Thursday, September 23, 2010

Interview with America's Sweethart Jenny Cross!



Not to long ago, I was watching the Food Network as I always do and I came across a new show called "America's Worst Cooks". Not one for Reality shows even of the Food Variety, something made or should I say "someone" made me stop and take notice. This person was Jenny Cross, she stood out like a diamond in the rough. Amongst the chaos of competing she looked like a pinup queen of an era gone by, however she might knock your lights out if you piss her off, but at least she'll do it in a cocktail dress and a wink in her eye! She was the sole reason I watched the show, every week I would keep my fingers crossed that she would make it to the next round. Though Jenny did not win the competition, she did however win the hearts of many viewers. Jenny has shown that when life hands you lemons, you throw them right back! Jenny is an inspiration to all girls that think their dreams are unattainable, she proves that if your passion is strong enough that nothing can stand in your way. 
When Jenny and I got in touch with each other, it was an instant connection of two gals that have a passion for food and all things vintage and allot of humor thrown in for good measure, with that combination how can you go wrong! 
It is with great pleasure, that I am announcing Jenny Cross as our official Cupcake Provocateur Spokesmodel! Below are images from our photo shoot with Jenny modeling our aprons and cupcakes, last month at Sweet Mama's Kitchen in Northport, NY (little fact, they have the best stuffed French Toast)! With special thanks to Melanie of www.licaphoto.com for the wonderful photos. 
So lets get to know Jenny a little better and welcome her the the Cupcake Provocateur family........ 
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Jenny Modeling The Betty Apron - Leopard Lounge


Jenny Cross Short Bio:
  The last moment I was ever seen on TV, I was sobbing over not winning Food

Network's "Worst Cooks in America. That was me not too long ago, but the sad
pinup you once saw is just a distant memory. When it was announced, I felt
as if my entire world crumbled, that something that I had worked so hard for
was taken from me in a split second. But, something happened when Worst
Cooks  aired, that took me completely by surprise. It was no secret that I
came from a troubled past, and even on the show I wasn't in a stable place.
I was expecting viewers to see that and dislike me, but what America saw was
a young girl that was driven to give herself better by chasing her dream. I
had failed to realize that even though I didn't win, I still learned so much
about cooking, and had been given the opportunity of a lifetime. I began to
learn about the restaurant industry hands on by working in various kitchens
then, going into business for myself as a Personal Chef/Caterer. One of the
unique abilities I've learned is to take a meal that would typically be
considered "junk food" and by substituting a few ingredients, I'd serve a
health conscious meal while keeping all the flavor. While I support a
healthy lifestyle, cooking with restrictions..... isn't really my style.
Although I look great in a chef coat, my hair flowers and fishnets were
collecting dust.  This is why I am so honored to announce that I, Jenny
Cross, will be Cupcake Provocateurs spokesmodel. Cupcake Provocateur and
myself, are a match made in retro glam heaven! With the adorable aprons,
delicious cupcakes, and an arsonal of housewares that would make any chore
fabulous, I cannot be prouder to represent such a wonderful company. Cynthia
Lagudi, has captured everything I love about the traditional 50's housewife,
and created an ideal way to bring those values back into the everyday lives
of modern women with her Pinup couture. Not only have I personally worn them
for cooking and non cooking purposes...but I find myself truly enjoying the
experience of just wearing the flirty aprons. With the strings tied in the
perfect bow, and a fresh coat of red lipstick, I'm in the kitchen cooking up
my next culinary triumph.I will be featured at many different events serving
up all my favorite comfort food and proving that I'm NOT the worst cook

anymore in Cupcake Provocateur's sassy aprons.
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Food Network Press Shot


How has life changed since the airing of America?s Worst Cooks?
Since the show, my life has been a quick u turn for the better! I vowed to 

myself (even though I didn't win) that I would never carry a tray again, so I 
began working as a chef in different restaurants around Philly to learn more 
about the culinary industry. Soon I learned that maybe a restaurant chef 
wasn't the best option because I really wanted to explore my own talents. I 
wanted to see what I can do as well as experience what diners feel when they 
taste my cooking. Being that I had so many family,friends, and fans wanting 
me to prove that I wasn't a worst cook anymore, I decided to start charging! 
Then I went into business working as a personal chef/caterer to not just 
only bring some tasty food, but a rockin good time as well! I developed an 
eclectic mix of clientele, one being the owner of a prestigious antique shop 
in Philadelphia. I absolutely loved working for the family as well as in the 
antique shop. I just loved being around so many beautiful pieces of art and 
history. With my love of all things vintage and my strong work ethic, the 
owner gave me full control over his 2nd store called The Annex. Not only do 
I sell antiques, but I sell vintage clothing, jewelry, hats, and furniture, 
that I've personally picked out. Even though I manage the store, I still 
cook, and soon I will be selling Pirate Jenny junk food out of the store as 
well. 

