LSU Graduate to Compete on New Food Network Series Tonight

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

BATON ROUGE – LSU graduate Katie Sample will be featured on Food Network’s new hit series “Big Bad Budget Battle” on Aug. 16.

Sample is a speech pathologist who specializes in autism spectrum disorder and finds that recreating recipes opens the door for conversation beyond her flavor-packed Cajun cuisine.

“Recipes and cooking offer so many different language opportunities from building any communication whatsoever, sentence structure, social skills, receptive language skills, retelling the steps involved, making predictions, the list could go on,” Sample said. Cooking is also a sensory experience and expands life skills.

“This could look as simple as ‘Is it yummy?’ with a red face for ‘No’ and a green face for ‘Yes’ or as complex as ‘Where would you cook this meal next?’ with a ‘where’ picture, ‘Who would you cook it for?’ with a ‘Who’ picture, and ‘If you cook for them, how do you think it would make them feel?’ with a ‘How’ picture.”

Sample says speech and language is everywhere with everything. Her hobby, cooking, “helps friends find their voice” through a fun and motivating activity that can be conducted with anyone.

Sample graduated from the LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication sciences and disorders.

The new Food Network series challenges the creativity and time of three home cooks that use every day affordable ingredients to cook a savory meal. The cooks are challenged to shop for their ingredients on a small cash budget at the famous “Flavortown Market.” The winner wins one year’s worth of groceries.

Sample says Louisiana-style Cajun food is her wheelhouse. She often tries to take a healthy spin on classic dishes but says she loves to get “downright cheesy, buttery and delicious sometimes.”

“Cooking is my happy place, I can zone in on the fluidity of building flavors, I absolutely adore cooking for people and I truly love the feeling of having someone like your food and enjoy your company,” she said.

Sample’s episode titled “Leftover Lessons” will air August 16th at 9 p.m. CDT and will be available to stream any time after the air date on Discovery+.

            Sample shares recipes and cooking tips on her Instagram: @katiescajunkitchen