One-on-One with the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

by in Interviews, July 16, 2013

Chad and Russell - Food Network Star Season 9Every Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network's next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Food Star Kitchen.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the latest finalist to go home.

A Pennsylvania-based chef passionate about all things barbecue, Chad Rosenthal survived seven weeks of competition before ultimately being sent home. During his run, he served several winning dishes, but his inability to prove his progress thus far forced his exit.

Do you think he deserved to go home? Tell Star Talk in the comments below.

Chad Rosenthal - Food Network Star Season 9You seemed to gravitate toward Memphis-style barbecue in the beginning of the competition. Is that what you’re known for at your restaurant?
CR: Yes. My first place was a Memphis-style BBQ joint — it was all about pork, smoked low and slow over hickory wood smoke, with beans and slaw, just like you find in Memphis.

What’s your favorite style to cook at home?
CR: If you're referring to barbecue, I favor the Memphis, dry rub style of true BBQ. I love to taste the meat and smoke — the sauce can always come later. Beyond barbecue, I love comfort food. What's comfort food, you ask? Anything that makes you happy when eating it or cooking it. I can cook it all!

After working so closely together with the same group for seven weeks, you must have formed strong friendships with the cast. Any funny behind-the-scenes stories you can share?
CR: All 12 cast members are awesome and unique in their own way, especially The Barbecue Guy (if I may say). We all have huge personalities and are all used to being the "talkers" in our own settings, so when we were all together, getting a word in wasn't easy. It was actually pretty funny at times! Rodney, Chris, Viet and I started a whiskey club, outside by the pool at the hotel we were staying in near the studio. I became pretty tight with Rodney when Viet and Chris went home. Rodney had a blender by his toothbrush — that's all I can tell you!

Philly-to-Texas Grilled Veggie BBQ SandwichWhat was your favorite moment of the competition?
CH: I won't name names, but during an interview on the 4th of July Live episode, someone told me that Bob Tuschman told him that my Philly to Texas Grilled Veggie BBQ Sandwich was the best of the day and that he actually took a sandwich back to his hotel room. That was a huge compliment!

Who do you think was the most intimidating judge/mentor? And which judge’s mentoring style was most beneficial?
CH: Alton was the most intimidating and, at the same time, made the biggest impression on me in so many ways. He's very scientific and I'm not. He's a straight shooter and taught me a lot about not only cooking, but on-camera presence. He seems to really care about the show, the outcome and teaching us as much as he can, in the short period of time that he has with us. It doesn't hurt that he likes bourbon either.

As “The Barbecue Guy,” do you have any tips for your fans who want to make authentic barbecue at home but may not have a grill or smoker?
CH: No [laughing]. My tip would be to make or go buy a smoker if you're going for authentic barbecue. No shortcuts here. You saw what happened to me when I tried to make barbecue in 30 minutes.

Watch Chad compete for a shot to re-enter the competition on the final episode of Star Salvation now by clicking the play button below.

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Comments (74)

  1. harleyrider says:

    I'll never wear red pants in my lifetime.

    • Rodney says:

      Red pants = Super sexy

    • MoHub says:

      Could be worse. Could be a red shirt.

      • Stacy T says:

        Look again - he's wearing a blue and red shirt w/ his red pants. I would be ok if the pants were not tappered.

        Just my take on it.

      • FNS Editor says:

        WHAT IS WRONG WITH RED PANTS????????????????????????????

        • Callie Carver says:

          Nothing is wrong with the red pants. People just want to pick on something about Chad, and he is too cute to say anything else.

          • chad says:


          • Pie Guy says:

            Dude - I stolen your pant . . da dum da dum

            got them from your dryer - da dum da dum

            when yoooooou were trying to beat Lovely for the saaaaalvation spot. (strum the guitar)

            Dang their tight. ba ba ba bum. . . . . and super duper red - ta ting ta ting

            Come get them back if you dare/ za za zu zu.

          • Splish Splash says:

            And are you Rodney?

          • Splish Splash says:

            Wait are you like literaly Chad from the food network show or a guy named Chad?

  2. Karen says:

    Bring back Chad!! He makes great food, has a great personality & would be a pleasure to watch his creativity every week on Food Network!! You got it wrong this week!! Go Rosey!!

