Restaurateur and chef Teddy Folkman got the boot this week from Next Food Network Star, after a couple weeks of falling out of flavor with the judges and perhaps letting his enthusiasm overpower his cooking. Last night it seemed his nerves got the best of him—using his hand as a cheat sheet after making that DLT certainly cost him points—but back in the real world, Teddy hopes to keep expanding his restaurants, teaching cooking, and of course go after his dream of Food Network-stardom.
How are you doing?
I’m feeling pretty good. It’s of course sad. We know what happened, but when the audience gets to see it…The Food Network does a really good job but it’s hard because sometimes editing can be harsh to some people and very favorable to some people. But, in the end, I think The Food Network has been doing a really good job with the show thus far.
What should we know about you that wasn’t portrayed on the show?
I’m really not that animated all the time. It seemed kinda over-the-top. Watching myself on television, I was just like, ‘Wow. Who is that guy?!’ I’m used to teaching pre-schoolers, high-school kids, and you have to keep their attention. But this is The Food Network, you’re speaking to a wide audience, so it was a really good learning experience to see myself on the show and how I can improve this way or improve that way. I’m really happy that my food came through because that’s what I am most proud of –the food I’m able to create. I mean, having Bobby Flay call my DLT four-star dining, and Giada [de Laurentiis] rave about my potatoes salad and crab cakes. Debbie and I created a meatloaf that people are still talking about to this day—it was really cool.
What was the best part of being on the show?
The best experience was hanging out with Guy [Fieri] and Eddie. [Guy] sat down with all of us, as one of the biggest stars on The Food Network right now, and gave us 30-45 minutes of his time to just ask him anything we wanted to [and] learn what these stars actually go through. He’s on the road 220 days a year, his life is very busy, but he loves every minute of it. And if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. I think that was the coolest part about everything.
Who are you hoping will win?
They are all so talented. Everyone is so good. Katie—her knowledge of food—just blows me out of the water. And her presence on television is really, really charming and wonderful and it’s not really being captured [on the show]. Jeffrey is just really smooth and suave. Though, in all honesty, I’m rooting for Michael. He was one of my roommates, as was Jeffrey, but Michael is something that The Food Network has never seen before. He’s on the edge. His coffee-crusted pork—it was to die for. He’s got a brilliant mind, an artistic mind, and personality, so I’m rooting for him.
What’s your plan now?
Well, of course what everyone does when they get kicked off a reality television show—I’m going to Disneyworld. I actually have a family reunion right now but as far as the future goes, I am definitely going to pursue television, radio. I’m in the process of opening three more restaurants with my business partner. I’m going to continue with the restaurants, that’s my first and foremost love. It’s one of those things where I want to continue to teach and entertain people, teach them everything I know about food so they can do it just as good or hopefully better than I can do it.