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Challenge: Next Food Club Star

Joanie Simon - Phoenix, AZ

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What do I love as much as cooking? Cooking on camera! It's my combined background in education and theater that make cooking on camera my favorite thing to do....EVER! My recipes are all thoroughly tested because I treasure the relationship with my viewers/readers and I want to make sure they can recreate everything they see on my channel/site in their own kitchens.

Want to see me in action? I have made 50 YouTube videos (all directed, prepped, lit, shot, photographed and edited by yours truly) since October which can all be found at But, if I would highlight one, it would be the one that I just posted today for my Skirt Steak with Chimicurri.

But, I don't always go it alone in the kitchen. Sometimes I include my little buddies (Blaise 4, Calvin 2) and show that cooking can be fun for everyone. They're both little hams, just like their parents. You can catch them and my amazing husband taste-testing my Deep Dish Spaghetti Pizza Pie at the end of this episode (at the 8:29 mark).

In terms of live TV, I have appeared on local morning television five times since October with two more appearances lined up in the next two weeks. My very first time on the air was in October doing three segments on Sonoran Living Live on ABC15 Arizona with the theme of 50s diner classics.

I have also been enlisted for a regular one hour segment on a local home-improvement show called Rosie on the House. I was on just this past Saturday talking about BBQ, smoking meats and how to make a homemade Shamrock Shake. I'm in segment 2, 3 and 4 here:

Can you tell that I love sharing my food? Getting the chance to share that love with the TODAY Show hosts would be a dream come true and the ultimate cherry on top of a life-changing year. What was so life changing? Last July, I publicly shared my struggles with alcoholism (original post that launched my site is here: and am thrilled to report as of next week I'll be hitting my 1 year sober-versary. March 23rd, wahoooo!!!! I also launched my site and my own business, quit the day job as a result (as the primary bread winner for our family of four, this was a little terrifying) and am successfully living a life of sobriety, self-employment and taking on life as a daily adventure. Food has been a huge part of my recovery and getting to share my story has been incredibly rewarding and motivating.

Thank you so much for your consideration in this opportunity and for supporting food bloggers. It's a vibrant community and great partners like TODAY help keep us all connected.


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