  3. Shannon says:

    Good, interview.( Chad looks so forlorn in the pic with this post) He really does seem like a great guy. It came through in this piece.

    • Wayne says:

      Remember he registered high on that likability gadget that the audience had on one of the beginning shows...he's a mellow guy. It's gotta hurt when you know you gave it your best and you feel your food is great and its evidenced by tuschman taking your food back to his hotel for seconds....and you still get kicked out when others worse than you remain simply because they can talk better than you.

      Some of these contestants dont realize simply being able to cook great wont cut it. HgtV wants a talker too. And its understandable in a way. But I dont know that I need the host to tell me how good the food taste with a long description of how yummy it is...after they cook the food, they all say its great. Their descriptions dont make me want to cook the dish nor make my mouth water . Its how good the food LOOKS and whatever its ingredients are and the amount of time...certain factors would entice me to want to try to make the dish.

      • Shannon says:

        Wayne, I agree with you. At times, there seems to be more emphasis on talking than there is on cooking. I am completely happy watching a cooking show where the host is simply talking about what they are doing step by step. Yes, I need them to do it in an engaging way and be personable. I think the most important thing to me is that a person be genuine. I can not watch a show where there is someone rattling on telling me stories and smiling phoney smiles. I don't like that, at all.
        As far as Chad goes, if I compare the audition video I saw to the guy I saw at the end. He has come a very long way, he has potential. Not bad for a guy who I don't believe had any prior TV experience. If you think about it, the only finalists this year that could not be considered Veteran TV personalities or actors or actresses were Chad, Daniella, Andres and Damaris. Chad and Damaris showed/show their innate talent to engage people. I am sure that the audience registered high on the "likeability" meter because he i genuine and does not come across as fake and pretentious.

        • Molly says:

          Last season, Justin took some heat about staring blankly into the camera. He didn't get a show that lasted. This year, I think as an over-reaction to that, it has become too much about being good on camera. Yes, it's important but they have over-compensated. Why does good cooking and good television have to be at odds? Shannon is right about being genuine.

          If being good on camera is the be all and end all, and its creeping strongly in that direction, then just go out and get some hot Zumba fitness model to look and talk good but have Bobby Flay make the food but let the audience think it was her. That's where they're headed this year and it's a shame.

      • Crouton40 says:

        That's true. It's good to say something like: I've carmelized the meat and added this or that spice...the sauce has (fill in the blank) type of flavor to it, and I've added (list 2 or 3 other ingredients.) There it is. Short-n-sweet, and it actually tells you something.
        You had a good point about the appearance of the food. You no sooner said that, and I flashed-back to Nikki sauce that looked like bad baby food. It doesn't have to be 5-star-on-some-fancy/expensive-plate..but...the "baby food" thing was just plain UN-appetizing looking.

        • Wayne says:

          Yeah it was Crouton40. Poor Nikki...that didnt turn out well, at least lookswise.

          I think Damaris said it looked like it came out the other end of the baby.

          Adding whatever that green ingredient was to it didnt help. But I guess when she makes that stuff at home, she eats its original brown state.

    • Guest says:

      He comes across as a sincere guy trying to do his best. And I love the signature pants

    • Melissa M says:

      Agreed - Chad was one I bet on to go all the way. I think he has the right balance without been to screechy, too preachy, or just plain dingy. Everyone need a little polish but Chad seemed to get frozen in the moment.

      Would still love to see a show with Chad - definitely will not tune into a show starring Rodney or Stacy - I couldn't even imagine.

    • joyce says:

      I think they were a little too quick to pull the trigger on him. I liked his genuine personality and probably would enjoy his show. Oh well, it is Food Network's loss. I watched the Salvation show and have a strong feeling that we will see Lovely and the salvaged chef.

  4. FNS Editor says:


  5. David says:

    You can just tell from this interview that Chad has a ton of cooking knowledge and could really give the viewer some great dishes and advice. After watching Russell fool around with his "sins" week after week, and Lovely making a friggin' salad in her one chance to reenter the competition, it was a mistake that Chad went home, and will be a huge mistake if Lovely wins Star Salvation!

  6. Veggiestar says:

    We don't need another do it or die cooking show. We also don't need more sins in our cooking, America has enough of those too. Do we really need another BBQ show either? Send them both home.