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What was the most important thing you learned about yourself during and 

since the show?
That's a GOOD question! Before the show aired, I thought I was going to be 

the most HATED cast member. The one that everyone wanted to vote off haha! 
Afterwards I saw that I had the most unexpected fans like, a soccer mom and 
her teen princess daughter. Now, here I am, tattooed, rockabilly,rebel type 
young girl, aka any mother's worst nightmare, and I have the soon to be prom 
queen and her mother gushing to me that I'm their favorite person from the 
show. It really amazed me the fact that viewers saw past my look, and saw 
someone who would do anything to pursue her dreams. I never thought people 
saw that in me, nor did I even realize that in myself. I learned that people 
DO see that there is allot more to me than the way I look, and I needed to 
truly give myself credit for that. Truly learning that looking a certain way 
doesn't make you what you are on the inside, but its what you do in this 
life and always putting your best foot forward. When I realized that my 
image, was just that, I started to feel a lot more confident about myself 
and my own talents in the kitchen. If I can rock a pompadour and fishnets 
while making a chocolate torte for the social elite of Philadelphia, and 
have them praise me for it, then there's nothing stopping me from cooking 
for the queen of England! I'm proud of the fact that I am an individual, and 
that all types of people praise me for what I can do. I just so happen to do 
it with style! 

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One thing I admire about you the most, is your strength to prevail through 
some tough situations, just like a modern day Cinderella.... How do you stay 
so strong and what advice can you give to girls and women who are currently 

trying to reach their goals?
You pegged me completely on that one! Like Langsthon Hughes once said "Life 

ain't been no crystal stair", it has been very much that way for me. I've 
had a rough past and it continued to be rocky up until the show aired. I've 
always identified myself very much with Cinderella, growing up and 
currently. I look at the opportunity that Worst Cooks gave me as almost my 
fairy godmother casting a temporary magic spell, and now I had to find a way 
to make my dreams come true. I had all the skills I needed, all I needed to 
do was realize that my goals were allot closer than I imagined. Now 
opportunities like this doesn't happen to everyone, but I stayed true to 
myself and what I wanted. The fire I had to win couldn't compare to the 
blazing inferno I had to learning everything I could about cooking. The 
burning desire to be a the best chef I can be, has kept me strong Believing 
in yourself, and always doing your best, is what helped me move away from my 
past and on to my future success. I am still working very hard to be the 
next Julia Childs, but I don't forget who I am and where I came from. The 
name, Pirate Jenny is actually, a song from the Three Penny opera, about a 
pirate queen turned Inn slave, that ends up showing her captors what she 
REALLY can do after years of neglect. Kind of like a darker Cinderella, kind 
of like...me! I'm not what you expect when you think of Cinderella, but more 
of a Pirate Jenny! HAHA! Just a little saltier than the blonde haired sugary 
princess! 
No matter what life throws at me, I always keep a smile on my face and try 
my hardest, because when everything's said and done, if the worst thing 
people can say is "I don't like her hair", then you're doing pretty good! 

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Food Network Press Shot
I heard through the grapevine that you have always had a desire too become a 

professional chef, what are your current goals and happenings for the future 

Chef Jenny? 
Hmmm.... professional sounds a little serious to me and I don't think its 

my flavor. I've never wanted to be a master chef, or earn a Michelin Star, 
but to truly be an artist with food. The reason I want to be a chef more 
than anything is because food is art for all of your senses. Its easy to 
remember the last best meal you've ever eaten not only for the taste, but 
for the memory it gave you. Same thing goes for a bad meal as well. Good or, 
bad, food makes you feel, its one of the strongest senses of memory that we 
have. I find that the food I enjoy making the most is homestyle classics 
with a modern twist. Taking the junk food and family dinners that we all 
loved as children and creating your wildest food fantasy! If you're going to 
chow down on junk food, it'd better be worth it! So by taking the best 
ingredients to make the most delicious snack food and allowing the diner to 
make it EXACTLY what they're craving but only could make in solitude. I want 
my food to reflect who I am as a person; unique,bold and a glimpse into a 
time once passed. The culmination of everything that I love about cooking 
and food is reflected in "Pirate Jenny's Pogey Bait and Home Cookin". 
Unusual comfort food that you can customize or have catered to your event. I 
plan to have the website with menus to place orders soon, but still a few 
more bugs to work out. If you can't wait to try Pirate Jenny's, I will be at 
food events handing out samples and featuring the menu along with my 

