Marc Huebner’s daughters used to get funny looks in the lunchroom when they were kids—after all, how many eight-year-olds are packing prosciutto sandwiches in their Barbie lunchboxes?
Though Huebner was raised in Hastings, a five-year stint in Europe during his teen years exposed him to food from all around the Continent and inspired a lifelong enthusiasm for cooking. Though he chose the path of home technology consultant over one as a master chef, the self-taught culinarian is about to take on the food TV world on America’s Best Cook, premiering this Sunday, April 13 on the Food Network. The show pits teams of talented home cooks from four American regions—North, South, East, and West—against one another to compete for $50,000 and the title of America’s best amateur chef, each headed up by an iconic Food Network superstar from the area.
Huebner stumbled across a call for home cooks on Facebook and applied to compete on the show. The Waconia resident won over the selection team with a video in which he whipped up pan-seared scallops with creamed corn and bacon, short ribs with risotto, and crème brûlée, a dish often requested by his two now-teenage daughters.
Huebner headed to New York to represent the North, along with two Chicagoans and a Missourian, under the leadership of Iron Chef Michael Symon of Ohio. “Marc is so focused and so calm,” says Symon. “He has great passion; he’s very humble; he’s a terrific listener, and he has a very high cooking skill set.”
Huebner’s competitors all brought their own flavors and styles to the competition as well, and the cooks formed a camaraderie that he appreciated.
“We all had the same appreciation for food, and we were doing things that no normal person would do in their kitchen,” he explains. “The people were the best part for me, and I learned so much from them. I can go anywhere in the country now and have a friend to cook with.”
Starting to see shades of Minnesota nice? Don’t be too sure. Tune in Sunday to see Huebner throw down in the kitchen.