Eliminated Week 2
Doreen, 38 (Los Angeles, Calif.), earned an Associate of Occupational Studies from the California Culinary Academy and loves experimenting with different cuisines and ingredients. She currently co-owns a catering company and teaches cooking classes for adults and children. Raised in a predominantly Chinese community in Los Angeles, Doreen finds culinary inspiration in her family and friends and believes in spending quality time with family in the kitchen.
Food specialty: California cuisine, but I'm also heavily influenced by Asian cuisines, specifically Chinese and Japanese. (Though I am classically trained, I have wanted to take classes to learn more traditional Asian cuisines because I love eating it so much.)
Favorite restaurant: Sen of Japan in Las Vegas, Supreme Dragon for my favorite Chinese comfort foods and Zachary's (deep dish pizza). I know you wanted one restaurant, but I love so many types of food, it's too hard to name just one. Honestly, I still think there are more restaurants out there that can potentially be my next favorite place to eat.
Three foods you can't live without (other than bread or water): I LOVE cheese — anything from simple cheddar cheese to movie nacho cheese to creamy epoisses or buttery brillat savarin. Oh, my Lord, I can't live without cheese. It can be mild or super stinky, give it to me. I love it all, paired with some fruit and bread or crackers. I could live on that forever.
Potstickers are my ultimate comfort food. It will forever remind me of my mom and my youth, and it's something I can eat all the time. It's the perfect food package. I get my protein or veggies inside and my favorite part of a potsticker: the skin. Whoever created it was a genius. Nice crispy bottom — texture is everything.
Ice cream is my all-time favorite dessert. I can eat ice cream every single day of my life. In fact, as I'm writing this, I've been craving ice cream. It makes me smile and makes me incredibly happy. Cool, creamy and oh so sweet and delicious on my tongue.
Food you won't go near: I cannot stand stinky tofu. When my mom was still alive, she made me go buy some with her to take to a party, and I had to put it in the trunk because I could not stand the stink. If you have never experienced the stench of stinky tofu, prepare yourself. It is so incredibly overwhelming and, to me, disgusting. I think it kills a little bit of my olfactory senses each time that smell hits my nose. There is this one particular Chinese market I go to where there is an outside stand that sells stinky tofu. Just to give you a sense of how strong this odor is, when I'm inside the market the smell actually permeates the windows, and I can't even walk in that section where the smell is.
I am not enticed by the idea of eating eyeballs, sex organs or anything that has to do with the gastrointestinal system. But I suppose if someone offered me at least $1 million dollars, tax free, I would do it. Okay, maybe even for at least $500,000 (still tax free).
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Crunchy pig ears, and they were actually really good. It reminded me of jellyfish but with a little more crunch. I would eat it again.
Interests and hobbies: Exploring and eating new foods and cuisines, new restaurants (finding the "best of"), reviewing and blogging about the places I eat at, pole dancing, hoop (aerials), pool (billiards), traveling and photography. I also love to shoot guns, but don't have the opportunity to do that much. I used to want to be a Formula One racecar driver. I love fast cars! Going to Disneyland (I have an annual pass and kept it current while I was living in Las Vegas). Spending as much time with the people I care about most, my family and friends. The most important thing for me is to embrace and appreciate everything I have in life and to live my life to the fullest. I don't take anything for granted. I love my life and want to continue doing what I enjoy and to be able to share that with others.
Favorite Food Network chef: Guy Fieri — I like his outspoken, funny personality.
Favorite shows (don't have to be on Food Network): Lost, The Amazing Race, CSI, Iron Chef America, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Top Chef, Medium and Project Runway. I also secretly (well, not any longer) love Millionaire Matchmaker and The Real Housewives of New York.
Favorite food destination: San Francisco and Hawaii, two of my favorite places that I love to visit in order to relax, unwind and just eat my heart out. I haven't been to New York enough, but I know there are so many restaurants I want to try. There really is never enough time. Somewhere I've always wanted to go since I was a child is Japan. I think I would just gorge myself to death from eating everything there. Lastly, I would love to eat my way through the rest of Asia, especially China and Southeast Asia. There are so many places I can't name them all.
Culinary inspirations: Anything that tastes good to me. It can be the simplest thing to something that is extremely complex in flavors. Great food of any type inspires me, because of my overall passion for food in general.
Three people, alive or dead, whom you'd like to invite to a dinner party, and what culinary delights would you prepare for your guests: Oh, this is a tough one. My mom, Jesus and Kathy Griffin.
You might be wondering why these three people. My mom first and foremost because she was my biggest supporter in life and she loved food as much as I do. Plus, I would never pass up an opportunity if I knew I could see her. I chose Jesus because He is someone who plays an integral part of my life, and I want the opportunity to talk to Him and serve Him a great meal. Lastly, I chose Kathy Griffin because I think she's hilarious, and she makes me laugh. Very few people can make me seriously crack up and say something so crazy that it might shock me, and she totally does that for me. I know it's an eclectic group, but I think overall it would be fun and they'd enjoy the food.
I would prepare a very simple Mexican dinner, because my mom loved eating Mexican food. I'd make fresh chips and salsa, guacamole, a crispy taco bar, creamy refried beans, Spanish rice and enchilada casserole with lots of crispy shredded lettuce and extra homemade enchilada sauce. To drink, I would like Coke (I love drinking Coke with Mexican food), and for my mom, I think she'd like a Sprite. For Jesus, I suppose wine, and Kathy Griffin, Diet Coke unless she wants a margarita.
Favorite books: Tuesdays with Morrie and Atlas Shrugged
Favorite movies: Searching for Bobby Fischer, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Sound of Music, True Lies, Serendipity, Ocean’s Eleven and Sixteen Candles
Why do you think you should be the Season 6 Food Network Star: I believe I should be the Food Network Star because I can encourage home cooks of all levels to explore new cuisines, stretch their imagination in recreating dishes inspired by the meals from a recent dining adventure, childhood memory or favorite haunts. Together we will demystify common and exotic ingredients alike, simplify techniques and clarify terms, thus developing empowered home chefs. I know that I can do all of this with my exuberance and humor.