All Posts In Food Network Star

Star-a-Day: Jay Ducote

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 12, 2015

Jay DucoteThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing Louisiana's Jay Ducote.

Jay, 33 (Baton Rouge, La.), calls himself a food ambassador for South Louisiana, and he’s ready to take the gig nationwide. Jay’s passion for cooking started at LSU tailgates, and now this charismatic chef has his own culinary media company. His deep connection to and appreciation for the Louisiana food scene has led to cooking-competition victories and media awards, and he is primed to bring that award-winning personality and charm to the screen.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Jay Ducote: I am a blogger, radio host, professional tailgater and Cajun boy that just wants to bring good flavor and outdoor cooking to Food Network.

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
JD: Bobby, I would want to learn some of his master grilling techniques. I mean, I'm pretty good on the grill — and outdoor cooking and barbecue is really one of the things I'm best at — but I also know that there's so much to learn, and Bobby is a master. So I would love to spend a day just grilling with Bobby Flay and learning from him.

Giada, I would really want to learn what she does best, which is Italian, and the authentic food to her. I've never been to Italy. I've been to parts of Europe — Ireland and Portugal is where I've been most of the time — but I've never experienced true Italian outside of Italian-Americans cooking in America. And so that's what I would want to learn from her is just some of the Italian techniques and sauces and pasta.

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Star-a-Day: Emilia Cirker

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 11, 2015

Emilia CirkerThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing Virginia's Emilia Cirker.

Emilia, 36 (Reston, Va.), is a beauty pageant veteran with a French culinary degree and a wicked sense of humor. Her parents passed their love of food to her, and she is currently a culinary instructor and software company executive. Emilia is also a former head pastry chef for the Washington Redskins. This natural-born leader and single mom is determined to inspire viewers with her global-ingredient, technique-driven cooking style.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Emilia Cirker: My friends and family tell me that my food is the place where tradition and change meet; I like to honor culturally rich, ethnically rich heritages dishes, but put a new spin on them. So you're getting something that's craveable but also new and traditionally rich at the same time.

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
EC: Well, Bobby's is easy for me, because I really don't like smoked chipotles. So I want him to prove me wrong by cooking me a dish and teaching me how to cook something that I will actually like, 'cause I hate the fact that I don't like one ingredient. With Giada, that's a tough one, 'cause I'm Italian, so I have a lot of the same techniques that she uses. But one of the things that I love about her is how warm and inviting she is on camera, and I need that as a skill set. So I'd love for her to show me how she got that talent.

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Star-a-Day: Eddie Jackson

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 10, 2015

Eddie JacksonThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing Texas' Eddie Jackson.

Eddie, 33 (Houston), is a former NFL player who is a fierce competitor both in the kitchen and on the field. Now a food truck owner, private chef and personal trainer, he is dedicated to making healthy food taste absolutely delicious. In Eddie’s world, there is no need for a “cheat” day, because his good-for-you food is packed with flavor and does not leave you feeling deprived.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Eddie Jackson: My culinary POV is all about cheat day.

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
EJ: I would probably ask them how to mask or tame everything that I'm thinking in my head and present it on camera.

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Star-a-Day: Dominick Tesoriero

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 9, 2015

Dominick TesorieroThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing New York's Dominick  Tesoriero.

Dominick, 30 (Staten Island, N.Y.), is a charming, funny New Yorker who has been hamming it up for his friends and family all his life. His culinary training took him to Italy, where he refined his skills and placed second in an international cooking competition. Dom believes in quality ingredients, solid technique and simple cooking. He now owns New York’s first and only mac-and-cheese food truck.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Dominick Tesoriero: Classic Italian techniques from a New York state of mind

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
DT: Giada, she makes Italian food look good. I wish I could do the same, just like she did. Bobby, how to be such a badass.

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Star-a-Day: Christina Fitzgerald

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 8, 2015

Christina FitzgeraldThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing Missouri's Christina Fitzgerald.

Christina, 29 (St. Louis), grew up in a big family with six brothers, so she developed a competitive spirit and an ability to stand out at an early age. Encouraged by her late brother to follow her passion and enroll in culinary school, Christina went on to graduate at the top of her class and win several cooking competitions with her internationally inspired cuisine. Now married, with a 6-year-old daughter, she still loves to travel and bring new flavors home to her kitchen.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Christina Fitzgerald: I don't want to be boxed into a point of view. I love authentic flavors. I love fusion sometimes. But I really just kind of go with whatever type of mood I'm in. I like all different types of foods, so I don't want to be boxed into just making one specific thing, because I love all food.

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
CF: I'm really excited to hear what they have to say about my food. And then, obviously, they're the best of the best, so I want to see what they would have done differently and how that's going to affect me as a cook.

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Star-a-Day: Arnold Myint

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 7, 2015

Arnold MyintThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing Tennessee's Arnold Myint.

Arnold, 38 (Nashville), grew up in his parents’ restaurant, one of the first Asian restaurants and food markets in Nashville, where he used to roller-skate through the aisles. After a career in professional figure skating, he attended culinary school and returned to restaurant life with three restaurants of his own. An accomplished mixologist, restaurant consultant and event caterer, Arnold makes food that is bold, unexpected and fun — just like him. Arnold also has a drag alter ego, Suzy Wong, who is known to host charity events and mix a fierce cocktail.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Arnold Myint: My culinary point of view is easy entertaining at home that won't break your bank.

