Hi , my name is Jermaine Rawlings .
And here's a story of how my grandmother's macaroni and cheese got me on TV .
I'm a self taught private chef and I own and operate a company called Frat Boy Cuisines .
I never thought I was gonna be a chef .
Somehow I just fell into this .
I'm originally from Maryland .
I grew up in a family where literally everyone in the house cooks .
I went to college at State University .
Upon graduating , I commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and I managed to get stationed out in Los Angeles Air Force Base , moving out to L A and being so far away from my family , I really miss the food specifically .
My grandmother's macaroni and cheese .
This is one thing that I just always remember growing up , we'd have it on a special occasions .
Holidays when I was a kid I probably put on about £20 because of all that good food .
She would make us , it really , really sticks to your ribs .
Seeing as though I didn't wanna have to fly all the way back to Maryland .
I gave her a phone call and luckily she was willing to give me the recipe .
The thing that makes my grandmother's macaroni cheese different from , say what you get from a restaurant or some other places is the texture .
It's not too loose but it's not too stiff .
She has those crispy edges around the outside that everyone fights for all that wrapped into one dish .
Just really , really takes things to the next level .
I taught myself how to make it and I feel like I really accomplished something .
I felt like I was at home .
I could get something that I knew and love whenever I wanted to .
I figured I could , I could pretty much do anything from there .
I started venturing out and trying other things .
Being stationed out here .
You run into a lot of people in the military .
You don't have a place to go for like Thanksgiving and me just loving to be around my family .
I can understand how that could be something that's difficult for somebody to be alone for the holidays , living in LA .
I just started hosting a friends giving every year .
It's good to get people together .
They're gonna eat , they're gonna drink .
Everybody's happy at Thanksgiving .
When I had all my friends over the macaroni cheese was always a hit .
So from there , I'm like , well , hey , let's start throwing more parties .
Something that got really big were Caribbean nights .
And in my Caribbean nights , I specifically would make this curry chicken , good curry chicken .
Would just hug you .
It's so comforting , it's so warming .
It really makes you feel at home and just makes you feel good .
So now I call it no hurry .
Curry chicken .
I realized I had a little ego .
I'm like , all right .
So this is my thing .
Now , after I got out of the Air Force , I rolled in us c into a program called the MBV program .
They want to teach people how to , you know , start a business halfway through attending grad school is when I auditioned for the show , Master Chef , I was this close to making it on the show , but I didn't make it .
I realized that maybe I do have a talent .
It was my passion .
I enjoyed doing it from there .
Frat boy cuisines was born and master chef wasn't the last chance I had to be on a cooking show .
One day .
My friend reached out to me on Facebook and said I should try out for the show on Food Network called Tailgate Battles .
Tailgate Battles is a show where they take the ultimate tailgators and have them compete against each other .
I took my grandmother's macaroni and cheese and then I added jerk chicken with a mango habanero sauce on there .
I thought that it was really , really wild of judges .
One of the judges actually has a Caribbean food truck .
So when he came there , he was like , oh man , you , you really wanna give me a jerk chicken when this is what I do and they really , really loved it .
Your grandmama taught you right .
This , the competition was tough and I made it to the top three .
I didn't win that one .
But hey , they were definitely thoroughly impressed in the dish I prepared .
My grandmother was super excited that I used her macaroni and cheese and she was really , really , really happy , really proud .
My goal is to open up my own restaurant where I have a lot of finger foods , a great vibe , something that people can really enjoy .
I don't know what the future holds , but I do know I love cooking and I'm gonna see how far that takes me .