Own your mistakes.

I am delighted with the finalists in the Next Food Network Star this season: Jeffrey Saad and Melissa d’Arabian. Congratulations! Very different from each other, but both have passion around food and helping others. I think either could pull it off. Jeffrey has a calmness and confidence about him. Melissa is self-proclaimed home cook that many working women will quickly find charming and helpful.

I am also glad to see Debbie Lee leave the competition this week and not make it into the finals. I am surprised she made it this far with such savvy personalities on the judging panel. It’s not her cooking (that seems to be great) or her point of view on food (Seoul to Soul is catchy). For me it is her lack of integrity. A few shows ago, she was in charge of getting food out of the kitchen for a large party in Miami. It wasn’t just that she only focused on her own food and wasn’t helpful to others. The bigger issues is that she didn’t own up to it in the end. When food was coming out slow for the guests and that became one of the biggest failures of the evening, she tried to cover up her role. At least according to what the cameras were showing. The very next week, when she didn’t include an ingredient in her final dish (capers) she had three different answers for Bobby Flay within 30 seconds (they are in the dressing; I didn’t have capers; and oh, I left them out). Wow!

As a producer of her potential future show, how would you know if she was telling the truth or the whole truth? I realize that I may not have the whole story and only saw what was on camera, but really! Do we want to promote those that aren’t able or willing to take responsibility when they mess up. This can lead to really disastrous results later not to mention ruin the morale of others on the team.

It takes courage to own up to your mistakes. I know. I have done this. And not in a sarcastic, blowing-it-off kind of way. I mean really saying your are sorry and find out how to make it right. Additionally, if you make a mistake, don’t look to others to blame. Own it. Learn. Grow. That’s what it’s all about. And that one reason why Melissa and Jeffrey will both be great in the final show. They have taken personal responsibility when they messed up (integrity) and because of that, they have learned from their mistakes to move into a new and exciting space. Bravo and good luck!