Star Exclusive: Watch the Winner’s First Interview

by in Interviews, August 10, 2014

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 and read more below.

"This is our first cowboy chef ... it's about time we've had a cowboy chef. We've been missing that!" Alton Brown told Star Talk after Lenny McNab was crowned the newest Food Network Star. "We have no one like Lenny on this network. I don't think there's anyone like Lenny in the world," Bobby Flay added.

You've had highs and lows. Looking back over the season, can you sum up your experience for us?
Lenny McNab: When you have your highs you feel like you're on top of the world. When you have your lows you feel like susceptible to pain. If there's anything I can tell America, it's to try and put that pain back and push towards those things that make you positive. Once you're positive, don't leave that area and you'll be successful for your entire life.

Before they announced your name, you saw the reel of Food Network Stars, and now you're a part of that. How does that feel?
LM: To be in the company of Giada, Alton, Morimoto, Alex — all the great chefs that are on Food Network — I realize that I'm the puppy of the family right now and I have to bow to them. But someday I will rise and be the king of the world.

Going through this season, Lenny, were there any cringe-worthy moments, looking back on it?
LM: Oh, yeah. Some parts of the show were really hard for me to watch. And I think the most cringe-worthy moment for me was when I ripped my shirt open to do the belly flop, because, well, I shouldn't be taking my shirt off on national TV ever, and I did it twice.

Did you find any one mentor more intimidating than the other?
LM: I think the most-intimidating person to me this season was Bobby Flay. He has this icy look to him. He's very daunting. He's such a big personality on Food Network that he was the one who really sent shivers down my spine.

Was there any one piece of advice that really stuck with you that they gave to you?
LM: The one piece of advice that I heard once in my life that brought me to this point got reiterated to me at one point in this, and that was from Robert Irvine, and we were in between shots, and he looked at me and he said, "Lenny, just be yourself, man." And I think that's the most-important thing to remember for myself. Just to be me and to be happy with that.

Who have been some of your biggest supports throughout this competition?
LM: The town of Bristol, New Hampshire, has been my biggest supporters. Leading the reins has been my mom though, Jennifer McNab. I love you, Mom. And the first friend I ever had, Chris.

America has voted you the winner. What do you have to say to your fans?
LM: America, I love you so much. You're the best fans in the entire world. You're better than soccer fans. You're better than Tour de France fans. You're food fans, and food fans are just going to eat me up, and I love you for that.

What's next for you, Lenny?
LM: Shoot fire. I think I'm going to take a nap. Sit under a tree and enjoy a nice snack. But then directly out into New York City, where we're going to roll this cowboy.

Chat with the winner on Food Network's Facebook page on Monday, Aug. 12 at 3|2c: Facebook.com/FoodNetwork.

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Comments (402)

  1. Guest says:

    In Season 11 can we please NOT have Justin Warner do any recaps at all? NO previous winner should be doing a column or review of contenders? Why not? Because viewers will cave-in and accept whatever an "authority" says. The comeback reply to this, is that: "no. people will do their own thinking." But, they really won't. Even if they say otherwise, they probably won't.

    At least far, far too many of them won't. They didn't last time.
    It's fine to listen to Bobby's, Giada's and Alton's evaluations in the judging. We don't need any more. Sometimes, it's even good to question them., too.

    Aside from that reason above, Maria Russo and Sarah DeHeer are both doing a wonderful job of neutral, and informative writing as it is. Keep them.

    If any previous winner must give feedback, they can either: A) confine it t THEIR OWN Twitter or Facebook page, but not in the FN Star Blog.

    If Bobby, Giada or Alton decide to bow out of judging, DO NOT use anyone from Chopped at all. And no Fieri or Justin or anyone from the Kitchen. Not Michael Symon, either.
    If you must have new judges, I would select from: Tyler Florence, Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Fuller, Damaris Phillips, Ina Garten or Ming Tsai.

    But the main point is that while people are still competing, that the Star-blog should be as un-influenced by previous winner's as possible. Thanks.

  2. DEMANDRA says:

    To the Season 11 viewing audience:

    Thou shalt not Bi**h online about:

    1. Anyone at all for being a Blonde contender. So much for love and diversity, eh?
    2. Any past winner not getting a show.
    3. Any past winner who did get a show.
    4. Thou shalt not complain, bi*** or whine online about: vegetarianism or food allergies or gluten-free or fitness junkies. STFU! Or open your own D___ restaurant. This has all failed miserably at least 4 (possibly5?) previous times!
    5. Thou shalt not be cluelessly deceived into believing that disgusting, gross and just plain weird combo's of ingredients are "original", "innovative", etc. Gross is gross.
    6. Thou shalt not be overly impressed by how many countries anyone has lived in or travelled to. That is no guarantee at all of good flavors or one's ability to explain their dish clearly.
    DEMANDRA has spoken.

  3. Lbb says:

    By the way, when will season 11starts. They need to change to format like a real chef show like top chef. If not, it be just an masterchef competion.

    • Joan says:

      Alton Brown should not be a judge anymore. He has too big of an ego and is much too abrupt. Ina Garten or Alex Guarnaschelli would be better.

      Let's have challenges that aren't rediculous next time. Don't have them do idiotic crap that will never happen in real life and let's focus more on cooking and not so much on selling and fashion. It's supposed to be a cooking show, so
      cook.

    • guest says:

      MasterChef is better than what FN Star did last season.

  4. GetItTogether says:

    Will they even cook this year or will it be a bunch of senseless challenges and sales-pitches?

    Will the people posting online focus on who cooks best--FIRST--and then worry about liking them, or will it be an immediate who-is-likeable personality contest and cooking be damned? Pathetic.

    It's such a pathetic joke anymore. Food Network should learn a serious lesson from master Chef Canada. They've got the right idea.