When she appears on tonight’s episode of Guy’s Grocery Games, local foodie Heather Johnson will be able to check “appearing on Food Network” off of her bucket list.
Johnson, who runs the website Food Hussy, joins three other “super fans” of restauranteur/GGG host Guy Fieri on the “Cooking the Books” episode, where they’ll have the chance to cook their favorite Fieri recipe for the man himself.
“I have watched Guy since he was on Food Network Star in 2006 and have followed his career ever since,” she says. “He’s a big personality but he’s also such a down-to-earth guy. He really has made it a mission to help chefs further their careers and get recognized.”
Johnson, who began blogging reviews of local restaurants in 2008 before switching to recipe creation, was selected through a casting and interview process similar to previous local chef contestants (and GGG winners) Christian Gill of Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey and Kayla Robison of Arnold’s Bar and Grill.
“I’m not a chef,” she explains. “I’m a home cook, so to be able to say that I was on the same show as them—it’s amazing! I know Christian and Kayla. I respect them so much. I’m also thrilled I wasn’t competing against them. They’d wipe the floor with me!”
On the episode, the super fans will play cooking games, including following a burger recipe with missing instructions. The participant who racks up the most delicious dishes will receive a cash prize and the chance to cook for Fieri.
“I can’t even express how thrilled, giddy, excited, and terrified I was,” says Johnson, who has been blogging full time since last summer. “Walking through Flavor Town and seeing the store…the most exciting part was having these chefs I’ve watched for years eat my food. I mean, Guy Fieri ate my food! It was crazy!”
Johnson says the most important lesson she took away from the appearance was to be confident in her cooking. “I was so intimidated by my competitors, but we were all in the same boat,” she adds. “But I have some skills and I can cook. It also helped me realize that I should just always be me.”
Her website bio says “ready for my future on The Food Network (someday),” but Johnson quipped that she won’t be satisfied with just this one GGG episode. “I have bigger goals but I can definitely check the box for the appearance,” she adds. “I still want more though.”
You can watch the episode of Guy’s Grocery Games featuring Johnson and other super fans tonight, Aug. 17, at 9 p.m. EST.