The Next Food Network Star

The Next Food Network Star
Next Food Network Star Cropped.jpg
Logo for the third season
Format Reality, Cooking
Presented by Marc Summers
(Seasons 1-2, season 3 finale)
Judges Bob Tuschman
Susie Fogelson
Bobby Flay
Giada De Laurentiis
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 45
Running time 90 minutes
Original channel Food Network
Original run June 5, 2005 (2005-06-05) – present
Related shows Party Line with The Hearty Boys
Guy's Big Bite
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
The Gourmet Next Door
Big Daddy's House
Will Work for Food
Ten Dollar Dinners
Kid in a Candy Store
Aarti Party
Outrageous Food
United Tastes of America
External links

The Next Food Network Star is a reality television series produced by and aired on the Food Network in the United States that awards the winner his or her own series on the Food Network. Beginning in season seven, the title was shortened to Food Network Star.


Season one


The first season of The Next Food Network Star series was taped in February 2005, and was composed of five episodes premiering on Sundays at 9 PM in June 2005. Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh were the winners of the first season. These two Chicago area caterers host a show called Party Line with Dan & Steve, now titled Party Line with The Hearty Boys, which premiered on September 18, 2005. The runner-up, Deborah Fewell, was chosen to host a special on food at beaches, Surf N Turf, which aired in June 2006. Michael Thomas is the recurring chef on The Tyra Banks Show. Susannah Locketti has made an appearance on The Tony Danza Show, and is also an on-air chef for Publix grocery stores in the southern United States.


Finalist Age Hometown Place
Dan Smith & Steve McDonagh 42 and 40 Bellmore, NY and Wayne, NJ Winners
Deborah Fewell 32 Los Angeles, CA Runner-Up
Hans Rueffert 32 Jasper, GA 3rd
Susannah Locketti 33 Plymouth, MA 4th
Eric Warren 52 Los Angeles, CA 5th
Michael Thomas 36 Venice, CA 6th
Harmony Marceau 30 New York City, NY 7th
Brook Harlan 24 Columbia, MO 8th

Season two


The second season of The Next Food Network Star series was taped in December 2005 and began airing in March 2006. Guy Fieri was announced as the winner on April 23, 2006, beating Reggie Southerland. Guy's Big Bite premiered in June 2006 and was picked up for a second season in 2008 and remains in production. Originally intended as a one-hour special, Fieri's second series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, premiered April 23, 2007. Guy's third series, Ultimate Recipe Showdown, first aired on February 17, 2008, co-hosted by Marc Summers. Guy's newest show debuted on the Food Network on September 14, 2008. Called Guy Off The Hook, it is similar in concept to Emeril Live, but allows guests to come up on stage and participate in the cooking.

Guy has appeared with Dinner: Impossible chef Robert Irvine, and with Paula Deen in Paula's Party in 2007; and as a guest judge in subsequent seasons of The Next Food Network Star. He is also host of NBC Network's Minute To Win It.

Fourth-place contestant Nathan Lyon began hosting his own series, A Lyon In the Kitchen,[1] on the Discovery Health Channel in March 2007.


Finalist Age Hometown Culinary P.O.V. Eliminated
Guy Fieri 38 Santa Rosa, CA "Off the Hook" California Cuisine Winner
Reggie Southerland 39 Los Angeles, CA Modern Soul Food Runner-Up
Carissa Seward 33 San Diego, CA Simple Food for Entertaining Week 6
Nathan Lyon 35 Los Angeles, CA Healthy and Seasonal Food Week 5
Andrew Schumacher 26 Brooklyn, NY Cooking Techniques Week 4
Evette Rodriguez 35 Port St. Lucie, FL Latin Cuisine Week 3
Elizabeth Raynor 32 Sausalito, CA Simple Mediterranean Cuisine Week 2
Jess Dang 24 Menlo Park, CA Asian Cuisine Week 1

Season three


The third season began on June 3, 2007, and the winner was announced on Sunday, July 22. In season 3, judges narrowed the field down to 2 with 1 or 2 contestants going home weekly. Once the field was down to 2, the viewers picked the winner. During the season, the contestants lived in a shared house in New York City. The contestants' challenges included cooking concession food for a NBA game (with guest Darryl Dawkins) to a mini version of Food Network's Iron Chef America (with guest judges Bobby Flay and Cat Cora). The Selection Committee consisted of Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson along with one guest. Guest judges included Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, Duff Goldman, season two winner Guy Fieri, and Robert Irvine. Additionally, Paula Deen and Rachael Ray participated in contestant challenges, and Bobby Flay also played a role in the guidance and selection process. Amy Finley was chosen by America as The Next Food Network Star on July 22, 2007. Her new show The Gourmet Next Door premiered on October 14, 2007 and ran for six episodes. Finley later declined to continue with the series, citing relocation to France for family reasons.


