Damaris’ Look-Back at Season 9 and Insider Advice for Future Finalists

by in Interviews, April 14, 2014

Damaris PhillipsJust one year ago, Damaris Phillips was preparing to begin the job interview of her life, an 11-week journey alongside just as many rivals that would end either in disappointment or sweet victory and the title of Food Network Star. After a summer of heated competition that included tears, trying challenges and no shortage of constructive critiques from mentors Alton, Bobby and Giada, Damaris ultimately earned the win last August and secured her spot in stardom. Now as an all-new crop of competitors gets ready to experience the journey for themselves, Damaris looks back on her winning moment, dishes on what the contest is really like and offers insider advice for Season 10 hopefuls.

Take us back to the moment you saw your picture on the monitor and you realized you had won. What was going through your mind?
I was surprised and kind of not surprised because I had been hoping for it. But then also, like, there's this absolute moment of total blank, like I didn't have anything to say. No thoughts. And I just had no idea of what it was going to look like after that, so I couldn't even be like, "Oh, now it starts." Like, it was literally one of the only times in my life when my mind went completely blank.

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Now Casting: Food Network Star, Season 10

by in Community, September 26, 2013

Food Network Star, Season 10 CastingGuy Fieri, Justin Warner and Damaris Phillips. These three Food Network chefs weren't born into stardom; it took a journey from fandom to fierce competition on Food Network Star to turn their passion for food and people into a career and to ultimately help them break into the world of television. If you've ever found yourself at home wondering how you, too, could end up on Food Network, the time has come for you to prove your star power.

Food Network is currently casting Season 10 of Food Network Star, but before you can show off your cooking chops to the mentors and dazzle the network with your camera-ready personality, you have to begin the application process. Check the official casting website to download an application and to complete instructions on how to apply, and consider visiting one of the open casting calls (listed after the jump) in a city near you.

Find out where to attend an open casting call

It’s Pie Style, Jack — An Interview with Rodney Henry

by in Interviews, August 15, 2013

Rodney Henry's Pie Style Finale PantsThere's no doubt about it: Rodney Henry is the Pie Man. What pie style is might still be out for debate, but this runner-up has proved to Food Network fans that whatever it is, it seems like a pretty good time. Through all the "suckers," "cool cats" and "it's pie style, jack," he's taken this season of Star and turned it upside down. Committed to staying true to himself, Rodney survived 10 weeks of competition to earn a spot among the final three competitors. While he ultimately came up short behind winner Damaris Phillips, there's no doubt that Rodney has star power.

Star Talk caught up with Rodney to chat about his time on Star, what he thought of the mentors and what fans can expect in the future.

Rodney HenryWhat was your favorite Star moment of the season?
RH: For me it was the Star Charity Auction during Episode 7, where I decided to do the astronaut-Gastronaut piece. Right then I decided I was just going to do my own thing. At that point I was told to use more descriptive words and be less of a tool, so I just wanted to go for it. I was walking around my hotel the night before when what I thought was an amazing idea came to me: "Astronauts" sounds just like "Gastronauts."

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Photos: Alton’s Best Food Network Star Caption Tweets

by in Judges, August 14, 2013

Alton's Best Food Network Star Caption TweetsWhile each episode of Star may have been only one hour long, the experience of each week's challenges and eliminations lived on online in photo galleries and videos. While fans likely have checked out a few slideshows of the series' top moments, browsed behind-the-scenes snapshots from the set and seen the mentors' wildest facial expressions captured in photos, they weren't the only ones reliving what had gone down this season — Alton did the same.

All summer long Alton was clicking around the Food Network Star online headquarters to find some of his favorite moments from the competition and caption them in his very own way: with Post-it notes. His longtime Twitter followers know that Post-its are Alton's signature style of tweeting, so it was no surprise when he started sharing his best captions with fans.

Photos: Alton's Best Caption Tweets

A Letter to Damaris, from the Rebel

by in Food Network Star, August 13, 2013

Food Network Star Season 9 WinnerHey, Damaris,

As I'm sure Bob, Susie, Alton, Giada and Bobby have already done so, I'd like to be the sixth person to welcome you to the Food Network family. I'm sure you'll fit in quite nicely, as we are all really just a bunch of food-obsessed kooks who like to entertain and have a good time.

Having been through the process, I know exactly what it takes to get where you are, and you've got it. Your poise during the Chopped challenge led me to believe you were a contender. Your pilot really sealed the deal. Your sense of humor is a perfect fit for our audience, and your optimism and good vibes just leap from the screen. Your POV is as solid as it gets. It is who you are: a teacher, a romantic and someone who isn't afraid to sing Bonnie Tyler karaoke after just one drink. Congratulations on finding the sweet spot between all of those Damarises. Also, as a dude who was chastised for winning the home ec award in middle school, I appreciate you championing the idea that everyone should love to cook for each other.

