Father Adam Young lives on a prayer in the kitchen.
A self-described culinary disaster, Fr. Adam Young of the Diocese of Providence casually admits that the moniker “Worst Cook in America” might not be far off.
While watching television one night with some friends, some channel flipping led them to the Food Network. The pastor of St. Paul Church in Cranston, Rhode Island, who had never seen Worst Cooks in America, recalls, “Suddenly I realized all my friends were looking at me.” Those friends gleefully encouraged Fr. Adam to submit his name to the show, which he did through the show’s website.
He received an invitation to audition the next day.
The Food Network reality show enrolls 14 hapless cooks in celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s “boot camp.” The culinary recruits compete for a $25,000 cash prize. With a contest profile that reads, “Father Adam has been a priest for 9 years, but says that God seems to abandon him in the kitchen,” Fr. Adam will definitely need some divine assistance to become a master chef.
“Asking the bishop’s blessing to go on the show is perhaps the strangest request I’ve yet made,” Fr. Adam demurely admitted. “He was, however, very supportive.” Fr. Adam recounts that the bishop liked the idea of showing people a different face of the priesthood; allowing people to see a priest in a different setting.
A different setting was exactly what Fr. Adam found. “Going on the show has been very humbling,” he said. “In the parish I lead and guide, but on the show I had to be willing to be a student again. I had to let the chefs help me face my limitations.”
Fr. Adam discovered a great sense of community among the show’s contestants. “The majority of contestants were Catholic, but some had never met a priest before.” The diverse cast connected well and remains in touch on a group chat. They support and laugh together throughout the episodes as they air.