Food Network Star Exit Interview: Emily Ellyn

Emily EllynEmily Ellyn, 29 (Orlando, Fla.), a trained chef, studied at the Culinary Institute of America and Academie Internationale de Management in Paris. Emily was exposed to the food world as a child growing up on a farm in Ohio and developed her skills after her parents encouraged her to travel the world. She has worked in various restaurant positions and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in hospitality management. Relying on her experience and academic chops, Emily loves using fresh, local and culturally intriguing ingredients.

It is way too early in this contest to be having a conversation with Emily.  She is  too good to be out of this competition.  It’s disturbing.  What’s more disturbing is the way Team Alton has been seemingly targeted for elimination by the judges.  Even Alton showed frustration and anger with the judges and what can only be described as their agenda when it comes to his team.  It makes you wonder what they are up to.  I guess we’ll know in about four more weeks.

One of the most common search phrases that has brought people to my site since last night is “I can’t believe Emily Ellyn was eliminated.”  Neither can I.

Is there anything in your life’s experiences that compares to competing on Food Network Star?

Ha!  Uh, no.

It is exciting, thrilling, bizarre.  It exceeded my expectations for starters.  It was nothing that I could have imagined.  I met so many great people.  I feel so blessed because this is such a great opportunity.  I was portrayed so well on the show.  It is the best, positive resume that I could have done and given to the world.  And to have Food Network as a platform to launch me in my career is so awesome.  I can’t thank the Network enough.  It was a very positive experience for me.

What’s the number one thing you have taken away from your experience on the show?

The relationships with the people.  I mean I met so many great people.  Like I said, I’m blessed.  I met so many people at the Network on so many different levels.  The actual TV networking and learning all about production.  I’ve never been in this business; I’ve been in the food world and education world.  It was fascinating to me to meet the people and see what they do.

So networking I guess is the short answer.

What was it like meeting each of the Food Network celebs?

When I left to start filming I had to tell my nephew that Auntie Em was going to be around anymore.  He’s three years old and he didn’t understand.  I said I’m going to be on TV.  He kept saying Auntie Em was going to be in the TV with those people.

When I saw them I was like, “I’m in the TV!”  I’m with people that I watch and admire.  It was cool.  I was in the TV.

In what ways has being on Food Network Star changed your life?

Out of the woodwork fans come up and they share their stories, their cookbooks with me.  And their large spiral bound church cookbooks with handwritten recipes, they share them with me and show me pictures of their food.

The best thing is this has always been my dream.  It’s letting me live my dream.  I will have a TV show and I will write books and I will be able to touch the public and have them fall in love with me through their hearts and their stomachs.

 

To keep up with what’s happening with Emily you can visit his web site (HERE).  Be sure to check out all of the Star Season 8 Exit Interviews HERE.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
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2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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