Brundidge native earns spot on TV show

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brundidge native Marley Harbuck Gibson will appear on the TV Food Network’s Cooks vs. Cons at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Gibson is the bestselling author of more than 20 books in adult contemporary romance fiction, young adult and non-fiction.

“I’m super-psyched that I’ll be on Cooks vs. Cons Wednesday night,” Gibson said. “Anyone who has read my books and knows me knows that I’m a huge foodie and a closet gourmet chef. This is a great opportunity to test my culinary skills against three tough competitors.

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Gibson is a longtime fan of the TV Food Network and attended culinary school via the TV show.

“When the network aired Cooks vs. Cons I was intrigued,” she said. “Two professional, who could be cooks at restaurants, food trucks or master chefs, and two imposters that are only home cooks compete in two rounds.”

Gibson said in the first round the cooks prepare a dish of their choice and one cook is eliminated at the end of that round. The second round requires the cooks to prepare a specified dish.

The cooks must incorporate a secret ingredient into their dishes during the two rounds of competition.

At the end of the second round, the cook that prepared the dish judged best is the winner. If the winner is a “cook,” the prize money is $10,000. If the winner is a “con,” the prize money is $15,000.

Gibson said she just happened into the contest.

“My husband, Patrick, is a tour guide in Savannah and, when he is at work is when I do my best writing,” Gibson said.

“One night, I turned on the Food Network to have some background noise and saw the show. I Googled to know more.  Bama had won and I had nothing better to do so I filled out an online application.”

Gibson said, evidently, her “quirky” lifestyle as author, ghost hunter and scuba diver caught somebody’s interest.

The interview process was extensive. Gibson said the process required her to literally “work up the food chain.”

After four computer interviews, the next step in the interview process was to “cook for them.”

“I had to slice an onion and a pepper so they would know that I had some culinary skills,” Gibson said. “Then I had to cook a dish. I chose my chicken waffle with a poached egg on top. I was so hopeful that my egg would run like it was supposed to run.”

And, it did.

The production company then required a video interview in which a dish was prepared.

When all of the flour dust settled, Gibson was selected from about 900 applicants to appear on Cooks vs. Cons.

The show was to be taped in October in New Jersey. Gibson was to arrive on a Monday to be in the studio on Tuesday.

But there was a problem. Hurricane Matthew had its eye on Savannah. Gibson realized that she might not be able to get a flight out. She called the Food Television Network and explained her dilemma and was asked if should be on the 6:05 flight out of Savannah that night.

“I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off and was able to catch the flight, which was the next to the last flight out before the airport closed,” Gibson said. “Because of the hurricane, I also got to say over a few extra days.”

On Wednesday night, many of Gibson’s fans, who span the country, will be anxiously watching Cooks vs. Cons in hopes that their favorite author and/or ghost hunter will cook up a storm and take home the big prize.

“I don’t know what I’ll look like dashing around the kitchen like a crazy person,” Gibson said, laughing.

“One of the other competitors said he knows that he’ll look like a hot mess. That may be exactly the way I’ll look but I’m excited and looking forward to ‘the show.’”