Jan, 2 marks the premiere of Season 2 of the Food Network reality series Worst Cooks in America (9 p.m.).

Matt Crespi, 25, who grew up in Ambler, attended Germantown Academy and Penn, is one of the contestants. He juggled taping with his doctoral studies in public policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Crespi says he's cooking a lot more -- "a result of both my new skills and my current lack of a Wawa."

Q. Why did you apply to go on the show?
 
A. To be honest, I never wanted to be on television. All I wanted was free cooking classes from a celebrity chef, and this seemed like the best way to make that happen. Also, a shockingly (and more than a little depressingly) large number of my friends insisted I audition, and it makes for a great story.
 
Q. Describe your cooking ability before the show and after.

A. In the universe of my cooking ability, this show was the Big Bang. Before, there was a nothingness, so absolute it defies human comprehension. Afterward, there was something, a vast swirling expanse of exciting possibilities, though admittedly a little chaotic and perhaps still a few billion years away from intelligence.

Q. Has being a "bad" chef ever had a sad/funny consequence?
A. Has it ever. Here are a few of the stories that were included with my audition: I once went through (read: destroyed) most of a loaf of bread in an attempt to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. To this day I maintain it was trick peanut butter, and not actually spreadable. The first time I tried to cook salmon, I took a piece of salmon, put it on a frying pan, and held it over a burner. Eating that salmon out of principle marked a low point not only in my cooking career, but also my life. I once ate a chicken sandwich out of a vending machine that tasted better. (Years later, I found out you're supposed to preheat the pan and put something like oil on it. Who knew?) My brother told me I made sushi-grade fish taste like cat food, but I think he's just being kind because he's my brother. While baking a brownie recipe which included instructions to "fold chips into the batter," I laid out the batter, poured chocolate chips on half of it, picked up the other half and folded it over. When I couldn't get the viscous chocolate mixture off my hands, my roommate had to hold a cell phone up to my ear so I could ask the recipe's creator (my mother) what went wrong. Apparently "fold" is a metaphor.