Domaine Javier proves Worst Cooks in America is empowering experience

Recruit Domaine Javier poses, as seen on Worst Cooks in America, Season 20. Courtesy Food Network
Recruit Domaine Javier poses, as seen on Worst Cooks in America, Season 20. Courtesy Food Network /

For Domaine Javier, Worst Cooks in America offers a new cooking perspective.

Both experienced cooks and people afraid of the stove enjoy watching Worst Cooks in America on Food Network. Domaine Javier has made quite an impression during Season 20. In a way, the nurse has brought some new life to the popular Food Network show.

Like any season of Worst Cooks, there are certain recruits that connect with Food Network fans. It could be a big personality, a unique culinary perspective or just a quick-witted comeback to Chef Anne that gets people to turn in week after week.

In the first episode, Domaine Javier made a big impression on Food Network fans. It might have been the preferred cooking protection or the snappy comebacks in the kitchen, but this recruit has been on fire in the first couple of episodes. As a member of Chef Anne Burrell’s Rockin’ Red Stars, this recruit has been heating up the kitchen, in a good way.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Domaine Javier about Worst Cooks in America, Filipino food and some cooking tips. The candid responses are what Food Network fans have come to expect.

When asked about being part of Chef Anne’s team, Domaine said, “I was absolutely gobsmacked when Chef Anne picked me for the Rockin’ Red Stars team, let alone be her FIRST pick! I must’ve done something very right (or very wrong) to have been bestowed the honor. I think she saw something in me culinary-wise that’s worth pursuing. After all, the final challenge is to cook a restaurant-quality, three-course meal for three esteemed food critics. Maybe she believed that I could go all the way and give her another crown.”

While each recruit has a variety of skills than can help in boot camp, it makes sense that Domaine’s training as a nurse could be an advantage. Even though dicing an onion is not as serious as a surgery, there are some skills that overlap.

Domaine said, “Chef Anne is notorious for being really puritanical about knife skills. A good nurse must be detail-oriented even in the craziest, busiest environment. Missing a tiny step can mean the difference between life or death for patients. I’m glad I’ve got that skill down, so I think that would bode well for me and aid me in learning how to triumph over Chef Anne’s knife skills demands.”

With more people discovering the joy of cooking, Worst Cooks can encourage even the most nervous cook to step into the kitchen. While that first step can be the hardest, Domaine encourages everyone to embrace the opportunity that is available.

Domaine said, “I always have to remind myself all the time that being afraid of things going wrong isn’t the way to make things go right. Same goes with the culinary world. Most people are paralyzed by fear of the kitchen. I was one of them scaredy-cats at one point. But last time I checked, we’re only humans. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least a hundred times more productive than just doing nothing. And usually, we just end up regretting the things we did not do far more than the things we did. So go ahead, face the kitchen. Cut a vegetable or two. Fry something. If someone like me can do it, trust me, you can.”

While no one expects any cook to magically create the perfect Michelin-Starred dinner at a drop of a hat, this Food Network show often brings different foods and cultures into the discussion. Right now, Filipino food is having a moment.

Since Domaine knows a little about Fiipiano food, I had to ask which Filpiano dish is a must try.

Domaine said, “Of all Filipino dishes, “Sisig” is the pearl of the Filipino cuisine, bar none. Anthony Bourdain once said that, “Sisig is everything I love about food.” He’s right. I personally believe that Sisig is the dish with a high-likelihood of persuading someone unfamiliar with the Filipino cuisine to consider and delve deeper. It’s usually made with pork (cooked three times — boiled, broiled, and grilled/fried causing it to be become both crispy and tender, then finely chopped), vinegar, salt, pepper, butter, chicken liver, and citrus, served on a sizzling plate and a side of steamed rice. Gawd, just thinking about it makes my mouth water!”

While Worst Cooks is a cooking show, it can be an open door to a bigger conversation. Domaine is a vocal member of the trans community. As people learn to listen, Domaine has a unique opportunity to be that voice that needs to be heard.

Domaine said, “Diversity, inclusion, visibility, and representation are very significant in today’s ever-changing media landscape. In the increasingly transphobic global political climate, I’m promoting all of these in the best way that I can to mobilize the transgender community against persecution. I’ve been subject to discrimination multiple times in my life, and I believe that it all stems out from the lack of education. We have tons of work that needs to be done, but I sincerely hope that my groundbreaking appearance in this show contributes to the cause. All the Twitter and Instagram reactions have been overwhelmingly positive thus far, so I feel like I’m somehow making an impact, and Food Network is definitely on the right track.”

Since food is a universal language, sometimes the kitchen can be that open door to start a conversation. Whether it is about being diverse or just embracing the opportunities that are available, listening and hearing all the voices across all communities is just the first step. Like a recipe the sum of all its ingredients, the world is only as flavorful as all of its diverse parts.

Of course, any conversation with a Worst Cooks recruit needs to address a cooking tip. Domaine did not shy away from this opportunity.

Domaine said, “I’m a Taurus. Aside from being stubborn, I crave creativity and I’m attracted to creative things. So learning about food presentation spoke to me and rifled deep into my soul. It’s an art form that takes years to master. And I’m happy that I’ve had a crash course taught by the experts during my time in the boot camp. After all, eating starts with the eyes, not with the mouth. A beautifully-plated food elevates the overall eating experience to a higher level.”

But, this Worst Cooks experience is not just limited to the lessons learned behind the stove. Domaine said, “Overall, life is a never-ending learning process. There’s a wealth of knowledge and skills out there that are yearning to be absorbed and digested. As the great Albert Einstein once said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Now, I’m not aspiring to be the next Einstein of the culinary world, but being a part of Worst Cooks in America, in so many ways, is definitely a step towards the right direction.”

Whether or not Domaine Javier earns the title in this Food Network competition is not the end of the story. For Domaine, the plate will be overflowing with opportunities.

Worst Cooks in America Season 20 airs on Food Network on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.

light. Related Story. Louisa Sharamatyan shares some simple cooking advice from boot camp

Who do you think will win Worst Cooks in America Season 20? What cooking skills have you learned by watching this Food Network show?