The Hardest Challenges For Damaris Phillips To Judge On Guy's Grocery Games

Damaris Phillips has come a long way since her win on Food Network Star (via Food Network). According to her website bio, since taking the trophy in 2013, the former culinary school instructor from Kentucky hosts her own shows, including "Southern & Hungry" with Rutledge Wood and "The Bobby and Damaris Show" with Bobby Flay, and has even written her own cookbook, "Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy", which she released in 2017. And from being judged to judging others, Damaris serves on the judging panel for a variety of food competitions, including "Guy's Grocery Games," "Cooks vs. Cons," "Bakers vs. Fakers," "Celebrity Food Fight," and more.

Another Food Network show, "Guy's Grocery Games," features chefs who are presented with various cooking challenges, all within the confines of a grocery store. And as a regular judge, Phillips gets a front-row seat to the charisma and the chaos. Of course the challenges are never very easy, but what challenge of the game does she find is hardest to judge?

Bringing the fire

As with any cooking competition, while the contestants may be highly skilled, some of the games they have to play and hoops they have to jump through make it nearly impossible to serve a dish that wows. And according to Damaris Phillips, that is what makes or breaks a challenge because, while most dishes are delicious, some are not quite as fun to judge. 

She spoke to Insider, telling them that "The hot competitions can get a little aggressive" — foods with flavors chosen to be extra hot. As she notes, "So on 'Guy's Grocery Games,' every now and again, they'll do 'heat masters' and you're supposed to bring the fire and sometimes those ultra-spicy dishes are so spicy that your palate is blown out and your tongue is tingly and numb." In a competition focused on fire, how do you tame your taste enough that it meets the criteria without messing with the judges' tastebuds? One more challenge to meet, perhaps.