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Food Network Star Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Penny Davidi, season seven finalist of Food Network Star, is a 39 year old mother of two teenagers. She grew up learning the art of cooking from the women in her family and used this knowledge as a launching pad to fuse creativity and personality to develop her own innovative recipes. Raised in California, Penny franchised Pizza Rustica and opened a popular branch in Beverly Hills, which once earned the title of ???hottest pizza in town.???

Penny Davidi

I had a chance to speak with Penny Davidi on July 18, 2011 about appearing on and being eliminated from Food Network Star.

Question:
If you had the chance to do this whole experience all over again what, if anything, would you do anything differently?

Penny Davidi:
I think the one thing, the only thing I would change, would be to focus on what this competition was about and not allow some of the other contestants to get to me. I'd really keep my eye on the prize and not get distracted by them trying to throw me off my game. It is a competition, but obviously this is who I am around my family and friends, and we've created some amazing businesses not unlike my personality. I'd just like to keep it focused more on the personalities and less on the drama that went on around me.

Question:
What was the most surprising thing for you about this whole experience?

Penny Davidi:
The biggest surprise for me was how difficult of a competition this was. Obviously if it was easy everyone would be doing it. You need to be an authority and have your own identity of the food you are creating to make it far on the show.

Question:
What would you say stands out to you as a highlight of your experience on the show?

Penny Davidi:
The highlight of my experience on the show was on the 4th of July. It was an all-star challenge and people had to want to try your food. I had the busiest section of any of them and I took an all American holiday, and a meal for an all American holiday, and made an extra meal. People were so delighted to have that, getting to know me and all the food, getting to know where all the flavors and spices came from. Some of my competitors came into the kitchen with me and helped to roll out the kabobs,

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