It's Pie Style, Jack — An Interview with Rodney Henry

By: Sarah De Heer

Photo by: Eddy Chen

Eddy Chen

There's no doubt about it: Rodney Henry is the Pie Man. What pie style is might still be out for debate, but this runner-up has proved to Food Network fans that whatever it is, it seems like a pretty good time. Through all the "suckers," "cool cats" and "it's pie style, jack," he's taken this season of Star and turned it upside down. Committed to staying true to himself, Rodney survived 10 weeks of competition to earn a spot among the final three competitors. While he ultimately came up short behind winner Damaris Phillips, there's no doubt that Rodney has star power.

Star Talk caught up with Rodney to chat about his time on Star, what he thought of the mentors and what fans can expect in the future.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

What was your favorite Star moment of the season?

RH: For me it was the Star Charity Auction during Episode 7, where I decided to do the astronaut-Gastronaut piece. Right then I decided I was just going to do my own thing. At that point I was told to use more descriptive words and be less of a tool, so I just wanted to go for it. I was walking around my hotel the night before when what I thought was an amazing idea came to me: "Astronauts" sounds just like "Gastronauts."

Was Star everything you expected it to be?

RH: You know, it was. I really enjoyed myself thoroughly. I think my presence there even relaxed some of the other contestants. I just wanted to have a good time. Getting the opportunity to do this — I've always wanted to be an entertainer — was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was like adult summer camp.

We saw you don many hats this season. How many did you actually pack?

RH: I brought a few with me, but by the time the season ended, I had seven total. Alton and I both had a hat thing going — though he wore his more Hannibal Lecter-style, and I wear mine like a pimp.

Mentor Alton Brown and Finalist Rodney Henry watching Finalists Stacey Poon Kinney and Nikki Dinki cook for the Star Challenge "Chopped" as seen on Food Network Star, Season 9.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Who would you consider the most intimidating mentor?

RH: Alton was intimidating, but I truly enjoyed all three of them. Giada is sweet. Bobby is like the Frank Sinatra of Food Network. When he walks in, he's just Mr. Cool Cat. Alton is more playful in between shots, and he could also be a real son of a gun. But I liked them all equally in their own different styles.

What is something you'll take with you into the future from this experience?

RH: Well, I know this much: I don't want to be a total tool all the time. This experience has opened my mind to different avenues of cooking. I'm just going to keep doing my thing. I'm going to keep playing music in my shops and hope to open up even more around the country. More rock and rollers want to get involved in Dangerously Delicious, and that's what it's all about. This is the best stepping-stone ever. This is who I am. I'm just going to keep moving forward. I'm the Pie Man.

What's your favorite type of pie?

RH: Apple pie. I mean, I like every pie, especially savory pies. But if you can make a good apple pie, that's the best. Once you make a really good one, people dig it. That's how I judge everyone's pie-making abilities: If people can make me a good apple pie, they're in.

You've got some words you tend to use a lot. Is there a favorite?

RH: "Cat" is my favorite word. "Jack" is a close second. I don't even think about it. I never realized it until I saw myself on TV, actually. Everyone is a cool cat. Maybe I should get myself a tabby cat and call it Pie Style.

Watch part of Rodney's interview by clicking the play button below.

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