There 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.