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Next Food Network Star Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is a transcript of an Interview with with Paul Young on July 12, 2010 about the Food Network show Food Network Star.

Question:
How nerve-wracking was the live audience?

Paul Young:
The live audience wasn't as nerve-wracking as the other challenges for me personally, because I'm used to doing live demos since I'm an instructor. I enjoyed it, of course it's a littler nerve-wracking because everyone is in the lobby voting. But on a scale of 1-10 it's a 6 for nerve-wracking.

Question:
You didn't seem surprised when you were eliminated. Did you know? What was going through your head?

Paul Young:
I thought this past week was a very positive week for me. Being down in the bottom 3 yet again, I knew it was coming, I knew I was on the chopping block. It's really disappointing, and you ask, 'What could I have done differently?' At the end of the day you have to stop overanalyzing and asking those questions. But was I surprised? No.

Question:
You and Herb didn't get along during food truck challenge. What was the toughest aspect of the challenge?

Paul Young:
First of all you're cooking out of a lunch truck, so the room you're used to having isn't quite there. As far as Herb and I on a personal level, we get along great. Oven issues and space are what created the tension between us.

Question:
You seemed to be really enjoying having Paula Deen there. What was it like knowing that she would the one judging and tasting your food?

Paul Young:
It was great. It was such an honor and a privilege to meet her. Paula Deen is just an electric woman, you know when she's in a room. It was a touch nerve-wracking, but at the same time, she's somebody who's been through a lot in her life and just done it, so you know that she understands what you're going through right at that moment, to a certain extent at least. It certainly was an awesome feeling knowing she was going to be there.

Question:
If you were given another chance on the show, would you do anything differently this time, or would it have been exactly the same?

Paul Young:
Absolutely, of course I'd do things differently. I think the things I'd do differently would be just to really be myself a little bit more. One of the main problems with some of us on show is, you hold on to this opportunity so tight and you end up strangling it. I think I should've let myself go and been myself a bit more instead of trying to see what the judges wanted. That's something I would've changed, absolutely.

Question:
Looking forward, what's next for you?

Paul Young:
well, I am actually in the process of opening up a restaurant, I am the executive chef. Two partners are involved, and the name of the restaurant is Stubby's Pub and Grub. Very tongue-in-cheek type of place, you're supposed to kind of giggle when you hear the name. It's actually in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I've recently located here to open up this little endeavor and it's basically down home Americana, it's good ol' food which goes with my culinary point of view. Just kind of, blue-collar, good food done absolutely right every time.

Question:
You said you would like to show yourself more in the show. What would you like the audience to know about you?

Paul Young:
First and foremost, I'm not a rude guy. I believe that was said on one of the episodes. [laughs] What I think I'd want people to know about me, is that I'm a fun-loving guy, and if I'm making you laugh, then I'm having a good day. I love an audience, and I'm so serious about food. I'm so in love with it, it brings people together, it very rarely tears people apart. It's truly my passion in life, and I love to teach. I love to teach people how to cook, maybe give advice on how to make things better, and I also like to learn. If somebody knows something I don't, I love to just take that advice. I'm like a sponge, I just soak it up.

Question:
What's one of the greatest things you've learned from this experience?

Paul Young:
That is a great question. First and foremost, you never really know what you look like on camera until you're watching yourself on television. More than that is, go with the flow. It's great to focus and concentrate on a task, but things take you where they take you, at the end of the day it's not the end of the world. I think now I'm certainly a better person for being on that show, I'm a lot more focused on my food with a much more playful attitude.

Question:
You sort of struggled to find a point of view on the show. Why do you think that was?

Paul Young:
I don't think that I really struggled to find a point of view, I just think that my first culinary point of view wasn't really working, especially for the judges. So what I did was, I changed it. I wanted to tweak it a little bit, but at the end of the day, I think it was too little too late. I still stand by my culinary point of view. I'm still a good, down-home kid from Chicago that likes to take everyday ingredients and make them phenomenal.

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