JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) — A Junction City woman is bringing home a big title after winning a Food Network game show.
You may have heard of the show Guys Grocery Games. Four chefs around the nation compete to win different challenges around a grocery store, hosted by Guy Fieri.
Kalecia Simmons is an Army veteran, mom of seven and a chef. Kalecia always loved to cook. She enrolled in culinary school in 2006, but not just any program: Le Cordon Bleu in New Hampshire.
“I love to see you eat great food,” Simmons said. “I want to make this and then watch you eat it. And the only people who get the joy in that is a chef.”
Her resume doesn’t stop there. After finishing school, she was determined to do even more. So she joined the Army in 2008, then the National Guard after that. Then in December of 2018, she, her husband and kids made their way to Junction City.
Last November, she got an unexpected call from the Food Network.
“And then immediately I’m like, ‘ok, can you please hold’?” Simmons said. “‘Yes how can I help you?’ And then they were like, ‘We’ve been seeing you through your social media. And we were really interested in seeing if you would be willing to come to film a military edition episode of guy’s grocery games.”
She packed her bags and made her way to California to compete on the Salute the Troops episode.
“I had no idea what to expect,” Simmons said. “I have never been on a national television show, especially not the food network. So I was nervous. But then again I was thinking, I got this. I can do this. This is my lane.”
And it was her lane, taking home the win and $20,000.
“I felt overwhelmingly proud to be able to go represent the Army, the military wives, African American women, minority businesses,” Simmons said. “For me, I just felt like, ‘ok, I’ve got a lot of hats to wear today, and I’ve got to show up and show out.'”
It’s a victory many people can look up to.
The last dish the chefs had to make was a victory meal. She and her partner John made a rib-eye, king crab and a deep-fried lobster with mashed potatoes and Bearnaise sauce.
Simmons was also pregnant with her 7th child while filming.