CHARLOTTE – Since competing on Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” earlier this year, Kevin Pettice has given up eating TV dinners, finished up his first semester of grad school and filmed his second television project.
As the Charlotte native puts it, “We on the come up.”
Pettice only lasted two episodes on “Worst Cooks in America.” Fish led to his downfall.
“I don’t understand what y’all think we should be doing with the fish when we’re the worst cooks,” Pettice said when he thinks back to that challenge. “They wanted us to cut up that fish like we were experienced chefs. They wanted us to fail.”
While Pettice struggled in the kitchen, he brought much levity to the televised pressure-cooker. He also left the competition with friendships that are carrying over into his next television project.
Two of his castmates on “Worst Cooks,” Steven Crowley and Sharon Shvarzman, invited Pettice to join them on “The Great American Food Truck Race.” The new season premieres at 9 p.m. July 26 on Food Network.
Pettice said the trio is looking for redemption. They want to show people they can cook. They’ll have to out-cook six other teams vying for the $50,000 grand prize.
“Going into it, I’m just praying that I don’t leave,” Pettice said. “We’re going to have to watch and see what happens.”
Though Crowley and Shvarzman advanced further than Pettice in “Worst Cooks,” they settled on Pettice’s chicken recipe when deciding on a theme for their food truck. Pettice’s momma trained him on using her delicious recipe.
Pettice said it was interesting working with Crowley and Shvarzman as opposed to competing against them.
“Emotions get high,” he said. “We love working with each other, but woo, that was a different energy.”
Pettice recently finished his first semester in grad school. He’s seeking a master’s degree in hospitality at Florida International University in Miami. Living in Miami has exposed Pettice to delicious Cuban and Latin American cuisine.
He no longer eats TV dinners.
“I done got burnt out,” Pettice said. “I love them though. I burnt out on them little devils.”
Pettice would like to earn a PhD and become a hospitality director in a university setting. In the meantime, he’s willing to explore his newfound Food Network niche. Ultimately, he’d like to feed celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
“I’ve been on TV twice,” Pettice said. “I want to try to steer that way now and see what can happen with TV.”