Rachael Vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off Interview with Helen Wilson

I'm a big cooking show fan. In fact, I've grown especially fond of the cooking competition shows that feature kid chefs in them. I'm always amazed at what these talented little people can do!

In the newest showcase of kid talent, Season 2 of "Rachael Vs. Guy: Kids Cook-off", kids are once again pitted against eachother as part of 2 teams -- one for Rachael Ray and one for Guy Fieri.  One of the kid contestants is a local gal, living in Omaha, Nebraska!

Helen Wilson, the upbeat, bright, and blue-haired mini chef featured in this new season started out episode one last week with her version of an award-winning chili.  She did very well, and followed up her performance with a complicated taco that the judges loved.

I had the chance to interview this sweet 12-year-old gal via phone, and she shared some of the behind-the-scenes excitement with me.

Q: At what age were you when you first started cooking at home?

A: I think I was around 8 or 9.

Q: What was the first food you liked to make?

A: Boxed mac and cheese.

Q:  What is your favorite thing to make now?

A: I really love baking more than cooking, actually.

Q: Is there a special recipe you've created or a dessert you make when you feel like baking?

A: I really enjoy making peanut butter cookies.

Q: Awesome. And do you have tips for cookies, because mine never quite come out. They're either really puffy or too hard.  Do you have any tricks?

A: Always keep an eye on the cookies, and make sure that they are only golden brown around the edges and that they're not completely dark brown.. or black.

Q: Is this your first time being on TV?

A: It is.

Q: Were you nervous or did you do anything to prepare? To get yourself ready? Or did you just walk into it?

A: My dad.. he gave me a poem called "The Man in the Arena". I read that every day....

Q: If a kid or a grownup decided that cooking was something that they wanted to get involved with, what's the first thing they should do, or what one piece of advice could you give to help them?

A: I think that they should just go for it. That's my advice: Go for it and try whatever you want to try. Be creative. Make sure that you aren't in a little box and that you're always looking out for new recipes. Don't limit yourself to one thing.

*Editor's Note: The poem Helen refers to, "The Man in the Arena" is a portion of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt: "Citizen in a Republic". The quote is as follows..
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
I think we know where Helen gets some of her spunk!

You can learn more about each kid contestant, including Helen, in their casting videos via Food Network.  The show airs Sundays at 8/7c on the Food Network.  You can follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #RvGKids.