Star-a-Day: Joy Thompson
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 Joy Thompson.
Amid owning a restaurant and bakery, and wrangling her five children, Joy, 40 (Thomasville, N.C.), has a lot going on. She draws inspiration from her childhood and manages to maintain a self-deprecating wit through all the chaos, creating upscale Southern food that looks good but also satisfies, such as fried green tomatoes and chicken and waffles. Joy is ready to teach accessible Southern cooking without any of the stuffiness.
Joy Thompson: My POV is modern Southern, so traditional Southern flavors with a little modern flair.
JT: I would love to know how to make pasta homemade 'cause I'm not an Italian-trained cook, and with Bobby I would love to know how to make a tostada.
JT: I would want them to know that I'm sincere [and] I'm passionate about what I do. And the show I would like to do would be one with my family in it, my business in it, running a restaurant, being a professional woman and a mom and a wife.
JT: I work so much and have five kids, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to prepare, so I basically do what I normally do on an everyday basis, and that's I'm a chef at my restaurant and I'm a mom at home.
JT: I want to take away the confidence and belief in myself that I know what I'm doing.
JT: My greatest strength is probably taking whatever I've got in the pantry or the refrigerator and creating a new meal out of it. Sometimes you're on a tight budget when you've got that many kids, so it's just whatever we've got in the house and I've got to create something new with it.
JT: Probably baking soda because it takes the odor out of different vegetables and stuff that you've got in there.
JT: My signature dish would probably be peach jezebel chicken.
JT: I love Charleston, S.C. It's a lot of Southern flavors, but it’s also infused with other types of different dishes and different flavors from around the world. And it's still got that little country feel.
JT: I do raw. I like sushi, but my sushi has to be deep-fried.
JT: Popcorn. Definitely popcorn. And I like to do a burnt-butter-and-Parmesan popcorn. So, I fancy it up.
JT: Has to be chocolate — anything and everything chocolate. I prefer milk chocolate and white chocolate, and I don't mind if it has caramel or toffee or peanut butter or any of those other things in it. Yeah, candy. That's me.
JT: I would probably say lobster and a good steak. And now I'm going to have a five-course meal if this is my last, right? So, shrimp and corn chowder, I'm going to have a fried-oyster-warm-bacon salad and then the lobster and then the steak and mashed potatoes 'cause ... I can't gain any weight if I'm going out, right? And then a really good dessert, like a creme brule cheesecake or a five-flavor pound cake with a ganache.
JT: I guess, I'm just me; what you see is what you get. I'm going to my best to win this competition. I'd love them to have the opportunity to get to know people, whether I'm sharing ideas with them or they're sharing ideas with me through email or Facebook or whatever or meeting people. I'd just love to have the opportunity to interact with the people that are the fans of Food Network 'cause, hey, I'm one of them too.
Don't miss the premiere of Food Network Star, Season 12 on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c.