9 Questions with Samone Lett, New Food Network Star Finalist

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

Contestant Samone Lett, 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.

Samone, 46, is the owner of a personal chef and catering business where she creates decadent dishes for her clients, including her purple port wine mac and cheese. Samone became a food specialist upon joining the military at 18, before moving on to culinary school to follow her passion. After graduating, Samone opened her catering company but soon came upon hard times when she became homeless. After much hard work and determination Samone persevered as a chef, and wants to prove to other women in tough situations that they can accomplish anything.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.
I like bold flavors and using seasonings and spices. And I love sauces. Anything I do will have to have flavors that pop and have a sauce.

What made you fall in love with food?
I was in the military and I made these awful-looking biscuits and everyone laughed. But they were the best biscuits ever. That was one of the times. And the other one would have been when I was in Germany, and I was left in the kitchen to cook for the detachment all by myself. That was the best time ever and that’s when I realized, I could do this. I could actually make a living doing this.

What technical kitchen skill are you best at?
I can think on my feet, especially when I see a row of seasonings, and as long as I have a stock and wine, I’m golden. I can put some things together.

What's your signature dish?
My lamb. The rack of lamb is freaking amazing. What I love about this lamb is all the herbs; it’s a marriage of different flavors.

What do you say to people who think they can't learn how to cook?
Everybody can learn how to cook anything. While I was away working out of state, my husband had to figure it out based on what he’d seen me do. He knows how to pan-sear now without burning the pot. You really have to come focused. You start with your basics, and you build your foundation from there.

Let's say it's a regular Tuesday night and you're at home. What's for dinner?I’m probably going to pan-sear a chicken breast and do a light scallion vinaigrette and some veggies.

Who's your food/chef spirit animal?
My mom, my grandparents.

What's something very few people know about you?
People don’t know that I do skincare and that I am a license certified life coach. And they don’t know that I write books.

Food pics in restaurants: yay or nay. Why?
Of course. Because I have to look at it and mimic it when I get home. So I have to take a photo of it if it’s good.

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