Food Network Star Exit Interview: Juba Kali & Katy Clark

Week two saw two more Wannabe TV Chefs fall to the way side, Juba Kali & Katy Clark.  Juba was removed after the first challenge (a first for Star)  and Katy sadly went home at the end.  After speaking with each it is clear that two talented people were let go early in this contest.

Katy’s positivity is infectious and Juba is a stone cold riot.  What was also quite evident was the affection they have for one another.  It is underplayed but these are the types of friendships that endure simply because there are only a handful of people in history that share this experience with you.  Let’s get to the questions:

Juba Kali Food Network StarWhat lesson from this experience do you think will best serve you in your future endeavors?

Juba: I’ve never experienced anything like this before.  I’ve never been in front of millions of viewers.  So what I’m taking back from it is being OK in front of a large group of people.  Which I thought I was until I was in front of the camera.  The only thing I could think of was millions of people are watching.  You can’t look stupid; you have to do this; you have to do that.  All that stuff just got to me; it was overbearing.  So I just know that I need to practice more and more and be more OK in front of a very, very large audience.

Katy:  Juba’s right.  It’s a very vulnerable experience to put yourself out there.  Sure we’re the top 15 in the nation that got chosen yet millions get to decide who we are and what they think of us.  I know that I grew in just the personal strength of knowing who I am and even defining myself more.  The judges gave some harsh criticisms but a lot of it was right on.  They gave me some good advice.  Bobby Flay said I should be an ESPN Sports Center girl.  They mentioned that I should be a good morning talk show host at one point, a motivational speaker.  When they said those things they registered with me and I thought, “I’m gonna run with that.”

How has your life changed since the season started to air?

Katy Clark Food Network StarKaty: Whew!  I’m on the computer a lot more which I don’t necessarily love but just learning social media and interacting with people all over America who are excited me and all of us.  Getting to know them and encouraging them in food and fitness is what I’ve been doing a lot of.  I’m excited about this whole opportunity of speaking to the world and getting them in shape and healthy and loving their lifestyle.

Juba: I got approved for a Visa check card which was pretty cool, that never happened before.  I don’t know that it (the show) has been out too long for us to really understand what kind of impact it will have on our lives on further down the road.  I get more shout-outs then before, I’ve got more friends on Facebook.  I’ve got fans now. I never had that before.  People I don’t even know are telling me that they love me so that’s awesome.

If you were to be given your own show what would it be about?

Juba:  I have a lot of different concepts.  One, the most important is Louisiana, New Orleans food and culture.  Of all the concepts I have that”s the most important.

I know for me, mine would be a food and fitness combo.  Just really showing a healthy balance.  I guess I could throw in some tips like go take a walk after a meal but it needs to be hard corps just to get women to be encouraged.  I love to speak to women especially busy moms that have to go to soccer practice, come home, make a meal that’s healthy for everyone and want to get a work out in.  But how do we do that; how do we encourage one another?  Definitely a food and fitness combo show.

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Be sure to stop by each Monday for my exclusive interviews with each exiled foodie (HERE).  This year I have also added the WTVC (WannabeTVchef) Food Network Star Polls – six categories for contestants who best embody the spirit of former Food Network Star competitors.  Be sure to check them out HERE.  Click HERE to get all the news, gossip and snark on Food Network Star season 7.

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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
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
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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