Kentucky Chef Charms — And Cooks — His Way To Food Network Victory

Jason Smith, leader of Food Network Star, deteriorate 13.

Eddy Chen/Courtesy of Food Network

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Eddy Chen/Courtesy of Food Network

Jason Smith, leader of Food Network Star, deteriorate 13.

Eddy Chen/Courtesy of Food Network

Jason Smith, a cafeteria manager in Grayson, Ken., didn’t have any grave culinary training, though he had a dream: to be a Food Network star. After 10 weeks of cooking, food demonstrations and exuding copiousness of Southern charm, Smith’s dream came true.

He kick out some-more than a dozen competitors in a network’s annual Food Network Star competition. And in his possess words, he’s “happier than possum eating a tater pie.” Smith (@lowcarb77) joins Here Now‘s Robin Young to speak about how he done it to a top.

Interview Highlights

On greeting to his feat behind home in Kentucky

You know, they are usually so thankful. They are usually happy to be on a duke sugar bandwagon. It’s usually like a small bitty encampment and they usually adore it.

On being bullied as a kid, and losing weight

Oh yes. we was a lot overweight. Honey that wasn’t no small bit — we was a lot. we was a biggest sow in a bunch, trust me. But now we desired to eat, so that was kinda my fault.

Actually we mislaid a whole chairman about 6 years ago. we was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and we usually went low carb for a while and mislaid a weight. we went like from 258 pounds to 139 — we mislaid a whole person.

On his colorful habit and personality

It’s about a approach of life. It’s about station out, from my outfits to my cooking. we meant I’ve always dressed this way. This has usually been a partial of me ever given we can remember, and I’ve always favourite to wear bright, colorful clothing, opposite patterns. And it usually creates we mount out in a world, it creates we not mix in to everybody else. we wish everybody to be their possess personality. Don’t mount in a dilemma and usually mix in with a crowd. Honey, come out of a dilemma and turn your possess personality. Believe in yourself. And we do that with my wardrobe and my food: we take what my character is, and a approach that my ‘Jasonisms,’ as many people contend ’em, come out and everything, and we put that in my food. We go around this object usually one time, and we competence as good have fun while we’re doing it. And that’s what we do each day.

On his “Jasonisms”

Finer than frog hair separate 4 ways … I’m happier than a possum eatin’ a honeyed tater pie, ’cause there ain’t zero improved than honeyed tater pie, and possums are happy creatures, ’cause they’ll eat anything.

On being manageable to fans on amicable media

I do have a feeling that that’s a small bit a partial of since we won, since we compensate courtesy to my fans, my friends, my family. It doesn’t matter who sends me a question, I’m going to answer it. we might not answer it right away, though I’m eventually gonna get to it. And we feel like that that’s usually partial of me giving behind to everybody, that I’ve got to take them on such a good journey. The slightest we can do is to assistance them out in a kitchen on amicable media if they have a question.

I’ve had people that contend things to me that’s not about cooking or about food, it’s like, ‘I’m going to this event. Should we wear a red jacket, or a should we wear a black shirt?’ And I’m like, ‘Well we need to see what you’re perplexing to put together,’ and they’ll send me cinema and I’m like, ‘No, girl, this ain’t gonna work. We’ve gotta do something different.’ So, we know, we usually like joining and staying connected with everybody. And we feel that everybody is family to me, either it’s a fan in Australia, or either it’s a fan in my next-door town. we usually feel like we’re all family, and we usually adore holding everybody along and assisting people.

This talk aired on Aug. 22 on Here Now, a open radio uncover from NPR and WBUR in Boston