My Audition for All Star Academy

Don’t be getting too excited…I didn’t make the cut for the show, but like my other adventures in life, I learned a little and laughed a little too.

This year they offered an on-line option to try out for the second season of Food Network’s All Star Academy.  They scout all over the country, but only ten people make it, so the odds are certainly not in anyone’s favor, but you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, people.

Besides, I blame all of ya on Facebook for sending me the link to the auditions and encouraging me to try out.  I couldn’t let you down!

You start out by sending in a few pictures of your savory dishes and a headshot.  They don’t want any desserts.  If they like what they see, they’ll contact you.  I got past that step and they did send me an email about a week later.  It was then that I found out, I’d really gotten myself into a pickle.

I had to fill out a very comprehensive six page application that asked everything from how extensive my cookbook collection is, to who I love on Food Network, to why I haven’t pursued becoming a professional chef.  I think the application to become a US citizen is the only thing that might be longer than that.  I also had to send in five more of my signature dishes, complete with recipes.  It was all very painful and took hours, but that wasn’t the worst of it.

I HAD TO RECORD A 10 TO 15 MINUTE VIDEO OF MYSELF….in the kitchen, taking about why I’d be awesome on the show, etc.   Part of the requirement was to  show yourself cooking a signature dish.


*Filet of Beef with Romesco and Truffle Potatoes (my audition dish)

I tried to quit right then and there, when they sent me the email explaining this requirement.  I told Chad, my boys, and my friends all of the millions of reasons there was no way and no how that I was going to be able to get that done.

They didn’t buy it and they didn’t let me off the hook.  They love me, that’s all I can think.

My two friends Joy and Ginny wasted their entire Saturday on me.  Joy was my camera gal and Ginny put together my video.  They are very busy ladies, just like me, and Saturday hours are very precious commodities, but they stood buy me through a thousand bloopers and technical glitches, and we produced something pretty cool if I do say so myself.

We did so good in fact, that I am not completely mortified to share the YouTube link with ya:

They were holding Master Chef auditions around the same timeframe and I didn’t try out for a couple reasons.  One, I have no desire to have Chef Ramsey and his cohorts scream in my face until my hair blows back in front of The Creator and all creation.  No thanks.  Two, and perhaps worse, I do not like to take video of myself and they were upfront with that requirement.  I’m ok doing live TV, I mean I have gone on the Today Show with no problem, but I don’t have to watch that, and I won’t.  NOT EVER!   Had All Star been upfront with their requirements, I wouldn’t have tried out with them either, so in ways it was a blessing that they weren’t.

More and more cooking contests are wanting video clips with submissions.  I have passed on every one of those opportunities because I acouldn’t bear the thought of doing a 30 second video.  Now, I’ve learned if I can do 13 minutes, I can do 30 seconds.  That is a nice feeling and it’s good to know I’ll have access to those contests now.

I will tell you, funny things happen when you know you are being recorded….at least to me they do.  For one, I don’t see things right smack in front of my face.  I forgot two ingredients in my dish, even though they were sitting right there staring at me.   I called my dish, Filet of Beef with Truffle Potatoes, but I forgot the truffle oil.  Seriously?   I also find that my normally extensive vocabulary is severely limited when I’m on camera.  The thesaurus in my brain shuts right down and I use the same word at least 1000 times.  Probably the worst, is that I talk slower than a Southern girl who’s had a little too much bourbon.  No matter what I do, I can’t speed up my gab.  I talk 100 miles an hour in real life so I just can’t tell ya what that’s about.

I was supposed to get a Skype interview with them, but after scheduling it three times, they finally told me they didn’t “have time to edit me” this season.  I was a little disappointed, but really not surprised.  I don’t even think they watched the video.  I never called it a waste of time though, because I really don’t look at it that way.  I know it looks like I win a lot of contests and have have some amazing adventures, but I lose an awful lot too.  I lose, but I’ve learned how to stick with myself and pursue.  I hope I’m showing my kids that’s what you do in life.  I’ve learned from all of it.  Not just in terms of cooking, either.

“Practice any art, music,

singing, dancing, acting,

drawing, painting, sculpting,

poetry, fiction, essays, reportage,

no matter how well or how badly,

not to get money and fame,

but to experience becoming,

to find out what’s inside you,

to make your soul grow”.  -Kurt Vonnegut


Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Here’s to future opportunities…and failures…they both serve a purpose :)



  1. Your video was awesome. They made a mistake in not taking you.

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