BUENOS AIRES – Felicitas Pizarro’s huge smile is more than just glowing, it's contagious. And now her life and her smile are about to enter radically new territory: Pizarro, a passionate amateur chef, is set to step up to the highest ranks of the foodie world, with the help of none other than British-born culinary superstar Jamie Oliver.
As she’s looking at her upcoming schedule for this fall -- full of live TV slots and plenty of radio -- she says, “I feel like this is happening to someone else, it hasn’t hit me that it’s me who is on TV and on the news.” And soon enough
Felicitas' smile has started to spread beyond her regular circles ever since she recorded her YouTube video from the barbecue in her parent’s house about a month ago when she came across the competition that Oliver was running on Twitter in search of his next rising star.
Pizarro decided to try her luck and was soon chosen as one of the five finalists, and quickly shot to the top of the competition's ranking based on how many “likes” each video got. Her victorious tally was announced at midnight on Sunday.
“Cooking, for me, brings happiness and today I’m in the middle of it all!," she said.
A fan of Jamie Oliver, Felicitas said “I like how he cooks, how he teaches, but more than anything his way of inspiring people. This is what I like most about him. I don’t know him personally and after I sent in the video I realized that at some point he might be sitting in front of a computer watching me cook just like I had done with him!”
The young chef and sommelier who lit up the social networks grew up in an artistic family. Granddaughter of the leader of Los Chalchaleros, an Argentine music ensemble, Juan Carlos Saravia, Felicitas is one chef with no stage fright as she had been recording videos with her sister, Malena, since she was a little girl.
But her calling has always been with the culinary. She speaks of food with passion, always looking for something different, the history of a dish, novel ingredients and the perfect wine to accompany it.
The most striking thing about Felicitas is how she brings what it is any why it matters to the dish. The most enjoyable thing for her is to delight her family and loved ones with her food, to generate sensations and transport the taste to a particular place, from a grandmother’s recipe to childhood, from friends to love and never fail to surprise.
This is the perfect recipe to conquer the public: passion for what you do mixed with perseverance, good humor, bravery, and a pinch of luck.
Felicitas will now be the new star of Food Tube, Jamie Oliver’s video channel. She’ll have her own program to be launched in the coming months, which she’ll record from the very same kitchen where she cooks for her friends and family.