For 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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With just three weeks to go until a Star winner is crowned, Bob and Susie have some big decisions ahead — but they also want to know what YOU think. After all, they want the new Star to be someone who you're eager to watch every week, someone whose stories draw you in and whose recipes you can't wait to give a try. That's why you, the fans, will be determining this year's Star winner in our Finale Vote.
In the comments, let Bob and Susie know what you think about who went home and who's still in. They're all ears.
Every year, we get to know the signature styles of Star finalists – think Guy’s bowling shirts, Aarti’s flower in her hair and Jeff Mauro’s lucky red headband. But season after season, one fashion detail never fails to catch our eye: Susie Fogelson’s shoes.
Last Sunday's Fashion Week episode was a perfect excuse to ask Susie for a glimpse into her dressing room on the Star set, where we captured some photos of her fabulous footwear and sat down to talk fashion.
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- Aria Kagan's Stuffed Chicken Breast with Curry Sauce Over Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower
As I watch The Next Food Network Star from my couch at home, I’m pretty jealous of Bob, Bobby and Susie—the lucky ones who actually get to taste the food. Well, maybe not so lucky during the very first challenge when, despite the high caliber of talent this season, several of the chicken-and-potato dishes were undercooked. I certainly wasn’t envious of all that raw chicken.
But let’s focus on the good stuff—every week, we’re cooking and blogging the winning Star recipes. Aria’s chicken breast stuffed with a date-walnut-grape mixture wasn’t raw at all—in fact, Bobby pronounced it moist and well-seasoned, and all of the judges seemed to enjoy digging in.
The premiere had not one but three winning dishes, and two of them belonged to Aria. I decided to try out her chicken—I’m always looking for new ways to jazz up a chicken breast. Hers sounded interesting and not super-complicated, perfect for a weeknight dinner.
First step was the side dish of roasted potatoes and cauliflower. I did some quick chopping and tossed the veggies on a sheet pan with a big handful of raisins, olive oil, salt and pepper. My grocery store didn't have any chervil, but I wanted a little green mixed in, so I sliced some scallions and added those.
- The potato element of Aria's dish, ready to roast
That went into the oven for 25 minutes, per Aria’s instructions. Meanwhile...
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Hey, hope you enjoyed the first show--we sure did. During the premiere, Susie Fogelson joined a few of us Food Network worker bees plus a whole bunch of Star fans in a live chat, talking about the finalists, the judging, Bobby's ties and Susie's hair. There were a few words, you can imagine, about injured eyes and underwhelming doughnuts and crazy props and flocks of raw chicken. We know the fans savored Susie's sage comments about shooting and the selection process (Brooklyn wi-fi hiccups not a worry!). Susie solicited their opinions, too: Yes, Bobby Flay looked snappy, in case you're wondering. You can look at who said what below. No extra charge for spoilers. Meantime, vote for your favorite finalist so far and get all the recipes.
Read every delicious bit, then stop by next week:
The premiere is on Sunday, but the there's already talk about The Next Food Network Star and its band of merry judges.
- TV Guide talks to Bobby about the finalists; he calls them "incredibly savvy."
- Reality Wanted has an exclusive interview with Selection Committee member Susie Fogelson.
- Variety has a quick hit on Bob Tuschman's rising star.
- Haveyouheart.net sits down with Bob and Susie to get their sneak-peek take on the upcoming season.
- Yumsugar does a who's who of the finalists.
- LAist interviews three finalists--Aarti, DAS and Doreen--who call Los Angeles home.