Name Age Hometown Eliminated
Amy Finley 33 San Diego, CA Winner1
Rory Schepisi 31 Vega, TX Runner-Up
Joshua Adam "JAG" Garcia 25 Havelock, NC Withdrew1
Paul McCullough 36 Los Angeles, CA Week 6
Adrien Sharp 29 Jackson, MI Week 5
Michael Salmon 53 Brooklyn, NY Week 4
Tommy Grella, Jr. 34 Methuen, MA Week 3
Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine 29 New York, NY Week 3
Nikki Shaw 38 Oakland, CA Week 2
Patrick Rolfe 33 Seattle, WA Week 1
Vivien Cunha 40 Hermosa Beach, CA Week 1

^Note 1 : Amy Finley was eliminated Week 7, and the original finalists were Rory Schepisi and Joshua "JAG" Garcia. After the final elimination episode was aired, evidence came to light that JAG had lied about both his culinary training and his military service, representing both as more extensive than they actually were.[2][3] Food Network allowed him to withdraw from the competition and reinstated Amy Finley, who was voted The Next Food Network Star.

Season four


Season four of The Next Food Network Star premiered on Sunday, June 1, 2008. Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson are joined by Bobby Flay as the selection committee for this season. Each new episode aired on Sundays at 10:00 PM EDT. For this season, the viewers no longer received the chance to vote for the winner; producers instead made the final decision. This led to an error by, which briefly posted the winning moment video on their website three days before the finale aired.[4] The winner for the fourth season was Aaron McCargo, Jr. His winning show idea, Big Daddy's House, first aired August 3, 2008. Finalist Adam Gertler was soon hired to host a Food Network show called Will Work for Food, which debuted on January 19, 2009 and was cancelled after one season. He now hosts the Food Network show "Kid in a Candy Store" which is currently filming its second season. Kelsey Nixon co-hosts a web show on (a Food Network sister site) and also appeared in the premiere of Chefs vs. City in 2009. In 2010, Gertler and Nixon became co-hosts of The Next Food Network Star After Party, a half-hour recap/interview show following that night's episode of Star, on Food Network's sister station Cooking Channel. Nixon stars in Kelsey's Essentials, a program on kitchen and cooking basics for The Cooking Channel that began in November, 2010.[5]


Name Age Hometown Occupation Eliminated
Aaron McCargo, Jr. 36 Camden, NJ Chef Winner
Adam Gertler 30 Philadelphia, PA Food Server Runner-Up
Lisa Garza 32 Dallas, TX Restaurateur/Designer Runner-Up
Kelsey Nixon 23 North Ogden, UT Assistant Culinary Director Week 7
Shane Lyons 20 Colorado Springs, CO Private Chef and actor Week 6
Jennifer Cochrane 32 Woonsocket, RI Chef Week 5
Nipa Bhatt 35 Victoria, MN Marketing Manager Week 4
Jeffrey Vaden 43 White Plains, NY Food Service Management Week 3
Kevin Roberts 39 San Diego, CA Radio Talk Show Host/Restaurant Owner/Author Week 2
Cory Kahaney 45 New York, NY Stand-up Comedian Week 1

Season five


Season five of The Next Food Network Star premiered on June 7, 2009. Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson were joined by Bobby Flay as the Selection Committee for this season, which was filmed early this year in Miami, Florida and New York, New York. Melissa D'Arabian was declared the winner on August 2, 2009 with the title for her show being Ten Dollar Dinners. Her show premiered on August 9, 2009. On August 17, 2009, Food Network announced Jeffrey Saad would return in a series of online videos based on his pilot, now called "The Spice Smuggler."[6] The program premiered with four 4-1/2 minute videos featuring one spice and a recipe incorporating it.[7] Saad was named the national representative for the American Egg Board. In November, 2010, Saad will debut in a new show for The Cooking Channel currently titled United Tastes of America, which explores multiple aspects of traditional American food.[5] Finalist Debbie Lee has carried her "Seoul to Soul" concept to the streets of LA, opening a lunch truck Ahn-Joo, featuring a range of Korean food.


