Furman says that she did the show to have a "once-in-a-lifetime experience in hopes of maybe finding a connection with someone during my adventure."
"It didn't happen on that island, the Dominican Republic, but I was fortunate enough to make some dear friends which will be in my life forever."
Speaking of "Love in the Wild," we have just learned that the show's executive producer, Tina Nicotera, is a South Philadelphia native. Nicotera, 35, graduated from Friends Central and previously worked on "Celebrity Apprentice," "Judge Judy" and "Big Brother."
She's raising ‘Hell'
Southwest Philly native Barbie Marshall says it's more than just being from Philly; it's being the only mom on "Hell's Kitchen" that made her happy to hold her own in a huge argument with the other women on the Fox cooking show.
Marshall, 34, who worked at the now-closed Philadelphia Fish and Co. in Old City, Rx in West Philly, and Raw (1225 Sansom), said she's "not afraid to not be liked. Sometimes you have to tell your kids no and accept that they aren't gonna like you for it." Marshall has four children, including two from her late husband's previous marriage.
In July 2007, Marshall's husband John was shot and killed in Fern Rock while trying to break up a fight involving his brother. At that point, Marshall left the city for Lancaster County, where she has worked on the Green Meadow Farm, which services many local restaurants.
Marshall started cooking at 14 after the death of her father, Malcolm McRay, a retired Philadelphia Police officer, and his former partner, Vincent Cunningham, hired her to work at his Ritz Hall catering facility in North Philly.
When we caught up with Barbie yesterday, she was cooking food to donate to the Penn Alexander school in University City for its eighth-grade graduation. She says her company, Soop Catering, does a lot of charity work. She says if she wins the reality show and is offered a job at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas, she has to talk it over with her family before deciding whether to move everyone out west.
Barkley back to boxing
Charles Barkley is back to boxing at Joltin' Jabs (4303 Main) in Manayunk. Former Daily News Sexy Single Joltin' Joey DeMalavez expects Barkley, a SportsWeek columnist, to train with him through August. "He was moving today, bouncing on the balls of his feet. He looked good, he looked sharp," DeMalavez said of the Sixers legend, who has lost 50 pounds on Weight Watchers.
Out and about
Former Flyers enforcer Todd Fedoruk, now an assistant coach with the Trenton Titans, lunched with CBS 3 sports anchor Lesley Van Arsdall at Le Castagne (1920 Chestnut) Tuesday.
Funnyman Joe Conklin and his brother-in-law, Tom Marlow, are bartending starting at 7 Thursday night at Katie O'Donnell's Irish Pub (4501 Woodhaven Road) at the Franklin Mills Mall in a fundraiser for the Mary Kate's Legacy Foundation, which helps families with special-needs children. The charity is named after Conklin's niece and Marlow's daughter, Mary Kate Marlow, who died in December 2005. For info, visit marykateslegacy.com. n
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