Brian Malarkey Reveals How He Bombed His Food Network Star Audition - Exclusive

We all know this: Brian Malarkey is a showman like the earth is round, like 13 cupcakes makes a baker's dozen, like hot dogs are sandwiches (or are they?). You've laughed, oohed, and awed over him on "Top Chef," "The Taste," "Guy's Grocery Games," "Tournament of Champions," "Chopped," "Cutthroat Kitchen," or even the "The Real Housewives of Orange County." If you want to drink in every last drop that Brian Malarkey the TV personality has to give you, check out his full credits on IMDb. Turns out, the celebrity chef didn't even have to audition to get on "Top Chef." They just called him up, as he explained in an exclusive interview with Mashed

Malarkey told Mashed that he go the call to be on "Top Chef" shortly after bombing an actual audition, one — which if he'd nailed— would have landed him a spot on "The Next Food Network Star." "Some guy had won the first season. He had this blonde spiky hair and went on to do a couple of different TV shows," Malarkey recounted to Mashed. "I can't remember his name, but he drives around like Roadsters and travels to all these diners, and drive-ins, and dives. And I was like, 'Wow. That guy's killing it.'" So, when Season 3 rolled up, Malarkey sent in what he describes as a "silly video." The Food Network liked it enough to fly him out to New York for a formal audition. 

Brian Malarkey describes cooking in front of Bobby Flay

Brian Malarkey, who was a chef at the Oceanaire at the time, was pumped. "I was just so excited," the celebrity chef remembered to Mashed. "I was going, 'God, one day I want to be able to travel for my work. This is like the coolest thing ever, going to New York and having fun, eating in some nice restaurants.'" Then, he got to the audition itself, where he'd cook in front of Food Network executives, and Bobby Flay. "He was my James Beard at the time," Malarkey said. 

Things went downhill, fast. "I'm literally on a soundstage in Food Network," Malarkey described the fiasco. "And they're like, 'All right. Cook the dish for us, and tell us what you're cooking as you're cooking it. Right. Like explain it to us.'" Surprise! As Malarkey would quickly learn, cooking in front of cameras is not as easy as Giada De Laurentiis, Emeril Lagasse, or Nigella Lawson make it look. "I got befuddled. I got nervous," Malarkey remembered. "I was just like, 'Oh my God.' And I knew I had just done horribly on it. Right? I was like, 'Ugh.'" Malarkey got the news after he flew back home to California. "I got a call saying, 'Nah, we just don't think you're quite right for the show.' I was like, 'Oh, man. Well ... whatever. I'm still a good chef. I'm just going to give up on this whole public persona or this whole ambition of TV Chef.'"  

He didn't, of course, and you know how this story ends. Bobby Flay may have passed but "Top Chef" most certainly did not. 

Keep up with Brian Malarkey and his latest projects by visiting his website. Also, be sure to check out Chefs Life, Malarkey's new line of oils.