Darrell "DAS" Smith

Eliminated Week 4

Darrell (DAS), 28 (Los Angeles, Calif.), trained in the culinary arts at Atlanta Technical College, and specializes in new American cuisine. Originally from Detroit, he made his way to Beverly Hills to work as a chef, caterer and consultant. He instituted a new culinary program at Beverly Hills High School, where he now teaches. Darrell believes that good food has the power to heal the body and soul, and he wants to show children in urban areas that cooking professionally is an attainable goal.

Food specialty: New style American cuisine — "Food is the life of the party"

Favorite restaurant: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Atlanta, Ga.

Three foods you can't live without (other than bread or water): Onions, salt and shrimp

Food you won't go near: I will try anything at least once.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: Not sure I have eaten a lot of weird things in my life. I worked at a restaurant once, and we used a lot of alligator, so that was the weirdest thing to date (and that's not that weird).

Interests and hobbies: I love basketball (playing and watching), and I also really love music. I feel like music and food are the two things in this world that can change moods.

Favorite Food Network chef: I would have to say Michael Symon. He's a very free-spirited chef, and I consider myself to be very free spirited. I feel like we have similar conduct in the kitchen — very serious about the food but enjoy having fun.

Favorite shows (don't have to be on Food Network): Iron Chef and SportsCenter

Favorite food destination: New York City. I love all the different cultures there, which makes up many different cuisines.

Culinary inspirations: Food is my creative outlet. This is the way I express myself. My inspiration is the people I feed; I have a very giving heart and love to give to people, so when I can take a raw or uncooked product and create a masterpiece on a plate, there's nothing like watching someone take that first bite. That's the reason I do this.

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: President Obama, Oprah Winfrey and my mother. I would use the freshest local ingredients available at that time and create something inspired by those ingredients. I would love to create a three-course meal:

The first course would be Mini Scallop and Bacon Kabobs.

The second course would consist of Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Aged Balsamic.

My final course would be Potato-Crusted Halibut with Garlic Risotto.

Favorite books
: Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert T. Kiyosaki), The Coldest Winter Ever (Sista Soulja) and Food Lover's Companion (Sharon Tyler Herbst and Rob Herbst)

Favorite movies: The Five Heartbeats and The Count of Monte Cristo

Why do you think you should be the Season 6 Food Network Star: I feel like I am the Food Network Star because I bring an invigorating energy that has yet to be seen on the Food Network. I believe that I will attract an audience of young adults aspiring to expand their culinary horizons.

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