Latter-day Saint mom Susie Bulloch made it all the way to the finale of Food Network’s newest barbecue-themed show, BBQ Brawl: Flay v Symon. That’s quite an accomplishment considering Bulloch considers herself a home chef who primarily cooks for her family and friends.
Bulloch’s years-long dream of getting on the Food Network was finally realized when she was selected to compete with seven other “pitmasters” on two teams—each selected by celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon.
“We certainly scoured the country for the best barbecue experts around,” Bobby Flay shared in an interview with Metro, “and we pulled from a pool of very decorated barbecue competitors.”
In a recent video with Susie Bulloch and her husband, Todd, she explains what it was like working with and learning from these two incredible chefs.
“One thing that was really exciting about this show was you got to see Bobby [Flay] and Michael [Symon] together. Their styles are so different and their personalities are so different. Michael was very . . . open, laid back. Bobby is a little more rigid and structured, but he was never demeaning or mean. If anything, he was incredibly nice, especially to me that was such a rookie and just starting out. He was so kind, truly.”
“Just the experience of cooking BBQ alongside this Iron Chef was life changing,” Bulloch shared via Instagram.
In the end, although she made it all the way to the finale (beating out barbecue experts from around the country), Bulloch ultimately didn’t take home first prize, which included her own Food Network digital series contract.
“Being my first ever time competing,” she explains, “to have made it to the finale is a huge testament to the amount of work I’ve been doing over the last several years.”
That work includes starting her own barbecuing blog, HeyGrillHey, which is due to bring in more than a million dollars this year. She and her husband, Todd, now work on the brand full-time.
But Bulloch’s not letting her second-place finish slow her down in the slightest. “I left it all on the table [at the finale] and cooked food that I am incredibly proud of,” she shares with her fans online. “If you wish I had won and got my own digital series, never fear! I already have one. Check out my YouTube Channel (just search Hey Grill Hey YouTube).”
In the end, Bulloch was proud to represent the home chefs who primarily cook for their families and loved ones: “I think, as part of this show, a lot of home cooks got to watch this. And they got to say ‘Oh, I relate to her. She cooks for her family. She cooks for people she loves. This is food that she makes, and I can make it too.’”
Try some of Susie's best grilling recipes here.
Preston Lee is a barbecue hobbyist who really wanted Susie to win the entire show. When he’s not grilling on his deck, he’s running Millo, a website helping freelancers find more work and charge what they’re worth.