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Food Network Star

In this long-running competition series, 12 passionate Food Network Star hopefuls compete for the chance to have their very own Food Network show. Three culinary icons lead the charge to discover the best and brightest new faces in food television, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay. Each episode before the finale features a first-round Mentor Challenge, second-round Star Challenge and an elimination determined by the selection committee, including returning judges Food Network executives Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman. Tune in to find out who has the personality, on-camera charisma and kitchen chops to follow in their idols’ footsteps and helm their own Food Network show. 

Alton Brown

Host: Alton Brown

Although Alton Brown spent plenty of time in his mom’s kitchen growing up, his real interest in food sparked in college when he discovered that girls who said “no” to dates sometimes said “yes” if he offered to cook for them. His social life never ignited, but the food spark did and after spending a decade behind the camera in the TV industry, he headed to culinary school in hopes of one day creating a new kind of cooking show. Good Eats, the show that Brown would go on to wrote, produce, and host ran for 13 years on Food Network before making the move to Cooking Channel where it airs to this day. Combining food science, pop culture, skit humor, innovative cooking, and the occasional belching puppet, Good Eats has millions of fans and garnered a coveted Peabody Award for broadcast excellence in 2007.

Brown has also served as the culinary commentator of Iron Chef America for 11 seasons, and hosted The Next Iron Chef for 5. Brown took home the James Beard Award for top food show host in 2011, which bookends nicely the one his first book nabbed in 2002. Speaking of books, he’s written 7 the last three of which made the New York Times Best Sellers List.

In 2012 he joined the cast of Food Network Star as a mentor and yes...one of his team members won. He’ll be back on Star again in 2013. But wait, that’s not all. Brown performs live stage shows, demos, speeches, lectures, and talks and his first live tour is slated to hit the road in October of 2013.

Brown is a pilot, a motorcyclist, a scuba diver, and a champion tango dancer (one of these things is a lie). He’s fanatical about bow ties, which explains why he’s partnering with hook+ALBERT on his own line. As of this printing way over half a million innocent folks on Twitter consider him to be a close personal friend. At this moment, Brown is baking biscuits in Atlanta, GA while waiting for a call from the Nobel Committee.

Bobby Flay

Host: Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay’s versatility is evident in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a chef, restaurateur, cookbookauthor, and media personality.

Bobby discovered his culinary identity at the age of 17, working as a cook at the famed theatre district haunt, Joe Allen’s. The job had been arranged by his father, who was a partner in the restaurant. After a short time, Joe Allen himself became so impressed by Bobby’s talents that he paid the young cook’s tuition to The French Culinary Institute.

Following his graduation in 1984, Bobby worked with restaurateur/owner Jonathan Waxman at Buds and Jams, where he first discovered the sweet-heat of Southwestern ingredients. It was at these burgeoning restaurants that Bobby met other icons of the era – Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower – who he credits with spawning an entire generation of chefs. After Jams, Bobby debuted as Executive Chef at the East Village’s Miracle Grill where he caught the attention of restaurateur Jerome Kretchmer. Kretchmer offered the 25-year old the opportunity to create his own sensation at Mesa Grill, which opened in 1991.

Soon after, Bobby teamed with businessman Laurence Kretchmer to open Bolo in November 1993 in the Flatiron district. During Bolo’s reign, Bobby drew inspiration from the bravado and complexities of Spanish food, deftly blending the unique flavors of Spain with more familiar American ingredients. A decade later, its menu reenergized
by the introduction of tapas, Bolo was awarded a rare three stars by The New York Times.

Bobby brought his unique amalgam of innovative food and inviting hospitality to Las Vegas with the 2004 opening of Mesa Grill at the legendary Caesars Palace. The city’s upbeat urban energy provides an ideal backdrop for Mesa Grill’s lively cuisine.

At New York’s Bar Americain, which opened in March 2005, Bobby takes the intimacy of a midtown brasserie and injects it with authentic American flavors and style. Drawing exclusively from regional American ingredients, his dishes rejuvenate old classics and celebrate the abundance of America’s diverse and delicious heritage. Bar Americain has received rave reviews from the press, including two stars from The New York Times.

Bobby Flay Steak, which opened in July 2006 in Atlantic City, is Bobby’s first-ever steakhouse. Here, he presents classic steakhouse fare that he remembers enjoying as a child in New York City and on the Jersey Shore as well as new dishes that incorporate his famous grilling techniques and signature Southwestern fare.

In March 2007, Bobby brought Mesa Grill to The Cove, Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas and in July 2008, Bobby opened his first Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) in Long Island. At BBP, Bobby presents an array of burgers inspired by his extensive travels throughout America and love of the grill in a convenient casual setting. To date, there are 14 BBP outposts.

Bobby also shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for food through his cookbooks and cooking programs. Bobby’s ninth cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes (Clarkson Potter) hit bookstores in April 2009 and Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!, (Clarkson Potter) the companion to the popular primetime series, was released in October 2010 featuring recipes from both Bobby and his challengers. Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook (Crown Publishing) was released in September 2011. His latest cookbook Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addition (Clarkson Potter) will be available in April 2013.

