Local man to compete on ‘Worst Cooks in America’
Show to premiere New Year’s Day
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
Jeff West of Douglassville poses prior to team selection, as seen on Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.”
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.