Big Brother 14: Joe Arvin Houseguest Profile

Chef Joe Arvin has the interesting distinction among the Big Brother 14 cast houseguests of most likely being a last minute replacement. Joe Arvin did not appear in the first cast promos released by CBS. Instead, there was some guy named Mike who was labelled as a Sailing Instructor.

We don’t know what happened to Mike, but Chef Joe Arvin lucked out in becoming his replacement for the Big Brother 14 cast. Originally from Lexington, California, Joe is a founder of SmashMouth Burgers and Pizza on the corner of Route 30 and BFE in Schererville, Indiana.

SmashMouth Burgers co-founder Brian Bundage says Joe Arvin sold his part of the business to him several months ago “to pursue a career in reality TV,” according to an article in the Schererville News. Bundage said about a year after opening SmashMouth, Arvin “felt maybe his heart was a bit more in reality TV than running a restaurant.”

From all the cooking promo videos he’s put out there on YouTube and around the Net, Chef Joe seems to be primarily trying to make it into the entertainment world a chef, but it looks like Big Brother was the first reality TV show to decide to roll the dice and bring Joe on board. I gotta say though, I dig the video I found on his Google+ account detailing how to peel a hard boiled egg in 5 seconds.

Joe calls his style in the kitchen ‘Mad Love Cooking,’ which he describes to Taste It My Way as “Food & Love = Mad Love… You must have a passion for serving people. By Serving, I mean you must LOVE caring for others.” Chef Joe has molded this concept into an online cooking show which debuted in January at MadLoveCooking.TV.

The show strives to “highlight various stories of visitors to his Internet site — all the stories will involve food in some way — and he’ll choose a recipe they’ve shared, or asked him to research and then recreate it in his own style,” according to a story on Joe at

Joe Arvin & wife Sarah,

It’s actually a nice branding, but if you check out his Twitter feed, you can see that @ChefArvin takes it a bit to the extreme. I think Chef Arvin needs to have conversations with his fans more, and be less frantic with the ‘Mad Love’ branding every other sentence.

An ‘army brat’, according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Arvin has been into all things culinary since he was a child and started his career working as a busboy at age 16. From there he moved on to being a server, then a bartender, and eventually working for a local caterer under Chef/Owner David Larson — a James Beard award winner.

Joe worked in various hotels and restaurants before finally attending Baltimore International Culinary College, from which he graduated in 1996. “I use people’s eyes and palate as my canvas,” Joe says of his special way with food. Prior to opening SmashMouth, Joe was a Corporate Executive Chef / Culinary Specialist for Bel Pastry, Diamond Crystal Brands, Tyson Foods, and Advanced Food Company.

For those who want to watch Joe’s friends and family cheer him on during Big Brother 14, they will all be gathered over on the Mad Love Cooking Facebook page all season, which is run by Joe’s wife Sarah and friend Allyn Hane. Yep, Joe is married and he has kids, so he won’t be sleazing on any of the ladies in the BB14 house — unless he’s a rat bastard or something.

Chef Joe is not really a serious Big Brother fan. He has watched it here and there, but he actually counts Chicken George as one of his favorite players… so… well, there’s that.

Joe just might have a killer strategy to make it pretty far in the game. He’s going to cook his way to the finals. Or, as he said in one preseason interview: “I’m going to try to take the Have-nots and make them Haves,” Joe says. “I’m going to create food for them. I want to cook for them. I’m going to saute my way to the top.”

Our Prediction: Of all the Big Brother 14 cast houseguests, Joe Arvin seems one of the most likely to go floater. While normally floaters drive me nuts, this might be a good move for him. If he can keep on everyone’s good side and proves to be able to make yummy things out of slop, he might be able to skate his way quite far in the competition. I’m not seeing final three material here though no matter how good he is in the kitchen. I do think Joe might want to keep his extreme desire to be a reality TV star under his hat, because that might ring sour with some of the other players. He might not want to share too much about owning a restaurant or all that ‘Mad Love Cooking’ either because the other players might think he doesn’t need or deserve to win that big cash prize.

Joe Arvin CBS Big Brother Profile

Name: Joe Arvin
Age: 41
Hometown: Lexington, Ky. (living in Schererville, Ind.)
Occupation: Chef
Three adjectives that describe you: Leader, performer and entertainer.
Favorite Activities: Watching my kids play sports, compete and see them have that drive to win.
Most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house: It will be hard to have everyday, every minute, every second of my life on the air. I think at times I will want to crawl into a hole and hide.
Strategy for winning “Big Brother:” I plan to use my cooking skills to help get me to the end. Every one loves to eat, never get rid of the cook!
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most or least: My favorites were Chicken George, because he was able to move around undetected for much of the time, and Will, who won by acting like he was crazy. Come on that’s talent.
What are you afraid of: I am not a big fan of being alone. I love to have people around me at all times. It comforts me. It makes me happy. I would also say heights. I get upset and dizzy.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of: Never giving up, my will to win and being a mentor to my kids.
Finish this sentence: My life’s motto is… Inspire, dream, cook. That’s how you become GREAT!
What would you take into the house and why:A football to remind me everyday that it’s a game and I will win.  A cookbook since I’m always studying my art and a family photo because I never forget where I come from and who I am fighting for.

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