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Chilli of TLC and Hines Ward battle in the kitchen on ‘Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” Jan. 6

Hine Ward with Rachael Ray on the "Celebrity Cook-Off" CREDIT: Food Network

Hine Ward with Rachael Ray on the "Celebrity Cook-Off" CREDIT: Food Network

Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas of the Atlanta girl group TLC and UGA and Pittsburgh Steeler football player Hines Ward have known each other for years.

On Sunday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m., the two metro Atlanta stars will be facing off against six other celebrities trying to win $50,000 for their respective charities on Food Network’s second season of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Food Cook-Off.”(Hines and Chilli each have their own charity. Chilli’s Crew holds a summer camp for young girls. Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation improves literacy among inner-city children.)

Chilli was on Guy Fieri’s team with Cornelia Guest, Dean McDermott, and Johnny Weir. Ward was on the opposing Rachael Ray’s team with Carnie Wilson, Kathy Najimy and Gilbert Gottfried.

“We smack talked all day for Atlanta bragging rights,” Ward said in a phone interview last month.

“I don’t like lose in anything,” he added. But he admitted others (especially Wilson) knew a heck of a lot more about cooking than he did but he did have a handful of recipes he knew he could rely on. He called comic Gottfried “my boy boo. He was hysterical. I clinged on to him. And the other two ladies were amazing, a treasure.”

He came back from the competition and purchased a food processor and blender. He learned how to use cilantro. “I’m watching infomercials now for things like the Ninja blender,” he said.

Chilli, in a separate interview, said Ward “got on my last nerve. We had this brother-sister love-hate thing going.” Ward admitted to only knowing a few recipes really well while Chilli said she cooked “healthy soul food” regularly. Collard greens and kale are regularly on her meal list. Her best dish though is “eight-hour chicken,” she said. “It falls off the bone. It’s good!”

“I thoroughly enjoy cooking,” said the fit R&B singer. “I like baking more than I like cooking. I like to make things look pretty.”

Expect her competitve juices to show on camera. “I get serious in the kitchen. When I cook, I don’t like help. But I had to go with the program and work with a team. I loved everbody on my team anyway.”

And since she met Carnie Wilson, they even talked of a TLC/Wilson Phillips collaboration. “I hope we can make that happen,” she said.

Najimy, she added, “makes you feel warm and fuzzy.”

Her publicity Christal Jordan submitted Chilli’s name to the show, she said, because “she’s an amazing cook. People never believe me. They look at her and say, ‘She doesn’t look like a woman who spends a lot of time in the kitchen!’ She cooks like an 80-year-old big mama.”

“I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen,” Chilli said. “It’s my favorite place to hang out.”

On TV

“Rachael Vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off,” 9 p.m. January 6, Food

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6 comments Add your comment

1st mate

January 7th, 2013
7:48 am

Snooze-fest….. Some celebs will really do anything to keep their name out there. Chili, you ought to be ashamed of yourself…Aren’t you getting child support from Dallas?

Skipjack

January 7th, 2013
8:19 am

the Food Network has turned into such junk.

GaPeachy

January 7th, 2013
9:23 am

I really enjoyed this show, and love Hines Ward but I don’t think he has enough recipes to get him to the win, last night he sounded like all he could really make are his famous chicken wings and thats it. Hopefully Chilli can bring the win to ATL.

Rodney Ho

January 7th, 2013
9:26 am

What the heck was Gilbert Gottfried doing there when he only knows how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Really?

pebblebeach

January 7th, 2013
10:15 am

8 hour chicken, really Chilli…sounds like a waste of time considering I have tasted good chicken that fell of the bone cooked in far less time…always over the top, this Chilli person…hey by the way, how is that list working out for you…found that Man yet…

jennypooh

January 8th, 2013
3:57 pm

In spite of it all, we need to remember that it;s all for charity.