  7. guest says:

    send the pie guy home too. just because he looks like someone people want to party with, doesn't mean he can speak or handle this job. clearly he can't, even if we like him. plus you said his first four pies in the competition were not good.

    • Jamie Sommers says:

      It's like watching Honey Boo Boo when it comes to Pie Guy. Can't really understand what he is saying and a little afraid on what he is cooking/baking.

    • Wayne says:

      Well...I dont know guest. pie necessary to hang around as long as possible for me. ..because ..he greatly amuses me. I kinda need that sit on the edge of my seat when he comes out. You never know what he's gonna do. Whatever it is, it certainly wont be whatever the judges suggested he do. He is a live wire!

      And Alton is starting to cringe when pie man comes on. You know how
      Alton wears his feelings on his sleeve sometimes....those expressions of his are priceless when one of the contestants irritate him.

  8. Wayne says:

    Last 3 standing will probably be Damaris, Nikki, and Stacey. And I hope Damaris wins.

    And I'm not surprised that they were all clapping for whomever gets another chance and comes back. Can't exactly boo the person even if they wanted to--- But IF Connie comes back....she's so NOT a threat to anybody that it's no small wonder they'd be relieved to see her....

    • Baja Betty says:

      Yes I agree with one exception. I believe it's going to be Nikki but I love Damaris also. Both comes across very. Sincere and not cut throat. I don't know how Lovely has managed to beat out the other on Salvation. Maybe there is something wrong with Irvin's taste us.

      • PeggyG says:

        RI - has an agenda. I would think he would want his person to win . . . his person Stacy - the one bright and shiny person his show saved .

        Our only hope is that they eliminate both Pie Guy and Stacy. Both would be bleah for FN.

        • Shannon says:

          PeggyG , I agree. I think the Network has an agenda. I feel like I can already see the cooking show opening and format. Stacey's show will be publicized as the restraunt that "turned around" thanks to RI and due to Stacey's re-done classics. We will be invited to come watch the recipes that made the "magic". It is a marketing ploy that will be a win win situation for the network. Stacey's show will give free promotion and pay homage to RI and RI in turn gave free promotion for a show for Stacey.

          • James says:

            That could happen but it's not a good way to win. People are speaking up about it already. It's not even about who makes the type of food you like. It's supposed to be about who does best! It's a competition.
            Another scenario is if Stacey gets eliminated, it will be an all-out war online between the veggie-lovers who want Nikki and those who like Damaris. Personally, I’m going with Damaris. She’s a better Chef than Nikki. Broader range of food and knows more. And she’s still outgoing and real.

          • Wayne says:

            Agree with you James...seems there wouldn't be too many people wanting a veggie lover show but one never knows. Not sure if the judges like Damaris enough. I never can tell if the judges inevitably pick whom THEY want or who they think WE want.

          • James says:

            The network makes the call. Somehow, the thought of asparagus and eggplant just doesn't excite me.

          • Callie Carver says:

            UGH!!! I hope not. Stacey is intolerable to watch.

          • Shannon says:

            I agree, I would never watch a show with her in it. I don't think she has any authority where food is concerned. She has not shown me that she even has the skills of a home cook. Quite less actually. Unfortunately I am not the Network so I don't get to make the decision.

  9. Wayne says:

    Altons got a new show/series coming up...."Cut throat Kitchen"...anybody seen the preview for it?
    I guess he got tired of Good Eats.....and I was too having watched a lot of them in the past but they were informative and entertaining...I find Alton to be very amusing---so I'm looking forward to it.

    • Callie Carver says:

      If this is true, I would love to watch, but I never get tired of Good Eats. Alton ROCKS!

      • Wayne says:

        Yeah he does Callie! Shoots straight from the hip! He recognized Connie as a phony early on. I think he told her you're a little too perfect for me.

        However he seems to have thought Russell was worth keeping over Chad...I say that because he kinda raved over Russells commercial break that he did...I get the feeling Giada is not too keen on Russell though -- think his number is about up. Might be between Russell and the pie man to leave next.....or they'll get rid of the returnee...for good!

        • Shannon says:

          If i remember correctly there is a clip from next weeks show, where they state they made the decision who is to go home and it was not unanimous.

          • Crouton40 says:

            And what if it isn't? Would that mean anything? I'm not saying this sarcastically....I posed some questions about it at the end of Justin's recap thread.
            Personally...the more i think about it...the decision should be unanimous. Hasn't it always been up til now? (maybe it hasn't)....I'm feeling even more this way than when i wrote the other post last night...

