RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond is becoming known around the country for its diverse group of celebrated restaurants and great chefs.
But a national television audience will soon know one of Richmond’s worst cooks.
His name is Matt Josephs.
The 35-year-old Philadelphia native is set to debut on Food Network’s primetime series Worst Cooks in America.
Josephs, a producer/fill-in host/jack of all trades at ESPN 950, said he was looking forward to his shot at reality television fame.
WTVR.com: Why did you decide to go on a national cooking show to prove your worth among the country’s worst cooks?
Matt Josephs: I love watching the Food Network and Worst Cooks in America in particular.
The problem is that when I watch these shows, I don’t actually understand what’s going on.
I figured I’d apply to Worst Cooks, thinking I wouldn’t get on.
The application process was tough, including the video I had to do to show just how bad I was.
WTVR.com: Are you really that bad in the kitchen?
Matt Josephs: I wouldn’t say I’m that bad in the kitchen, but it’s just that I don’t cook at all.
When you are single, it just doesn’t seem worth it to make an extensive meal for just yourself.
One time I had a woman over for a date and I tried making her something. The fire alarm went off and she went out the door too.
Before the show, my dinners consisted of take-out food, pasta, soup, or frozen foods.
Stuff that you could do very easily.
WTVR.com: Any kitchen horror stories?
Matt Josephs: This is loosely involved with cooking, but my freshman year at Syracuse University, I forgot to add water to my hot chocolate mix.
When I stuck the mug in the microwave, it set off the fire alarm.
I got to know my floor mates after that experience.
Thankfully though, I’ve never poisoned anyone or sent anyone to the hospital.
WTVR.com: We all know reality TV turns contestants into characters. Do you hope you become a worst cooks’ hero or villain?
Matt Josephs: I hope to become the hero of course.
One of the other reasons I joined the show was to help my love life.
Whether that means someone sees me on the show and falls in love OR my cooking helps a woman want to go out with me, it doesn’t matter.
WTVR.com: Win or lose, did you return to Richmond with a new set of cooking skills and respect for the men and women in the food service industry?
Matt Josephs: I returned to Richmond with the confidence to be able to follow a recipe and that I won’t poison anyone.
I have an understanding of the different flavors in the world that were previously unknown to me.
I’ve always had respect for the food service industry because before the show, they fed me quite a bit.
WTVR.com: What are your favorite places in town to eat?
Matt Josephs: Wing Zone, of course (Matt’s voices the “I Want Wing Zone” radio commercials).
Buz and Ned’s and Perly’s are also on my list.
I hope to try some more places in town eventually now that my flavor palette is bigger.
Worst Cooks in America, hosted by Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray, premieres Sunday, January 1, at 9 p.m. The contestant who makes the most impressive transformation is awarded a $25,000 grand prize.
In addition to Matt, other contestants include:
Adam Cooke (Rancho Cucamonga, California)
Laura Docker (Fort Worth, Texas)
Stephen Hawkins (Temecula, California)
Kayla Kurtz (Kent, Ohio)
Daniel Mar (Burbank, California)
Maria Marcello (Torrance, California)
Jake Michaels (Manteno, Illinois)
Cedrick Miller (El Paso, Texas)
Brittany Lenore (Chicago, Illinois)
Buffy Mykkanen (Portland, Oregon)
Ann Odogwu (Houston, Texas)
Jetta Linda Ostrofsky (Sacramento, California)
Mandy Thornton (Hanover, Massachusetts)
Lester Turchin (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Jeff West (Douglassville, Pennsylvania)