October 8, 2008

Fan-Favorite Nixon to Teach at Home Show

By Valerie Phillips Deseret News

Utahns who watched Kelsey Nixon on "The Next Food Network Star" will have a chance to see her in real life at this weekend's Deseret News Fall Home Show.

Nixon, originally from North Ogden, will teach a cooking class Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. Food Network fans likely remember the bubbly BYU grad who earlier this year made it all the way to the last four contestants on reality series. She was voted the Fan Favorite by a large margin, and dishes that she created on the show were tapped for inclusion in Bon Appetit magazine and the Red Lobster chain's menu.

Since the show ended, Nixon has been teaching cooking classes at the Utah State Fair, Sur La Table, Orson Gygi and Thanksgiving Point.

After watching the series, doing several phone interviews and writing probably a dozen stories about her, I'm looking forward to meeting Nixon in person. We're both slated to judge the Utah's Best Chef Competition Friday from 4-6 p.m.

Competing chefs are Joseph Davis of Baxter's American, Eric May of Blue Boar Inn & Restaurant, Jason Merryweather of Harvest at Thanksgiving Point, and Chuck Isble of Biaggi's. The four chefs will be given a "mystery box" of ingredients that they don't get to open until just before the competition begins.

They will then have an hour to create a fabulous signature dish that incorporates the "mystery" ingredients.

Several other chefs, cookbook authors and food personalities who will do seminars during the home show include Bryan Woolley, host of KUTV's "Fresh From the Kitchen"; "Grocery Guru" Ken Roesbery; Jennifer Grillone, author of "101 Things to Do With Gelatin"; Kim Warren, author of "Family Comfort Favorites"; Micki Sannar, author of "Olive Oil Desserts"; chef Robert Bryant; personal trainer Kathleen King; and chef Jake Stanley.

MORE UTAHNS ON THE FOOD NETWORK: On the Oct. 10 episode of the prime-time series, "Road Tasted With The Neelys," hosts Pat and Gina Neely feature Utah foods. They discover Romina Rasmussen's Kouing Aman pastries at Les Madeleines bakery in downtown Salt Lake City.

Then they head to Chaparro's in Sunset for authentic Mexican tamales. Next they sample cheese rubs such as espresso lavender and honey sea salt at Beehive Cheese in Uintah. They finish up at Spotted Dog Creamery, where they taste huckleberry chip and Utah peach ice cream.

"They were here the first of August," said Pat Ford of Beehive Cheese about the filming. "We were expecting them to show up with a video camera and spend a few hours. They came with five Suburbans full of cameras and equipment, and they spent all day. It was fun."

"Road Tasted with the Neelys," which debuted in July, follows the couple as they check out specialty food stores and family-run businesses across America.

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