My first Stage… and a trip to Phoenix

January 31, 2015
10:30 a.m. ET

The weekend is finally here… and we are ONE day away from Super Bowl Sunday! I’m currently in Maryland waiting for my best friend to finish his day… and we have a flight to Phoenix at 5:45 p.m. out of DC. Yes, this will be my fourth Super Bowl and quite possibly the one I’m most excited about. I saw the Patriots win in Houston, I saw the Patriots lose in Arizona, and I saw the Steelers defeat the Cardinals in Tampa. I’ve been extremely spoiled when it comes to Super Bowls, and this may be my last one.

I tell everyone this… If you have the chance to go to a Super Bowl, DO IT. It is by far the greatest show on earth. Not the circus, the Super Bowl. It truly is an amazing experience from the opening ceremony to the confetti when the clock reads 0:00. The energy at a Super Bowl is impossible to match and there is nothing like watching your home team compete 3,000 miles away. Is Arizona that far from Boston????

In any event, I’m excited to attend the game with my best friend — who I don’t get to see very often. Though I have to admit… selling our tickets for $20,000 has certainly entered my mind. That is literally my rent for the rest of the YEAR. While I find this number staggering and extremely scary at the same time, I have to say… it makes me feel bad for the average NFL fan that they will never be able to enjoy such an extraordinary event because of ticket price inflation. Sure, it’s great for brokers and people who want to make a quick buck, but I just wish the Super Bowl was more about the average fan than the independently wealthy.

Regardless, this will be a nice break from culinary school and cooking in general (Oh, and the snow!) and I’m planning on laughing for the next three days. I did promise my buddy I would cook Monday and Tuesday for him and his brother… so I’m not taking a total break from cooking. I already know what I’m going to make so stay tuned for photos… and even the recipe, which as you know I NEVER give away!!

Speaking of cooking, the stage on Thursday went well, but it definitely could have gone better. I walked away feeling a little discouraged about my knife skills, which comes with experience, and experience only. One of the fingers on my right hand was a shy short of bleeding and it still hurts to hold a pen. Unfortunately, this is part of my new career and something I’m going to have to get used to. I know cooking isn’t glamorous, and I don’t want it to be since I am FAR from a glamorous person… but I felt like I was given a new pair of sneakers to run a marathon. Does that make sense?

In any event, I know I have a lot to work on and I’m ready to put the work in. The good news is, I always fight for what I want and I NEVER give up regardless of how hard the task it. With that being said, I am going back on a busy Saturday night when I won’t be chopping as much and literally risking losing my fingers (not quite).

I’m so humbled and honored that major restaurants and chefs are giving me these opportunities and are willing to take a chance on me. I hope viewers learned something from me on The Taste… if you stay true to yourself, give 100 percent every step of the way, always keep your eye on the end goal, and refuse to be discouraged along the way… you will always end up a winner!

Enjoy your Saturday! (Blog #2 with Super Bowl snacks coming up later today!)