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Is Tiffany Michelle ‘Worst Cook’?

Michele E. Buttelman

Posted: February 24, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Tiffany Michelle of Newhall is a contestant on “Worst Cooks in America.” She competed on Bobby Flay’s team.

I watch a lot of reality television. In fact, I probably watch too much. I know, for example, that if you sign up to run "The Amazing Race" the first thing you need to do is to take lessons driving a manual transmission car.

If you are going to be the sole "Survivor" you need to learn how to make fire without flint or matches.

If you are going to compete on a cooking show you need to use salt.

One of the most entertaining shows on television is "Worst Cooks in America" on The Food Network.

Newhall's own Tiffany Michelle, a professional poker player and former contestant on "The Amazing Race" is now a contestant on "Worst Cooks."

What makes Michelle such an interesting contestant on this particular show is that her mother, Merry Graham, is a world class "best" cook. Graham has regularly contributed original recipes to The Signal's food pages and has won numerous national and international recipe contests.

"My mother is an amazing cook," said Michelle. "But I was the fourth of four kids and it seemed that everyone else learned to cook from my mother, except me. My mother is such a great cook, why would I ever attempt to do something that could never be as good as what she did?"

Michelle said her mother encouraged her to apply for the show.

"I was sitting next to my mom when we first saw this show," she said. "My sister and my mom both said, this is the show for you."

The show features two teams, one led by Bobby Flay and the other by two-time "Worst Cooks" champion teacher Anne Burrell. Michelle was chosen by Flay to be on his team.

"There are moments when I have to pinch myself and say, ‘Am I really standing here next to Bobby Flay and having him teach me to cook?'" she said.

Michelle said the experience has brought her closer with her mother. Cooking is now an activity they can share.

"I didn't expect to come home and love cooking," she said. "This show changed my life. Bobby Flay is a great teacher. I now eat better and I'm still learning."

"Worst Cooks in America" airs on The Food Network at 9 p.m. Sundays.


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