RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> He may not have metamorphosed into a gourmet chef, but after slugging it out on a cooking show, one Rancho Cucamonga contestant has conquered his culinary fears.
The ironically named Adam Cooke, 31, is one of the 16 contestants to watch in the return of prime-time series “Worst Cooks in America” at 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, on the Food Network.
In a boot camp designed to transform kitchen fiascos into fabulous feasts, Food Network personalities Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray each mentor a team of clueless cooks.
Initially, the rookies must re-create their biggest flops — during which chefs Burrell and Ray will critique their skills.
Then, follow the 16 neophytes from their first challenge, cooking shrimp and live lobster, through an egg-citing breakfast competition and eventually preparation of holiday-themed dishes for Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day.
At the season’s finale, 9 p.m. March 5, the last two standing, most-improved cooks go tine to tong with a three-course meal for a panel of judges. No spoilers here, but only one will take home the $25,000 prize.
Cooke is sworn to silence except about his improvements.
A mechanic and father of two children, Cooke boasts a little about his homemade macaroni and cheese. He said he’s come a long way from the days of burning hamburgers and steaks on the grill and making undercooked lasagna.
“I wanted to learn to cook to relieve stress on my wife,” he said. “I’ve picked up a few things. She hasn’t…
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