Recently eliminated Next Foodnetwork Star, and self-proclaimed “Middle Eastern Momma”, Penny Davidi may have had a somewhat rocky time building relationships with a few of her cast mates, but this Persian girl definitely made a lasting impression on the judges with her cooking skills.
Cooking a variety of dishes from all over the Middle East, the core of Penny’s well-praised seasoning and point of view was quite Persian throughout her time on the show.
Proud of her background, Penny even taught Wolfgang Puck, and the rest of the judges, that “noosheh jaan” is Persian for bon appétit. And she also made sure to educate the judges on the difference between “maast-o-khiaar” and tzatziki.
“You can’t prepare, there’s nothing that get’s you ready,” she says. “It’s really important for me that America understands that you know, confidence is very different from cockiness…I think that I carry a lot of assetiveness, and I think that it may have come across as bitchy, overly confident.”
So, in hindsight would she be willing to do it all again?
“I would do it all over [again] if I could,” she tells us in an exclusive interview. “I loved my time there and the only thing I would change would be to stay focused on my own journey and not on the drama.”
Not too happy about the way she was characterized on the show, she continues, “I wasn’t portrayed fairly but I completely understand that I signed up for it and I am honored that they [saw me] as strong enough of a talent to handle the heat!”
And not walking away completely empty-handed, Penny tells us that due to her time on Foodnetwork Star, she learned that she is “one bad ass Middle Eastern cook.”
Despite the “drama” and and overheated kitchen, Penny still keeps in touch with her former cast mates with the exception of one: “I am friends with all but Mary beth.”
As for who she thinks will (or should) win the competition?
“Vic Vegas,” she tells Persianesque.
Will Penny, the Foodnetwork’s first-ever Middle Eastern chef/cook, be getting a spinoff show?
“Keep watching the Food Network and the big screen.” She semi-cryptically tells us.
Considering the apparent void for a Middle Eastern cooking show on the Food Network–which is a widely untapped market–we wouldn’t be surprised if preparations are being made behind the scenes.
Seems as though you’ll have to take her advice and tune in to see what happens.