Now, YOU get to VOTE… Coley’s Episode 10 Recap!

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thank you to for making this!

HOLY MACKEREL! (coastal pun completely intended.) I MADE IT TO THE TOP 3!!!!!!

All I can say is, WOW! What a crazy, crazy ride this has been.

Getting up in front of iconic celebrity chefs plus 2.5 million viewers to essentially make a fool out of yourself in pursuit of a life long dream takes, well.. It takes some cojones. (wink wink, that was for you, Reuben!)

A cowboy, a texan, and Italian, and a Jersey girl. Source:

Cooking and presenting on a reality tv show is a world different from doing it in real life.

The idea of being vulnerable, in front of millions of people, on national TV… It’s scary.

And there were times when I totally let that fear get the better of me. Remember this precious moment?!

Howdy, y’all. Source:

But by the time I got to New York, I was just so sick and tired of being afraid.

My favorite quote of all time is this one from Eleanor Roosevelt:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Feeling inferior, just like being afraid, is a choice.

No one tells us to be afraid of heights, spiders, people, organ meats, or public speaking. We choose to do it ourselves, whether we realize it or not.

Hips jutting out, hands moving like crazy. Yep, classic Coley Source:

I had some rather irrational fears as a child, which you can read about in a post I wrote last October (killer recipe there, too!). But when you think about it, aren’t all fears irrational?

It’s scary having to make mistakes in front of the world, for everyone to see, judge, and ridicule. But I was tired of letting my fears consume me.  I made the choice to rise above, and just go for it. To just let go, relax, and be myself.

And guess what? It worked.

Top 3, baby!! Owwwwwwwlllllllllllllll!!!!! Source:

I’ve made a lot of mistakes – on this show, for sure – but also in real life. I mean, LOTS of them.

And really, who hasn’t?

But I’ve learned from those mistakes, and I’ve grown immensely as a result.

If we never made mistakes in life, would we ever learn anything at all?

Making mistakes is essentially how I taught myself to cook, and I always encourage new cooks to not be afraid of making mistakes. Chances are, if you make a mistake and royally screw up dinner, you will be SURE to never do it again. After hundreds of mistakes, just think about how great of a cook you’d be!

The way you squeeze those lemons, babe. Source:

Overall, I’m just really proud of how far I’ve come. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, I was down and out trying to find my way in the world.

During college, my mom was suffering with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and she passed away two weeks after my graduation, at only 48 years young.

I had no idea what to do with myself. I was completely lost.

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My Coastal Mama- see where I get my smile, and my love of seafood!

But Mom knew I had a profound love of food, and for Christmas the year before she died, she gave me one gift. It was the Culinary Institute of America text book, and she encouraged me to pursue my dream. I read that book cover to cover, and practiced the techniques at home. It took me a few years before I was able to muster up the courage to actually give cooking professionally a shot.

But one day, I decided to face my fear, and just go for it. And look at how far I’ve come.

Pilot, Possible! Source:

I can’t help but think about my Mom right now, and just how incredibly proud she would be.

She was the best, most loving, and supportive Mom you could ask for, and I’m so lucky to have had her in my life as long as I did. It’s crazy to think it’s been seven years since she’s been gone, but I feel her watching over me every day.

I have learned so much throughout this process, and I’ve grown immensely. For that experience alone, I am so grateful.

It isn’t over yet, but it’s out of my hands now. It’s now up to YOU, the viewers, to vote for who you want to be the winner.

And hopefully, that winner is ME!

Geaux Nicole and Geaux Tigers!

But first, we said goodbye this episode to my beautiful friend Sarah. She made a killer run on the show, and should be equally as proud to have finished where she did.

Sarah seems to have gotten more harsh criticism during our run on FNS than anyone else, so I’d just like to say for the record, that she is one pretty awesome chick. Sarah is a wife, an amazing mom to two adorable boys, a bubbly, fun person to be around, and one hell of a cook. This girl was a private chef for some pretty high profile celebrities, so you know she has some tricks up her sleeve.

