Michelle Southern reporting.
Baton Rouge Food Blogger and lover of Louisiana cuisine, Jay Ducote, is competing on Season 11 of Food Network Star which premieres this Sunday. The hit reality competition show awards the winner with their own series on the Food Network.
Ducote, who has also appeared on MasterChef and Cutthroat Kitchen, says being one of the 12 finalists on Food Network Star is a dream come true.
"It's a crazy, intense, challenging competition that is all about proving that you could be a culinary celebrity and Food Network Star," said Ducote.
Ducote boasts his love of eating and drinking for a living while celebrating culinary culture around Louisiana and everywhere he travels.
He says although he didn't attend culinary school, he learned to cook throwing LSU tailgate parties.
"So at least, to a degree, you are pitching your show and what show you'd want on Food Network," said Ducote. "So I went into it being the Louisiana guy who grew up hunting and fishing and learning how to cook tailgating for LSU football."
The premiere Sunday will air at 8pm and a huge viewing party with Ducote is being held in Downtown Baton Rouge.
Ducote couldn't say much about what happens this season, but he can say that this first episode on Sunday will be the true first time all the contestants walk into the kitchen and meet each other.
He says they introduce themselves first.
"And then they give us a second chance to do that on camera, and we have to cook a signature dish for a Food Network festival for about 100 people who are all fans," said Ducote.