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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