Season Seven of the hit television series, Food Network STAR, premiered on June 5 and I got to spend it with finalist Penny Davidi herself at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood, CA. Known as, “the Food Network Star’s sexiest chef in stilettos,” Penny is in the running to prove to judges Bobby Flay, Bob Tuchman, Susie Fogelson, and Giada de Laurentiis that her charisma and talent are enough to win her the ultimate dream of having her own cooking show.
All it took was one step into the dimly-lit, elegant private room of BOA to be warmly greeted by every member of Penny’s immediate family. Her sister Sally, husband Allen, and mother Heidi were absolutely beaming with pride and excitement over Penny’s debut. They described Penny as a truly caring and hard working woman that is filled with a contagious passion, fire, and love of great food.
When Penny arrived at the event, the room was immediately filled with cheering and positive energy. A Los Angeles native, Penny is a restaurateur and successful franchise owner of the popular restaurant, Pizza Rustica, which she first opened in Beverly Hills, CA. Of Iranian-American decent and Jewish heritage, Penny has a spunk and attitude that did not go unnoticed in the first episode. Strutting on camera with her loud, cheetah print heels, she quickly commanded the presence of the camera.
Penny’s goal is to revolutionize the way Middle Eastern food is thought of by bringing it into the American kitchen. Her philosophy is that if you cook with love, you will produce a delicious meal. Although she has not attended culinary school, Penny is extremely confident in her cooking ability and believes that her lack of formal education enables her to think outside the box and enhance her creativity. She makes cooking a sensual, feisty experience and proves that you can be a working woman and a housewife… and look great doing both.
Penny is the mother of two daughters that she refers to as, “amazing divas.” Cooking is what brings them together and she is very excited to show America the benefits of authentic home cooking. Watch Food Network STAR every Sunday at 9pm on the Food Network.