Studio 5 catches up with Utah's Food Network finalist 1 year later

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It has been one year since 24-year-old Ogden resident Kelsey Nixon became one of the finalists on the reality show "The Next Food Network Star," but the show was only the beginning.

For Nixon, a chance to be named the next Food Network star was the beginning of the culinary career she dreamed of.

"It was quite the journey. It was unbelievable. It was a wonderful feeling and accomplishment to have set out to be on the show and actually get there, and then have some success," Nixon said.

Although she didn't take the title, she did make it to the top four and was voted the National Fan Favorite, an honor she credits to her Utah fan base.

"My fans in Utah were unbelievable. I mean, this state gets behind its own like nothing I've ever seen before," she said.

With the reality show came a flurry of media attention, even an appearance on the Rachel Ray show.

She now directs the test kitchen for local restraint Cafe Zupas, working with other chefs to develop new recipes.

"I've really entered the restaurant realm of it. I've never really wanted to work nights, weekends, holidays, but I've been very interested in recipe development and kind of taken an innovative approach to restaurants," Nixon said.

She also oversees the restaurant's daily food blog but plans to keep pursuing her personal passion, which is to inspire the home cook -- all this while trying to find time to cook in her home.

"Do I get sick of cooking? Yes I do. I would be non-human if I answered otherwise. I'm not going to lie, my sweet new husband he eats Little Caesar's once a week and sometimes eats cold cereal for dinner because when you've been cooking all day, that's just what happens. Do I still love cooking and is it my passion? Yes," she said.

So what's next for Nixon? Thursday morning she will stop by Studio 5 to fill us in on her latest adventure, and she'll bring a taste of the Food Network Show to our kitchen by showing us how to make three different recipes using the same ingredient.


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Brooke Walker


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