Tag: finalists

Star-a-Day: Eric Lee

by in Food Network Star, May 10, 2012

Eric Lee

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Last but not least, our final Star of the Day is Eric Lee from Team Bobby. Eric, 44, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and now lives in Petaluma, California. He worked for 11 years as the executive chef of a winery before leaving to shoot Food Network Star.

Fun facts about Eric from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: He has cooked for Al Roker on the Today show, demonstrating wine-friendly dishes he developed for Simi Winery in Sonoma, Calif., like bucatini with crab.
  • Dream-show concept: A travel and cooking show called "Fork in the Road." It's like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with ethnic restaurants.
  • Secret ingredient: Mushrooms. His favorite variety is the trumpet royale, which he wraps in prosciutto and grills.

Get to know Eric in his Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Josh Lyons

by in Food Network Star, May 9, 2012

Josh Lyons

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Team Giada's Josh Lyons was a singer in a rock band when he decided to switch gears and enroll in culinary school. He lives in Jupiter, Florida, where he's now a sushi chef and restaurant consultant. Josh, 42, still writes songs and performs with his band on the side.

Fun facts about Josh from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: He was the lead singer and songwriter of a rock band that signed with Maverick Records, a label founded by Madonna. He has opened for the Goo Goo Dolls, Kid Rock and Pearl Jam.
  • Dream-show concept: Sushi fusion. "I'm the love child of Paula Deen and Morimoto," he says. He makes Southern sushi rolls by wrapping fried chicken with collard greens.
  • Secret ingredient: Togarashi seven spice, a Japanese spice blend. He makes his own.

Get to know Josh in his Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Cristie Schoen

by in Food Network Star, May 8, 2012

Cristie Schoen

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today we spotlight the fifth member of Team Alton, 35-year-old Cristie Schoen. Growing up in a military family, Cristie loved cooking Cajun cuisine with her dad. Now she lives in New Orleans and aspires to open a cafe of her own, serving locally grown, nutritious cuisine.

Fun facts about Cristie from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: She has been on both sides of the camera: She appeared in movies like the horror flick Babysitter Wanted and cooked for the cast and crew of the TV series Big Love.
  • Dream-show concept: "Homegrown with Cristie Schoen." She'd follow food from the farm to the kitchen, and focus on healthful, kid-friendly cooking.
  • Secret ingredient: Hemp seeds. She loves the nutty flavor and sprinkles them on soup, chili and salad.

Get to know Cristie in her Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Kara Sigle

by in Food Network Star, May 7, 2012

Kara Sigle

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Team Bobby's Kara Sigle is a 31-year-old caterer and fitness guru from Chicago. She learned to cook from her mom and likes to put a healthy spin on favorite tried-and-true dishes.

Fun facts about Kara from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: She is a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader.
  • Dream-show concept: Retro cooking. She'll dress up classic dishes like iceberg-lettuce wedge salad with homemade Thousand Island dressing.
  • Secret ingredient: Butter-flavored shortening. Kara uses it in her pie crusts. "It's a texture thing. It's flaky and has nice butter flavor, like old-fashioned Southern pie."

Get to know Kara in her Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Linkie Marais

by in Food Network Star, May 6, 2012

Linkie Marais

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Twenty-eight-year-old Linkie Marais is Team Giada's resident baking queen. Linkie grew up in South Africa and moved with her family to Mississippi at age 16. This trained pastry chef and wedding cake expert now lives in Massachusetts.

Fun facts about Linkie from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: She has decorated cakes for celebrity clients like Patrick Kennedy and Frankie Valli. The most challenging cake she ever made looked like a life-sized golf bag.
  • Dream-show concept: Do-it-yourself cake decorating. "People have a hard time affording elaborate cakes," she says. She'd demonstrate all the essentials: how to ice, create borders and work with fondant.
  • Secret ingredient: Butter. "I think I love butter more than Paula Deen does."

Get to know Linkie in her Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Emily Ellyn

by in Food Network Star, May 5, 2012

Emily Ellyn

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today we meet Team Alton's quirky retro gal, 29-year-old Emily Ellyn. Emily grew up on a farm, trained at the Culinary Institute of America and Academie Internationale de Management in Paris and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in hospitality management.

Fun facts about Emily from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: She's expanding Georgia-based Sublime Doughnuts into a worldwide franchise. She's working on opening shops in Bangkok and South Korea.
  • Dream-show concept: "What's Cookin', Good Lookin'?", a show about cooking for loved ones. She grew up on a Christmas-tree farm and is very family-oriented.
  • Secret ingredient: Bacon. She finds a way to put it in everything, including the crust for her pecan pie.

Get to know Emily in her Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Michele Ragussis

by in Food Network Star, May 1, 2012

Michele Ragussis

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Team Bobby gets today's spotlight with Michele Ragussis, a 42-year-old executive chef. Michele lives and works in Brooklyn, but her roots are in New England.

Fun facts about Michele from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: The New England seafood-obsessed chef appeared on Chopped and won an episode of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle.
  • Dream-show concept: A food talk show. She'd interview all kinds of people: celebrity chefs, grandmas, movie stars and more.
  • Secret ingredient: Portuguese chorizo. She adds it to soups and stuffed clams.

Get to know Michele in her Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Philip “Ippy” Aiona

by in Food Network Star, April 30, 2012

Philip "Ippy" Aiona

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today we highlight Team Giada's laid-back Hawaiian native, Philip "Ippy" Aiona. At 23 years old, this executive chef is the baby of the Season 8 finalists.

Fun facts about Ippy from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: On his days off, the chef is a fearless cliff diver. His highest jump was about 80 feet at Boiling Pots falls in Hilo, Hawaii.
  • Dream-show concept: "Ippy's Pacific Voyage," about traditional Hawaiian cooking made accessible. (He grew up working in his family's Hawaiian restaurant.) He'd demonstrate how to make dishes like chicken adobo.
  • Secret ingredient: Anchovies. He uses them as a base for sauces. "It's the natural sea salt," he says.

Get to know Ippy in his Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Justin Warner

by in Food Network Star, April 29, 2012

Justin Warner

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today, meet Team Alton's 27-year-old culinary daredevil, Justin Warner. A self-taught cook, he's the chef-owner of a Brooklyn restaurant.

Fun facts about Justin from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: He writes elaborate rap songs about wine and has performed them at Food Network's New York City Wine & Food Festival and the Taste Festival in Los Angeles.
  • Dream-show concept: Think Conan with midnight snacks — a late-night show that's fun and topical and a little less family-friendly than the typical cooking show.
  • Secret ingredient: Fish sauce. Justin uses it in his tomato sauce and everything else: "It produces umami," he says.

Get to know Justin in his Star bio video: Read more

Star-a-Day: Nikki Martin

by in Food Network Star, April 28, 2012

Nikki Martin

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today it's Team Bobby's turn in the spotlight as we meet Nikki Martin, a spunky 31-year-old food and beverage consultant from West Hollywood, California.

Fun facts about Nikki from Food Network Magazine:

  • Claim to fame: She played a Tri Pi sorority girl in the 2002 movie Sorority Boys.
  • Dream-show concept: Comfort food with a twist. She'd make traditional American favorites like chili and fried chicken, with unusual global accents.
  • Secret ingredient: Beer. She poaches eggs in Guinness, cooks cheese sauce with Belgian ale and makes Chimay ice cream.

Get to know Nikki in her Star bio video: Read more