Reality Check: Catching Up with Food Network Star Kelsey Nixon

And now, even with the show behind her, Kelsey still has plenty on her plate and she gives us an update on where she is now.

“Quite the year, indeed,” Kelsey exclaims about 2008.

It has been one year since Ogden resident Kelsey Nixon became one of the finalists on the reality show The Next Food Network Star. She quickly became our most famous and favorite Utah “foodie.”

“It was quite the journey, it was unbelievable. It was a wonderful feeling and accomplishment to have set out to be on the show and actually have some success,” Kelsey says about her opportunity to be on the show.

Although she didn’t take the title, she did make it to the top four, and was voted the National Fan Favorite. She credits this honor and success to her Utah fan base:

“My fans in Utah were unbelievable. I mean this state gets behind its own like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

Even though everything turned out better than she could have imagined, her decision to go on a reality television show was a difficult one.

“I was really hesitant to kind of go on a reality show. You know I think that you have a little bit less control than you do on scripted television obviously. And you kind of surrender yourself to becoming a character. And I think I got lucky. In all honesty, I really was represented quite well as to whom I am as a person,” Kelsey explained.

With the reality show, came a flurry of media attention, even an appearance on the Rachel Ray show. She is now working side-by-side with the restaurant Zupa’s, helping them create recipes and marketing ideas.

“I’ve really entered the restaurant realm of it. I’ve never really wanted to work nights, weekends, holidays, but I’ve been very interested in recipe development and kind of taken an innovative approach to restaurants.”

Because of that, she enjoys teaching cooking classes, sharing the love of the kitchen with cooks of all ages–all while trying to find time to cook in her own home.

Kelsey says, “Do I get sick of cooking? Yes I do. I would be non-human if I answered otherwise. I’m not going to lie. My sweet new husband he eats little Caesar’s once a week. And sometimes eats cold cereal for dinner because when you’ve been cooking all day, that’s just what happens. Do I still love cooking and is it my passion? Yes.

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