Reuben Ruiz: Miami's Own Food Network Star
Bobby Flay. Giada De Laurentiis. Guy Fieri. They're just a few of the chefs and hosts who have worked their way into the kitchens of America through their entertaining shows on Food Network.
Courtesy of Food Network Reuben Ruiz: The next Food Network star?
A coveted hosting gig is the aspiration of many young chefs and cooks who dream of being behind the stove and in front of the camera. The question they often ask is, "How on Earth do you get that one big break?" For some Food Network stars, that break began with a televised cooking competition on (you guessed it) Food Network.
See also: Food Network Filming New Show in Miami
Food Network Star, the show that searches for a "Food Network Star," launched the careers of Jeff Mauro, Melissa d'Arabian, and none other than Guy Fieri. It's back, beginning Sunday, June 1, at 9 p.m., with a dozen new contestants vying for the top prize -- their own TV show. This time, Miami has someone to root for. Among the contestants is Reuben Ruiz, a restaurant owner from Miami who has wanted to be a part of the culinary cable channel since childhood. Ruiz is competing for the title of Food Network Star and the opportunity to have his very own show.
Ruiz recently spoke with New Times about his journey.
New Times: Contestants come from all walks of life -- writers, chefs, restaurateurs, home cooks. Where do you fit in?
Reuben Ruiz: First off, I'm a happy resident of Miami, and I have a liquor store and restaurant in Miami Springs called Airport Cafe and Liquors. We make Colombian and Cuban food and a few Central American plates as well.
Why did you decide to compete on Food Network Star?
This has been a big goal and dream of mine. I've been watching the chefs cooking on Food Network since I was 10. I would watch Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali and see them happy and living life to the fullest... and they were overweight. I guess that struck a chord in me because I always had issues with my own weight.
I struggled with my weight my whole childhood. When I was about 20 years old, I weighed 280 pounds and wore a size 46. Being a very chubby person, it's very hard to establish relationships with anyone.