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Montgomery woman set for Bravo cooking competition Thursday night

Montgomery resident Kayla Hardin is a science teacher by day, but a food blogger and cook by...
Montgomery resident Kayla Hardin is a science teacher by day, but a food blogger and cook by night. Now, she's making an appearance on Bravo's "Top Chef Amateurs."(Source: Kayla Hardin)
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - She’s a high school science teacher by day, but when the sun goes down, Montgomery resident Kayla Hardin delights her 60,000+ social media followers with an assortment of tasty dishes through a food blog and YouTube channel. Now, Hardin is taking her culinary creations to the big screen.

On Thursday night, Hardin battles it out on Bravo TV’s new “Top Chef” spinoff series called “Top Chef Amateurs.”

The show gives home cooks the opportunity to compete in classic Top Chef Challenges, giving the cooks a chance to go head-to-head with another contestant for the title of Top Chef Champion, Hardin said. There’s even a cash prize.

While the show premiered in early July, Hardin’s episode has been simmering on the backburner for nearly a year! She flew to Portland, Oregon, for filming in Oct. 2020 and spent two weeks there for filming.

For her audition, producers wanted to see Kayla on a plate. She served up her special: Shrimp and grits.

A self-described “small-town Southern woman,” Hardin says being on the show “proves that anyone, from anywhere can do whatever it is that they want to do as long as they stay steadfast!”

It wasn’t until the pandemic started that her passion sweetened into videos.

“I began my YouTube channel and TikTok in the Spring of 2020,” she explained. The pandemic had her stuck at home everyday, she explained, and she sometimes found herself with nothing to do.

Hardin said she’s always blogged about her kitchen journey on social media, “but as a teacher, mom, and wife, I never had the time to make videos for YouTube until then.”

Her Southern cooking has hit some taste buds just right.

“I started a YouTube channel and began to record and discuss my recipes in detail for my followers to enjoy! I am a working and busy mom who likes delicious and comforting food but in 30 minutes or less! So most of my recipes reflect that along with my Southern classic favorites!”

And her followers are coming back for more. About 32,000 follow her on YouTube while another 32,000 check out her creations on TikTok.

“My supporters have been so wonderful and loyal and play a vital reason as to how I was even discovered to begin with,” Hardin explained.

You can follow her on YouTube and on TikTok.

While she couldn’t say if she won or lost, Hardin’s episode comes to a boil Thursday night at 9/8 CST on Bravo.

Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of...
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of Bravo's Top Chef Amateurs.(Source: Kayla Hardin)
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of...
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of Bravo's Top Chef Amateurs.(Source: Kayla Hardin)
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of...
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of Bravo's Top Chef Amateurs.(Source: Kayla Hardin)
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of...
Some of Kayla Hardin's dishes. The Montgomery resident appears on the Aug. 19, 2021 episode of Bravo's Top Chef Amateurs.(Source: Kayla Hardin)

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