Chatting With Food Network Star’s Susie Fogelson

by in Interviews, Judges, May 9, 2013

Susie FogelsonFor years on Food Network Star you've seen Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson guide, grow and, ultimately, judge and eliminate dozens of Star hopefuls, but how much do you know about these face of Food Network executives? Just in time for next month's all-new Star premiere, on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, FN Dish chatted with both Bob and Susie to learn a bit more about their roles at Food Network, their experiences in the kitchen, plus their thoughts on past seasons of competition and what makes an ideal Star candidate. Read on below to get the inside television scoop from Susie, senior vice president, marketing, creative services & brand strategy, then read an exclusive interview with Bob.

Tell us a bit about what you do. What does a typical day look like for you?
Susie: Busy! I have the best team in the business, but it takes a lot of meetings, brainstorming and work sessions to keep this ship sailing. We’re all pretty much nonstop from the minute we get into the office, but we also all manage to have a good work/life balance, which is the most important thing.

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Chatting With Food Network Star’s Bob Tuschman

by in Food Network Star, May 8, 2013

Bob TuschmanFor years on Food Network Star you've seen Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson guide, grow and, ultimately, judge and eliminate dozens of Star hopefuls, but how much do you know about these face of Food Network executives? Just in time for next month's all-new Star premiere, on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, FN Dish chatted with both Bob and Susie to learn a bit more about their roles at Food Network, their experiences in the kitchen, plus their thoughts on past seasons of competition and what makes an ideal Star candidate. Read on below to get the inside television scoop from Bob, senior vice president/general manager of Food Network, then read an exclusive interview with Susie.

Tell us a bit about what you do. What does a typical day look like for you?
Bob: My limousine picks me up at noon. I try to get a good half-hour of work in before heading off to lunch with one of our stars. Depending on how many martinis, I usually go straight home to prepare for another stressful day!

Oh, for real? My day is usually back-to-back meetings. My (extraordinary) programmers and I review show pitches, brainstorm new ideas, and watch rough cuts of new episodes and series. I also meet with agents, producers and our stars to talk about new projects. It’s fun! And they pay me.

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QUIZ: Are You a Food Network Star Superfan?

by in Food Network Star, May 7, 2013

Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby FlayNot an ordinary competition, Food Network Star gives everyday home cooks and professional restaurant chefs alike the chance to put their culinary chops on the line and their most camera-ready faces forward in a multi-month job interview for the chance to score their own Food Network show. This summer marks the ninth season of contest, and over the years, the challenges have evolved to become more grueling, the expectations more demanding and the eliminations more dramatic. From Guy to Melissa to Justin and all of the finalists and competition in between, have you, Star fans, been keeping up with the best moments and most-shocking turns of events?

As you enjoy an unprecedented new season, test your knowledge of Star history, past finalists and guest-judge appearances, plus top recipes, seasons' highlights and winners' crowning moments. Take the quiz below to find out if you're the ultimate Star superfan, then browse Food Network's Star headquarters for insider interviews, exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes photos and more from the show.

Are You a Food Network Star Superfan?

Think you're up to speed on what's gone down on Star? Answer these questions to learn how well you know the show and relive some of the most-unforgettable moments from the first eight seasons.
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Coming This Summer: Food Network Star Season 9

by in Food Network Star, April 18, 2013

Bobby, Giada and AltonWhile most will be enjoying a summer full of weekend road trips, lazy afternoons by the pool and casual evening cookouts, 12 hopeful finalists on Food Network Star will be facing off in the ultimate multi-month job interview for a chance to earn the most-coveted career in the culinary industry: hosting their own Food Network show.

The ninth season of this life-changing competition is set to start on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, when contenders will travel to Los Angeles to begin an 11-week journey, complete with all-new Mentor and Star Challenges, surprise chef guests and on-location demands. For the finalists, simply showing off advanced cooking chops or shining camera-ready smiles won't be enough. If they want to survive weekly eliminations, they'll have to work their way to the coveted Star sweet spot, demonstrating both a mastery of the kitchen and an effortless television charm.

Meet the finalists

Aarti’s Finale After Party: Winner-to-Winner Advice

by in Food Network Star, July 26, 2012

Justin Warner's Winning MomentAarti Sequeira won Food Network Star season 6 and expanded her popular blog into a cooking show, Aarti Party (catch it on Food Network, Sundays at 7:30am/6:30c). As a Star veteran watching from her couch at home, Aarti shared her insider’s take on what went down each week during season 8.

I’d like to talk to the three people who didn’t win this past Sunday. Michele, Yvan and Martie: You guys battled your hearts out and I know this must be a hard time for you. It might get even harder; after something as momentous as this competition, there’s an inevitable adrenaline crash. It might even creep up on you long after all the Star talk dies down. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself struggling with a serious case of the mopes for a little bit. Months of emotions, self-reflection and physical/psychological exertion take their toll.

And know that this isn’t the end of the road by any means. Just look at the careers of Kelsey Nixon, Jeffrey Saad and Tom Pizzica, to name a few. This is the springboard, the beginning of something. One of my idols, Christiane Amanpour, talks about how strongly she believes in the power of mistakes, the power of “failure” to propel you, to teach you, to refine you. She said that our generation is afraid of making mistakes, and perhaps it’s because we are so obsessed with perfection. But no one learns from perfection, certainly not me. So take a break, be kind to yourself, and then go grab your horse, saddle her up and get back on. Your journey isn’t over yet, loves.

