I am a huge fan of cooking and reality shows so The Next Food Network Star is right up my alley! The show centers on a group of people who think they can cook completing in a number of challenges to see who gets their own Food Network show. One person is voted off each week by a panel of judges that includes some big-wigs at the Food Network and one of the Food Network chefs – usually Bobby Flay. Giada is also around as their “mentor” because some of these folks need a lot of guidance.
I really like the changes the production team made this year in the challenges. Last year, it felt like it was all about the cooking – a cheap version of Top Chef. This year they have food challenges and hosting challenges each week so we get to see if they can cook, but even more importantly, if they appear fun and natural on television and at special appearances. The judges also seem to be a little edgier this year. Last year, everything was unicorns and rainbows, but this year people have come out swinging.
As with previous years, the cast is very diverse – both ethnically and in terms of culinary experience. I take that as a commitment of the Food Network to try to liven up their line-up. I always love when the chef who went to some fancy schmancy cooking program gets schooled by the “home” chef, he/she just tried to put down. (Yep, Paul – I am talking to you) That type of arrogance has no place in any kitchen.
I highly recommend this show for both the cooking portions and the sneak peek inside what it is like to have your own cooking show. As the contestants are narrowed down, the challenges begin to resemble what it really takes to make it on the Food Network.
What about you? Have you watched it? What do you think?