, I was okay with Penny – she had a problem with me from the word go.  I thought she was bossy and controlling.  It came off that she hated me and I didn’t feel that when I was on the show.  Watching it in hindsight, my jaw drops! 

What did you learn about yourself through this experience?

I learned a lot about myself.  I am really a person that needs the support of my friends, my family and fiancé to be a happy person. Being isolated from the people I love and the people that love me – is not a format that is going to work for me.  I also learned that I’m not a person that is going to throw other people under the boss.  It’s just not worth it to openly criticize other people.   

Who was your favorite judge or star from the show?

My favorite was Alton Brown.  That’s how the show was kicked off with him helping us work on our promos.  I thought he was extremely helpful.  I’m really glad that I got to meet him.   

Do you think you were labeled the “emotional one”?

For sure, I was definitely labeled as the crier. Other people cried too. I was not the only person that cried, but I’m the only person they showed.  I am the person for all the promos – they kept showing the clip of me crying. I cry when I’m upset and I laugh when I’m happy.  

What is your favorite food to cook at home?

I teach cooking classes, so I don’t get home until late at night.  A lot of times I have something that is cooking low and slow all day- like a brisket.   I’m on a Mexican kick right now!   

What are your plans now? 

I’m hoping to expand my cooking classes.  I’m hoping to parlay this experience to receive more grants for cooking classes.

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Photo Credit: Food Network

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

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