Just Eyeball It Exclusive Interview: Katie Cavuto of The Next Food Network Star

The fifth season of the Next Food Network Star started five weeks ago. Ten people who love to cook were all trying to be the next “star” on the Food Network and get their own show. The most well-known contestant of the competition is Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite, Guy Off The Hook), who won the second season competition.

The fourth person eliminated from this season’s competition was Katie Cavuto. Katie is 3o and from Philadelphia, PA. She provides personal chef, cooking, and nutrition services through her self-started company, Healthy Bites. She developed her knowledge and passion for food at Johnson and Wales University and Tufts University where she also became a Registered Dietician. Katie brings a creative and competitive charm to the kitchen where she uses unprocessed, organic, farm-to-table ingredients to create simple and nutritious meals. I had the chance to interview him the day after she was eliminated and here is what she had to say…


Did you try out for any of the past seasons of the Next Food Network Star?

Katie Cavuto: Yes, the previous season.

Why did you try out for the show?

KC: To promote healthy eating and bring organics and sustainability to Food Network, I always loved the Alpha Wolf Nutrition options so that was one of my biggest inspiration.

Explain your try-out process in detail. How many rounds/interviews did you have to go through? What did you have to do to try out?

KC: I sent in a 3 minute audition tape then went through 2 rounds of on camera auditions including a million questions.

Did you think you would make the finals to begin with?

KC: The first time around I tried out with no real expectations. The second time I was determined to be a finalist and had a better idea of what they were looking for.

Why do you think you were ultimately eliminated?

KC: Food Network is not ready for an organic, sustainable approach to food, I guess?

When it was down to you and Jamika last night did you think you were gone?

KC: I had a feeling…I knew I had a great week and did not deserve to be in the bottom and still somehow ended up there so I figured it was simply my turn to go.

You were in the bottom two or three a couple of more times before that. Did you feel safe at all during those times or did you think you were gone then?

KC: It is always very defeating being in the bottom you hope you are safe…but you have no idea.

After which challenge, were you most confident that you were safe and moving to the next week? Meaning which one did you think you did the best at?

KC: Rachel Ray week…surprise!.

After what challenge, were you least confident that you were safe and moving to the next week? Meaning which one did you think did the worst at?

KC: When the turkey burger was undercooked they were really hard on me.

How much Food Network did you watch before the competition?

KC: A few shows a week.

Favorite Food Network shows?

KC: Good Eats, Iron Chef, Everyday Italian.

Favorite Food Network stars?

KC: Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence.

Who have you been most excited to meet so far?

KC: Bobby Flay and the other finalists.

Anyone from The Food Network you would like to meet that you haven’t yet?

KC: Michael Chiarello.

Favorite meal to cook?

KC: Anything with the produce from my garden.

Favorite meal to eat if different?

KC: Comfort Food, love chicken sausage, white beans, kale and tomato.

Did you make any friends on the show that you will keep in contact with?

KC: Of course…everyone is great! I talk to Michael and Jamika often though.

Hardest challenge for you?

KC: The intrepid challenge…I was way out of my comfort zone with southern food

Hardest part of the competition for you?

KC: Being away from friends and family…going through high stress situations without your support systems is really hard.

We have seen a few Next Food Network Star contestants get their own shows (Adam from last season, etc.). What do you think your chances of getting your own show are?

KC: I am determined to have my own show…be it on the Food Network or elsewhere. I know there is an audience for healthy eating and sustainability and I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with people.

What kind of show would it be? What would be the theme or “hook” of your show?

KC: It would be a show about Green Cuisine…eating healthy for your body and the planet!

If no Food Network future, what is next for you?

KC: Continuing to grow my business, writing a cookbook, starting an organic, local baby food line and having my own show.


The Next Food Network Star airs on the Food Network on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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