Food Network Star Exit Interview: Cristie Schoen

Cristie SchoenCristie Schoen, 35, grew up mostly in the South and often cooked Cajun cuisine with her dad. During college, she studied abroad in Germany and discovered a love for European cooking. Now living in New Orleans, Cristie aspires to open a cafe serving locally grown, nutritious cuisine.

Unfortunately Cristie was the first to go home on season 8 of Food Network Star.  Her personality is driven and there is no denying she is easy on the eyes.  It would have been fun to get to know her a little better.  Oh wait, we can do that now.

How exactly does one get from Biloxi, MS to Marina del Ray, CA?

Well, I was born in Madrid, Spain.  I lived in Idaho, then Illinois.  Germany.   I lived all over the place.  I’ve lived in California.  I pretty much grew up in Biloxi.

I’m in New Orleans right now working on a film called Ender’s Game with Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley.  I’m catering it.

How did you occupy your time after being eliminated?

After the elimination I was sequestered for like three weeks in New York City so I read a lot.  I did a lot of my own research about what my ambitions are in life.  Then I went back to LA and pretty much resumed my life.

Which cast members do you still stay in contact with?

I built a pretty tight bond with Kara and Judson and Josh.

Despite being the first finalist eliminated last year, Howie Drummond has taken his exposure and turned it into a highly rated regional show called Grill vs. Grill which is on the verge of going national.  Do you have any projects working of that nature?

If you are adventurous enough you go out and get your own show.  It’s not over for me yet.  I have actually two shows that I’m going to start pitching.  Two really awesome shows including one called Catch, Clean and Cook.

We only got a small sample of your POV.  Did you have the entire thing planned out?

I have a very strong point of view.  I am very passionate but it came off as angry and nobody wants to watch that.  Then again look at Robert Irvine.  He walks in all smiling and happy but he has a goal and he’s going to make it happen.  He’s very serious about it and that’s the way I am about the point I need to make.

We need to change our eating habits right now.  If we don’t it’s already too late.  You don’t see kids out playing on the play grounds.  We need to show the reality of what is going on right now.

I’m an advocate of trying to motivate and educate and inspire people.  Healthy does not mean boring and bland.   The reason that Monsanto and the pharmaceutical companies and the government want us to learn about this is there is no money to be made from good health.

I like to tell people that they’re RAD.  That means Realize your potential, Awaken new ambitions and Discover the impossible.

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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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