Star-a-Day: Erin Campbell
It was only recently that Star Talk broke the news that an unprecedented 12th season of Food Network Star is set to unfold this summer. For the first time ever, a prequel competition — Comeback Kitchen — will bring together seven past Star contestants for a no-holds-barred battle. The winner of this three-week tournament will join the dozen first-time Food Network Star finalists in the premiere episode on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c. But before the new season kicks off, we're introducing all 12 of the hopeful rivals in exclusive, one-on-one interviews. Keep checking back every day to meet a new member of the cast. Today we'd like you to meet Erin Campbell.
Erin, 24 (Woodbury, Minn.), was introduced to a vast array of food types during childhood but eventually realized that sweets were her calling, learning how to decorate cakes in her grandmother’s kitchen. After graduating from pastry school and working at a variety of bakeries, this California girl moved to snowy Minnesota to run her bakery’s flagship store. While she loves sweets, she also cooks flavorful comfort food, which she describes as “Grandma food kicked up a notch.”
Erin Campbell: My culinary point of view is just keep it simple, keep it memorable and keep it fun.
EC: I definitely would have to say Bobby Flay scares the bejesus out of me, but Giada makes me shake in my kitchen clogs. So it's kind of even.
EC: If I could ask Giada how to A, properly pronounce and B, properly cook pasta to al dente that would be wonderful. Because I either go too far or not enough.
EC: Joy. I really want the mentors to take way that I am full of life and my show would be full of fun and full of laughter and full of joy.
EC: I really didn't have a chance to prepare. It was very, like, OK, work, work, work, work, work, pack your suitcase, on the plane. So I'm really hoping that I do well. I had literally zero time to prepare for this.
EC: Win or lose, the fact that I was able to be here and to meet more wonderful people who share a love for food is just fantastic. And win or lose, the ability to be on this show, it's just, it's a blessing.
EC: I have to say my greatest strength probably is speed. I like to do things quickly; I like to get them done. Sometimes that is also a weakness, though, 'cause I'll skip things. So it really just depends on the day. And my smile probably 'cause I could probably smile through anything. Something could be lighting on fire and I'd be like, "Yaaay!"
EC: I kind of like sardines. I share them with my German shepherd. It's our thing. So there's half a can left in there.
EC: I just moved to Minnesota not too long ago ... and I love, love, love the food in Minneapolis. The food scene in Minneapolis crushes the food scene in LA.
EC: Probably creamed spinach. Never ever, ever. Not with a 10-foot pole, over a rainbow to find a unicorn. It just would not happen.
EC: My favorite late-night snack is definitely chocolate-covered popcorn because it's super-fast and I can make it anytime, and it's delicious.
EC: My favorite guilty pleasure food is definitely flourless chocolate cake stacked on top of chocolate cheesecake because I can make both of them, so I do. It makes your mouth water with raspberry puree.
EC: My last supper is definitely going to be a big ol' honking piece of steak that was cooked in butter and sage and thyme and just seasoned to perfection with garlic mashed potatoes and buttered broccoli. That's it. That's going to happen.
EC: To fans who would be watching me at home and to fans who have followed me through Holiday Baking Championship, just, I love you and thank you so, so, so much for tuning in and for loving me. And I hope that I do you proud, win or lose. I hope that you're proud of me and that I make you smile.
Bagels or doughnuts? Sugar bagels. I mean, doughnuts.
Don't miss the premiere of Food Network Star, Season 12 on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c.