Chatting With Food Network Star’s Bob Tuschman

by in Food Network Star, May 8, 2013

Bob TuschmanFor years on Food Network Star you've seen Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson guide, grow and, ultimately, judge and eliminate dozens of Star hopefuls, but how much do you know about these face of Food Network executives? Just in time for next month's all-new Star premiere, on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, FN Dish chatted with both Bob and Susie to learn a bit more about their roles at Food Network, their experiences in the kitchen, plus their thoughts on past seasons of competition and what makes an ideal Star candidate. Read on below to get the inside television scoop from Bob, senior vice president/general manager of Food Network, then read an exclusive interview with Susie.

Tell us a bit about what you do. What does a typical day look like for you?
Bob: My limousine picks me up at noon. I try to get a good half-hour of work in before heading off to lunch with one of our stars. Depending on how many martinis, I usually go straight home to prepare for another stressful day!

Oh, for real? My day is usually back-to-back meetings. My (extraordinary) programmers and I review show pitches, brainstorm new ideas, and watch rough cuts of new episodes and series. I also meet with agents, producers and our stars to talk about new projects. It’s fun! And they pay me.

Working at Food Network must mean you're surrounded by food all day, or at least thinking about it. Do you like to cook at home?
BT: On Sundays I usually make a stew or pasta, which I use as a “main” all week long. So when I get home weeknights, I steam a few veggies, drizzle on olive oil and reheat the weekend dish. Dinner is on the table in about 10 minutes. I’m asleep in about 15.

What's your favorite type of cuisine, whether to cook or eat out?
BT: Anything Mediterranean. I love the sun-drenched cuisines that rely on vegetables/fish/olive oil/beans and, of course, wine, so: Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, Moroccan.

Do you have a favorite Food Network recipe?
BT: No, but I swear I’ve used all 50,000.

What was your most-memorable meal? What, where, with who — details, please.
BT: My favorite memories: Sitting with Ina on her porch on a lush summer evening, splitting a pitcher of her frosty margaritas and noshing on her homemade guacamole and chips. Lunch at Bobby’s summer home — splitting a bottle of rose while he grilled freshly caught snapper … A pasta feast Giada made for a few of her Food Network Star friends … sipping a Prosecco and watching the sunset over the Pacific. I swear we don’t only drink together.

This is the ninth season of Food Network Star. Has it gotten easier for you to tell who the most-promising contenders from day one are?
BT: There are always a few who have a natural charisma and bigger-than-life energy that instantly catch my eye. They usually become not just my favorite, but viewer favorites.

What's one of the most important things you've learned from past seasons of the show that you carried with you into this upcoming season?
BT: Never stand next to Susie when she’s in 6-inch heels. I look like a very old third-grader.

Has there ever been an instance when you and Susie have felt one away about a particular finalist, but the other judges — Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis — felt differently? How was it resolved?
BT: Remember, Alton, Bobby and Giada are all accomplished producers, besides being stars. So while the five of us often disagree, it rarely splits along lines as cleanly as Bob and Susie on one side, and the stars on the other. We’re all executives with differing viewpoints. Ultimately, the majority rules.

What's something about filming the show that fans at home might not realize?
BT: The judging sessions — a few minutes of TV time — take hours and hours and hours to tape. They’re really mentoring sessions, not judging. We spend a lot of time trying to “grow” each finalist to achieve their Star potential.

Fill in the blanks: A Food Network star must be ________, must enjoy ________ and must be able to ________.
BT: Must be electric, must enjoy talking to a single glass lens and must be able to live life on a bigger scale than you or me.

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Comments (53)

  1. bear says:

    LETS HOPE THEY DON'T SCREWUP AND PICK THE WRONG PERSON IN THE FINAL. THE PAST 2 SEASON WHERE A FLOP.SANDWICH KING ALREADY GONE BY THE WAY SIDE. I LOST FAITH IN THIS TO EVEN BRING A GOOD NEW COOK IN THE NETWORK.

    • crusty says:

      If everything can be a sandwich then nothing takes much talent.

    • Kathy says:

      When they have the final it would be nice if someone did better than making mac & cheese like Yvan did last year. That was so anti-climactic.

  2. Michael says:

    Some people wont bother to click on people's videos. I have a suggestion. How about instead of having the pitch-room again, take whoever wins a given challenge and right after they win it, replay that person's video at the very end of the episode?

  3. Joe Mocco says:

    How come the Stars of "Drop 5 Pounds" never seem to loose weight. Melissa becoming a Muffin Top, Ati looking like an over stuffed Samosa. Keep the "Beekman Boys" from kissing so much, FOOD is a "G" rated sport, not a Gay Rights springboard. That segment of programming on your part is Vile! Tired of their "hissy fits" too!

  4. Lindamelinda says:

    I am sad to see FN stoop to the level of other reality shows by keeping Danushka, who by the way, was in the bottom 3 for 2 weeks. You will never admit you are keeping her for the drama affect. But judging by comments elsewhere you have insulted your fan bases' integrity by thinking we would want to watch a show hosted by the likes of her. She has no personality whatsoever and is as boring as a rock! I have been a fan on FN for 20+ years, but have lost alot of respect....very disappointed!! As a footnote, I saw her the first time when she was on chopped and couldnt stand her narcissistic, stuck up demeanor then either!

    Read more at: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/star-talk/2013/05/09/...

  5. paulad says:

    Let's face it the show has jumped the shark. Your casting crew just rehashed losers from other shows ,except for the one who won Iron Chef. Are your judges so busy with their own shows they can not take the time to judge new talent ? Here is an idea FIRE them and get new faces so the rest of us do not have to suffer. Either way I found the solution see you next season (maybe) Shame on you

  6. corrine says:

    I really hope i enjoy tonight's episode , i was so disappointed last week when Danushka survived , she has a horrible personality, i wouldn't watch anything she was on and if she gets through tonight this is the last episode and last season i will watch, just too annoying.

  7. Judy Granlund says:

    I am an avid Food Network viewer . I cannot justify why you would treat Paula so badly over a simple mistake. The last time I checked, we were all human and making a mistake is very much a part of being part of the human race.. I implore you to reconsider pulling Paula Deen from your station. Her culture is Southern. That is who she is .... not only where she is from. You should issue a public apology to Paula, her family. friends and fans. I WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT PAULA DEEN AND HER RIGHT TO MAKE A MISTAKE AS WELL AS EXPRESS HER SOUTHERN CULTURE. Shame on you and the Food Network. Reconsider please!

  8. Yonnie says:

    We need to see more of bob and Susie on the show... They make it authentic ..not just a reality show...

  9. guest says:

    They are letting Bobby, Giada and Alton face any bad reactions from viewers over eliminations and judging decisions.

  10. Gina says:

    What are you thinking??? How could you take Paula Deen off of the Food Network because of a statement she made years ago. Who is perfect? This lady deserves much more respect than you are showing her. If you don't reconsider, it will be your loss and the loss of many of her fans. I have no doubt she will rise above this and move on without you. We will continue to see Paula with or without you!