The latest season of Food Network Star is getting a spicy serving of Louisiana lagniappe in the form of "Big Jay" as Host Giada De Laurentiis called www.jayducote.com on the first episode which premiered Sunday, June 7, 2015. Jay Ducote is taking the latest season of Food Network Star by storm with his killer cooking and big love of Louisiana culture! He is filling the screen with his passion for food and larger than life personality.
Jay is one of Louisiana's finest foodie personalities and is the radio host of the award winning The Bite & Booze Show. He is a former favorite host and storytelller of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde..., the live food monologue show produced by Superstar Events-LA, and is a contributor to the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde....LIfe Stories About Food Coffee Table/Cookbook by Pelican Publishing. He recently came out with his own tasty Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque Sauce and a small batch of Blanc du Bois wine from the Louisiana Landry Vineyard. Both fly off the shelves in Lousiana grocery and specialty stores.
If you aren't familiar with the Food Network Star on The Food Network, the show is hosted by Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. It begins with 12 contestants who are challenged each week with cooking competitions. One chef is eliminated by the end of each week. The show is unique as the competitors are judged on cooking skills along with their personality and stories.
On the second show of the season titled "Savor Your Baking", Jay knocked it out of the park in the "What's for Dinner?" segment. The contestants made a mad dash to choose limited left-over type ingredients from the refrigerator and create a family dinner. Jay chose grilled salmon and created a Barbeque Salmon Hash with potatoes, onions, peppers, jalapenos and Kraft Barbeque sauce. Too bad Jay wasn't able to bring his own Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque Sauce, a top seller in stores throughout Louisiana and used by many chefs. Kraft is a Food Network sponsor so I guess that wasn't going to happen! Each contestant had to present their dish on camera and Jay received amazing comments such as "flawless" by Judge Melissa D'Arabian, former winner of Food Network Star Season 5. He was challenged by the judges to "show us something we really need to know about you in each challenge going forward."
On the second segment of the show, the contestants were challenged to create something savory but inspired by something traditionally sweet. On Sunday morning, Jay had texted me to "watch the show for several reasons." My radar went up and I figured he was going to make his mouthwatering Blackberry Bourbon Boston Butt, the best pork dish I have ever eaten which is featured in the Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde ... cookbook, or possibly make a special beignet inspired by Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was intrigued and set my DVR. I was surprised and thrilled when Jay shared how he had been a speaker in a food monologue show back in Louisiana called "Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde..." and was inspired to make a savory beignet because beignets are "little pillows of decadence," my favorite term for them! Although Jay was told by the judges that he sometimes seems too rehearsed and needed to show other sides of his personality, the judges were very positive about his beignets. Host Bobby Flay said they had a good flavor and guest judge Chef Alex Guarnaschelli liked his passion for Louisiana culture.
There is no question in my mind that Jay will step up to the plate with the excellent feedback shared by the judges. I feel like they are pulling for him to win and are giving him the tools to get him there. There are many sides of Jay Ducote yet to be revealed and Food Nework needs to buckle their seatbelts as Hurricane Jay has just begun! My fingers are crossed because he deserves to win this competition and shine on his own Food Network show!
As we say in Louisiana, "Yeah You Right...Geaux Jay!"
Tune in to Food Network Star, an entertaining and mouthwatering show, on The Food Network on Sunday nights or look for it On Demand.
Meanwhile, if you want a little more of Big Jay, check out his website and order his delicious Jay D's Louisiana Barbeque sauce.
Jay's book hasn't been published yet, but is in the works with LSU Press. While you wait, check out the Meaanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde... Life Stories About Food coffee table/cookbook to read Jay's food story, Bite, Booze & Beyond, and try his delicious recipe for Blackberry Bourbon Boston Butt.
You can watch my interview with Jay on Savoring The Sweetness, Let's Talk About Food talk show, a Pepper Jay Production filmed last year in Hollywood, California. Visit SavoringTheSweetness to see Jay's show and my interviews with other foodies.