Damaris Phillips is an American celebrity chef and TV personality who succeeded in wooing Americans in the 9th season of the Food Network TV show, Food Network Star, for which she emerged the winner, thanks to her exceptional Southern recipes.
She parlayed her victory into her own Food Network Show, Southern At Heart, which became very successful, airing its last episode in February 2016.
Aside from her show, Damaris makes appearances in shows of other Food Network staples like Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. Read on to discover more about her rise to Food Network fame, how much she’s earned from it as well as her personal life.
Damaris Phillips Was Born In Kentucky In 1980
Damaris Lennon Phillips was born on December 8, 1980, to May and Maurice Phillips in Lexington, Kentucky, and was raised in urban Louisville with her sister and four brothers. A foodie at heart, Damaris fell in love with the southern foods she grew up eating.
Although she had other career options, Damaris settled for culinary school because of her love for food and cooking. According to her, she had in mind to become a writer, which eventually led her into journalism. Then, she went for a career in children’s literature and that led her into early childhood education and then into psychology.
She will later try out premed and nursing school before going back to arts like communication, marketing, and advertising. She also took her chance with set design, stage design, and playwriting before she eventually settled for cooking. All the while, she had been cooking in restaurants, but she just wanted an academic qualification she can be proud of. It was then that she realized that going to school to learn how to cook was not a bad idea. She then attended the Jefferson Community and Technical College, where she graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts. She went on to become a culinary instructor and eventually grew into the celebrity chef that she is today.
Damaris Phillips Found Fame with Her Food Network Show
At the start of 2013, Damaris became a contestant on the food network show, Food Network Star, emerging as the winner in August of that year. Two months later in October 2013, she debuted her own cooking show, Southern At Heart, where she celebrates the relationship between food and love. On the show, Damaris taught viewers and guests how to win over the hearts of their dates with what she calls “the food of love.”
One of the episodes that aired in April 2015 attracted over 816,000 viewers. After running for 5 seasons and 53 episodes, the show came to an end. Damaris took to her Facebook page to announce the end of the show.
Two years later (2017), the celebrity chef joined Eddie Jackson on Kids BBQ Championship as a co-host. In addition, Damaris was seen on Super Southern Eats as a co-host and subsequently Beat Bobby Flay in 2019 as a celebrity judge.
Damaris Phillips Met Her Husband Darrick Wood Through a Mutual Friend
It’s not uncommon for couples to meet through mutual friends. And so was the case of Damaris Phillips and Darrick Wood. Even more interesting is the fact that they met at the wedding ceremony of the said mutual friend. Apparently, they both liked each other and decided to keep in touch. Eventually, they started dating and after three years of being together, Darrick proposed.
The scenario of the proposal as you would expect was a beauty to behold. Derrick presented Damaris with 1000 origami cranes which were made from receipts, ticket stubs, and notes. He had saved them up through their three years of courtship. They will later string the papers together and make a backdrop that will hang from the gazebo where their exchange of vows will take place.
They Had an Elaborate and Remarkable Wedding Ceremony in 2015
On June 13, 2015, Damaris Philips walked down the aisle with Darrick Wood as his wife following their wedding in Willow Park located in Louisville Kentucky. The event was attended by guests numbering 235. Damaris had what could be rightfully termed a DIY fancy wedding. Their guests were given vintage handkerchiefs.
Damaris Phillips’ Husband Has a Different Career Interest
Darrick Wood is popular as the husband of Damaris Phillips. However, he is also an American education consultant and curriculum developer. He has worked as a national education consultant for many years. In 2015, he founded Curiosity Ed which is interested in providing content-rich programs. Currently, Wood serves at Speed Art Museum as the Gallery Teaching manager.
In addition to his intense passion for education, Wood is quite knowledgeable in different fields. In Earlham College in 1997, the intelligent gentleman majored in Mathematics while he was in college. He also has a double minor in Physics and Philosophy. Based on his versatility, the passionate teacher has taught Mathematics and English in schools in the cities in America and in small villages as well.
Among his many academic achievements, Wood has done a program in Zen school. He attended Antioch College’s Antioch Buddhist Studies Program. Also, he went to the University of Michigan to take an intensive course for Hindi Language and Literature.
In Contrast to Damaris, Darrick is a Vegetarian
As a chef, Damaris loves to eat pork. She also loves to eat other types of meat and she uses them in making different recipes. As fate may have it, she fell in love with a strict vegetarian. Unlike his wife, Darrick eats only vegetables. Irrespective of their differences, the couple have been able to work things out together. The chef does her best to always make something her husband can eat.
For example, she jettisoned her love for pork and in fact had a meatless menu in her wedding reception. They served basically colorful salad, veggies, and hummus sandwiches. She also puts in conscious efforts to make different vegetarian dishes for her husband. According to her, she has to experiment on them because she was not taught that in culinary school. She even went on to write a book in 2017 titled ‘Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy. The book contains a hundred recipes that are perfect for strict vegetarians.
The Couple Are Yet To Have a Child
Damaris Phillips and Darrick Wood are yet to have a child. There were speculations that the couple wanted to adopt a child, especially because of a tweet Damaris made, and because Darrick works in underdeveloped regions. Some people thought that the couple’s intent was to adopt a child from one of those areas. However, the chef and her husband are yet to reveal anyone as their child by birth or by adoption.
Other Random Interesting Facts About Damaris Phillips
- The first recipe the chef was able to perfect is chocolate chip cherry cookies with oatmeal
- She really loves tater tots and she thinks it’s the best way potatoes have ever been used. She also loves Seattle and she says the food there is exceptional.
- Her least favorite ingredient is button mushrooms
- Damaris’ Instagram page is flooded with videos of different recipes she loves to make.
- What the chef finds most important to her is being able to make people happy through her cooking. She loves the happy looks on their faces just when she thinks she has done bad cooking.
- Her favorite late-night snack is any noodles with red sauce on it. She also considers a chilled bottle of champagne to be her signature cocktail.
- Another thing Damaris Phillips loves aside from cooking is dressing up. She loves to wear costumes, and she never waits for Halloween. She dresses up whenever she gets the chance.