Since debuting on Food Network in 1994, Bobby has continuously hosted programs that bring cooking tips and information on American regional fare to a national audience. His first show, Grillin’ & Chillin’, premiered in 1996, followed by Hot Off the Grill in 1998 and Boy Meets Grill in 2003. Along with participating in many holiday and seasonal Food Network specials over the years, Bobby currently stars on Iron Chef America (premiered 2005), Throwdown with Bobby Flay (premiered in 2006), Grill It! With Bobby Flay and Food Network Star (both premiered in 2008). In Fall 2010, Bobby expanded his television presence to Food Network’s sister network Cooking Channel, with the debut of Brunch @ Bobby’s. His other series include Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay and Bobby’s Dinner Battle. He also recently competed a second time against Chef Anne Burrell in the fourth season of competition series Worst Cooks in America, where he led his team to victory.

Bobby works tirelessly to challenge the way Americans view and taste food – making it bold, zesty and always fun.

Watch Bobby Flay Fit and learn Bobby's fitness and healthy eating plan.

Giada De Laurentiis

Host: Giada De Laurentiis

Emmy Award-winning personality Giada De Laurentiis has become a household name. With an impressive background of culinary training and a unique, personable charm, she is a globally revered celebrity chef who continues to prove her skill and accessibility not only with her expanding presence beyond Food Network but also with the great success of her cookbooks, brand alliances, newly launched food products and recurring role on Today.

Born in Rome, Giada grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. As the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada consistently found herself in the family’s kitchen and spent a great deal of time at her grandfather’s restaurant, DDL Foodshow. After graduating from the University of California in Los Angeles with a degree in anthropology, Giada’s passion for cooking remained. She eventually made the decision to commence a culinary career and began her professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, specializing in both cuisine and pastry. She subsequently returned to Los Angeles, where her training included positions at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills. She later founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles.

Giada’s career started on Food Network in 2002 when she was discovered by a network executive upon reading an article about her and the De Laurentiis family in Food & Wine magazine. Since then, Giada has earned an Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle Host and has become one of Food Network’s most recognizable faces. Her Emmy Awardwinning, daytime cooking show, Everyday Italian, featured quick, healthy and satisfying Italian dishes. Her primetime show, Giada’s Weekend Getaways, debuted in January 2007 and followed Giada to popular destinations in and around the U. S. as she explored the cities’ most notable restaurants and activities. Giada can also be seen on Food Network in specials, such as Giada in Paradise: Capri, Santorini, Monaco, and Thailand as well as judge and mentor alongside fellow chefs Bobby Flay and Alton Brown on the highly popular series, Food Network Star. Giada at Home, her current hit tv series, premiered in 2008 and shows Giada in her kitchen where she plans and prepares meals and parties for family and friends.

The foray into cookbooks was an obvious decision, allowing Giada’s loyal viewership to reference, prepare and share their favorite recipes. De Laurentiis’ first book, “Everyday Italian,” showcases many of the delicious recipes from her cooking show of the same name. Her second book entitled, “Giada’s Family Dinners,” quickly became a New York Times best-seller as did her third cookbook, “Everyday Pasta,” which was released in April 2007. An eagerly-awaited fourth book, “Giada’s Kitchen,” hit bookshelves on September 30, 2008 and did not disappoint. In the first week of release, “Giada’s Kitchen” landed at #2 on the New York Times best-seller list and has maintained a top 10 ranking ever since. De Laurentiis’ fifth book, “Giada at Home” debuted on March 30th, 2010 and landed in the #1 position on the New York Times best-seller list. Her most recent book “Weeknights with Giada,” was released in March 2012 and
followed the trend of all her cook books before it by landing on the New York Times best-seller list as well. Her upcoming book “Giada’s Feel Good Food” is due to hit shelves in November, but is available on Amazon for preorder. All of Giada’s cookbooks have been published by Random House/ Clarkson Potter. Another exciting venture Giada has sailed into is a series adventure books for young readers which explore some of Giada’s favorite cities around the globe as well as some of her favorite, youth-friendly, recipes. The series is set to release in September and is titled “Giada De Laurentiis’s Recipe for Adventure” and is published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Giada is also a correspondent on NBC’s Today, where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle.

Giada’s overall success and notoriety yielded her a role as spokesperson for Barilla, the world’s largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. Giada took her relationship with Barilla one step further, entrusting the Italian arm of the brand, known as Academia Barilla, to license and produce four products under her name. The products, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Tuscan Herb Mix, and Sea Salt with Fresh Lemon Zest, debuted in January 2008 for a limited run and was sold at Crate and Barrel stores as well as specialty gourmet shops across the country.

In January 2010, De Laurentiis partnered with Target to launch her own exclusive products for their chain of stores nationwide. The Giada De Laurentiis for Target collection offers guests the craftsmanship, quality and affordable prices they expect from Target. The assortment ranges from pasta sauces and flavored coffee to kitchen essentials, such as stainless steel cookware, ceramic bake-ware and nylon tools, all designed with the at-home cook in mind. The collection captures Giada’s signature style with a fresh, modern twist on the tools, gadgets and food needed to make easy and affordable meals every day.

Giada is also thrilled to be the spokesmodel for Clairol’s Natural Instincts campaign.

Giada currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Todd and daughter, Jade.

Coming up on: Food Network Star

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