Friday, June 1, 2007

The Next Food Network Star premiers Sunday, June 3rd at 9:00 p.m. This two hour special will introduce the eleven candidates to you. If you Google ‘Food Network Star’, you will find a lot of reviews and comments about the show. There is even a blog for Adrien Sharp. So, I’m going to take a slightly different tact. This isn’t a show about the best cook. John and Jane Doe are not just going to demonstrate their favorite recipe. Just because you have the best culinary skills in the group doesn’t mean that you win. By the way, what do you win? A contract to do a six-episode show on the Food Network, a Mercury Mariner, provided by Ford, your signature recipe featured on the cover of Bon Appetit magazine, fame and fortune. Culinary skills, good recipes, and food knowledge just aren’t enough. We have to be entertained.

According to Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice-President, Programming and Production, “We’re looking for a combination of culinary chops, star power, and the ability to handle the pressures of intense television production, and that’s difficult to find in any one person. This season, the finalists are exceptionally talented. Frankly, we put them through the ringer to find out who really deserved to join our pantheon of stars.”

The Starting 11

Vivien Cunha - Hermosa Beach, CA
Amy Finley - San Diego, CA
Josh Garcia - Havelock, NC
Tommy Grella - Methuen, MA
Colombe Jacobsen - New York, NY
Paul McCullough - Los Angeles, CA
Patrick Rolfe - Lake Forest Park, WA
Michael Salmon - Brooklyn, NY
Rory Schepisi - Vega, TX
Adrien Sharp - Jackson, MI
Nikki Shaw - Manhattan Beach, CA

For the third season, the Food Network decided to change things up just a bit. The contestants will leave the studios on at least three occasions. Some of the challenges include creating a new stadium food for an NBA team. Darryl Dawkins will be featured on most of the episodes. (The Food Network created a content partnership with the NBA in 2006.)

Another episode will be preparing food in an Army barracks.

The candidates will also be tested on their mental strength and on-air potential.

Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, Cat Cora, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine and Guy Fieri will help judge the competitors.
Starting Sunday, July 15th, viewers will make their selection via text messaging. The winner will be announced on Sunday, July 22nd.

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