Birmingham chef, Lindsey Noto’s experience on the Food Network + how’s she’s giving back

Catch Lindsey’s journey on “Guy’s Grocery Games”. Photo via Facebook. Taken by Mary Fehr.

If you happened to watch the most recent episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” on the Food Network, you might have recognized someone. Birmingham chef, Lindsey Noto, threw it down in the kitchen for a chance to win $20,000. Keep reading to hear about her unique experience on the popular cooking reality show and how she’s helping give back to the community.

First things first—let’s get acquainted with Lindsey Noto

If you looked up ‘Girl Boss’ in the dictionary, you’d probably run across Lindsey’s picture. She’s a local chef, co-founder of Bham Femme and a marketing associate at Sysco. Her impressive lineup of restaurants includes Saw’s BBQ, Post Office Pies and Roots and Revelry.

Ever wondered what it would be like to be on national television? Here’s how Lindsey’s experience went.

How were you chosen to participate?

I was contacted by one of their casting associate producers on Instagram. She came across my page and loved my photos and asked if I would be interested in hopping on a call with her to discuss being on the show. I thought it was being punked lol

You truly have to give her some credit where credit’s due. Lindsey knew NOTHING before they yelled “Action”. To make things even more interesting, it was a Clearance Wars edition of the episode.

That means the contestants had to use a limited selection of ingredients that you’ll usually find in the clearance aisle of the grocery store. Take a look at the ingredients that they had to incorporate into their dishes:

  • Cereal (generic brand of Frosted Flakes)
  • Frozen Corn
  • Canned Pears
  • Marshmellows
  • Pepperoni
  • Instant Ramen (shrimp flavored)
  • Giardiniera
  • lindsey noto on guys grocery show
What was it like meeting Guy Fieri?

Just when you though Guy Fieri couldn’t get any cooler, turns out he’s actually extremely down-to-earth.

​Guy was so much cooler in person than I could have ever imagined. He took the time to read our bios and get to know who we were as a person and a chef, so when we had a brief 1 on 1 with him before shooting, he totally calmed your nerves by talking about people in my life so immediately felt like I had known him for years. He’s so much fun on set- cuts up with all the members of the crew, always joking around and making everyone laugh, he’s the real deal.

What were some major takeaways from your experience? Did you gain a new outlook on the food industry?

As a chef, to continue to grow, you constantly have to push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone and try to learn/do new things or you will become stagnant and sometimes irrelevant. This industry is CONSTANTLY evolving and changing so you have to grow and adapt. This experience was the perfect opportunity for me to truly push myself so far outside of my comfort zone and truly prove to myself what I am capable of.

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow. That’s exactly what Lindsey did. Her experience helped her realize her undeniable ability to perform under pressure.

Sure, the challenge was hard, being thrown those random ingredients under those wild circumstances. But when it comes down to it, you either know how to cook or you don’t. Your instincts just kick in and you just do what you know how to do best and trust in that. 

It’s a hard time for the restaurant industry. Here’s Lindsey’s advice on getting through these uncertain times.

​Do not give up on your dream of having a successful culinary career just because things are tough right now. We will see the end of this thing. This isn’t the demise of the food and beverage industry. That human connection and that love for food and for people is so special and it’s what will continue to drive us. I believe that for most chefs, we didn’t choose this industry, the industry chose us. And that fire and passion to cook doesn’t go away. Hold on to that. We will get through this. 

She couldn’t have said it better. If you’re looking to support Birmingham businesses, we’ve got your guide to shopping local through curbside or delivery.

How Lindsey is giving back to the Birmingham community

lindsey noto
Photo via Facebook.

When she’s not busy showing off her cooking skills on national TV, this Birmingham chef is helping give back to the community. Her newest project in collaboration with Tito’s Vodka and Young Professionals of Birmingham is called “The Great Grocery Giveback” which just launched April 17.

The Great Grocery Giveback is a relief effort that will be providing an entire weeks worth of free groceries every week for 200 people that have been laid off or furloughed. People will be able to register for their groceries via Eventbrite and sign up for a designated pick-up location for a contact-free experience.

Follow @GreatGroceryGiveback on Instagram to stay up to date.

For more of the latest and greatest news in Birmingham, follow us on social @BhamNow. P.S. It’s Season 23 Episode 12!

  • Chaise is a brunch-loving Content Producer and helps manage the Bham Now Instagram account.