If You Can’t Take the Heat… Coley’s Episode 9 Recap

Rachael’s the boss, but I brought the hot sauce. Source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

We started in LA, then conquered Vegas, and now it’s on to the Big Apple. This competition has taken me to a lot of places, but it’s great to finally be back on the east coast.

When we arrived in New York, I stepped off the plane and took a deep breath of the brisk, humid air. I immediately felt like I was home, and boy did it feel good.

First order of business: Eat more ice cream.

I’m noticing a trend in this competition lately, and I like it. I am totally cool with starting each day with ice cream.

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This milkshake brought all the boys to the yard. Source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

The ice cream at Ronnybrook Milk Bar is a bargain compared to the last sundae I ate. But to tell ya the truth, this stuff actually tasted a little better. Maybe it’s because of the locally sourced dairy and fresh ingredients. But the fact is, the flavor of a creamsicle will beat out the flavor of edible gold leaf any day.

To my surprise, both Bobby and Giada had never heard of Philadelphia style ice cream before (Alton, of course, had).  How cool to be able to teach these cats something new! I actually hadn’t heard the term until I got really into ice cream making a few years ago.

See, I do this thing when I get obsessed with a certain ingredient or food. I’ll go through a period where I become completely consumed with learning about, creating and eating it. It’s happened with pizza, tomatoes, waffles, pad Thai, blts, browines, gnocchi, clafoutis, ravioli, chocolate chip cookies, pies, gratins, kale, seriously, the list goes on and on…

When I was going through my ice cream phase (which, lets face it, I’m still in), I learned that the two main types of ice cream were custard style and Philadelphia style. Philly style means there’s just cream, milk, sugar and flavorings. That’s it.  Custard style includes all of the same stuff, plus the addition of egg yolks. Because, you know, custard has eggs. Gelato, in case you were wondering, is usually made with even more yolks, and has a higher ratio of milk to cream.

Luckily, my goofy food obsession actually helped me win this challenge, giving me an “advantage” in the next one. And that next one, was something I never saw coming: The Rachael freaking Ray show!!

Hey, Rachael, Heeyyyyy! source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

Rachael Ray, like her or not, is an inspiration to anyone wanting to become the next Food Network Star. I always love hearing about people who come from nothing, make themselves into something, and continue to be kind-hearted and generous people. That’s what I always hear about Rachael. She is an absolute pro at what she does, and her poise and humility are something I try to emulate in my life.

I watched Rachael on the Food Network with my mom back when I was in high school. She taught me so many unique little tricks and tips. My grandfather was a big fan of her’s too, and one year he gave me a 30 Minute Meals cook book for Christmas.

I miss Pop-Pop Genovese AND his pizzas

Actually, I’m pretty sure it was a regift. As much as he liked her, he just wasn’t the type to ever use a cookbook.

Anyway, he wanted me to have it because he saw my excitement for food, and wanted to encourage me to cook as much as possible. I remember him telling me one day that I could grow up to be the next Rachael Ray.

So to be here, in the final four on Food Network Star, is just…

Man, it’s just really crazy.

“I’m really not sure why she would give sriracha sauce to a baby?” Source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

But lately I seem to be on this roll where I have a  pretty decent performance and the judges like my food, but then I make some boneheaded move to mess it all up.

When I found out we would be making dishes to help out families, my first thought was, “Oh, we’re cooking for kids? Perfect. I can poison the little ones with a fiery hot sauce. Maybe, just maybe, one will even spit it out!!”

Thank you @MaryMcG257 for making this .gif, so I can relive this moment over, and over again forever.

No! Come on, that wasn’t what I was really thinking!

What I was thinking, was about how Bethann is exactly like all the moms that come to me for help. They want easy, fun, healthy meals, that will be something both parents and kids can enjoy. Which is exactly why my lettuce wraps have become my most popular dish!

Now, I know better than to serve sriracha to a two year old. The sauce is actually meant to be served on the side, which I mention in the full video on Rachael’s site.

my signature “large mouth bass” face. Source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

Yet as a result, the dish had a little kick, and both Rachel and Giada said it wasn’t right for the Flagg family.

Womp! Womp!

But, after stumbling upon this comment, from Mama Flagg herself, on the Food Network Star Blog (umm, yep. I totally read that), I’m not so sure I agree.


My was the Mom of the Flaggs. I want to just say to Nicole, the spicyness for my 2yr old of course didn’t work well, but if they moved the camera over to my 5yr old. He REALLY LIKED it. He likes when I put spicy mustard on his cheese sandwiches and hamburgers. My husband and I loved the dish and I will try it at home, I’ll just keep the spicy stuff out for my yongest.

I was so happy to read this, because I honestly thought I had not only given them a crap solution to their problem, but also killed their poor baby’s taste buds. And while the latter may have been true, I’m really stoked to hear they actually liked the dish enough to want to recreate it at home.

All in all, I’m happy with my performance and the dish I made. It was an absolute honor to be able to cook for such a sweet family on such a highly acclaimed show, and with such a big Food Network Star!

In the hot seat. Source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

But once again, someone had to be sent home this week, and as usual, it was emotional.

What can I say, except, dang?!

Loreal is a force to be reckoned with. She’s chock full of personality, and is an artist both in and out of the kitchen. Loreal is an old soul with a child’s spirit, and even though she puts on a “tough girl” act, she is really just a sweet, vulnerable little lady inside. Loreal is always going to be who Loreal wants to be, whether you like it or not. And that has inspired me to try to ease up a little and try to show more of my true self to the world.

The Butcher Babe in her natural habitat. Source: http://bit.ly/1uLfmdI

Be sure to tune in to next week’s episode, when 3 contestants  move on to create a PILOT for their own show!

And then YOU, the viewer, will get a chance to VOTE for who you want to be THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR!

You don’t want to miss it!

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We were greeted in NYC by Kenny, who took us on an EPIC walking food tour of the east village

Read Loreal’s Exit Interview

Vote for me for Fan Favorite!

Top moments from this Episode

Watch a video recap of Episode 9 and a sneak peak of Episode 10!

Read Season 8 winner Justin Warner’s Rebel Recap

Viewing Party with the Genovese and Curcuru Cousins- so much fun!!

8 thoughts on “If You Can’t Take the Heat… Coley’s Episode 9 Recap”

  1. You are going to win. Good post. Also, I have a lot of problems and now that I know you solve them you can expect me to start posting them in here, probably. Not all are food-related. I mean a LOT of problems.

  2. I went to high school with your mother-in-law. I’ve been watching every week I feel like I know you personally. I’m hoping you win.
    Good luck!

  3. Hi Nicole, I really enjoyed watching your Full Video on Rachael’s show last week! The Flagg’s seemed pleased and I was thrilled that Bethann (the mother) posted on the FN blogs. When many of us saw her post and the truth was revealed, I sighed with relief… I was very upset and quite shocked that FNS edited out almost 2-1/2 minutes (the real “meat” of your presentation) of your video on Sunday night’s show, which made your dish appear to be a failure (when it wasn’t) and their ending focused on the 2 yr. old spitting out his bite for an extraordinarily long time. Can you shed some light on the over-editing by the FNS editors? Most of us on the blogs are confused with the negative light in which they have chosen to place many the finalists (2 weeks ago it was Emma and last week it was you). Thanks so much!

    You have many supporters on the blogs and we are rooting for you to be the next FNS! I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s show with Robert Irvine at the helm! May “Coley’s Coastal Cuisine” reign Supreme!

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