The Next Food Network Star
The Food Network has announced that the show will return for a fourth season, beginning in June 2008. The contestants for season 4 are Nipa Bhatt (a marketing manager), Jennifer Cochrane (an executive chef), Lisa Garza (a kitchenwear fashion designer and restaurant owner), Adam Gertler, (a former restaurateur, server, and actor), Cory Kahaney (a stand-up comic), Shane Lyons, (a private chef), Aaron McCargo Jr. (an executive catering chef), Kelsey Nixon (a freelance food writer and culinary class instructor), Kevin Roberts (a radio contributor, restaurant owner, and cookbook author), and Jeffrey Vaden (a caterer and former restaurateur).
Season 3 allowed the viewers to pick the winner from the two finalists, but the season was marred with controversy. It was discovered the finalist Joshua Adam Garcia (JAG) had falsified his resume (he hadn't graduated from chef school and had not been deployed to Afghanistan while in the Marine Corps as he had stated). Food Network allowed him to withdraw from the competition, allowing third place finisher Amy Finley to face Rory Schepisi in the finale.
Amy Finley was chosen by the viewing public to the "Next Food Network Star." Her show, "The Gourmet Next Door" began showing on October 14, 2007, however, there are no current plans for a second season.
Season 2 began airing in March 2006. Guy Fieri was named the winner on April 23, 2006. Guy's show, "Guy's Big Bite" began airing in June 2006 and the show was just renewed for a second season. Guy is also the host of the Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives."
The runner-up for season 2 was Nathan Lyon, who has since become a close friend of Guy's. Nathan got his own show on the Discover Health Channel titled "A Lyon in the Kitchen."
The first season of "The Next Food Network Star" premiered on June 2005. Of the nine contestants, Chicago caterers Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh were named the winners. For their win, they hosted a show called "Party Line with the Hearty Boys" (originally titled "Party Line with Dan & Steve"), which began airing in September 2005.
The runner-up of season one was Deborah Fewell, who hosted a beach food special for the Food Network titled "Surf N Turf." Some of the other season one contestants have gone on to fame as well. Michael Thomas (who finished in sixth place) regularly appears as a chef on "The Tyra Banks Show" and Susannah Locketti (who finished in 4th place) is the on-air chef for Publix grocery stores.
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