Aarti’s After Party: It All Comes Down to You

by in Food Network Star, July 16, 2012

Final Four - Season 8 Food Network StarAarti Sequeira won Food Network Star season 6 and expanded her popular blog into a cooking show, Aarti Party (catch it on Food Network, Sundays at 7:30am/6:30c). As a Star veteran watching from her couch at home, Aarti shares her insider’s take on what went down each week.

Deep breath.

I imagine there are a lot of deep breaths happening in the homes of four particular people this week. As I type, four separate hearts are probably beating wildly. Four minds may be letting their imaginations run wild. Four souls might be praying for four particular outcomes.

An outcome that depends on a click of your index finger.

Oh, the drama of it all!

Sure, we’ve all seen our fair share of reality competition shows, so perhaps the novelty has worn off, perhaps we’ve grown jaded. But having had my own future held in the hands of others, I’d just like to remind you of what you have the power to do right now.

When I was given this treasure of a job, my life completely changed. There I was, the granddaughter of a rice farmer in a small Indian town, catapulted into the living rooms of people across the United States of America, sharing the food that brings me joy. It was the climax of not just my dream but the dream of my grandmother, an amazing cook, who had died before I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye. Just like that, I was given the opportunity to do a job that I had played at doing when I was just a toddler, arranging my cooking set just so. Little did I know that the Play-Doh chapatis I’d rolled out before my pretend camera would be great practice for the real ones I’d be rolling out before six real cameras and millions of eyes 30 years later!

Aarti's Winning Moment

In just one moment, my purpose on earth emerged from the mist that had hidden it from view for so many difficult years, forcing me to believe the lie that since I was purposeless, I was useless. As the sheet fell and revealed my face on the wall next to Giada’s and Rachael’s photos, it dealt a crushing blow to that cursed self-doubt that had plagued me my entire life.

It had all the makings of a fairy tale. Except this is real.

See? This isn’t just a small decision you hold in your hands. This is a big deal. You get to change someone’s life — for good! You get to be the fairy godmother to these four Cinderellas ! So consider this carefully. If you don’t agree with the winner, but you didn’t vote, then you don’t get to gripe about it.

Final Four

Whether it’s a vote for the quirky rebel with a trademark pompadour and rebellious cuisine whose show promises to fill the gap left by a certain Mr. Brown; or a vote for the chatty Southern belle who has dreamed of this job ever since she decided that she would throw her own parties rather than not be invited to any; or a vote for the chef from New England whose passion for that cuisine oozes out of her skin and whose cooking chops promise to teach us a good deal about good cooking in general; or a vote for the charming Venezuelan whose family stories and clever cooking tips might help us all bring our families (natural or chosen!) around the table every night, it’s up to you.

Choose wisely, America! This is your fairy godmother moment. I can’t wait to see what you decide.

Vote online up to 10 times per day until 5pm on Tuesday!

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Comments (671)

  1. Barbara says:

    Was disappointing season for me. I watched it from start to finish and have to say the format sucked this year. Mentors and teams did not work. Talented people got cut to "keep teams even" and those who should have been cut stayed on endlessly. Why can't they combine the individual and mentor concepts like this: all contestants compete against each other on an individual basis, but with a couple of mentors that coach and guide ALL OF THEM, not just a few. That way the infighting and dirty pool would be "policed" by the presence of the mentors, but the contestants get eliminated on their own merit or lack thereof. Seems workable to me, but then what do I know.__I know this much......Emily and Ippy had more talent in their little fingers than all the rest of them put together.
    But I did vote Aarti, so I reserve the right to complain after the finale! I do want to congratulate all of them for putting themseles out there for the rest of us to judge. That's not an easy thing to do.....for anyone.

    • Ippy Fan says:

      Here Here.

      I didn't even vote. I figured the time that I put into voting for Ippy every day just to see him shot down was enough voting for me.

  2. Denae says:

    I've been a fan of Justin's from week 1, and I'm even more hooked now! Go Justin!

  3. Makabaker says:

    Ippy, Ippy, Ippy!! I like his laid back island ways and his food was the best. I also wanted Emily, but she was voted off for not having a "story to tell." Isn't FOOD Network supposed to be about food?

    Justin's a cool kid, but what's he gonna feed us? Aspic?

    Martie talks WAY too much.

    Yvan is cute too look at but BORING.

    Michele, well, I like New England and all, but how long can that last??

    This was a really , really disappointing season. All about the star mentors and "stories" when it should have been about food. Bleh. I'm not voting for any of them.

    • Roriness says:

      Oh, I thought this season was way better than last season. Everyone was likeable, well except Giada, lol. I think Emily had a story to tell, she just seemed to be uncomfortable telling it, whatever that was. I suspect it might have been something painful for her. Nikki stayed WAY too long and I was glad for Martita to go.

      I really like Michelle, but like you, I am not sure how mileage one can get out of My New England.

      I am rooting über hard for Justin because I like how he surprises us.

  4. Rori says:

    Justin is my first choice, Yvan and Michelle tied for second. I would gladly and rabidly watch any of their shows. But NOT Martie. Sorry Martie.

    But I think Justin will be something so new, so avant garde and so freaky fresh, I just hope everyone else who voted in America sees it.

  5. Roriness says:

    Ugh, Martie's pilot shows she does not deserve to win. Sorry Martie fans

  6. ryan says:

    I don't like that the final episode will be anti-climatic. Justin is clearly going to win.

  7. Guest says:

    Yvan, what a great person and friend you are. Thanks for the information about Ippy. (It seems incredible that the judges didn't understand the laid-back Island attitude. I can't believe the judges have never visited Hawaii!)

    I wish you all the best with the competition. Whoever the Star will be, it's clear to me that with your positive attitude, wonderful family, and creativity, you are already a winner. You have a bright future.

    • Ippy Fan says:

      Hi Guest.

      Just wondering what information you're referring to. Something Yvan posted about Ippy, but I would like to read it, if you don't mind sharing.

  8. FanFare57 says:

    Dear Aarti:
    This is very well written. Thank you for your comments. Your description of the final four is better than they seem to be. Martie's persona, in particular, comes off as someone who may have had imaginary friends to her imaginary parties. btw: her title of her imaginary show is a rip off of yours! She just doesn't scream PARTY to me. (unless it's held in an old age home for invalids). Michelle is bombastic and grungy. She looks like a Bowery Bum. Yvan has changed up his POV too much. Justin is the most unique cheftestant left (since Susie-Bob culled the herd of any possible competition based on cooking skills).

  9. maria says:

    I got to vote on Monday but facebook was so jammed yesterday that it could not connect. I tried calling but could only get a busy tone. This season for all intent is over but if they want a true count they need to come up with a better way of voting. Dancing with the Stars is direct voting and maybe they need to go that route.

  10. Canned says:

    On a side note, I did see a FN recipe that used canned corn. Why the fuss, we've all used canned products at one point to save time.

    • Mona says:

      I use canned veggies all the time and I'm willing to bet that all those bitching about it being used do the same thing!