Congratulations on also having the largest gain in Twitter followers since the start of the competition. Interacting with fans is the name of the game. I look forward to seeing your "blue check" soon.

So what else is in store for you? Lemme tell you this: everything.

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Star Exclusive: Watch the Winner’s First Interview

by in Interviews, August 11, 2013

It's been 11 weeks of ups and downs, tears and laughs, and moments that each finalist will never forget. The final three have been through the wringer, and now, thanks to loyal fans, Food Network has its newest Star.

Star Talk caught up with the winner just moments after the memorable announcement. Click play on the video above to watch Star Talk's exclusive interview.

What did you think about the big win? Share your thoughts on the finale in the comments.

Chat with winner on Food Network's Facebook page on Monday, August 12, at 2pm/1c: Facebook.com/FoodNetwork.

The Top 10 Moments of Star, in Rebel Fashion

by in Recap, August 10, 2013

The Top 10 Moments of Star, in Rebel Fashion10. In the first episode, Chad crushed it right out of the gate. For those of us who have now watched nine seasons of this program, it's kind of a tradition to get a rush of excitement about one of the contestants in the first episode. Chad had it in a Cryo-vac'-ed bag.

Stacey Poon-Kinney9. Another favorite moment of mine in Episode 1 is when Alton talks to Stacey about how to address the camera and then she kills her presentation. Don't we just love seeing the magic of mentorship? Having been mentored by AB, I can assure you that the feeling we get from watching it on TV is only half as powerful as the feeling in real life — and look how far she ran.

8. Burger Bash. Man, talk about a meat grinder. So many bodies trying to do so many things. You had Chris eating raw meat, Danushka threatening toplessness, Lovely smashing her hamburgers into the grill, a freaking banh mi burger and Rodney, bless his soul, was like a speed metal a cappella solo. It was a classic FNS train wreck challenge and we ate it up like it was a Russell Burger with all seven sins on top.

Get Justin's top moments

Caption It: Look Who’s Back

by in Community, August 9, 2013

Daniela Perez-Reyes, Danushka Lysek and Andres GuillamaFor Damaris, Rodney and Russell, this Sunday night will surely prove to be one of the most defining moments of their lives so far. One will ultimately accept the job of Food Network personality, while two others will leave empty-handed, their dreams of stardom only a memory. What can you expect from Sunday's Star finale? A committee of network stars ready to welcome the winner to the family to be sure, plus a few surprise appearances from past finalists.

Take a look at the sneak-peek photo above from the episode. Daniela, Danushka and Andres, the first three rivals eliminated from the competition, are caught up in a giggle fit during taping. What do you think has these three in the throes of laughter? Are they reliving particularly funny moments from their time on the show, or are they snickering at the situation unfolding around them?

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Mentors’ Eats and Drinks for a Finale Viewing Party

by in Recipes, August 7, 2013

GuacamoleAfter watching 10 weeks of competition and making your voices heard in this season's finale vote, you, Star fans, are just days away from meeting the newest Food Network Star. No matter if you're rooting for Damaris and her Southern-inspired Eat, Date, Love idea, for Rodney's pie-focused pilot Pie Style or for Russell's deliciously sinful Guilty Pleasures concept, anxiety will be at an all-time high on Sunday night, when one hopeful will earn the job of a lifetime.

Russell Jackson, Damaris Phillips and Rodney HenryBefore you watch the next Food Network Star accept his or her new title on Sunday, prepare a few easy-to-make snacks to enjoy during the show. Classic TV-watching munchies like chips and dip, plus a sweet treat of cookies and lemonade are go-to picks, and this year's Star mentors are sharing their easy recipes to make at home.

For a platter of crunchy, salty snacks, try Alton's top-rated Guacamole, a no-fail fan favorite made with traditional ingredients, like ripe avocados, lime juice, garlic and cilantro. Alton recommends letting the prepared guacamole rest at room temperature for an hour before serving, so the flavors have time to marry.

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Guy Talks Food Network Star and What the Winner Will Need

by in Interviews, August 7, 2013

Guy Fieri Talks Food Network StarIt's hard to believe that it's been seven years since Guy Fieri won the second season of Food Network Star. Since that unforgettable moment, he's dominated homegrown eats on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and cooked up a storm on Guy's Big Bite — he's the ideal example of Star success.

Last Sunday night, the final three finalists — Damaris, Rodney and Russell — had the opportunity of a lifetime. They got to pick Guy's brain for tips and tricks. No stranger to filming a pilot, Guy mentored the finalists through their tapes.

Star Talk recently caught up with Guy to ask him about his time with the finalists and what the winner will need in the future.

What was your experience like on Star this season??
GF: I had a really nice time with all of them while I was producing their pilots for Episode 10, and they all have so much talent that I think the gain — the expectation for the next Food Network Star competitors — is that the bar has been raised so high. I mean, you have to be the best of the best.

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