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Around The World In 80 Plates: Exclusive Interview with Winner Avery Pursell

Posted on 07/19/2012 by Gina in Around the World in 80 Plates and Cast Interviews

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Winner Avery Pursell from Around The World in 80 Plates

 

by Gina Scarpa

 

On last night's season finale of Around The World In 80 Plates, Avery's dish was named the best in Uruguay and for her prize, she was able to select her opponent for the final challenge in Los Angeles. She eliminated Nookie and took Liz to the finals, where the two created menus based on countries they had visited throughout the competition. The diners and judges decided that Avery's dishes were the best, was named the winner, and took home the $150,000 grand prize. We talked to her today in an exclusive interview about her time on the show and the sweet taste of victory.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What made you pick Around The World In 80 Plates to try out for?
A. Avery: Actually, it's funny. I was in the interview process for a few different shows. This one, I guess the main thing that got me was that the passport was required. The opportunity to possibly cook in all these different countries was super enticing.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Was there anyone, early on, that stood out to you as perhaps your biggest competition?
A. Avery: At first, I think I was pretty quiet and kind of laid back to see who I felt were the biggest competitors. I felt John was a huge competitor, Nookie is very talented, Nick and Jen are both super talented... but I felt John and Nookie were my biggest competition.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: In Uruguay, did you panic after you realized you couldn't make a seafood dish like you wanted?
A. Avery: Well, I knew from the other competitions that anything could happen. Keeping that in mind, I've been a catering chef for years and you always have to be on your toes. Crazy stuff happens! You have to be able to make quick decisions. Even though I wanted seafood, I knew that ultimately, I could go with chicken if I had to. The ingredients I chose could go both ways. I just personally find chicken boring. That was more what I was upset about.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: You and Nookie had a good relationship throughout your time on the show, then in the end, you eliminated him. Was that your plan all along, if you were given the opportunity?
A. Avery: No, not at all! I've been saying the entire time that I wanted to go up against the best. I still think he's a huge competitor but ultimately, I felt like I wanted it to be a cooking battle rather than about strategy. I know that was my final deciding factor.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What made you choose Nick and Jenna to work with over the others for your final challenge?
A. Avery: Like I said, Nick and Jenna are both great chefs. Although Jenna had a difficult personality, we worked really well together. It was whether or not I felt A) they had cooking ability and B) how they communicated. I really needed whoever was going to be on my team to communicate well and be open to listening to direction.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How did you feel about your final menu compared to Liz's at the time? Is there anything you would've done differently?
A. Avery: The thing was that Liz and I went in two different directions. She went contemporary and I stayed true to what we had been exposed to. In retrospect, I think it would've been better to put a twist on it. Being in LA, people are very critical and opinionated. I think they would've wanted more pizazz. More time would've been amazing!

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What's been the best part about winning?
A. Avery: I got so much fan love, it was amazing! I can't even... it's just surreal how many people said all these great things and complimented me as a person, a chef, and as a mother. Those are all very sensitive topics because I'm hard on myself and it gave me a boost of confidence. And then as a chef, getting first hand exposure to these cuisines was priceless.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Do you have anything big coming up?
A. Avery: Yeah! Actually, I have some pretty cool stuff but I don't wanna jinx it. I've worked with quite a few amazing people and got some opportunities to do more work, culinary production wise. I'm really excited about that. I wanna take a new twist or turn in my career. I'm still going to do my dinner parties.

 

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How can fans stay in touch with you and see what you're up to?
A. Avery: I do Facebook more than Twitter. I guess I'm old school. But I do Twitter too!

 


(Image courtesy of Bravo)

 


Follow Gina @ginascarpa


  

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