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Food Network Star Nikki Dinki Reveals Triumph Over Tragedy

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Cooking Channel host Nikki Dinki is on fire – from hosting a TV show to releasing a new cookbook and welcoming her second child. After overcoming the tragedy of a stillbirth, she spoke exclusively with about her hectic life.

Dinki was a contestant on Food Network Star where she made it to the final four, but was sent home near the end of the season. But she didn't let the shocking elimination get her down. She auditioned for a Cooking Channel show and is now staring with Paula Deen's son, Bobby, in Junk Food Flip.

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"I'm doing exactly what I wanted to be doing," Dinki told

She said that being eliminated on Food Network Star was a setback for her career, but she wasn't completely discouraged.

"I knew that I would just have to do more hard work. I was already on a hard working path and this would have been such a great success, but I had to go back and invest time and energy into getting to where I want to be."

Dinki stayed in the business and ended up being cast alongside Bobby. Junk Food Flip started the second season on January 19, 2016.

"It is a pleasure working with Bobby. He's silly and he has magnetic energy," Dinki said about the Georgia native. "And he has a contagious accent! You'll have to watch the show and see how I start saying y'all!"

Dinki gave a sneak peek into the season, revealing what her favorite recipe was.

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"We did a show at Burntzilla and turned their sliders with baked ziti on top into a healthier version. It was perfect for my point of view in cooking and it was meat on the side and it was delicious."

But Dinki's sunny disposition hides a darker reality.

Viewers saw Dinki on the FNS reunion appear with a hug baby belly, but her daughter Willa was stillborn at 40 weeks.

"It was devastating, and a real mix of emotions," Dinki told

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"It was the worst day of my life but the next day, when I got to hold her, it was the best day of my life."

She explained how she keeps her daughter in her thoughts at all times.

"When I found out I got Junk Food Flip I called my mom and dad. My husband and I had some champagne and toasted and spent the rest of the dinner crying. Every joy has sadness but I focus on love instead of loss."

The "Meat on the Side" chef wrote lovingly about her daughter on her website and Instagram account, sharing a recipe that she dedicated to her daughter.

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"I was so frustrated that I didn't get to share my maternal instincts and love with Willa."

The outpouring of support has been encouraging for Dinki, who is now expecting her second child in April.

"I focus on how much I love Willa," she said. "If I start thinking negative thoughts I let them go. It's not important."

Her positive outlook comes from a place of deep satisfaction. "I still have a pretty good life," Dinki told "I have a great husband, I live in the city that I love and I have a job that I love on television.

"Would I trade everything to live in a shack if I could have our baby? Sure. But we don't have that choice so I chose to live here today and do my best."

"I wanted to share my story because I am so filled with love for Willa and I wanted to talk about it openly."

Tune into the Junk Food Flip Season Two on Tuesdays at 9pm EST on Cooking Channel.



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