Kayla Robison, a 2008 Grand Forks Central High School graduate, is expected to appear as a contestant on an “all-winners” episode of the Food Channel’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5.
The program will feature chefs who are considered “favorite winners” from past shows, Robison said.
Robison was the winner of “Guy’s Grocery Games” in October, beating three other chefs to win the $20,000 prize.
She is making her second appearance on the show, which challenges chefs to prepare a dish or a meal that uses specific ingredients or meets certain criteria. They must find and buy ingredients and prepare their food items within a set time frame.
The show is “basically four chefs battling it out for $20,000 -- so it’s the champions round,” she said. “The games are always different and the theme’s always different, but the concept is still the same.”
The show starts with four “winner-chefs” and one is eliminated by a panel of judges at the end of each round.
The program that airs Wednesday was taped in October, shortly after her first experience on “Guy’s Grocery Games,” said Robison, noting that “it was good” to be back on the program.
“I was exhausted after the first one,” she said, “and was overwhelmed, at first, at the thought of having to go through all of it again, because it was hard and with the anxiety and all that -- and I was on a high from winning -- so I was nervous to go back.”
She was concerned, too, about taking more days off from work, said Robison, who is the executive chef at Arnold’s Bar and Grill in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“It was an amazing and humbling feeling to be considered one of their favorite winners,” said Robison, who worked in several Grand Forks restaurants, including the Royal Fork, Italian Moon and Applebee’s, before moving to Cincinnati in 2011 to attend culinary school.
“And to be up against even more challenging chefs, that was so cool.”
Robison has also appeared on TV shows, including “Man versus Food” and “Cheap Eats,” but none was quite as “nerve-wracking” as her guest appearance on NBC’s “The Today Show,” which aired live Thanksgiving Day and featured celebrity chef, Anne Burrell, she said. Burrell is co-host of the Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.”
“I was representing North Dakota, and I made a tater tot hotdish.”
She represented North Dakota, not Ohio, because she grew up in the state, she said.
Among the 50 chefs who were highlighted -- one from each state -- she was one of only six who spoke during the segment, “with half of America watching,” she said.
Robison, the daughter of Lisa and Greg Sheard, of Grand Forks, said she cannot say too much about the show before it airs Wednesday, because the show’s producers forbid it.
Robison, who lives in Cincinnati with her daughter, Dre, 9, has used her winnings from her first appearance on “Guy’s Grocery Games” to pay off debt and to support family members in need.
She is also planning to take an aunt to Paris and her immediate family to Disneyland, she said.