End Of The Road, Not The End Of A Dream!!
Well let's just get right down to it...I got sent home this week...
I spent the day dreading 9 p.m., knowing the tears I would inevitably have to watch myself cry. But at least everyone would finally know what happened and I could think about what was next.
Being on Food Network Star was a dream come true. I hoped but never really expected that a 3 minute tape of me on my couch would lead to this.
*Drawn by Damaris
The experience was more than I could have hoped for. The other contestants consisted of the most amazing, talented, funny, thoughtful chefs and cooks I have ever met.
I got to share my food and myself with millions of people. I got to cook for Bobby Flay and I got the never ending satisfaction of him telling me how good it was.
There are memories on top of memories that I will keep with me and pull out when life gets tough or I just need to smile.
Don't get me wrong, it was the most mentally and physically grueling experience of my life. Filled with the most stressful of days and the nagging self-doubt that has a way of creeping up when you're put through a competition like this.
But no matter what I say, I would do it again in a heartbeat (I must actually be crazy ;))
I didn't think I was going home that day. I felt that I had proven myself enough to get to the finale.
I think the knowledge and accessibly of a home chef can be taken for granted. But peoples' opinions are their own, and luckily I've had 5 months to come to terms with that. Now I am in a position to console everyone else around me as the shock sticks fresh in their minds.
I spent the competition afraid I would just fail at some point. I was so scared I would leave this experience regretting something, or everything. I felt like it was either regret or winning, with no in-between.
And as I sat there, in front of a camera giving my last words I would speak on the show, I may have had tears in my eyes, but there was no thought of regret in my head.
I paused and realized I simply couldn't have done anymore. I gave EVERYTHING I had, and I cooked a lot of REALLY delicious food, I was disappointed, but not regretful.
Now don't get me wrong, it took a while to shake it off and start focusing on a different path to get me to my goal. But shake it off I did and I am so excited to start down that new path.
Day 1 in LA
Read my Exit Interview on FoodNetwork.com and share your thoughts in the comments section. Seeing over 1100 people post words of support has definitely softened the blow. And who knows? Maybe the Food Network will listen!
Believe me, I ain't going anywhere...