Grab a bacon-flavored donut and the remote; Daniel Knight of Blue Collar Joe’s will be on the Food Network.
The Daleville donut maker got word recently that he’s been invited to be one of four contestants on the network’s popular Food Network Challenge.
Knight will go to Denver next month to tape his episodes. First prize: $10,000, serious bragging rights — and a chance to become a celebrity. If you’re familiar with the “Ace of Cakes” show, this is where the cook Duff Goldman got his start.
Knight said the call from the Food Network “came out of the blue.” Producers had decided on a donut theme and searched the Internet for interesting contenders. “Our name kept coming up over and over again,” he said. When you do things like combine bacon and donuts, as Knight has, that tends to happen.
Knight said he had to send in an audition tape, so he called on Roanoke videographer David Hungate to videotape him answering questions about his store. “They wanted to see how comfortable I was on camera, make sure you’re not going to freeze up or wasn’t some complete troll, I guess.”
Then the formal invite came.
“Just being on it is winning enough,” Knight said. “Certainly I would love to walk away with a big check for $10,000 and I’m going there to win, but just being there is humbling.
“I’ve been open two years and we’ve gone from nothing to being on the Food Network’s most popular show. It’s mind-numbing.”
Knight doesn’t know yet what he’ll have to do on the show other than make donuts in some competitive way. Typically, contestants face off each each other in front of a live studio audience.
The hardest part won’t be the cooking, though. It’s the confidentality agreement, which means he won’t be able to reveal who won until the show airs sometime in 2011 — not even to his wife.
“I’m going to have to bite my tongue,” he said.
– Dwayne Yancey