Okay everyone, it is official! I can announce that a large part of my hiatus is filming related!!! (Also in part to a crazy holiday season of catering and private chef work... but that is not what today's post is about.) Comeback Kitchen was truly so much fun to film, This group of 8 people here had more laughs for a band of misfits than I could have ever predicted. And the cooking challenges, were, well, challenges. I did not know that there could be so many crazy twists and turns that one person could withstand in a given amount of competition time. For real though.
Since Food Network Star wrapped last years, I have actually been quite busy. I decided to LLC myself, get a business license and added catering and private chef services to my resume. I have been all over the place, in the best way possible. I started my food blog three years ago with the desire to show my love and skill of cooking with others. I did not know what I was doing, or where it was going. But I did know that it was something that I loved. My food was also something that brought other people together, and that brought me joy. I had just had my second kid, my husband (an air force fighter pilot) was always gone, and busy when he was home. I know what I signed up for as a military spouse, so that is not me complaining. But my life was a busy and chaotic organism and I was trying to figure out how to incorporate my passion for food into it.
Food Network Star was such an exciting new opportunity for me. When I got the casting call, I was speechless. And when they had narrowed it down from thousands and thousands to me and 11 other individuals, I knew I was in for one crazy and exciting journey. If you watched my journey last year, you know that I did not ultimately win. I was incredibly disappointed. How could I not be? I went from food blog obscurity to being an a reputable national platform like the Food Network. I was so close to my goal of winning, but I fell short. When I came home, I was a bit off. Being separated from my kids, my husband and my life was something I had never done before. And the intensity and seclusion of the competition took a moment to recover from. Truly, my heart and life feel complete when I am home with the ones I love. (I also thrive on routine, haha.) But there was something inside of my still that knew I did NOT want this to be the end of my journey with food. Food will of course always be a part of my life, but what would the platform be? I do not mean to sound obnoxious, but I am good with food. Great, actually. I have a natural ability to develop and create flavors. I also have a wildly creative brain that is always on fire and functioning in a artistic fashion. This yields itself so well to creativity with food. I will always be a mom and a wife first. But who doesn't also want to do something that they love and are passionate about?
My husband and I discussed culinary school, but ultimately decided against it. Okay, so what did I have at my disposal? I had my talent, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and my blog. I had had a few friends who had asked me to cater events and took a chance on me when I had never previously done such a thing. I am so glad that they did, because I actually ended up turning it into a business. While the show aired, I was quite busy doing parties, private dinners and a random selection of private chef services. And the holidays brought in a ton of catering opportunities. I have also been fortunate enough to do some brand ambassadorship. But beneath all of this was still an undying love of food and cooking.
So when I got the invite for Comeback Kitchen, I was super excited. I did not know how we were going to rearrange our lives again for my absence, but I wanted a second chance to prove I was worthy! Luckily, the filming commitment was not super taxing and we made it work. It truly was a blast. Seriously, the other competitors were awesome. Not a mean spirit in there. And I do not think we ever stopped laughing. I cannot say enough kind things about Tyler and Valerie. Their mentor-ship was truly heart felt. And any adoration that they previously held in my mind has only been amplified. Now I can't let you in on the happenings, behind the scenes or even the cooking competitions. You will have to tune in May 27th to the Food Network for that! But I can promise you more blog content, more Messy Life Messy Kitchen Videos on my YouTube and as always, lots of laughs and fun. I hope you enjoy my food journey as I continue to grow as a person and as a chef. :)