ABC cooking show has 3rd Avenue resident smiling

If Meily Lee could call her shots, she would own a restaurant and cook to make people happy. Reality, however, has the Third Avenue resident selling insurance to lawyers. But she recently got to show off her substantial cooking skills on national television.

It started when her two daughters recruited her to join them in auditioning for a cooking show contest.

They were among 6,000 teams trying to get on ABC’s “Family Food Fight.” Meily told Viewpoint she joined her daughters for the fun of it. They went to Pasadena and cooked in front of the cameras. Two months later, they heard they were one of the teams chosen for the show.

“Family Food Fight,” which premiered June 20 on ABC, pits families against each other, with one family eliminated each week in a competition for a $100,000 prize.

Meily can’t stop smiling when she talks about the competition, and how it felt to cook under time pressure with her daughters. They would arrive at the studio and be told what meal to make (breakfast, lunch or dinner) with the ingredients provided. They had 45 minutes to cook and present their meal.

“It was real time,” Meily said. “There was no replay.”

Meily‘s team made it to the fifth of eight episodes. In their final episode, Meily’s team had to make sausages. Her technique, drawn from her Chinese background, involved slamming the meat on the counter to infuse the spices.

Being eliminated didn’t matter to Meily. She loved the experience.

“Cooking is my passion. It brings family and friends together. I host parties all the time. We enjoy ourselves,” she said while sitting next to her longtime partner, Doug Satterfield.

“He’s my sous-chef,” she said with a big grin.

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