My Next Food Network Star Spotting

by in View All Posts, January 22nd, 2009

Giada at homeWhen I first started at the Food Network, I envisioned lively coffee breaks with Giada on slow Monday afternoons. Or maybe shop talk over a toasty sandwich with Bobby in the Kitchens… Though this is not our reality and only some shows tape here in Chelsea Market, I have a few memorable run-ins to share.

I once heard Michael Symon’s distinctive laugh echoing down a hallway and scampered down to catch a glimpse. He’s definitely the Iron Chef with a heart of gold. Another time, I literally bumped into Duff Goldman while taking a corner too quickly. He laughed it off as I stuttered an apology and awkwardly ran back to my desk. Just last week I rode the elevator with Rachael Ray and her husband John – really!

But my favorite star-spotting happened while I was diligently finishing an expense report and heard a familiar voice. I looked up and, lo and behold, there was Alton Brown standing right in front of me!

What’s your best Food Network star run-in? We want stories!
~ LT, Production Coordinator

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Comments (9)

  1. Robin Koury says:

    Alright LT…How did you ever manage to maintain your composure with Rachael Ray and John in the elevator. Then Alton Brown hovering while you finish a mundane expense report…The only thing that hovers while I finish mundane tasks at work are flies. I so need to work at the Food Network!

    I have two favorite FN star run-ins. I met Bobby Flay during a taping of Grill It! He went above and beyond to make me feel welcome, comfortable and he genuinely took the time to get to know me. Bobby was everything and more than he seems on TV. I also attended the first taping of Guy Off The Hook. After the taping Guy waited by the exit door to personally say goodbye to each and every audience member. Two very memorable experiences that only help to solidify why I’m a huge FN fan!

  2. Lana says:

    *clears throat* Best FN star run-in? That’d have to be sharing a charity dinner table with Guy. But that’s not best part – the best part is the multitude of FN executives and staff who worked very hard to make that charity dinner possible – a tour guide, two publicists, three chefs, two waiters, a sound man, event coordinator and one mystery gal who helped us get up the then-secured elevator … and several people I didn’t even meet – dish washers, tablescape designer, secretaries and I’m sure more I haven’t even thought of.

    We were the guests, and yes, Guy was the star host. But you can see there were many many FN “stars” in action that night, all in coordination to make something magical happen, benefiting those in need.

    LT, I’d be just as proud to boast I shared an elevator with you, or Secretary Confidential, or Kendra “operation foodie,” or set designers, carpenters, editors, cameramen or any of the other FN staffers as I would with Guy, Giada, Rachel, Alton, Bobby or any of the rest.

    We’re all glad they’re on TV. We’re just as glad y’all are behind the scenes making it happen. Stars in my book, the lot of ya. :-)

  3. Chris says:

    LT, Alton’s the best, isn’t he? I met him this past spring when he came through town on his book tour for “Feasting on Asphalt”. He kept his audience on the edge of our collective seat with stories, jokes, knowledge of all things food, and passion for not only food but TV production. He talked for over two hours. Then, he happily (no, really) signed books and chit-chatted with each of the hundreds of fans in line. In fact, when I tried to sympathize with him over what a greuling schedule and lonly existence a book tour must be, he looked at me as if I had two heads. lol! He genuinely likes to interact with his fans. I hope he treats the staff at FN just as well–and I’ll bet he does.

  4. Laura says:

    I am 16 and I live in Canada. I am a huuuuggggeee FN fan. It’s the only channel i watch! I took a trip to New York for the first time in October and I went to Morimoto’s and Bobby Flays Bar American. Morimotos had incredible food. When i told our waiter of my culinary aspirations and love for the food network. He brought Morimoto to our table and he stayed and spoke to us for a while. I even got a signed menu! But when I went to Bar American, Bobby was not there :( But the chips were great. And the steak with cheese sauce was awesome!!

  5. Lana says:

    Well my most recent FN star run-in was *not* very nice – he was disdainful, insulting, dismissive and unprofessional.

    But not so with both Alton and Duff, who were just super when we met and shared brief conversations and quips.

  6. Kristin says:

    My husband and got really into last season's The Next Food Network Star, and were big Kelsey fans. True, she didn't win (she was robbed, we say!), but we were just tickled to find out she lives near our home town of Salt Lake City. We saw in the paper she was going to do a demo at the expo center and cought tickets. We got to ask her all our juiy behind-the-scenes TNFNS questions, sample her bread pudding, and chat with her! Then I was shopping at Sur La Table and she happened to be taching a class there! I called my husband to fill him in on the details and it was super exciting! We also found out she is going to be doing her own FN show on the website. So she's still a Food Network Star!

  7. laurie says:

    I have always wondered how you keep in shape with all that cream and cheese? I know that has nothing to do with the latest food network star but I just love allyour recipes between you and Tyler florence and Ian garten cooking I am loving the Tv. I also am looking forward to the Next food network star tomorrow. Congratulations on your Daughter turning 1… can you believe how time has pasted so fast.

  8. Steve says:

    won't be watching Iron chef anymore now that Chef Chauhan got robbed. The judging on Next Iron Chef has always been horrible, and that makes the show unwatchable. Denying John Besh was bad enough, and then making Jose Garces an Iron Chef (he was terrible) was a mistake, and now this. Not only is Chef Chauhan beautiful (would be pleasing to watch on TV), but she is also immensely talented, not to mention that cool accent. She is the true winner of Iron Chef, just like John Besh. It's so sad that they have gotten it wrong so many times. I hope I'm not the only one who is disgusted with losers like Michael Symon and Jose Garces stealing the glory.

    • The JillyBean says:

      John Besh is quite good, but he lacks the versatile slightly tacky personality that one needs to be a FN star. He's a little too "Fine Dining" for the FN. Symon on the other hand has the expansive laugh at himself very versatile quality that makes him useful on FN. He not only is an IC, but he temp hosted Irvine's show (can't remember name right now), and now does Cook Like an Iron Chef on CC. Just like how Aarti (groan) was chosen over Tom and Herb on this season's TNFNS, food is second banana to "star quality" of the contestants.It would be nice to have another female IC, but I'd like an honest win, not a win by looks.

      On the few occasions that I've decided to watch IC, Symon does a good job at repartee while cooking. Although I miss Batali and Cora who were my favorite American chefs. Flay is ok, but he always looked constipated pissed, so watching his episodes was uncomfortable if it looked like he wasn't going to win. Plus, enough with the peppers already. I agree Garces was my least favorite chef and he just makes me want to switch the channel. He also has zero personality.

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