Food blogger, radio host, culinary personality Hometown:Baton Rouge Age: 34
From his first talking head interview on Food Network Star, local foodie and culinary icon Jay Ducote became the fan favorite of the season. We already knew Ducote from his radio show and blog, but the rest of the country fell in love with our hometown chef for his Southern cooking, no-frills approach and warm bear hugs.
Though Ducote came just short of the prize on the most recent season of Food Network Star, it hasn’t slowed his momentum. He’s stayed busy hosting beer dinners, collaborating with local restaurants and bars for events, expanding his product line and maybe—just maybe—angling for that spot on the Food Network after all.
• Ducote finished as runner-up on the 2015 season of Food Network Star, earning the praises of celebrity judges Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis and filming his own Food Network pilot in New York City.
• Before Food Network Star, he competed on cooking competition shows MasterChef and Cutthroat Kitchen.
• He established a successful brand in Baton Rouge with the Bite and Booze blog and radio show, with nearly 7,000 likes on his personal Facebook page and more than 13,000 likes on the Bite and Booze Facebook page.
• He launched his own line of culinary products, including Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce, Blanc du Bois wine and Louisiana Molasses Mustard; nearly 30 retailers around the Baton Rouge area now carry his barbecue sauce.
His plans for 2016: “I just launched my Louisiana Molasses Mustard, and then I’m going to have my Spicy and Sweet Barbecue Dry Rub following right behind that. 2016 is going to be a big year for the continued growth of [the product line] and really having a stable of products to be promoting out there throughout the state, not just in the Baton Rouge market. That’s the big thing, continued growth for everything, including the blog and radio show. And I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that some TV opportunities are going to come my way.”
“My main man Jay Ducote was nothing but a class act during our time on Food Network Star. I truly believe the sky is the limit for him, because he’s just that talented.” —Food Network Star winner Eddie Jackson