Chatting With the Latest Celebrity Cook-Off Exile

By: Sarah De Heer
alyssa campanella

Contestant Alyssa Campanella as seen on Food Network's Rachael Vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off Season 1

Photo by: Anders Krusberg ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Anders Krusberg, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Every Sunday, two of Food Network’s most popular personalities, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, go head-to-head in Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. Divided into Team Rachael and Team Guy, the celebrity contestants face intense weekly challenges that have them racing against the clock to prepare elaborate meals for up to 150 guests. The winning and losing teams are chosen by guest diners and after six episodes, the last celebrity standing will win a cash donation to his or her favorite charity.

Every week, FN Dish brings you exclusive exit interviews with the latest Celebrity Cook-Off exile to get the boot.

This week, Alyssa Campanella, winner of the 2011 Miss USA Pageant said goodbye.

The profiteroles did look tasty. Is that your go-to dessert recipe? If not, what's the one dish or dessert your family would say you're known for?

AC: I'm not known for profiteroles in my family. I am well known for my pasta dishes, where I make my own sauces from scratch and combine several ingredients. The dessert dishes I am most known for are my cupcakes and my cakes. I prefer making them all from scratch with a recipe I came up with through trial and error, and mixing my favorite flavors.

You said that Coolio was the most confident man you've ever met in your life. Do you think he's the celeb to beat in this competition?

AC: I don't think he is THE celeb to beat, but he definitely has a shot. Remember, I was the youngest contestant on the show. I am only 21 years old, and these guys have been cooking for as long as I have been alive. I still have a lot to learn and, in fact, I did learn a lot from some of them.

Were you surprised at Rachael and Guy's decision since Summer's salmon wasn't cooked all the way through?

AC: I was surprised. I don't eat mushrooms but knew how to cook them and knew they'd take the least amount of time — we only had 10 minutes. I was always told to fill my dishes with color, which is what I did. I also made a dressing I had been previously taught how to make that's been a hit with my family. So when I saw Summer's salmon was undercooked and how flustered she was, I thought I would be okay. I truly was very disappointed my dish was the losing dish because I felt so confident and followed the rules.

You hinted at the fact that we might see a Miss USA cookbook in the near future. Is this something you're seriously considering?

AC: We shall see. I can see myself releasing a cookbook someday, but the dishes I make would not be appropriate for most pageant girls who like to watch what they eat during competition mode. I am Italian with a very large sweet tooth, so there might be too many carbs and calories for them in my cookbook.

It's obvious you're very fit and strive to be healthy. What do you eat when you're out on the road being the glamorous Miss USA?

AC: First, I have to thank my mother's side for my high metabolism because I don't eat healthy at all. With my Italian and Scandinavian background, I was raised eating lots of carbs, pastas, fish and sweets, so that is what I tend to eat when I'm on the road.

What tips from the show will you take back home into your kitchen?

AC: I think the biggest tip I will be taking back home with me is to always be creative. Since the show, I have this fearless attitude toward making new dishes and recipes, whereas before I would stick to the simple things. With that said, this will not be the last time you see me in the kitchen.

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