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Tom Pizzica may have not won season six of The Next Food Network Star – but don’t go throwing a pity party. He received a pretty sweet consolation prize out of the ordeal - namely his own show.
When Outrageous Food premieres on the Food Network tomorrow night (10 p.m. ET), it's sure to deliver all sorts of unhinged, gravity-defying, exorbitant eats.
But first, a few ground rules on outrageousness from Mr. Pizzica:
Five Outrageous Food Memories: Tom Pizzica
1. Feast in Houston, Texas: The brined and fried pig face
The whole thing is brined for three days, then braised for a few hours. After it has cooled for 24 hours, they take thin slices of it and fry them on a flat-top griddle. When you eat it, the whole thing melts in your mouth and is unbelievably delicious. It's like the most outrageous bacon you've ever had. The recipe alone is outrageous, and for a pork lover like myself, I’m kind of jealous I never thought of it!"
2. My first Cadbury Easter egg
When I was about four years old, I saw a commercial for this brand new candy called a Cadbury Easter Egg, and absolutely had to have one! It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I mean it looks like an egg, complete with the whites and the yolk, but its chocolate and nougat!
I pleaded with my mother to buy me that egg to the point that I didn’t go to sleep. I just sat up and complained and cried until my mother put on her quilted vest (they were cool back then), drove to the store and bought me one. I must have fallen asleep while she was gone because the next flashbulb memory I have is of my mother coming onto my room (in her sweet vest) with a look of complete anger/defeat and told me I couldn’t eat it until the morning.
Well, I woke up at 6 a.m. to eat that sucker, and it was the most outrageous thing this 4-year-old had ever seen or put into his mouth! I couldn’t understand how they made it look so much like an egg and taste so sweet and delicious! I was hooked and to this day, it is an Easter tradition for me."
3. Cooking wild geese for hunters in Maryland
On one particular November weekend, my kitchen became full of wild geese that had been freshly hunted and plucked. There was this group of hunters who got together every year to hunt geese and ducks and they always stayed in the hotel. On the way out, they asked me if I would cook their game if they got any. I agreed but had never in my life cooked a goose nor did I worry because it was very dreary outside and didn’t think they would have any success. I was dead wrong.
These guys came back with bags and bags of geese that were still warm from being alive two hours ago! Yuck! So, not only did these guys expect dinner that night, but I had enough to feed them for two nights. I had no idea what I was going to prepare and I found the texture of the meat and the scrawny little bodies not appealing at all. I found myself doing everything to these geese! I confited, grilled, roasted, pan-seared, fried, brined, marinated, smoked - I mean everything I could think of. In the end the hunters were very pleased, or just very polite."
4. Outlaw Catering, Texas
The characters I was with were outrageous enough, but just being out there, in the pouring rain, making great food the same way they did in the days of the Pony Express was awesome. The whole time I felt like a kid with his first Cadbury Easter egg!"
5. Crisping duck confit in hot oil for 500 people
I had to come out guns blazing because there was a competition that was crowning the best taste of the town. What do I do? I thought that making my crispy duck confit with shaved Brussels sprouts and grapefruit marmalade would definitely be a winner. I was right - however, I didn't know what crisping 500 confited duck legs would entail. I will never try it again. I had a turkey fryer blazing at 450 degrees, and I spent five hours that day dipping duck legs into it trying not to burn my skin off and trying to keep the soft duck legs from falling apart. I accomplished one of those feats.
I have the crown but still have scars. It was so much fun but a completely outrageous way to try to make your mark on a small town."
Fancy a pig face? Got a over-the-top grubbing memory? Share with us in the comments.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.