When he was the drummer of Sugar Ray, precision and multi-tasking played a big role in Stan Frazier's life. Now, he has transferred those skills to his new career as a chef.
Frazier, a Newport Beach resident and co-investor of A Restaurant, traded his drumsticks for knives when he competed on the reality television series "Chef Race: UK vs. US."
He said that his wife found out about the show through a Craigslist ad and urged him to compete because he enjoyed cooking and was transitioning out of his days with Sugar Ray. (The band is still together, albeit without Frazier, who is on hiatus.)
"I thought it was a hoax at first," he said. "I said, 'Honey, that's not really for me.' I came from 25 years of being in the band. However, after a while, you kind of get stuck in a stagnant area and I just wanted to break out and try new things."
The show, which airs on BBC America at 10 p.m. Tuesdays, takes 16 chefs, eight from the United Kingdom and eight from the United States, and sends them on an "Amazing Race"-like competition for a $100,000 grand prize.
The contestants travel from Santa Monica to New York City with only a backpack, two knives and three spices each. They are also not allowed to bring their phones or wallets. Instead, they have to offer to cook for people so they can earn help getting shelter and transportation to their next destination.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life," he said. "It made touring in Sugar Ray look like going to Disneyland."
Frazier also said that the competition was particularly difficult for him because, unlike the other contestants, he wasn't a trained chef.
"I'm just a lover of food," he said. "The first week, I was literally prepared to grab my apron, walk off the show and say I had a great time. However, it progressed, and, I'm not allowed to leak the results, but I did pretty well."
Frazier, who had previously only cooked for his family, friends and band, said that even though he was less prepared as a chef, his experience as a touring musician helped him in the competition.
"I knew my way around a lot of major cities around the U.S. just from touring for so long, so I think that was one of the pivotal things that helped me succeed in this race," he said. "If they would have dropped us in any town in London or in the U.K., I would have been like, 'Oh my gosh. How are we going to do this?'"
Frazier said that the marriage between food and music is a no-brainer.
"They just go together," he said. "Whenever I write a song, I create a recipe. For me, unless I'm baking something, I start from scratch. When divine inspiration happens with a recipe or a song, I start with a blank canvas. For example, when I'm writing a song, I'll pick up a guitar and start from the ground up. When I'm writing a recipe, I also start from the ground up. … The fact that I have two strong passions pulling me makes me so blessed."