Name Age Hometown Occupation Culinary P.O.V. Eliminated
Melissa d'Arabian 40 Keller, TX Stay-At-Home Mom "Kitchen Survival Guide" Winner
Jeffrey Saad 42 Los Angeles, CA Restaurateur/Food Consultant/Recipe Developer/Chef "Ingredient Smuggler" Runner-Up
Debbie Lee 39 West Hollywood, CA Restaurant Consultant "From Seoul to Soul" Week 8
Jamika Pessoa 30 Atlanta, GA Personal Chef/Businesswoman Caribbean Cuisine Week 7
Michael Proietti 28 City Island, NY Executive Chef "Global A Go-Go" Week 6
Katie Cavuto 30 Philadelphia, PA Personal Chef & Dietician Healthy and Green Cuisine Week 5
Teddy Folkman 33 Alexandria, VA Restaurant Owner/Executive Chef "Gourmet Bar Food" Week 4
Eddie Gilbert 30 Los Angeles, CA Apprentice Chef Traditional dishes simplified for the home cook Week 3
Brett August 32 New York, NY Executive Sous Chef Simple food for the home cook Week 2
Jen Isham 30 Orlando, FL Sales Manager "Housewife 2.0" Week 1

Season six


The sixth season of the series premiered on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson were again joined again by Bobby Flay as judges; in addition, Giada De Laurentiis served as an on-set mentor. On July 17, 2010, a post-competition recap and discussion show premiered on The Cooking Channel. Shows were filmed in Los Angeles, California. On August 15, 2010, Aarti Sequeira was declared the winner, and her new show Aarti Party[8] premiered on Sunday, August 22, 2010 and features American style cuisine with unique Indian flair. Season 2 of Aarti Party[8] is scheduled to premiere in December. The Food Network also signed runner-up Tom Pizzica to host a new show called Outrageous Food, which premiered in November 2010.[9]


Name Age Hometown Occupation Culinary P.O.V. Eliminated
Aarti Sequeira 31 Los Angeles, CA Food Blogger "Aarti Paarti" Winner
Herb Mesa 41 Atlanta, GA Personal Trainer/Personal Chef "Cooking Con Sabor" Runner-Up
Tom Pizzica 32 San Francisco, CA Unemployed Chef "Big Chef" Runner-Up
Aria Kagan 30 Hollywood, FL Private Chef "Family Style" Week 9
Brad Sorenson 25 Austin, TX Professional Chef "Culinary Quest" Week 8
Serena Palumbo 31 New York, NY Attorney "Serena's Trattoria" Week 7
Brianna Jenkins 30 Atlanta, GA Caterer "Sexy and Fabulous Flavors" Week 6
Paul Young 32 Chicago, IL Waiter "Blue-Collar Dollar" Week 5
Darrell "DAS" Smith 28 Los Angeles, CA High School Culinary Teacher Week 4
Dzintra Dzenis 44 Austin, TX Private Cooking Instructor Week 3
Doreen Fang 38 Los Angeles, CA Caterer/Cooking Instructor "Simply Complex" Week 2
Alexis Hernandez 40 Clarksville, IN Part-time food Writer Week 1

Season seven


The seventh season of the series premiered on Sunday, June 5, 2011. The show is an elimination based show where every week one contestant is eliminated. Season seven winner Jeff Mauro's show "Sandwich King" premiered on Sunday, August 21, 2011.


Name Age Hometown Occupation Culinary P.O.V. Eliminated
Jeff Mauro 32 Chicago, IL Corporate Chef "Sandwich King" Winner
Susie Jimenez 31 Carbondale, CO Catering Company Owner "Spice It Up" Runner-Up
Vic "Vegas" Moea 36 Las Vegas, NV Executive Chef "Mama's Boy" Week 11
Mary Beth Albright 38 Washington, DC Food Writer and Blogger "Sunday Supper" Week 10
Whitney Chen 28 New York, NY Chef "Four Star Flair" Week 9
Jyll Everman 31 Glendora, CA Caterer "Jyllicious Bites" Week 8
Penny Davidi 39 Los Angeles, CA Restaurant Owner "Middle Eastern Mama" Week 7
Chris Nirschel 28 Hoboken, NJ Sous Chef "On the Line" Week 7
Orchid Paulmeier 38 Bluffton, SC Restaurant Owner "Asian Persuasion" Week 6
Justin Davis 31 Minneapolis, MN Food Blogger "The Flavor Factory" Week 5
Justin Balmes 32 Marietta, GA Fishmonger/ Butcher "Kitchen Workshop" Week 4
Alicia Sanchez 33 New York, NY Young Adult Culinary Teacher "Alicia's Guilty Pleasures" Week 3
Katy Clark 34 Long Beach, CA Food and Fitness Company Operator "Simply Fabulous" Week 2
Juba Kali 29 New Orleans, LA Research Chef "Cuisine Made Simply" Week 2
Howie Drummond 40 Highlands Ranch, CO Radio Host "Basic and Delicious" Week 1


External links

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