August 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Let's Talk Food: Who's your favorite celebrity chef? (For a chance at a free cookbook)

Want a shot at 'Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction'? Tell us about your favorite celebrity chef. (Crown Publishing Group)

Years ago, I remember sitting in an editors’ meeting listening to a higher-up saying she can’t imagine why cooking shows are all that interesting.

Huh, I thought. I can.

Last week, another “The Next Food Network Star” was crowned, as the sexy-sweet Southern belle Damaris Phillips beat out Rodney Henry. I was kind of pulling for Henry, knowing his pies are availably here locally (in Detroit’s Midtown at the 3rd Street Bar). Then Phillips replied to a tweet of mine about him saying she looked forward to trying Rodney’s pies, and I couldn’t help but root for them both. I got a thrill when Iron Chef/“Chopped” judge Geoffrey Zakarian responded recently to a tweet of mine (@reentiz) and like to root for Dearborn native Douglas Keane, competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

Years ago, I was hooked on Rachael Ray, long before she became a multi-show, multi-network, face-on-her-own magazine empire; I liked how she chatted naturally and giggled at herself, and I loved her food, simple enough for even me to try (I’ve kept several of hers in my recipe book, like the roasted squash one I wrote about last week).

These days, I’m a little more into Ree Drummond aka “The Pioneer Woman”; I find her warm and charming, like how she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and have fun envying her ranch lifestyle — as it’s shown on TV, of course. (But wouldn’t we all like the cleaned up versions of our lives out there? You’ll notice I don’t write about my housekeeping ...)

Among the best known of the celebrity chefs is Bobby Flay; not only does he have a gazillion shows and cookbooks, he is a judge and mentor on the aforementioned “Next Food Network Star.” Henry, in his post-loss interview on the Food Network’s website, describes him this way: “Bobby is like the Frank Sinatra of Food Network. When he walks in, he’s just Mr. Cool Cat.”

Whether Flay’s your guy or it’s another celebrity chef you like to keep an eye on, you can have a shot at winning the cookbook “Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction” to enjoy as we enter the last official weeks of grilling season. Let us know who your favorite celebrity chef is and what you like about him or her in the comments below, then send an email to Eats&Drinks@detroitnews.com with “Celeb chef/Bobby Flay” in the subject line. Enter only once by midnight Aug. 22. In the email, include your name and mailing address. A winner will be chosen from among entries, with preference given to those who comment below. (If it’s Aug. 23, 2013 or later when you read this, the book will have been given away — but feel free to add your comments.)

I look forward to hearing who it is you love to watch cook and why. Maybe you’ll sway who I’m rooting for, too.

You need a Facebook account to add comments, but they’re free and easy to sign up for, which is how I managed to have one for years and ignore it except for this sort of thing. I’ll be keeping an eye out the next few days for your comments.You also can follow me on Twitter @reentiz. Join the discussion!

Want a shot at 'Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction'? Tell us about your favorite celebrity chef. (Crown Publishing Group)