Star-a-Day: David Rose

Get to know David Rose, a finalist competing on Food Network Star, Season 13.

Photo by: Eddy Chen

Eddy Chen

It was just last week that we here at Star Talk broke the news about the upcoming season of Food Network Star, which kicks off on Sunday, June 4 at 9|8c. Among a crop of talented hopefuls judge-mentors extraordinaire Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will search for that one contender who has the coveted combo of culinary chops and on-camera charm. Each of the 12 finalists comes to the Star stage with unique personalities and kitchen experiences, and in the coming days, we'll introduce you to all of them. Today we'd like you to meet David Rose.

Growing up the youngest of eight siblings, David, 35, learned the love of food at an early age. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, David can make refined and beautiful dishes, creating a fusion of Southern, French, Asian and Caribbean cuisines. Currently the owner of a special events, catering and culinary consulting company, David is also a food columnist and is an avid motorcycle rider who goes by “The Biker Chef.”

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.

David Rose: I'd describe my culinary POV as French-Jamaican-Southern fusion. My family’s Jamaican. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in classical French cuisine.

What would you most like to learn from Bobby and Giada, be it something in the kitchen or on camera?

DR: I would definitely love to learn the key to longevity from them — the key to being a name, being a brand and being in it for the long-haul. Not just being a flash in the pan, not just having your six seconds of fame, but extending it and making it your livelihood, making it work for you.

What do you think is the most-valuable thing you could teach a Food Network viewer?

DR: My original point of view. I’m pretty sure there’s no Jamaican chefs, at least that I know of, on Food Network. So just having fun with the food. A lot of people, most of the times, are very intimidated by food, but just kind of simplifying it where, from the home cooks and stay-at-home-moms to the college student, I’d want the take-home after watching my show [to be], "Wow, I didn’t know I could do that." Or, "Wow, I can’t wait to try that or go to that restaurant." So, it’s all about education, but mostly making food fun, making cooking fun.

How did you prepare for this competition?

DR: I watched a lot of Food Network Star, and I studied the competition, studied what the judges [were] looking for. So I did a lot of recon work, a lot of background and experimenting in my lab. I call my kitchen the lab. Just different recipes and playing with different stuff and just staying focused, like keeping my eye on the prize and knowing at the end of the day, I’m bringing this home for my family. Bringing this home for Mom and Dad and my brothers and sisters, and it’s a win for the team.

Which part of this contest — the cooking or the camera work — intimidates you the most? Please explain.

DR: Honestly neither. I am a culinary instructor for the Big Green Egg Grill. I’m one of their international brand ambassadors. So, I do demos where I have to multitask — cooking and talking — so it’s something I do on a day-to-day basis. So, I kind of feel bad for the contestants cause there’s no contest. I feel bad, but I’m here on a mission. I’m here to kick butt, and I’m here to get it going. I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m psyched.

Win or lose, what do you want to take away from this experience?

DR: Learning more about myself as a chef, growing, being able to grow and just having a killer experience. And the exposure, that would be great. But just challenging myself, digging deep and being outside of my comfort zone. This is probably my second competition, first filmed competition show, and I took that leap of faith, put myself out there. This will be seen nationally, internationally. So, there's a level of: "Shoot. What if I burn something? What if I do this? What if I embarrass myself?" But I really feel compelled, and I really feel convinced that I’m here to win it, and there’s no plan B. This is the plan: winning.

What does the term "Food Network Star" represent to you?

DR: For me, it means the world. It’s the apex of the vortex of the precipice of the food industry. As a kid, I remember watching Emeril Live. I was probably 10, 12 years old. He was so exciting, and [with] little catch phrases — "Bam!" — I was mesmerized. I'd just watch it, and for me, I think that once you’re on Food Network, you’ve arrived. You’ve reached the brand. You’ve reached a sense of notoriety and respect in your field where you’re on Food Network. So I think it doesn’t get better than Food Network, so for me, to be in that company, me to be a Food Network Star, it’s like a dream come true. And I’m pretty sure — I’m absolutely sure — that’s the next chapter that will open for me in my book of my culinary journey.

What's your greatest strength in the kitchen?

DR: I’m very confident. I’m an over-achiever. I can be aggressive when I need to be aggressive. I’m good at multitasking. When I get that eye of the tiger in the kitchen, you better watch out, cause I’m on a mission.

What is the strangest thing we'd find in your refrigerator right now?

DR: The strangest thing in my fridge would be duck fat cause I like to braise with that and deep-fry stuff. ... You might not find that in most conventional fridges or freezers.

Let's say it's a regular Tuesday night and you're at home. What are you having for dinner?

DR: I love to grill on the Big Green Egg. I’ve got about three of them, so grilling maybe a spatchcocked chicken, which is a whole chicken slit down the middle. Maybe doing some ribs, maybe doing a steak. I’m a huge carnivore. I don’t know how vegetarians and vegans do it, but I love my red meat. So maybe a Korean-marinated strip steak or a rib-eye, some grilled chicken breasts. If I’m in dieting phase, maybe some lean fish, salmon, white fish, shrimp. It kind of runs together. But definitely something grilled. I use that Big Green Egg 24/7, 365, and I love it.

What do you consider to be your signature dish?

DR: Short ribs is probably my favorite dish to make and enjoyed by all. I have a published recipe. It’s a Jack-and-Coke-braised short ribs. I make that with a farro risotto and a reduction sauce and some rainbow carrots and some broccolini. It is out of this world. Like, no fork needed, just your finger. It falls apart. It disintegrates in your mouth.

What dish or ingredient will you simply not eat?

DR: Chitlins. It is disgusting. ... I just smelled it once, looked at it once; it smells like poo. It’s gray. It looks like something you might find in an alien movie. It’s just not appealing to me at all. I’m a very adventurous eater; I’ll try anything once. But chitlins — you can keep that way over there. Pass, pass.

What's your favorite guilty pleasure food?

DR: I’d probably say ice cream. I love rum raisin ice cream. I could eat a gallon of that in a sitting, but I’m getting older, [and I] really can’t splurge as much as I used to. It’ll definitely be extra hours, extra minutes, extra time on the treadmill, the lifting [machines]. But rum raisin ice cream, it’s the bomb.

What's one dish you have to have at your last supper?

DR: Oxtails cause that is one of my earliest memories, eating that. And my mom’s oxtails, it’s like heaven on a plate.

What do you want to say about yourself to fans watching at home?

DR: Think outside the box. There is no straight-up, confined, black-and-white formula for cooking. Just experiment, try different flavors. And don’t be afraid to learn, and don’t be afraid to experiment and make food your own. Whatever you do, don’t try to be the next Guy Fieri, don’t try to be the next Bobby Flay, don’t try to be the next David Rose. Be yourself. Stay true to who you are, and be original.

What's the first dish aspiring cooks should master?

DR: Any chef can tell you that a sign of a good chef is an omelet. So, if they can make a killer omelet, the sky’s the limit from there.

Mark your calendar for the premiere of Food Network Star on Sunday, June 4 at 9|8c.

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