Michelle Southern reporting.
Louisiana chef Jay Ducote was not the big winner last night on this season's Food Network Star, but he remains optimistic about the future. The title went to former NFL player Eddie Jackson. Ducote found out along with everyone else that he is the runner-up on the cooking competition's 11th season.
He says his first reaction was extreme disappointment.
"It's definitely something that I really wanted and worked really hard for," says Ducote. "This was a competition I felt like I had kind-of dominated."
The Baton Rouge radio host had referenced his Louisiana and Cajun roots throughout the season and was sucessful during every challenge.
He says before last night's finale he received a congratulatory phone call from Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
"He told me he was really proud of me and that no matter what happens that it was a big victory for myself, for Baton Rouge and for the entire state to have somebody do so well in a national competition like that," says Ducote.
Ducote says he sees this is as just the beginning of a long promising career as a Louisiana chef and he may even end up with his own show on Food Network anyway.
Hundreds of "Team Jay" fans throughout the state have been turning up for Food Network Star viewing parties to cheer on their fellow Louisianian. Ducote says his backing has been amazing.
"To me that was really amazing to have that kind of support and I just want to thank everyone who's been with me on this journey," said Ducote.
Ducote has also competed on Masterchef, Cutthroat Kitchen and Last Call Food Brawl.