Baton Rouge's Jay Ducote makes 'Food Network Star' finals, feels the love from fans on social media _lowres

Food Network photo by JEREMIAH ALLEY -- Chef Jay Ducote prepares soup using his sabotage element, a coffee pot, during an episode of Food Network's 'Cutthroat Kitchen' in July 2014.

Jay Ducote’s dream would be his own show on Food Network, but for now he’ll have to settle for cooking soup in a coffee pot.

That’s one of the “acts of sabotage” he’ll encounter Sunday night when he enters Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

The 32-year-old Baton Rouge chef, food blogger and radio show host is making his Food Network debut on a show he describes as a game show with cooking involved.

In its fourth season, the Alton Brown-hosted reality competition series has three chefs dealing with big obstacles and deliberate acts of obstruction in their quest for culinary supremacy.

“I had watched a handful of episodes,” Ducote says. “I knew the concept of it and how it works, you know, with the sabotages and the auctioning off of the different challenges and things.”

Having previously appeared on Fox, Destination America and Cooking Channel shows, casting producers with “Cutthroat Kitchen” contacted Ducote about auditioning.

Each chef is given $25,000 at the beginning of the episode, and may choose to hold on to it, or use it to bid on items which they can then force an opponent to use and still attempt to complete a challenge. How about making gnocchi with a potato masher taped to an arm, whipping up eggs Benedict on a camp stove, or that soup-in-a-coffee-pot predicament?

“It was a first,” Ducote says. “I had never done that before and I was pretty nervous about the amount of heat I could put on it without the glass shattering. I had to be pretty cautious with it.

“It was a real challenge, but also a really good time. And everybody that was on the show with me just went on there to have fun and knew not to take it too seriously,” Ducote says. “Everybody also knew that the best they could do would be limited by whatever challenges they threw at us. They put some pretty ridiculous challenges out there, so it was fun.

“I think it will make really entertaining television. I’m excited to get to see what it looks like on TV.”

Ducote says he interacted with host Brown a lot during the show’s taping in Los Angeles in April.

“Hopefully that actually makes it on to TV because I felt like we had some pretty funny exchanges.”

Ducote began his food blog at in 2009, adding a radio show by the same name in 2011. The radio show airs 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays on Talk 107.3 FM. Both the blog and the radio show have fueled his longtime passion for cooking, he says.

“I started to write about everything I was eating and everything I was drinking, and how our lives revolve around food, and the culture behind the food, and where the stories behind the food come from.”

A watching party for “Cutthroat Kitchen” starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Lock & Key Whiskey Bar, 5110 Corporate Blvd., Baton Rouge, and is open to the public.

“Cutthroat Kitchen” airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on Food Network (cable Channel 53 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette).