Mercer Island chef to appear on Food Network

Local chef and TV personality Jill Sharpe will appear on Guy's Grocery Games this Sunday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network. Sharpe is the chef and owner of The Lake Kitchen, her private cooking school in Mercer Island. She has also appeared on Fox Q13 Morning News and KING-5, sharing cooking tips and recipes.

"I always wanted to be on a cooking show," Sharpe said. "I had a friend who got an email about the casting call, and he thought I'd be good at it. I sent in a photo and my bio, and they called the next day."

On Guy's Grocery Games, host Guy Fieri sends four chefs running through the aisles in a grocery store cooking competition. The chefs are hit by challenges and must find workarounds when essential ingredients are suddenly "out-of-stock", or they can only cook with "5 items or less" or they are cooking on a $10 budget. Sharpe said it was a lot of fun.

"You get in a zone, so it was more stressful thinking what I'll be doing than actually doing it," she said. "You get a focus and just kind of go."

Sharpe, who has lived on Mercer Island her entire life, said she began cooking in high school when she did cheer at Mercer Island High School.

"I was a cheerleader and we would have cheer dinners, and my mom hates to cook," she said. "In order to have cheer dinners at my house, I was the one who had to cook. I started cooking then, and then I would get an allowance for cooking dinner."

Sharpe graduated from the Seattle Culinary Academy and then began the Lake Kitchen, where she said she taught people of all different ages and cooking backgrounds, ranging from twenty-somethings to grandparents. Now as a mother of two, Sharpe primarily shares her recipes and cooking tips through her appearances on TV and her blog at Sharpe said she still finds time to cook dinner almost every night, preparing the food when she has time with her "make ahead meals."

"It seems like it'd be easier to go out, but it's easier to be home and cook dinner than it is to go out with two young kids," she said.

Sharpe will watch her appearance on Guy's Grocery Games with her family and friends this weekend. After coming back from a recent trip to Hawaii, Sharpe is planning a Hawaiian-themed menu for Sunday's show, serving teriyaki chicken with lilikoi sauce, grilled pineapple and quinoa with roast macadamia and coconut.


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