personal chef services.
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Jenny serving Cupcake Provocateur cupcakes to real customers :)
We all know Jenny Cross is sugar and spice and everything nice but lets dig 

deeper....If Jenny Cross was a recipe...what ingredients would be used to 

make her? 
I want to say piss and vinegar but, that's not very nice. I would say 

that I'm all the aspects of a deep fried Snickers. I would say I'm 
sweet,decadent, and romantic like the chocolate on the outside. But, once 
you take a bite you get the salty,hard crunch of the peanuts thats bonded by 
the tough chewiness of the caramel but with a soft nougat center. Great by 
itself, but being that I have to push everything almost to the point of 
ridiculous, it needs to be dunked in a heavy batter and cooked in fat. Kind 
of like how I wrap myself in leopard print faux fur with my teased up hair 
and looking just trashy enough to be intriguing. I'm like a familiar guilty 
pleasure but a guilty pleasure is still a pleasure. Once the batter crisps, 
all those ingredients come together in such a spectacular way that you can't 
believe you're liking something this bad so much. Such as myself, on sight 
you may expect the worst, but give me a chance and you'll end up liking more 
than you realized. 

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Jenny wearing The Artisan Chef Apron - Sugar Skulls
If we were able to read your planner... what is an average day like for 

Jenny Cross?
Average day? What?s that? HAHA! Not in my vocabulary!
Who or what inspires you the most?
It may sound harsh but, my biggest inspiration is all the people who said I 

would never work in the culinary industry and proving them wrong. Everyone 
who underestimates my determination, and tries to bring me down, only 
inspires me to try harder. "Live to Fight" is tattooed on my arm for a GOOD 

reason!
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Tell us a little something that people may not know about you?
Something you may not know was that I was a Girl Scout for 10 years! I often 

ask myself, "where did it all go wrong?" HAHA!


Thank you for taking the time to Interview with me and becoming the Cupcake 

Provocateur Ambassador :)......., any last words?
Like Carey Grant said " I think this is the start of a beautiful 

friendship". I can't wait to see what we're going to create together being 

it in the form of success,sweets, or smiles! XOXO 
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Thanks again Jenny, you are a truly special person and just like an m&m you may have a hard candy shell but your nothing but sweet on the inside! May you always have continued success and happiness!
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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Girl needs to eat some cupcakes! She got waaay too skinny over the years! Never trust a skinny cook!

Cupcake Provocateur said...

Always remember there is always more to the book than the cover..... Skinny Chefs can cook too ... look at my favorite Chef Giada!

Anonymous said...

I agree--so skinny! Hey--thanks for the update and asking good questions. Love the aprons too, particular the frilly one but not in leopard print...maybe you'll have others. Will keep my eye open for them. Much success to you both.

Anonymous said...

She's beautiful either way! I watched four hours back to back on the plane basically due to her style and spunk, love it! Being a woman you're consistently judged for your body; I'm sure it's difficult to be on-screen and judged by complete strangers for your body type. Comments like the first are just another form of harmful judgement and can definitely lead to eating disorders or weight loss/gain. "Skinny" and "fat" have terrible connotations. Are there only two types of people?Why not healthy, vibrant, or refreshing? I wouldn't call Giada skinny, she's got some fab curves and amazing in general! I would mos tdefinitely be happy to try her new product line!

Cupcake Provocateur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cupcake Provocateur said...

Wonderful response from our Anonymous bloggers... Jenny was a very sweet person to work with. We wish her lots of luck in the future.

mmmcheeseburgers said...

i just watched the entire first season of worst cooks soley because i fell in love with jenny in the first episode and i wanted to see how far she would go. that girl made me cheer, cringe, cry and feel inspired over the next four hours. she has an amazing spririt, a great sense of self and to see her find her dream like that was so good. it makes me sad that the first theings people here had to say were based on how she looks as opposed to what she's accomplished and what she brigns to the world. well done jenny cross, you are so great.

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this article... I knew Jenny about two years before her Food Network experience.

I am glad to hear that she is doing well and is successful. Reading this article really surprised me with what kind of person she turned out to be.

Miss ya Jen Cross