Tregaye Fraser, the reigning winner of “Next Food Network Star,” gets her show and a chance to shine as part of “The Kitchen Sink,” premiering Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. Her co-hosts giving tips on everything from bacon-weaved pie crusts to homemade cookie waffle cones are restauranteur of “Top Chef” fame Spike Mendelsohn and Fanny Slater, formerly of “The Rachel Ray Show.”
“We make so much fun stuff,” says Fraser about the series that will also feature guests from other Food Network programs. “It’s going to be insane. We’re going to have a good time.”
The Atlanta native, who previously won “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Guy’s Grocery Games,” is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu with 16 years of cooking experience, 10 years of catering and a long resume of work in high-end, fine dining restaurants.
Fraser’s “Aha!” moment came as a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn when she was 15, thanks to a chef who allowed her to work in the kitchen.
“I wanted to be a brain surgeon for quite some time,” she admitted, “but once I got in that kitchen, that was me.”
While honing her craft at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Fraser even had a dish she created served to the President Barack Obama.
“I didn’t even know he was there,” she recalled of the duck confit ravioli with a béchamel sauce and cranberry relish made at her chef’s urging at the end of a long day. “I walked out and I mean I’ve never been at a loss for words. … I had nothing to say.”
Music plays an important role for this culinary artist who also has piano skills. You might say it’s in the blood as her father is a musician along with a granddad who performed with guitar great Jimi Hendrix.
Says Fraser: “I have to get hype when I’m in the kitchen. It could be anything from Migos to Chris Brown to 2 Chainz. If I’m feeling spiritual on a Sunday, I could listen to a little Kirk Franklin. I treat my music like my food. I cook with my emotion.”
The wife and mother of a 4-year-old has recently embraced pescetarianism and tries to work out regularly.
“I don’t have a twenty pack but I do stay active,” she offered as a secret to her beauty. “I just believe people [should not] look at food as a diet but a lifestyle. I detox once a month with juice for like four days with no food. That cleans your body out of all toxins. I take care of myself.”
Just don’t look for a restaurant soon. Fraser has done that for so many people and is not in a rush to open one for herself. The freedom of being a caterer and private chef, along with TV stardom is just too much fun for now.
“I learned I have the best job I the world,” she confessed. “I can wake up every day knowing I’m going to work. It’s never a sad day.”
CLIPPETTES: With his film “Moonlight” winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama), director Barry Jenkins is ramping up to adapt Colson Whitehead’s acclaimed novel, “The Underground Railroad” as a mini-series …
Jan. 13 is looking like Ladies Night with Betty Wright, Deniece Williams and Shirley Murdock together at the Redondo Beach PAC; while in town, The Carmen Lundy Quintet is celebrating the release of their new CD “Code Noir” with a show at Zipper Hall at The Colburn School …
Nelly, DMX, Too $hort, Cam’ron feat. Juelz Santana, Mack 10 and more headline The Rap Show at the Shrine Auditorium on Jan. 14 …
Woody Harrelson will direct and star in the first film to be shot and shown in real time, “Lost in London LIVE,” on Jan. 19 in U.S. movie theaters. Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson co-star in the story loosely based on a crazy night full of real-life events, to be followed by a live Q&A. Visit: www.FathomEvents.com for more.
TASTY QUIP: “I’m bored with Hollywood people of color saying Hollywood owes you something. Don’t nobody owe you nothing. I had to fight for everything from my very first movie on. No, you owe you something. Then you going to say, ‘Oh, Hollywood owes me awards.’ Huh? The fact that you want to do a movie for an award? Get out of here. It doesn’t even make sense. You call yourself an artist. Really? We don’t do it for the awards.” – LEE DANIELS on “CBS Sunday Morning”
TC ON TV: Jan. 13 – “The Rap Game” (Lifetime): Last season’s fan favorite Tally returns for redemption to battle it out against four new young rappers. Boss Jermaine Dupri has Da Brat, Bow Wow, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Jeezy, Jadakiss and Kelly Rowland giving guidance this go-round.
Jan. 14 – “Home Made Simple” (OWN): Lauren Makk (“FABLife”) joins this daytime show’s sixth season as a featured designer. “Queen Boss” (Centric): Tracey Edmonds hosts this competition awarding African-American female entrepreneurs. A panel of esteemed celebrity judges including Vanessa Simmons, Lauren Lake, Kandi Burruss, Carla Hall, Mikki Taylor and Lisa Price will ultimately select the winner.
Jan. 15 – “Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter” (Sundance): Directors Denzel Washington, Mira Nair, Oliver Stone, Mel Gibson and others discuss filmmaking. “Is O.J. Innocent? The Missing Evidence” (ID): Martin Sheen narrates this six-part docu-series. “The Simpsons” (FOX): Taraji P. Henson, Keegan-Michael Key, Snoop Dogg, RZA and Common add voices to “The Great Phatsby” – the series’ first-ever one-hour episode. “First Family of Hip Hop” (Bravo): Focuses on the kin of The Robinsons who put the genre on the map in the 70s with the famed Sugarhill Records.
Jan. 16 – “Howie Mandel All-Star Comedy Gala” (CW): The special features Jay Pharoah, Russell Peters and JB Smoove from Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Inventions” (Smithsonian): Electronic icon Moby joins legends like Martha Reeves to reveal how technology has revolutionized the music business.
Jan. 17 – “Ellen” (SYN): Kerry Washington, Corey Hawkins
TASTY QUIP: “For every one of US who has been touched by you and tasked with a choice between finding a way or walking away, I say we can and must do more. We cannot afford to live in a prolonged state of grief, but must remember that we have no choice but to dust ourselves off, wipe off our wounds and move beyond this barren state of shock.” – From TIP “T.I.” HARRIS’ Letter to Barack Obama
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.