The CultureMap Interview
Highland Park High School graduate Alex Stein initially entered pop culture as the contestant everyone loves to hate on ABC’s The Glass House in 2012. Though he appeared in only a handful of episodes before being eliminated, Stein made his mark, systematically going through housemates’ flaws as he attempted to become, in his words, “the most epic villain in the history of reality TV.”
After his stint on Glass House, Stein, 26, started doing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles, where he’s lived for the past few years. But now he’s back in the world of reality TV as part of Bobby Flay’s team on Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America. The show’s fourth season premiered February 17, and episodes air on Sundays at 8 pm.
He dished with us on the inherent evils of poetry, lost eyebrows and quite possibly the most Highland Park day of meals ever.
“Burger House taught me how to eat a burger — it was my first, my last, my everything,” Stein says.
CultureMap: What’s the most villainous thing you’ve done today?
Alex Stein: Today, I woke up and wrote three poems in my diary, then I had a sugar free Red Bull and took my dogs for a walk before I went and volunteered at the animal shelter. So I guess you could say I’m really crushing it as a villain today.
CM: You claim to eat only fast food. Now that you’ve been in LA for a while, pick a winner: Whataburger or In-N-Out?
AS: This is an easy one, Whataburger will always be better than In-N-Out because In-N-Out doesn’t have breakfast taquitos or the A-1 thick and hearty burger that I eat 21 times a month.
In-N-Out is great, but Whataburger is the greatest fast food hamburger in the game right now besides Burger House on Hillcrest. Burger House taught me how to eat a burger — it was my first, my last, my everything.
CM: You’re in Dallas for the day. What are you eating?
AS: If I'm in Dallas, I am waking up and getting the miga' at Angela's Cafe on Inwood Road; I've been going since the first day she opened in 2001. Then for lunch I'm getting a lobster roll at East Hampton Sandwich Co. in Snider Plaza. Hands down, East Hampton has the best sandwiches in Dallas.
For dinner, I would go to Mi Cocina and get the sunset-style enchiladas with about three Mambo Taxis for dessert. Because I'm in Texas, it makes sense I would eat Mexican food twice.
CM:Any fires or mishaps in the kitchen viewers should look forward to in Worst Cooks?
AS: I can honestly say I started some of the biggest fires in Food Network history. I came on the show with two eyebrows and left the show with zero, so yes, the kitchen was on fire a lot.
CM: What’s up after Worst Cooks? More reality TV?
AS: I'm unable to talk about my new projects at the moment, but I can promise you one thing: that this isn't the last time I will be gracing your television sets. Keep your eyes peeled for more Alex Stein #99 in the near future.