Dallas Chef Wants to Be Flay's Fav

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Thursday, Mar 10, 2011  |  Updated 5:46 PM CDT
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<a title=Fran Harris is one of 10 finalists for NBC's "America's Next Great Restaurant" with her concept called "Sports Wraps."" />

Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW.com

Fran Harris is one of 10 finalists for NBC's "America's Next Great Restaurant" with her concept called "Sports Wraps."

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If you watched the new NBC show, "America's Next Great Restaurant," then you may have seen Dallas resident Fran Harris. She's one of 10 finalists, fighting for the top prize.

She calls her restaurant, "Sports Wraps." It all started in Harris' kitchen, with a big idea and lofty goals. 

"I've got to do something different for these kids," she said. "As an athlete, I know what I ate in between games and it was hot dogs and burgers and that kind of stuff, but I think when you know better you do better."

For Harris, nothing could be better than a nice, healthy wrap. A concept she's now fighting for as one of only 10 contestants -- whittled down from thousands -- on the new show, "America's Next Great Restaurant." 

"When I heard the word that I was going to be one of the 23 or 21, I was like 'yes,'" she said.  "And then when you're on the show and they announce the 10, I was beside myself.  I think I made some sound like, 'ow.'  I mean, I was so excited."

Harris is the only Texan among the 10 finalists.

"So I gotta represent because you know how we do in Texas. So you gotta do everything big and grand." she said. "So I was very proud to be a Texan on the show, so I had to give them a couple of requisite, y'alls."

Harris knows all about being a die-hard competitor.  A former WNBA player with the Houston Comets, her team was the first to ever win a championship in the league.  So of course, she had to bring that Texas-sized confidence to the show.

"I had to go in there and instill some fear, you know," she said. "I had to go in there and let people know what's up. I actually wore a t-shirt that said, 'I win' to the first day of shooting.

Harris wouldn't say whether or not her first day t-shirt rang true, but her hope is to take her Sports Wraps concept nationwide, and to be the next great restaurant standing.

"I don't think you can lose if you make it to the top 10 in the contest," she said. "So for me, win or lose, technically I won."

"America's Next Great Restaurant" airs on Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. on NBC 5.

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