Food network

JCPS teacher wins Food Network home cook battle

Asa Glass, a teacher at Blue Lick Elementary School, not only loves teaching but also cooking. He brought those skills to a new Food Network show.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Asa Glass has been an outstanding parenting resource teacher at Blue Lick for over a decade. For Glass, teaching is a passion that he knew early on would be part of his life.

“I come from a large family of teachers. My grandfather was a teacher at EKU, my aunt was a teacher in Tennessee. But here at JCPS, there are about seven to eight family members who have all been teachers here. My mom paved the way.” said Glass.

He said he knew he was headed in that direction, so he started teaching at Blue Lick around 2010.

But Glass has another passion: cooking. And it’s the one the husband and father of two took to the national stage after her instagram was discovered by a producer.

Glass was an early contestant on Food Network’s new show Big Bad Budget Battle with Ree Drummond.

“I never thought I would do something like this. I love cooking. It’s therapeutic for me,” Glass said. “One of my favorite activities is asking my guests before they come ‘what’s your favorite dish?’ I try to recreate it even though it’s something I’ve never cooked before.”

These skills came in handy as Glass and two other contestants received $20 to cook a house dish and another mystery dish for the second round. He grabbed a rotisserie chicken and a few other cheap items to cook one of his wife’s favorite dishes – chicken tikka masala.

Although Glass said the dish was “very salty” after taking rock salt instead of kosher salt, he won the first round with his dish. With this victory, Glass got an advantage and got to choose his protein and sauce.

He chose Swedish meatballs and was going to grab pesto to stick with his Italian heritage, but was influenced by Drummond.

“She told me it sounded easy and boring,” he said. “So she challenged me and I grabbed the cream of mushroom soup in a panic, like okay, we won’t have the pesto, we’ll go that way.”

Glass cooked up a dish with creamy meatballs and pasta that would prove enough for the judges to name him the first Big Bad Budget Battle winner, with a $10,000 prize.

“I was shaking,” Glass said. But after his name was called, the professor got another surprise.

“Eddie Jackson, one of the famous judges, ex-NFL player, he’s like, bro, you look like you need a hug. And I was like, Man, really. So he gave me a big bear hug.” Glass burst out laughing. “I mean, I was teaching on Friday and then getting hugged by an NFL player the following Monday. That was really something.”

Glass was unable to tell his students about the cooking show until it aired, which happened to be the day before school started for JCPS.

“I walked into the very first day school building and this little boy walked up to me and he went to see my mom saw you on TV last night,” Glass said. “She told me to tell you. It’s never happened to me before.”

Now, months after the competition, Glass said he got more out of the competition than money and a new recipe to make for his family.

“Once I landed I was meeting people and going through this experience, win or lose, it was going to become something that I would remember forever. Something really special,” he said. “I’ve learned that it’s okay to stretch. It’s okay to grow and challenge yourself and be uncomfortable. You know, it stinks sometimes, but it works.”

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