South Florida native Brittany Carel was never a good cook but didn't dream she was bad enough to land a spot on Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, hosted by Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell. But after applying online to the casting call, she found herself a contestant on Season 15.
"As a model, I only made greens and salad and didn’t know how to cook anything beyond a blender. One time at an office potluck, I made everyone sick with my broccoli casserole. It was extremely embarrassing," Carel admits.
The perky brunette with blond highlights and a flawless grin recalls being incredibly nervous during shooting. "Each morning we would wake up at the crack of dawn and shuffle into the studio, where Tyler and Anne would start boot camp. It was constant twists and turns and spontaneous challenges, constant anxiety."
The cooking competition makes would-be chefs endure weeks of culinary boot camp in hopes of being the most improved.
From basic egg dishes to hearty pies, each episode has unique challenges brimming with dietary pitfalls.
Last week on Episode 3, Carel served a smoked salmon-caper potato hash topped with a quail egg and venison chili with jalapeño cornbread. "Tyler Florence said he had no notes to give after trying my chili, which was humbling," Carel says.
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Admittedly, Carel struggled with plating throughout the competition. "We eat with our eyes, and after putting so much time and effort into a dish you want it to look good. I overcame my challenge with plating by having an image in my head of what I want my dish to look like."
Although it's too soon to tell if Carel will be crowned the "Best Worst Cook in America," she's adamant about continuing to grow as a cook. "I definitely plan on continuing this journey and helping others, especially in the modeling industry, with simple and easy ways to cook."
So far, Carel is in the running for the title. If she can survive each week's elimination, she'll move on to the finale on Sunday, March 3, and prepare a three-course restaurant-quality meal for guest judges Debi Mazar, Michael Psilakis, and Jessica Tom. The winner receives $25,000 and bragging rights.
Worst Cooks in America airs Sunday nights at 9 on Food Network.