SBA Trivia Question of the Day: Who on the Academy staff "sold her head" on eBay for $18,000 to help fund her (here comes the clue) cooking studies in Italy?
Answer: New Chef de cuisine Molly De Mers, and that's not the only thing you might find surprising about the cook who recently replaced long-time Academy Chef Tom Ameika in the Academy kitchen.
Chef Molly "After"
In addition to selling her head to GoldenPalacePoker.com (which used De Mers' shaved and tattooed dome as advertisement space), Molly recently auditioned for The Food Network's "Food Network Star." If her video audition wins, she will compete against other award-winning chefs for her own Food Network show.
"It started out as a joke among some friends - it was such a long shot - but I'm always entertaining with food and guests and so I said, 'Sure, I'll make a video,' and we made an (audition) video at the restaurant thinking we'd never get a call back saying they were interested."
She did get a call back, from HNE Reality TV, the front gate for all reality shows.
If she wins, Chef Molly says, "It could be totally life changing."
A graduate of Le Cordon Blue in Scottsdale, Arizona and last year's runner-up for Reno Chef of the Year, Chef Molly has cooked in Italy, Thailand, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Reno. She dreams one day of opening up her own restaurant in Reno, and is featured in this month's issue of Reno Magazine.
Reno Magazine, Oct., p. 21
If she fulfills her dream, Chef Molly says her restaurant will be built with an attached soup kitchen.
"I just feel if you can help, you should, and, if you need help, you should be able to get it."
Chef Molly has gotten a warm reception from Academy students, faculty and staff, who had been saddened by Chef Tom's departure.
"She makes exceptionally good food and always has a nice smile on her face," says 11th-grader Cassidy Cichowitz. "She is just a very nice person to walk into the kitchen and see."
Molly says that she is enjoying serving the Sugar Bowl Academy students and staff.
"I like it because kids are more honest than food critics. Food critics are nice to your face but then will rip you in their editorials. Kids are right up front about whether they like (the food you cook) or not. The kids totally ask questions, they get me excited about food again. I've been cooking for ten years and it's nice to be around people who get me excited about it again.
"Some people paint, some people sing, my creative outlet is cooking."