Friday, July 3, 2015

On 'Worst Cooks,' this Philly woman won't go all the way

Food Network contestant Muneerah Warner, 33, juggles two vocations - she is a funeral consultant (having previously worked as a funeral director) and a celibacy coach.

On 'Worst Cooks,' this Philly woman won't go all the way

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Philadelphians seem to have a pipeline into the casting folks for the Food Network reality series Worst Cooks in America, as kitchen disasters Jenny Cross, Matt Crespi, and Vinnie "The Crumb" Caligiuri got their time on the screen.

Season 5 premieres Monday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. with Northeast Philadelphia's Muneerah Warner among the cast of 14 competing for $25,000 and bragging rights.

Warner, 33, juggles two vocations - she is a funeral consultant (having previously worked as a funeral director) and a celibacy coach.

A celibacy coach? Usually you root for people to go all the way.

Abstinence, she explains, became an issue when she turned 30. "It became a shock to people," she said. "They want to hear my story."

She lives with her mother and - more important for the show - professes to be the worst cook in her family.

Warner, nominated by a cousin "who knows all the dangerous meals I prepared", cinched her spot on the show with her "specialty": spaghetti black bean casserole made of three different noodles, black beans and tomato.

Apparently, it browns and not in a good way.

She winds up on Bobby Flay's team, competing against Anne Burrell's squad.

The casserole may have been a dud, but it pales next to her worst kitchen goof, she explained.

That was a turkey she roasted.

Perhaps this is taking "The Joy of Cooking" too literally, but "I washed the turkey in dishwashing liquid and left all the stuff on the inside," Warner said, adding:

"We didn't get sick."

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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