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
AM: I'd have to ask them how they relax for the camera. I think that's one thing I really want to nail, and so I'd probably ask them both to get feedback in both ways, because they approach their shows differently, and I just want to see what goes through their minds to get them ready for that.

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Star-a-Day: Alex McCoy

by in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 6, 2015

Star-a-Day:

Alex McCoyThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, then there's Food Network Star: an intense 11-week journey that requires nothing short of flawless technique in the kitchen and a downright sparkly personality on camera. Beginning June 7 at 9|8c, 12 all-new rivals will put their dreams on the line as they endure mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis' lofty challenges, all in the hopes of scoring the most-sought-after culinary career: Food Network host. Star Talk is bringing you the first look at each of the finalists in exclusive, candid interviews, and today we're introducing Washington, D.C.'s Alex McCoy.

Alex, 31 (Washington, D.C.), brings a killer combo of culinary chops, passion for travel, business skill and charm to the competition. He started working in restaurants as a teenager, became an executive chef in his 20s, and opened his own restaurant before turning 30. His restaurant is a Washington, D.C., hot spot, where the menu is filled with dishes inspired by Alex’s world travels, including his many trips to Asia.

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence — if you can.
Alex McCoy: In one word it would be adventurous. My POV is a worldwide view on sandwiches. It's really about how people eat sandwiches around the world — and every culture has its own version of a sandwich — and introducing people to some of the dishes that they usually don’t see on a daily basis.

If you could ask Bobby and Giada to teach you one thing in the kitchen, what would it be?
AM: For Giada, it would be the grace. She has such a great identity on a television show. She's very upbeat and she's very graceful. For me, I'm like a restaurant chef; I'm really gritty. And I think it's important when you have a TV show to be graceful — even a guy can be graceful — and navigate a television show as well as you can.

I love Bobby's sense of humor. He's very quick-witted. And it just works for him so well. I like how he manages his personality on television, and I think that's a real talent: being able to be concise but also be funny and be so many different people at one time.

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Food Network Star, Season 11: The Search for Star Power Is On This Summer

by in Food Network Star, April 29, 2015

Bobby Flay and Giada De LaurentiisThere are traditional job interviews, which are surely daunting, and then there's Food Network Star: an 11-week journey that demands from its hopefuls not just a solid resume and a memorable first impression, but simply flawless culinary technique, a sparkly TV presence and the ability to hook an audience using little more than a camera lens. There's nothing quite like this at once grueling and transformative experience, which has been known to turn out best-of-the-business pros, including Guy Fieri, Jeff Mauro and Damaris Phillips. And beginning this June, two culinary legends, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, will once again scour the county in hope of discovering star power.

That's right, fans. Food Network Star, Season 11 is set to kick off in Los Angeles this summer (Sunday, June 7 at 9|8c). And in true Hollywood style, the lights of potential stardom will be shining bright as 12 eager finalists arrive for their chance at the most-sought-after career in the culinary industry: Food Network host. Led by judge-mentors Bobby and Giada, these rivals must put their dreams on the line as they take a chance on their futures during an intensive three-month process. Like last year's competitors, finalists will face weekly Mentor and Star Challenges. But with Bobby and Giada at the helm alongside a host of rotating special-guest judges, including Duff Goldman, Sunny AndersonRichard Blais and David Alan Grier, you can be sure that unprecedented tests and downright shocking twists will force these contestants to learn quickly that the role of Star isn't as simple as the hosts make it look.

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A Letter to Lenny, from the Rebel

by in Food Network Star, August 11, 2014

Lenny McNabDear Lenny,

Out of all the seasons of Food Network Star, I can think of only one other winner who has a personality as big as yours. Congratulations and welcome to the Food Network family. You deserve this. From the moment you set foot on our screens, America couldn't take its eyes off you, and it wasn't because of the sequins.

You exude confidence. You nailed it in the finale when you told that kid you are happy in your own skin, so why not bare it? We're a little alike, in that regard. You aren't afraid to be you. I look forward to seeing what sort of walls you break down in your new position.

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The 14 Best One-Liners from Food Network Star, Season 10

by in Food Network Star, August 8, 2014

Bobby Flay and Giada De LaurentiisThere was no shortage of communication from both sides of the Food Network Star judges' table this season, but there were indeed moments when what was being said simply stopped the cast — and fans watching at home — in their tracks. From premiere impressions about each other's styles to oddball antics unfolding in the dining room, the last 10 weeks provided plenty of opportunities for hilarious quips, straightforward comebacks, and unfiltered reactions from the mentors and hopefuls alike. Read on below to relive the best one-liners from the cast, then tune in to the Food Network Star finale this Sunday at 9|8c.

Donna: "I don't usually do that type of thing."

Bobby about Lenny: "Whoa, he's got sequins on, yo."

Giada: "She's very much a pageant girl."

Lenny: "I'm glad this isn't The Next Top Model."

Bobby to Lenny: "You're wild enough to shoot at."

Alton: "It's a date with my mom."

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