9 Questions with Rebekah Lingenfelser, New Food Network Star Finalist

We caught up with Rebekah about her style in the kitchen and out.

Contestant Rebekah Lingenfelser, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 14.

Photo by: Smallz & Raskind

Smallz & Raskind

Food Network Star is bringing the heat in the Season 14 premiere, with the first-of-its-kind episode in Florida. But before the fun in the sun — and some inevitable drama — begins on June 10, we’ve got the first interviews with all the hopefuls. Read on below to get to know them.

With her Southern drawl and infectious laugh, cooking with Rebekah, 34, is a little bit party, a little bit Southern, and a whole lot of fun. A native of Georgia, Rebekah is currently a marketing and public relations director, while also writing a food column for the local paper. Rebekah comes from a long line of Southern cooks and wants to bring her love of Southern coastal cuisine to everyone around the world, teaching how to capitalize on local and seasonal ingredients to make your meals shine.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.
My culinary point of view is Southern coastal cuisine, and I love to cook with local, seasonal ingredients whenever they’re available.

What made you fall in love with food?
I grew up in a family who loves to cook and entertain, and food has always been a central part of that.

What technical kitchen skill are you best at?
Developing flavors in general. Understanding what flavor profiles work best together.

What's your signature dish?
Wild Georgia shrimp and grits or shrimp and corn chowder. I just love the coastal seafood elements.

What do you say to people who think they can't learn how to cook?
Those are the people that I would love to get in a room with and be like, “Let me teach you,” because it’s not hard and it can be fun. And I would love to make dishes approachable to them.

Let's say it's a regular Tuesday night and you're at home. What's for dinner?
Probably a pasta dish with a meat sauce and some fresh Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Easy to put together and flavorful.

Who's your food/chef spirit animal?
Vivian Howard. She’s from the South. I love her personality. I love her life stories, and I think my life stories very much relate to hers as far as the people in her town and her relationships with the farmers and the local purveyors. I really love her approach to cooking. She’s like a female rockstar.

What's something very few people know about you?
I love to sing.

Food pics in restaurants: yay or nay. Why?
I love it. I’m a food blogger. I’m a food columnist. That is what I do. I do it all the time. However, it also depends on the restaurant. Use your discretion and common sense. Be present with your company. Snap the photo and post it later.

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