David Rose Dishes On Food Network Star And Cooking With Bobby Flay - Exclusive

David Rose is the Executive Chef and spokesperson for Omaha Steaks, and the brand ambassador for Nissan USA and Big Green Egg. Growing up in a huge Jamaican family — the chef was the only one of eight siblings born in the U.S. — backyard barbecues were a way of life. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Rose revealed that he's been grilling since he was just six years old. "Dad was making grilled jerk chicken and he said, 'Don't burn the chicken,' handed me the tongs, and walked away. So when I say grilling and food and meat is my life, it literally is my life." 

You may recognize Rose from Season 13 of "Food Network Star." He'd been a fan of the show and thought "I could do that," but actually competing was a far different reality than he expected from watching it on TV. "Then you're actually in the thick of it," he told us, "and it's just the most crazy, random challenges, where they say you got to make a four to five-course meal, you have to use chocolate, a Slim Jim, saltines, and you have 10 minutes, and you're like, 'What? What do you do with that?'" Rose's skill, smarts, and perseverance paid off, because five contestants were eliminated before him on the season. But then, he had to go toe-to-toe with megastar Iron Chef Bobby Flay. "If I [had to] be eliminated, I wouldn't have picked a cooler way."

How David Rose competed against Bobby Flay

This particular episode of "Food Network Star" was "Beat Bobby Flay"-themed, and when Flay asked Rose what he wanted to cook, the chef was confident in his choice. "I've made shrimp and grits 1,000 times and tasted it probably 10,000 times." So shrimp and grits it was. In the heat of the competition, Flay asked to taste Rose's sauce. Rose was reluctant at first, but when a word-class chef like Bobby Flay asks to taste your sauce, "you let Bobby taste your sauce," says Rose. Flay was impressed with Rose's sauce and let Rose taste his in return. "I try his, he's like, 'How is it?' I'm like, 'Meh, it's okay.'" Rose thought he had the edge over Flay, at least flavor-wise, and the judges' positive feedback raised his hopes. But then he was shocked to hear his name called out: "David Rose, you got to go." Rose still isn't sure why he was eliminated. "I think I might've put microgreen salad on [the plate] with the dressing." In retrospect, the chef believes that if he left that one ingredient out, he might've gone further in the competition. 

Rose has no regrets about his "Food Network Star" journey. "It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience where I treasure the moments, I treasure the challenges, and I treasure the friends I made." He's especially fond of Giada De Laurentiis, who was generous with praise for Rose's cooking and helpful advice. "She's a well of information, very polished, great on-screen persona, and a great coach. So both Bobby and Giada are really amazing, [I] couldn't have asked for two better coaches." Rose is grateful for all of the opportunities that arose from "Food Network Star," and he'd like to close that career-changing chapter of his life. But there's one thing standing in his way. "If you see Bobby tell him I'm looking for my rematch because I need my revenge."

You can find more of David Rose's tricks and tips for grilling over at Omaha Steaks and follow his culinary adventures on his Instagram page.