In early August a casting agency reached out to me through my blog to audition for a new Food Network show called “Bobby Flay’s Best Home Cooks” (working title). Needless to say, I was thrilled about the opportunity. The show’s premise is to have duos of amateur chefs with no formal culinary experience battle against each other in a series of cooking challenges in a chance to be crowned the best home cook in America!
A few days after I sent in the initial application I got a phone call from the casting agency requesting that me and my Dad do a short Skype interview with them to see if they’d like to come out and film our home and a small spread for two we’d set up for lunch. The whole audition cycle happened very quickly and was a little overwhelming, but also gave me less time to over analyze the situation and become nervous. I’m lucky enough to work for a non-profit organization that loves food, the Institute of Food Technologists, and my supervisors were super flexible through the whole process.
For the challenge I couldn’t think of anyone better to be my partner than my Dad. My Dad is one of the best grillers I know and the perfect compliment to my in-the-kitchen cooking skills. I sent in the initial application, which was just a short series of questions including a short bio, why we’re the best home cooks, some of the greatest parties we’ve thrown, and some recent photos of the two of us cooking together.
Later in the day after our Skype interview the casting agency called back and told us that they’d be coming out to our home the very next morning! We had less than 24 hours to come up with a theme for our little lunch party, buy all the ingredients for the recipe, decorate the setting, and prepare for an intense filmed interview.
Immediately my Dad suggested going with my fish taco recipe with my homemade mango salsa. He would grill the fish, and I’d prepare the salsa and the rest of the condiments that went on the taco. Then we came up with a Spanish rice recipe and my Mom’s famous cold black bean and corn salad.
When the crew arrived they told us they weren’t actually able to taste the food, but would film the setting and us talking about what we made; then we’d do an interview together and one separately as well. Most of the questions weren’t too hard to answer, but some of them definitely threw us for a loop.
Unfortunately, about a month and a half later we found out we wouldn’t be moving forward in the competition. Initially we were disappointed, but one of my good friends who's in show business, Janelle Kroll, told me that one of the best things about auditions is getting your name out there. Although they may not use you for the specific show or opportunity that you auditioned for, it could definitely pay off in future situations.
Overall the whole audition was an exciting opportunity and interesting experience…maybe some day I’ll be on the Food Network, but I guess for now I’ll just keep writing!
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