Getting to Know New Star Eddie Jackson: 11 Fun Facts
Mere hours after accepting the title of Food Network Star, Eddie Jackson took to Food Network's Facebook page to chat with the fans who stood by him through 11 weeks of competition and are ready to see him on his upcoming show, BBQ Blitz (premiering Friday, Oct. 9 at 10:30|9:30c). From his fitness philosophy and his early days of footballing to his kitchen hero (hint: It's one of his Star mentors), Eddie answered fans' questions.
Read on below to learn 11 key pieces of Eddie trivia, then go on the set of the finale with the Season 11 victor in an emotional exclusive interview.
1. Looking back on his Star journey, Eddie remembers two special moments most fondly: "First thing was when I met Bobby Flay, because I was such a huge fan. Secondly, everyone on the show became instant best friends. Those two things really stand out to me."
2. "I gave my dad a huge hug and a kiss," Eddie says of how he celebrated just moments after he learned of his win.
3. Though Eddie's passion for food is undeniable, he admits: "Football came first. I started playing before I could barely walk!"
4. "My favorite dish to prepare is escabeche fish," Eddie says.
5. Even Food Network Stars have heroes in the kitchen, and Eddie credits Bobby as being his. "He's definitely my culinary hero because we have a lot in common. He's a grill guy and we both like strong flavors. I gravitated to him at a young age."
6. Eddie credits two people for instilling in him a love of food. "My grandmother at first. It started with a biscuit (watching her make them)," he says. "Later on, my dad influenced me in my teen years."
7. If Eddie seemed nervous during Sunday night's finale, that's because he indeed was, and understandably so. "I never was nervous until the finale, and then everything caught up with me and I was so nervous! I'm more excited for the opportunity for my show," he says.
8. "Fitness is a big part of my life. I'm a big fan of moderation and watching what you eat on a daily basis," Eddie says of how he balances food and fitness. "It's just part of who I am."
9. Eddie's been around the grill for more than two decades, and he says of his most-cherished barbecue memory, "By far, [it was] the first time my dad taught me the ins and outs of BBQ on the patio of our apartment on a small Weber grill back in 1991."
10. It seems that when it comes to his version of the ultimate 'cue, Eddie likes to keep it simple. "If I was on my deathbed, I would ask for a whole rack of ribs," he says. "My favorite side would have to be my grandmother's potato salad."
11. Football season isn't far away, and Eddie previewed one of his favorite dishes that will be on his game-day menu: wings. "I have a rum-glaze chicken wing recipe that I do for my tailgate parties," he says.