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Finalist Emma Frisch introducing herself in the Mentor's Challenge as seen on Food Network Star, Season 10. Credit: Eddy Chen , Eddy Chen

Her Instagram is full of pictures fit for the cover of Real Simple Magazine. Her website features delicious yet nutritious dishes such as rutabaga hummus and chai shortbread cookies. She’s a first generation American and has family on five different continents.

Emma Frisch, a College alumna, currently residing in upstate New York, is a food blogger and the owner of Frisch Kitchen, where she showcases her culinary talents and brings nontraditional, healthy food back to the table. She will be a contestant on the Food Network’s show “Food Network Star”, premiering this Sunday, June 1 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Frisch transferred from the University of Maryland to Penn because “she wasn’t able to customize what [she] wanted to study.” At Penn, she “felt so supported by the community to follow [her] passion and build whatever [she] wanted to.” While a student, Frisch took advantage of every kitchen she found — whether tiny, communal or lacking in cleanliness — to further develop this passion that had been instilled in her since childhood.

“I was raised cooking with my mom, and she just made phenomenal food. I don’t think I was really able to appreciate it until I went to college,” she said. Being on a meal plan definitely brought out the creative side in Frisch’s cooking. She became a vegetarian to accommodate for the high price of meat, although she admits she is the “biggest omnivore” now.

“I realized that food was really important... I was missing the flavor and the healthy feeling I had growing up,” Frisch said about the beginning of her college experience. The first dish she mastered was sauté and stir-fry. She recommended this cooking style as a great way to start off, because “you can put everything in one pan and end up with a complete meal.”

While at Penn, Frisch co-founded the Farm to Table program, which has taken off in the Philadelphia area. With help from the Fox Leadership Program, Frisch helped create the Farmecology club, which taught members about food distribution in Philadelphia.

She spent a couple months traveling around the Philadelphia area to learn how food travels between farms and the city. Now, Frisch wants to teach what she learned to others since farm to fork currently sounds “really intimidating and more romanticized to people.” One of her goals is to help people find simpler and more accessible avenues to living a farm to fork lifestyle.

Frisch started an online cooking show on her blog,, last summer. Her cousin recommended that she apply to be on “Food Network Star”. “It seemed like such a great fit,” Frisch admitted. “It has more of a positive feeling to it than most reality shows...[it was] something I was willing to get behind.”

As for her goals for being on the show, Frisch said that she hopes to win. “I’m excited about being able to share what I love about food with so many more people,” she said. Frisch admits that cooking and experimenting with food has become trendier. “Cooking as a career is something that people are getting excited about,” she said.

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