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:

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Comments (395)

  1. Buffy says:

    FN uses the vote to remove the blame for selecting a specific chef. FN is not surprised by anything presented by Lenny. FN requested a certain type of chef from casting and casting delivered. There are who have watched the program longer than I have watched and by now know their formula. The formula appears to be the same based on the comments. Key words are used or not used to sway the public.
    FN wants to give the impression that they do the right thing but the reality is they are cowards. If the media had had compassion for Paula, then Paula would still be on the network. Paula used a word publically that many still use amongst friends. I don't see the difference in either action.

    To people who want to post Lenny is a changed man, stop. He has not turned from his past actions nor is he asking the public to forgive his actions.

    I have not seen a person in a position of influence in which their life is not touched because of supporting a bad cause.

    Alton may believe he is to mentor to certain people, however, perhaps he is to personally mentor to these people instead of using millions of dollar to clean-up a few who live daily in the trash without a change of heart.

  2. Lily Bell says:

    You are a PIG Lenny!!! OINK!

    • You are insulting pigs, intelligent and loving creatures they are (pet pig momma for over 25 years) This was the worst Food Network star season since when that Harpy from Hell, Penny was on. Time to stop with this show, it sucks.

  3. Dolly says:

    To al you who commented on Lenny in a bad way. shame on you. I say judge. Not lest you be judged for in. The same way you judge others so you will be judged. The holy. Bible. Be careful. Jesus loves you like He. Loves everybody. Lenny is an okay guy and has never hurt anyone to my knowledge. Why does a good deal of America seem to think he is all the bad things they say he is.

    • guest says:

      people are entitled to their opinions. there's a legitimate reason to criticize him. you don't feel that way, fine, but it's OK for people to disagree with you.

    • Buffy says:

      Alright Dolly... pull the Bible out and 'lock and load". You must be a personal friend of Lenny who has been praying for his salvation daily.
      There is information on the internet regarding is escapades. Read or view the information and see what the Bible says about his behavior. Let us know and don't forget to wash your mind and eyes upon completion. Thank you.

    • Pinky says:

      Busted! Busted! Busted! Hey Dolly, read it again.

      Lest You Be Judged.
      That's right. And I'm not afraid of that.
      For we will be judged the same way.
      So be it. Tell me why that's a problem. I can play fair. Can you?
      I'm willing to live up to the same standards. So go ahead! Judge me right back. I'm willing.
      Nobody reads that last part.

  4. Julie says:

    No words . will not be watching.

  5. LoveFood says:

    Whin whin....haven't you looked at past winners. They groom them the way they want them to come off. And quite frankly I,think they are vanilla with no personality. At lest Lenny has some personality...fake or not. Time will tell,when the powers that be groom him. I like his style,of,cooking and after all,it's a cooking show.

    • Buffy says:

      Everyone has a personality. What is his style of cooking?
      He explains things as if people are simpletons. minute.... it.

  6. aprilinnamibia says:

    Total irrelevance. The network is an embarrassment.

  7. cwsfashionflavors says:

    I don't need to "extras" comments. Just to the point answer. When and if the final three of the Food Network Star be on the issue of Food Network magazine?

  8. @Pathetica says:

    When you look through this thread and find the love Lenny posters it does help explain why there are so many truly awful reality shows with rude, uncouth people on them. I really don't know if FN is ready to wholeheartedly support one of their family commenting on, well, unnatural sex acts with another of the family, but who knows. At the very least, I expect the husband of the woman will not be inclined to sit by the disgusting Lenny at family reunions, eh?