Looking forward to reconnecting with Sarah and my 10 other new friends over salted caramel affogatos and cronuts this week during the finale. This girl loves to eat just as much as I do, and that’s precisely why I like her so much.

So long sweet Sarah. Source:

You can vote two ways, by going to  (Facebook log-in is required, I believe)

OR dial 855-547-8273.

Each way, you can vote up to 10 times a day, so if you have facebook AND a phone, that’s 20 times! Voting ends Wednesday August 6th at 11am, so get ’em in while you can!

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drawn by my amazing friend and comic artist, @Drewtoonz, follow him on Instagram for some laughs

And while your at it, share this with your cousins, your grandma, your best friend, your mom’s best friend, your dad’s drinking buddies, your annoying coworkers, your weird neighbors, your goofy uncle… even your exboyfriends!

I’ve got some tough competition, and can use all the votes I can get!

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drawn by my incredibly talented brother and comic book artist! That’s The Invisible Robot, his girlfriend Daisy, and Lady Robotta- aka ME- in the back!

Tune in next Sunday at the same time, same place, to see if I make it all the way! Food Network, 9pm/8c. Be there!

37 thoughts on “Now, YOU get to VOTE… Coley’s Episode 10 Recap!”

  1. As a Brigantine resident I know that I join the entire town in wishing you all the best. New Jersey is a good deal like Rodney Dangerfield – we get no respect. When you take the competition by storm, we’ll finally get some. Good luck.

  2. I just imagine myself singing in front of 10 people…All the stage frights I have. I remember being in army training situations where I was shy, fearful of giving orders, fearful of making a mistake. But when battle came I feel I was in control not fearful of failing (even though failing in combat could mean death). I learned to embrace my fears instead of letting my fears take control of me. If I make a mistake and I end up on a YouTube fail video…oh well! I look at it as now you have a blooper reel and just let your fears know you are still going to have fun!

  3. Your local library is showing you lots of love, Nicole! We put up a special display in your honor today – complete with voting info. Good luck!

  4. This one made me cry, Nicole. I’m sure your Mom is beaming from heaven…before the show and well after too.
    God bless you and your future successes.

  5. Best of Luck NICOLE! You’ve got my.votes. I too am a Brigantine resident. In your blog, the part about your Mom hit home as I too have been diagnosed with ALS. Missed seeing you at the Farmers Market but so hope to meet you someday.

    1. Wow, Pat, thank you so much for reaching out and telling me about your ALS. I am so sorry to hear about that, it is a miserable disease. I would love to meet you some day, too! Hope to get to the farmers market this weekend if I am back in town!

      1. Thanks for your reply Nicole. Voting every day for you. You really have earned and deserve your own food network show. Recently learned we have many mutual friends. Good Luck to you.

  6. You deserve to win this because you ARE the best finalist!
    I’ve watched you from Day One this season. When you introduced yourself to the crowd in the beginning, unpretentious, well-spoken and immediate good impression. When everyone “walked Alton through cooking” you were confident, warm and made good sense. Your point of view is excellent. Coastal Cuisine offers a whole new untapped world of delicious-ness on the Food Network. We need a show featuring flavorful seafoods, shellfish, etc. and you are a superb one to do it. You also offer an Italian cooking background, culinary knowledge and a knowledge of Jersey area veggies/produce. Great variety. The camera luvs ya, too. (very nice pics in this Blog). What’s not to love?

    Your Mom must be looking from above and being very proud of you. So am I. So are your fans. You’ve earned it! How? Through consistent, tasty cooking, clear teaching and a very welcome “warm informal-ness”.

