CRESTVIEW — When Food Network star Guy Fieri's new show airs in November, a Crestview resident will be right there cooking on it.
Sherri Williams and her teammate, Sharon Damante, will compete on "Guy's Big Project," which airs 8 p.m. central Nov. 5. Over six episodes and various trials, Fieri and his team will choose a person to lead the company's new culinary travel show.
While the winner has yet to be revealed, Williams said she will enjoy the experience, regardless of the outcome. That, she said, is because Fieri and other Food Network employees mentored and taught the contestants so well that it didn't even feel like a competition.
"We were really competing with ourselves just trying to grow... it was great," she said, describing it as the best competition experience she has ever had.
Some of her previous Food Network appearances include "All-Star Academy," "Clash of the Grandmas," and "Guy's Grocery Games."
'IT TRULY IS MY LOVE'
Williams said cooking allows her to live out her dreams.
"I just love cooking — it truly is my love and passion. I cook every day, even when I'm on vacation," she said.
That love began when she was a little girl. Her family would travel from their home in Danville, Virginia, to her grandparents' country home in Ringo, Virginia.
"They had a very small, modest kitchen, but magic came out of that place. They had their own little garden with the pigs and chickens and a smokehouse which was underneath the house. I was one of those ones who would love to go in the kitchen and help my grandmother. That was my greatest inspiration," Williams said.
Her grandmother, Sally Ann Logan, is also the person Williams would most love to cook for.
"She never knew what a great inspiration she was. She never knew the impact she had on me," Williams said.
'MOM, YOU CAN DO THIS'
Raised in a military family, Williams herself joined the U.S. Army when she was 18, so she was always on the move.
"I would go back home on my visits and stuff so we'd go to see her [Logan]," Williams said. "She always wanted to cook everything and have everything ready for you when you got there, so I never got to actually cook her a complete meal."
Williams said her love of different food genres also comes from her stepdad, Walter Adams, who exposed his family — Williams, her two brothers and sisters, and mom Nancy — to all kinds of food. He would take them to all kinds of restaurants — and he was always bringing home unusual ingredients for them to try.
"I love frog legs and all kinds of crazy stuff, and I got that from him," Williams said.
Her family members have always been her biggest supporters.
"You always have to have a good support system and I have the very best support system. My husband, Roy C. Williams, always backs me up whatever I do. And my son, Roy C. Williams Jr., is always telling me, 'Mom we all know what a wonderful cook you are, you need to tell the world. Mom you can do this,'" she said.
"I'm extremely proud of him also," Williams said of her son, who is an actor in Los Angeles, California.
He and his wife, Tina, have a daughter, Evangeline.