Congratulations to Eddie Jackson, the most recent winner of Food Network Star! Not long ago I featured the recipe for Chipotle Shrimp with Avocado Cream that he made on the first episode in one of my Foodie Friday posts, and raved about how good it was. As the series progressed, his cooking point of view evolved to one emphasizing southwestern and especially Caribbean flavors. He used many newer cooking ideas, such as coconut oil and veggie ribbons "pasta", always keeping healthy eating in mind but also making sure that the food was interesting as well as satisfying. I visit a lot of food blogs by young cooks who incorporate so many of these new approaches, and it would be refreshing to see someone on Food Network who could teach me how to become comfortable using these unfamiliar ingredients and techniques in my own kitchen in a healthy and nutritious way.
If only the network would actually allow him to cook rather than merely showcase the menus of various restaurants as the pilots of all three finalists did. Unfortunately, I am afraid that we will not be seeing much cooking, as the first episode of his new show still has the title of "BBQ Blitz" (to air on Friday, October 9th, at 10:30 PM EST) just like his contest pilot. I fervently hope the Food Network executives will see the light and allow the format of his show to change. Come on guys, I still have an almost full can of chipotles in adobo sauce left over from his first recipe that I need to use up, and I'm counting on Eddie Jackson to help me do it!
(Good luck and best wishes to the two other finalists, Jay Ducote and Dom Tesoriero, who were also superb in this contest and deserve shows of their own as well!)
You can find the recipe for Eddie Jackson's Summer Veggie Pasta Scampi shown above as well as more winning recipes by him and other Season 11 Food Network Star contestants here.