Amanda Marron, Wheaton
Amanda Marron of Wheaton grew up watching cooking shows on PBS, "back before Food Network was a thing," she said.
Marron describes her approach to food as deceptive cooking: She likes to make dishes that look complicated and time-consuming, even when neither is true.
She loves cooking. "I love that it is a way to be creative -- an artistic outlet -- but that you also get to eat it when you are done," Marron said.
"Mostly, I just cook for myself, but I love cooking for friends and family. Even when I am just cooking for myself, I go all out," she said. "I'm my own guinea pig so that when I do cook for others, I can deliver them something amazing."
This year's Cook of the Week Challenge looks different with its one-and-done approach, but she's up for the contest.
"I love a competition because it makes people think outside the box and challenges them to do their best. I want to see how creative I can be and what others will do as well. I want to see if I have the chops to compete against others and actually succeed because success equals more praise."