Lo­cal man to com­pete on ‘Worst Cooks in Amer­ica’

Show to premiere New Year’s Day

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Blanchard rblan­chard@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @boy­er­town­times on Twit­ter

A Dou­glassville man will be com­pet­ing on the next sea­son of “Worst Cooks in Amer­ica” pre­mier­ing on Sun­day, Jan. 1.

Jeff West has been cho­sen as one of the ‘worst cooks’ in the coun­try by the Food Net­work and will join 16 oth­ers in a culi­nary train­ing pro­gram lead by chefs Anne Bur­rell and Rachael Ray. The com­peti­tor who makes the most progress through­out the 10-episode se­ries will be awarded a grand prize of $25,000.

As the pres­i­dent of a vend­ing ma­chine com­pany and a fa­ther to two daugh­ters, West of­ten of­fers his fam­ily the un­sold sand­wiches and snacks from the cold-food ma­chines.

“My wife and daugh­ter are su­per into ev­ery­thing Food Net­work, they’re con­stantly watch­ing it.” He says he fa­mil­iar with some of the shows, but never watched a full sea­son of any of them. “It’s some­thing that’s al­ways on TV at my house be­tween my wife and my daugh­ter.”

Some­times over the sum­mer, he heard the show was look­ing for cast mem­bers.

“I thought it would be kind of silly; I thought ‘oh man, if I could do some­thing like that — how proud my daugh­ter would be, how ex­cited by wife would be. And I did a quick ap­pli­ca­tion for it,” said West. “I couldn’t ex­pect it to ac­tu­ally turn out into this. It’s a long shot. It’s some­thing that just kind of worked out. It’s crazy.”

Cook­ing isn’t some­thing he has had much ex­pe­ri­ence with un­til re­cently.

“It’s some­thing I’ve never re­ally done. Grow­ing up, my mom did all the cook­ing but I grew up with a house full of boys – two broth­ers. We were al­ways off to sports and things. Din­ners con­sisted of mac and cheese, hot dogs, any­thing fast food like lunch meat and take out.”

When he got older and mar­ried his wife, West says she han­dled most of their din­ners up un­til the last year or so. She re­cently went back to work and doesn’t get home in time in din­ner.

He says he could mi­crowave

things well, but never de­vel­oped a knack for cook­ing.

“My fam­ily owns a vend­ing com­pany, so ba­si­cally most of the food I pre­pare for my daugh­ters is left over from things we put in cold-food ma­chines at our vend­ing ac­counts.” He listed turkey and cheese sand­wiches, cheese­burg­ers, and other items as what din­ner has con­sisted of at his house­hold for the past year.

West, a na­tive of Phoenixville and a res­i­dent of Dou­glassville for the past 10 years, says he has never been on a tele­vi­sion show be­fore.

“This is some­thing com­pletely new for me. I don’t think I’ve done any­thing in front of peo­ple since like a mid­dle school play.”

The show’s film­ing took place in New York. He says it was a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to be away from his fam­ily but he knew this was a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity. The show’s air date is now just around the cor­ner.

“It’s some­thing we’re ab­so­lutely ex­cited for,” he said, adding how the com­mer­cials started re­cently. “My daugh­ter came in the kitchen the other day and started scream­ing ‘Dad you’re on TV! Dad you’re on TV, I can’t be­lieve it!’ And, hon­estly it’s great.”

He says his nine-yearold daugh­ter is one of the big­gest rea­sons he de­cided to com­pete on the cook­ing show.

“It’s some­thing she re­ally en­joys, and it’s some­thing I can show my daugh­ter ‘hey, this isn’t some­thing that’s ex­actly in my com­fort zone but it’s okay to get out and do things that are a lit­tle un­com­fort­able and can be fun in the end.”

West will be watch­ing the “Worst Cooks In Amer­ica” sea­son 10 se­ries premier on Jan. 1 sur­rounded by his fam­ily.

“It’s some­thing new for all of us, but it’s ex­cit­ing. I needed to learn how to cook for them, that’s the whole point of go­ing on the show.”

“It’s some­thing we’re ab­so­lutely ex­cited for. My daugh­ter came in the kitchen the other day and started scream­ing ‘Dad you’re on TV! Dad you’re on TV, I can’t be­lieve it!’ And, hon­estly it’s great.” — Jeff West

COUR­TESY OF THE FOOD NET­WORK

Jeff West of Dou­glassville poses prior to team se­lec­tion, as seen on Food Net­work’s “Worst Cooks in Amer­ica.”

COUR­TESY OF THE FOOD NET­WORK

Men­tors Anne Bur­rell and Rachael Ray greet the re­cruits for the first time, as seen on Food Net­work’s “Worst Cooks in Amer­ica,” Sea­son 10.

Men­tors Anne Bur­rell and Rachael Ray pose with re­cruits Kayla Kurtz, Mandy Thorn­ton, Daniel Mar, Laura Docker, Adam Cooke, Jetta Ostrof­sky, Brit­tany Moore, Cedrick Miller, Jeff West, Ann Odogwu, Matt Josephs, Buffy Mykka­nen, Maria Mar­cello, Stephen Hawkins, Jake Michaels and Lester Turchin, as seen on Food Net­work’s “Worst Cooks in Amer­ica,” Sea­son 10.

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