          • Crouton40 says:

            (just to clarify)..that wasn't meant in any "attacking" way...maybe it would have been better if I had worded it: "How would you feel if it wasn't?"

            If it sounded like a lawyer cross-examining you, that was not the intent. (and I'm not even in the legal profession). My questions are nearly always intended to be MUCH more like 2 friends, relaxed, just havin' a good time pickin' each others brains... chewin' the fat...considering different scenario's......and seeing what it might mean if this or that turns out to be true. That's the intent, with everyone. More of a fun thing.

          • Shannon says:

            Thinking hard about your question Crouton. I am not sure. I think if a decision is not unanimous it does not necessarily mean that that 2 or more were very close. It is personal opinion after all. This is very sad to say, but also true (my opinion only, of course). I think I would value Giada's opinion the least. Why, because I don't always like Giada's persona on her own show. She comes off pretentious and slightly phoney to me. My favorite of Giadas shows are when she has her Aunt Raffy(sp.?) on, Raffy grounds her and humbles her, makes her real. I value Alton's opinion the highest, next would come Bobby then last it would be Giada. answer to your question then, yes and no. If Giada was the hold out of a decision, I say over rule her. If Alton is the hold out to a decision I say Honor him. Take another look. But, at the end of the day majority has to rule.

          • msjs0315 says:

            If you asked any three of us who should go next, it might not be unanimous. I'd vote Rodney, but could well understand if others wanted to give the boot to Russell or, should she return, to Connie.

            I suspect the 'not unanimous' thing was a bit of FNS melodrama. By this time I'm pretty sure FN knew who it wanted in its final three and the elimination order is an incidental formality. Wayne thinks it'll be Damaris, Nikki and Stacey and I'm inclined to agree.

            As for 'Cutthroat Kitchen' I watched the clip. Looks like Dungeons & Dragons with Alton playing Dungeon Master. The focus seems more on him than on the chefs.

          • College Grrrrl says:

            It would. No one seriously wants the pie man. FN wants drama. Alton is the kewlest. L8rz.

        • Dan says:

          I wonder how Giada feels about any of the women getting too popular.

        • Cindi says:

          The "too perfect" comment has also been made to Stacey..

          • Callie Carver says:

            I find myself flipping the channel when they are focusing on Stacey. I have been watching the episode a 2nd and 3rd time. But it is hard to watch her even once.

      • Crouton40 says:

        Alton Rocks, eh?
        YO! Gimme a beat. Huuh!

        (singing) When-I'm fee-lin' down-and-out
        and rea-lly in-a Jam.
        I turn-up da stove and rap with my Bro
        He's ALTON, the answer man.

        He knows what up
        He's "gettin' doowwwwn"
        with allll the kitchen-Cats,
        the peeps are dig-gin' what-he does
        cuz he-knows where-it's at! Word.

        (shrug. My amatuer white-guy attempt at Rap)...oh well, how much did you PAY
        for this entertainment, anyway? Ya get whatcha pay for (nudge, nudge). :)
        All in fun.

  10. Les G says:

    Alton's new show can be viewed at:

    New Series: Cutthroat Kitchen (00:00:30)
    Cutthroat Kitchen: The backstabbing starts on August 11 at 10/9c

    Read more at:

    • Stacy T says:

      adding drama to my coco vin. Yummy

    • Wayne says:

      Thanks Les...will definitely be checking it out!

    • Myra says:

      I saw the commercial, YAY, more hatred, scheming and backstabbing, just what I wanted to see more of...NOT!

      I was really disappointed when I found out that Alton has never actually cooked anywhere, he was a video producer when he came up with the idea for good eats, and his role as an actor was to play a science guy obsessed with cooking. It was all make believe. Although he did take cooking classes for the show.

      • steve says:

        He knows food science but he has never really put himself out there and competed head to head with other Iron Chefs.

        • Myra says:

          Alton's not a cook, he's never cooked as a job. He's not able to compete for Iron Chef. He had a research staff that put together the science and information parts for him.

          But even though he was acting, I loved good eats, it was funny.

    • Myra says:

      But I loved Good Eats, it's was very funny and I loved the fun science parts. My all time favorite skit was "Haggis".