Star-a-Day: Lenny McNab

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 11, 2014

Lenny McNabLenny McNab, 42, is a one-of-a-kind gourmet cowboy with over-the-top confidence and culinary skills. He trained in Germany and is now the executive chef at a hunting ranch. With his signature hat, belt buckle and boots, you can’t miss Lenny in a crowd — and he is ready to bring his unique take on food to the rest of the country. Read on below to hear from Lenny, and learn about his style of cooking and thoughts on the competition.

Describe your cooking style or culinary point of view — in one sentence, if you can.
Lenny: My culinary point of view is to bring back the traditional ways of the cowboy cook.

What are you most looking forward to taking away from this experience?
Lenny: The thing I think I'm most looking forward to in taking away from this experience is the recognition of being out there in an elite association of chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers that have made it big enough so that their name gets noticed, because I imagine anybody that does something like this has a touch of an ego.

Which mentor are you most excited to learn from?
Lenny: Alton Brown

Which mentor do you find to be the most intimidating?
Lenny: Alton Brown

What is one thing you most want to convey to the judges about you, your food or your would-be show on Food Network?
Lenny: I would like to portray that cowboy cooking isn't just a plate of beans and a biscuit, but it can be something that is much more higher level, but still using those same old techniques and styles that the boys did out on the range when they settled this country ... cooking in cast iron and Dutch ovens over a pot rack and whatnot.

What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with?
Lenny: I'm scared to work with my first durian fruit.

What's your guilty pleasure food?
Lenny: Chef Boyardee and raw hot dogs

What's your favorite late-night snack?
Lenny: My favorite late-night snack, once again, is Chef Boyardee and raw hot dogs. That's when I eat that.

What's one must-have dish at your last supper?
Lenny: Maine lobster

Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise? Mayonnaise
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
Bagels or doughnuts? Doughnuts
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Coffee or tea? Coffee
French fries or onion rings? Onion rings
Burgers or hot dogs? Burgers
White meat or dark? Dark
Cake or pie? Cake
Beer or wine? Wine
Waffles or pancakes? Pancakes

Click the play button on the video below to hear from more Lenny.

It's going to be a summer of heated competition as Food Network Star gears up for its most-explosive season yet, a 10th year of putting hopeful rivals through the job interview of their lives. To make it to August and ultimately land a sought-after television career — Food Network show host — finalists will have to impress mentor-judges Alton BrownBobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis with the coveted combination of cooking chops and on-camera charm. Season 10 kicks off Sunday, June 1 at 9|8c, but before then, FN Dish is introducing fans to all of the contestants. This year's crop of competitors boasts business owners, executive chefs, world travelers and farm-to-table enthusiasts — not to mention fiery personalities, over-the-top entertainers and undeniable competitive spirits. Check back every day to meet another finalist, then learn more about each of them by checking out their casting videos.

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