To Justin, CONGRATULATIONS! And welcome to the family! The network of Food Network Star winners is small but tight, so I think I can safely speak for all of us in saying that we’ve got your back should you need anything. You better get used to us hugging you like we’ve known you forever.

Actually, that brings me to the first of three (unsolicited) pieces of advice:

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Star Scrapbooks: A Look Back

by in Food Network Star, July 25, 2012

Nikki Martin and Star Journals Season 8This game-changing season of Food Network Star kicked off with 15 finalists in New York City. Alton, Bobby and Giada each started with a team of five, and as challenges progressed week by week, we saw each team fall to four, to three, to two, to one — with the exception of Mr. Brown's team, which sent two contenders to the finale in an unexpected twist.

As finalists were sent home from the pitch room, they left behind their Star journals. Each of these notebooks offers a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into a finalist's Star experience. Who made meticulous prep lists for every dish? Who wrote diary-like reflections about the competition? Who drew quirky, hilarious sketches to illustrate his anxiousness when larger-than-life Star alum Guy Fieri appeared on set? OK, that last one (pictured below) could only be the work of our newly crowned winner, Justin Warner.

Relive this memorable season with a look back at all 15 Star Scrapbooks.

Justin's journal

Justin Warner (Winner!) Read more

Cheers to the Rebel: New Star Justin Chats With Fans

by in Food Network Star, July 24, 2012

Justin Warner's Winning Moment Season 8Just one day after being crowned the next Food Network Star, Justin Warner was already on the job.

He stopped by Food Network’s offices on Monday to join a Facebook chat with some of his biggest fans. Offering a rarely seen glimpse of what makes him tick, Justin answered fans’ questions about everything — his hopes for his new show, the craziest meal he’s ever made, his favorite movies, hair product of choice and more. Read on for some of the best moments from our Q&A session with Justin and get to know this Rebel With a Culinary Cause.

Debbie Smith: Congratulations, Justin! Has the shock worn off yet? My question is: In five years, what other projects would you like to do for FN? I ask this because many of the stars branch out after their first show settles in. For example, Guy with his Big Bites, DDD and hosting cook-offs.

Justin Warner (JW): No, the shock has not worn off. I'm still stupefied. I think there is an array of applications for someone like myself.

Regina Petrucci: What's your favorite moment from being on the show?

JW: My favorite moment was when Martie got to make a pilot too.

Maria Eivers Medley: What was the one experience on the show that you wish you could have done differently or do over again?

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Star Exclusive: The Winner’s First Interview

by in Food Network Star, July 22, 2012

Justin Warner and Alton BrownJustin Warner, Team Alton's rebel with a culinary cause, is our new Food Network Star! Just moments after the curtain fell to reveal his face beside Alton's, Bobby's and Giada's on the wall of esteemed Food Network talent, we caught up with Justin to hear his reaction to this life-changing win.

Justin, if you had to describe in one word the feeling you had right before they announced the winner, what would it be?

JW: Nuts.

What's something you took away from this experience?

JW: I realized I have a strong desire to teach people. I never knew that until I saw the reaction of fans in the audience and on Twitter. I say to myself, "Wow! They trust me with that?" Because a year and a half ago, I didn't even know how to cook. To now be an authority on these things, at least in some people's eyes, it's amazing and I'll never forget that.

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Caption It: A Look Back at the Season’s Best Moments

by in Food Network Star, July 20, 2012

Think back to this season’s Food Network Star premiere. For the first time, we were introduced to Team Alton’s quirky cast of characters, Team’s Giada’s little family unit and Team Bobby’s batch of no-nonsense cooks. Robert Irvine stopped by to present the first challenge, a Restaurant: Impossible-style mission that tasked the teams with opening their own restaurants on a limited budget. There were even on-stage acrobatics in that episode, thanks to Team Giada’s Josh, who began his presentation with an over-the-top somersault. It wasn't even long ago, but a whole lot has happened to those initial 15 finalists since then.

As you get ready to watch this Sunday’s finale episode and find out who you, the fans, picked to be our next Food Network Star, take a look back at where it all started. Find out more about Team Alton, Team Giada and Team Bobby and re-watch past full episodes or catch up on any that you missed. Hear from eliminated finalists, get exclusive interviews with guest judges, the mentors and more and flip through our photo gallery of the season’s most memorable moments.

Don't forget to check out the final four contenders’ pilot videos — on Sunday one of them will become Food Network’s newest show.

Before you tune in to the finale this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Star fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this retrospective moment in the comments below.

 

Poll: Who Was the Best Mentor?

by in Food Network Star, July 19, 2012

Alton, Giada and Bobby - Food Network StarWhen it comes to mentoring, Bobby’s, Alton’s and Giada’s styles couldn’t be more different. In the season premiere, we learned what each was looking for when they hand-picked their teams of five Food Network Star hopefuls: Bobby sought out no-nonsense cooks, Alton culinary teachers and Giada outgoing personalities. As the season continued, it turned out that the mentors’ selection criteria mirrored their own leadership styles.

Bobby found it most effective to maintain a professional relationship with his team and to tailor his instruction to each individual's needs. He spoke of his approach to the other mentors in an exclusive video. “I really try to bounce off the people that I’m mentoring, because I feel like they sort of drive me to the way I’m going to mentor and what I’m going to actually utilize to help them,” he said in Miami.

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