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Food Network Star: Interview With Eliminated Chef Penny Davidi

July 18, 2011 05:56 PM by Megan Thompson

It was a shocking elimination last night on Food Network Star, when the rumored winner Penny Davidi was given the boot. What does the Middle Eastern Mama have to say about her experience at the Food Network? Keep reading to learn how she feels about being named the villain by many viewers.

Is there anything you would do differently in the competition?

I would really just focus on what this competition is about and not allow some of the other contestants to get to me.  Truly keep my eye on the prize and not get distracted by them trying to throw me off my game.  It is a competition, this is who I am.  I obviously know who I am at home and who I am around my friends and family.  I would try to stay more focused on the competition and less on the drama that went on at the house.    

What was the biggest surprise for you on the show?

How difficult of a competition this was! Obviously, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.  You really have to be an authority and have your own identity of the food you are cooking. 

What stands out to you as the highlight of your experience on the show?

I think the highlight was on the Fourth of July star challenge.  It was about getting people to come try your food and I had the busiest section out of everyone.  I took an all-American holiday and turned it into a Middle Eastern meal!  People were so intrigued by it!

Is there a cookbook in your future?

Absolutely! Cookbooks, product lines, spices, and a whole new restaurant concept in the works. I was offered a great part in a film that I accepted which starts to film in August.  I’m really excited about that!

What is your favorite memory on the show?

My favorite moment was winning the dessert challenge, after being set-up to fail by the girl team.    

What did you think about the rumors that you were the winner?

It’s funny because I even saw articles last night before the show aired that I was supposed to be the winner.  That is a great indication of what people want and what the network needs.  Look at the components; a whole new viewership, a whole new set of spices, tastes and flavors that the network has never seen. 

If you could choose the Next Food Network Star out of the remaining contestants who would you choose?

There is the most amazing talent left in the competition.  My two personal favorites are Vic Vegas and Jeff Mauro.

How do you feel being named the villain of the show?

I think every reality show needs to have a villain. Right off the bat the producers saw that I had a strong personality.  I’m kind of flattered they thought I could take the heat.  Am I villain in my real life or in my relationships? No!  I can’t blame it all on editing because that is not fair to the show or the network.   All I can say is it was a competition and I was glad to be a part of it.  There are so many viewers out there that love me but also love to hate me.

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Photo Credit: Food Network

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

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8 Responses to “Food Network Star: Interview With Eliminated Chef Penny Davidi”

  1. Ginger Says:
    July 18th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for confirming what we all suspected: Penny Davidi lives in an alternate reality (i.e. she’s batsh*t crazy). If she wants to believe that we all “love to hate her” she is free to do so, since she’s not wasting viewers time setting them up to fail. (And don’t ya just love how she spins herself into the victim?)

  2. Wendy Says:
    July 18th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    What surprise??? It was long overdue. She has far too high an opinion of herself as the “victim” of everyone else’s setups when she went out of her way to undermine the others and take credit for things they did. She may well be an excellent chef and it may be that FN could use some Middle Eastern presence, but Penny is NOT the person to do it. There are no DIVAS on FN and she was ALL diva.

  3. Tazita Says:
    July 19th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Just get rid of “wimpy” Jyll!!!

  4. Irma Saud Says:
    July 20th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I have always watched Food Network Star and this is the first time I felt it was being set up. I did not like Penny because of her behavior. I also couldn’t understand how she kept from being booted out. She is the opposite of what Food Network stands for.

  5. Donna Says:
    July 20th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    It is sad that we still live in a world that women with strong personalities are vilified!!!!!! Penny was a fresh departure from food network’s clones. FN could use some one with a fresh point of view. Penny when polished a bit, can take on the world of food. I am sick and tired of cookie cutter shows on FN. They keep a fake blondie with absolutely no cooking skills and get rid of the middle eastern girl who cooks amazing food???? Is food network a little racist????

  6. Steve Says:
    July 24th, 2011 at 7:32 am


    What’s sad is that bullying, spiteful behavior is seen by some as a “strong personality”.

  7. Stanley Says:
    July 25th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Food Network Star does not need a “villain”. She completely took away from what this show should be about. Yes, it is a competition but “competing” and “hating” are not the same thing. Her personality took everything away from her cooking skills.

  8. Kim Says:
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Donna, no Food Network doesn’t strike me as racist…they strike me as completely unaware altogether. The question is, why was Penny still on the show when people like Juba and Justin B were clearly good cooks themselves but bad on camera? It’s called ratings.

    And just because you’re a total bitch, doesn’t make you strong. Those are usually the weakest women.


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