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Food Network Star: Interview With Eliminated Chef Whitney Chen

August 01, 2011 12:59 PM by Megan Thompson

Whitney Chen was eliminated from Food Network Star last night. The judges didn’t think she showed enough of her personality. Keep reading to find out what Whitney has to say about her experience at the Food Network

Do you think Food Network should place more emphasis on how one cooks versus their personality?

I learned a lot in this experience about what you have to do and what you need to make a successful TV show.  Of course there are people who watch the network that want see cooks who focus on food more and then there are people who want to see people who are there to entertain people.  I am certainly in the previous category; the food is the utmost of importance to me.     

What is your current project?

My current project is to enjoy the rest of my summer!  Spend time in the heat and sunshine with my family and friends.  I feel like I have been off the grid for awhile with them.  We couldn’t tell them anything about the show, I have been so secretive.  I’m going to take a few weeks off!  I have a lot of stuff going on this fall.  I am just going to continue to pursue this passion and learn about food and cook!  I’m definitely not counting the possibility of me having a cooking show out!

How did your training influence the way you were on the show?

I think a lot of the way I was on the show, especially when I was cooking, is a reflection of the kitchens I worked in and they way I was trained.  In the kitchens I have worked in, you put your head down and you focus on the food and you make sure the food is the best it can be.  You don’t chat with the people around you, you don’t socialize. I don’t think that training did me any favors, especially at the beginning of the show while I was cooking.  As I got more comfortable with the experience and started realizing it just wasn’t about the food, it’s very different from working in a restaurant kitchen – I started to open up and have a lot more fun with it.

What was your favorite dish you made on the show and why?

That’s a tough one!  I’m really very proud of all the food I made.  I did really like the gazpacho I made. I thought it was fun, it was beautiful, I think it’s something people would easily do at home. I thought that it was a great recipe.  I also really loved the cupcakes I made for Ina Garten.  I made her three mini cupcakes that represented my evolution as a cook.  I was really disappointed that didn’t get more air time, because those were really tough for me to pull off!

When you watch the show, what do you think of the judge’s comments about your personality?  Do you agree?

I think I just have a different kind of personality.  Like Jeff, he is a performer.  For him performing is a priority to him.  I’m not a performer.  I think I’m fun, I think I’m articulate, I know a lot about food and I have a lot of great things to say to people that they want to hear.  I just think I wasn’t what the judges were looking for this time.   

Who left in the competition do you think should win?

That is such a tough question!  They all have something very unique and different to offer. I really love Mary Beth, she is one of the smartest ladies I ever met!  I think her food is getting a little bit of bad rap.  I think she would be great on a show.  And I love Jeff, I’m totally rooting for him. I think his talent is very unique and very rare and the network would be silly not to capitalize on it.  If you asked me the first week my answer would have been totally different!

If a friend was going on the Food Network Star next season what would you tell them.

(Laughing)Don’t go! I really didn’t expect it to be so difficult to be away from my family and friends. To not be able to talk to them, it was really difficult for me. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for that. I would explain to them how secluded you really are. How you really lose control of your life and your day-to-day routine.

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

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