Rory Schepisi

Where are you living/working now?

I still live in a small town known as Vega, Texas, 30 miles west of Amarillo.

What have you been up to since FNS?

Wow, running my restaurant (BootHill) in Vega and hosting a couple of episodes of Homemade Simple on TLC. I've also been developing and pitching new show concepts to a number of different networks including Food Network. I still have my dream of hosting a food related show and I'm not giving up until that happens. In the meantime, I'm in the process of getting my second restaurant in Amarillo, Texas opened and working on bottling my steak marinade. In June I will be in Dallas at the Texas Restaurant Association food show competing to defend my title as "Best Chef of The West." I'm Rory, I'm just chasing dreams.

What did you enjoy most (and least) about being on FNS?

Doing what I love and that's cooking and being in front of the camera.

Do you still keep in touch with other finalists?

Not as much as I would like, Salmon checks in on me from time to time and Nikki and I email here and there. I have not spoken to Amy since the show ended. She has reached out but I still harbor some feelings towards her for wasting such a great opportunity, an opportunity that I would have ran with.

Any behind-the-scenes happenings from FNS you can tell us about?

More than I probably should say. Here's one that might be okay to tell. When it was down to JAG and me, we were flown to Miami Beach and had to compete in another challenge. It was amazing. We had to cook for all the true Food Network stars from Tyler Florence, Paula Deen, Sandra Lee, to the ever so amazing Bobby Flay. I guess we can call that the lost episode cause it never aired due to all the controversy of Season 3.

How did being on FNS affect your culinary career?

I still do what I love and that's cooking and pursuing my television career.

What advice would you offer the next round of finalists?

Stay true to yourself, know your culinary point-of-view, don't be scared and smile. And most importantly, believe in yourself!

When you look back, would you have done anything differently?

I probably would have kissed a little more butts; unfortunately, politics play a role in every aspect of life. Maybe pull a Tonya Harding on Amy? Just kidding! I thought that was funny.

Are you recognized from your time on FNS?

From time to time. It's still cool when you get asked to sign an autograph or asked to take a picture.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your time on FNS?

Don't piss off the people who can put you on television!

Anything else?

Um, Bob. Looking for any talent? Ha! No seriously, are you?

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