From Contender to Champion: Get to Know Gibson, RvG Kids: Cook-Off Winner and Host of The Jersey Shore Kid
Winning Season 2 of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off for Gibson was pretty amazing, to say the least. This talented 12-year-old blew the competition away with his final presentation and a dish that won him high praise from the judges, including Curtis Stone, one of Gibson's culinary idols. FN Dish chatted with Gibson at Alstede Farms, the setting for one of his three videos ( you can read that interview here). There we talked about all that led to his winning his own Web series and what it was like competing.
But there was so much to talk about that it was impossible to cut the subject off at just his time on RvG: Kids and The Jersey Shore Kid. We wanted to find out more about how this young chef got into cooking in the first place, where his inspiration came from as a kid who began dabbling in recipes at age 7, and what keeps him still in the kitchen to this day — not to mention his dreams for the future as a chef.
FN Dish: So now that you've won, who's going to cook dinner?
Gibson: Um, me — still. Sometimes I ask my mom for a break and she's like, "You've won. You're cooking every night."
So, basically, you can't get out of dinner ever again.
Basically. There's no excuse "I don't feel like it." There's no excuse. She's like, "You won, and there are no more excuses after that."
What's the biggest mistake you've ever made in the kitchen that you're willing to admit to?
Oh no! This happened recently. We sometimes rent out a house in the summer, and the grill isn't in the best shape. So I'm barbecuing burgers. We have company over and they want to see me cook. I'm like, "Sure." I go to flip the burgers, and I open the lid and fire erupts and black smoke comes out. I'm like "Dad, something's wrong!" We had to fire-extinguish the whole grill. I'm like, "Well, option No. 2, takeout!" But it was scary, because I've never had something set on fire.
Well, after the show I have to say the meat mallet, because that was hysterical. It was in the third episode. I just remember all the parents laughing when I had to beat that huge piece of lamb. That was fun. I loved using that. And even though it's fun to use, it's a very good kitchen tool. That is my favorite. And also just squirt bottles. They make everything a lot easier to plate.
How did you get started cooking? What got you interested in the first place?
My mom doesn't cook a lot, if any. So I started cooking when I was 7. From the ages of 4 to 7, I didn't care really what I was eating. I just wanted food. Then at 7 I started really paying attention to what was in my food. What is my food? I was like, "My mom doesn't cook and I want to start cooking a home-cooked meal, and the big meals that she should be cooking." So I picked it up. I started watching Food Network as much as possible, and I just ran with that. I started getting interested. I started going with really simple recipes. And then I just started cooking and it's been a roller coaster. And here I am now!
Who was the person you looked up to when you started cooking, whether it's a TV personality or not — you don't have to say Guy. Who was your hero in the kitchen?
That's a hard question. The answer — to be honest — I would probably just have to say Guy, just because when I saw him the first time [on TV], he reminded me so much of my dad, because he likes tattoos and rock 'n' roll and guitars. He reminded me of my dad …. My dad doesn't cook a lot either — he does some grilling. [Guy]'s like the dad that cooks. He was like my cooking dad almost …. He was just really my quote unquote cooking godfather ….