    The number to vote for you is in a FNS Star blog thread. And has been retweeted. I believe in you, your POV, and your good work. I really hope you are the Next Food Network Star. I’ve done all I can..posting..tweeting, and hope I have persuaded some other bloggers/readers by giving honest & specific reasons why you are better than the rest, to win. But now, it’s up to all of the voters. Wishing you a happy Victory but no matter how it goes, you’re the real winner in my book. All the best! –Crouton40 (James), creator of 🙂

    1. thank you so much, crouton, for your support not only now, but all season! It truly means so much to have such kind and genuine words coming from a complete stranger. Although, I do feel we are friends now! Hope to someday get to meet the infamous stale piece of bread!

      1. How sweet. Thank you. “Infamous stale piece of bread” lol, gotta luv it. Meeting you someday would be awesome! But I have no idea how. I’m hundreds of miles away in vancouver, washington. I’m still on Twitter. If I’ve helped get you more votes, I’m happy. Speaking of that, it’s time to vote for you again.

  7. You’ve been my favorite since the beginning. You seem so genuine– like someone I would love to drink beers and make some snacks with! Especially as a Bostonian in Los Angeles- please show the rest of America why the coasts eat so well! I’d almost forgotten you aren’t formally trained (the blog title is awesome) as your food always looks so polished. Your mom is most definitely watching over you and, I’m sure, beaming with pride. I’ll be voting!! Good luck!

    1. aww, thank you so much!!! If when I’m back in LA, we should totally meet up for beers and snacks! I’m mostly self taught, but took one semester of culinary school for sanitation cred and to brush up on the basics. And you know I’ve got a tonnnn of family from the Boston area (Gloucester, where my mom was born), so I’m sure we’d get along!

      1. I have exhausted my ten votes a day on all devices (mobile, tablet, laptop… you know!) and am pulling for you.

        I wanted to say this in my original comment but couldn’t find the words– I’m home in Boston… my mom had a stroke last month and is fighting to pull through right now. This post made me cry as it shows just how much your mom impacted your career choice and your disposition in general. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through in the past few years but I’m sure it made you a very strong and determined person.

        I’ll be following you whether you win or not– but I REALLY HOPE it’s on my TV screen. Go Coley Go!

  8. Thank you for supporting the Brigantine Farmers Market. We are all backing you on the show. It is a shame you could not have worked the Kale spinning into the show. Keep shopping. Voted today and will vote tomorrow. Keep smiling.

  9. You and Sarah have been my favorites. I was pretty sad to see her go. Are you only going to cook seafood? Cause I have an allergy to crustaceans so I might not be able to cook what you do. I need to know before I vote- but you will still be my favorite no matter what you cook!! ;D

  10. I have been watching this whole series and just found out tonight that you are Grace’s daughter. I went to school with your Mom, she was a wonderful, kind, beautiful person. Best of Luck to you in the finale next week I will be watching and rooting for you.
    Barbara Sheets

  11. Well, all out of phone numbers and facebook accounts, now voting is closed. You have the skills and capability to go far.
    Here’s hoping I get to watch a full season of Coastal cooking!

    1. Absolutely! I tried for over an hour and a half this morning to vote–again. Constant busy signals. I’m hoping this means the Votes are pouring in like a giant waterfall!

      The discussion is fierce, and even heated at: in at least the most recent 4 blog-threads. But Coley has people rooting, and posting, for her. I think Lenny fans are running scared and a few are getting ugly about things. Not that much is being written about Luca. Lenny posts are getting alot of “thumbs-down” and Pro-Nicole posts seem to be getting many good Plusses/thumbs-up. Going by the discussions, it’s a good sign. I hope the voting reflects most of the blog-posts. Crossing my fingers big-time. America needs a show like Nicole’s.

  12. I voted by phone and on the FNS voting button. Thanks for posting Your phone # to call, it made it easier and I knew my votes were cast for the correct finalist . I loved your Pilot, it was The Best. It will knock the socks off of the entire selection committee! I’m looking forward to Alton eating his cruel words about you on his judges blog’s video (your lack of camera presence? and POV?) on the Finale on Sunday. I hope and pray that you are the winner! Can you share any interesting tidbits about the Finale taping yesterday with us? Thanks!

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