Sydney McCoy is no stranger to cooking on television. A year ago, the 12-year-old Apex girl won a contest to appear on the “Rachael Ray” show and cooked alongside the Food Network star.
But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t apprehensive about her latest television appearance. Sydney is one of eight children who will compete on a new show, “Rachael v. Guy: Kids Cook-Off,” which premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on the Food Network.
Earlier this summer, Sydney learned that she was one of the finalists. “I was really excited,” Sydney said in a phone interview last week. “I was really nervous.”
Sydney and her mom, Hazel, traveled to Los Angeles for the two weeks of filming in early August.
The children were divided into two teams, headed by celebrity chefs Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri. The children’s teams competed in a series of challenges testing their culinary knowledge. There were pop quizzes and classroom sessions with Ray and Fieri all building toward a cook-off. A panel of celebrity judges – chef Richard Blais, chef Duff Goldman, actress Jennie Garth of “Beverly Hills, 90210” and actress Marion Ross of “Happy Days – tasted the children’s dishes and gave them a grade. The child with the highest overall score will win a Web series on FoodNetwork.com.
Sydney said she loved being on set, meeting Ray, Fieri and the celebrity judges and getting to know her fellow competitors. From McCoy’s description, the experience was more like summer camp than a trash-talking culinary battle. “All the kids are really talented and so nice,” she said.
McCoy, who attends Salem Middle School, has been cooking since she was about 4 years old and loves watching cooking shows on the Food Network with her mother. She already produces an online cooking show called “At Home With Sydney,” which appears on YouTube. She loves to cook creme brulee, a classic custard with a shell of caramelized sugar on top. Asked why it is her favorite, she said, “I get to use my flame torch.”
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