'NFNS Season 4' on Serious Eats

'Next Food Network Star' Runner-Up Adam Gertler Gets His Own Show

The Next Food Network Star runner-up Adam Gertler, the one who cracked jokes and goofballed his way into the top three, will host his own show on the Food Network called Will Work for Food premiering Tuesday, September 30. That means, he basically won the series too since the goal was to win your own television show. Gertler's half-hour program will investigate the world of lesser-known food jobs. According to the press release: Whether he's protecting his fingers while feeding sharks, closely examining potato chips for flaws or trying his hand as a dog food taste tester, Adam will stop at nothing to learn how each job is done. Adam is the former owner of The Smoked Joint, a Philadelphia... More

Ratings Watch

This season's The Next Food Network Star finale snared 4 million viewers, the highest ratings in the history of the Food Network, and handily beat this past season's finale of Top Chef, which only got 3.5 million viewers. It's probably safe to assume there are going to be many more seasons of TNFNS.... More

When Did the Next Food Network Star Know He Was a Serious Eater?

Last night's winner Aaron McCargo, Jr., who will premiere his new show "Big Daddy's House" this Sunday on the Food Network, pinpointed his I-Knew-I-Was-a-Serious-Eater-When moment this afternoon on the phone: "I was four, and my family started passing out rice, peas, and pearl onions... they give me one chicken leg, and I said to myself, they got to be joking. When I get older, I'm going to cook a whole chicken and eat it myself."... More

Eat It, Bravo

Fancy-pants clothing designers have got nothin' on the likes of Lisa, Aaron, and Adam, the remaining contestants on Food Network's The Next Food Network Star. The latest episode had better ratings than the recent season premiere of Bravo's Project Runway. [via FNA]... More

The Next Food Network Star, Episode 8 Recap: Whoa, Transvestites On the Food Network

Still in Vegas, last night's episode involved a bunch of crazy non-food elements. Showgirls, Spamalot cast members, poker tables, one contestant's vocal chords, oh, and a man dressed as Cher. Typical network coverage, no? The three remaining contestants (Lisa, Aaron, and Adam) were asked to create a Vegasian buffet for judges and past NFNS winner Guy Fiere. You know, the really successful one with peroxide hair all over T.G.I. Friday's commercials? The one they're all trying to be? Thanks to a big surprise at the end, they're all getting another chance next week.... More

The Next Food Network Star, Episode 7 Recap: Paula Deen in Vegas Edition

Once again, the Next Food Network Star contestants were pinching themselves, wondering how they entered this surreal food media world. Paula Deen is here? And we're in Vegas? And our next challenge is a Throwdown-style in front of the Throwdown messiah, Bobby Flay? Whoa, I love my life. This week, the remaining four had to make a signature dish and one-up their opponent's signature dish in a 75-minute battle. That meant Adam was recreating Lisa's cassoulet, the slow-cooked French bean and pork stew, which he'd never tried before, let alone recognized. Lisa, as a Southern girl, should have owned Adam's mac and cheese, but when her dish wasn't endorsed by Paula Deen, she looked weepy. "I do not like... More

Meet & Eat: Shane Lyons, The Next Food Network Star Contestant

Editor's note: Another Meet & Eat today with the folks behind Serious Eats. Today we're pleased to introduce Shane Lyons, Sunday night's dismissed contestant on The Next Food Network Star. His cereal-crusted chicken didn't make the cut, but he put up a good fight all season. --Erin Name: Shane Lyons Location: Colorado Springs, CO Occupation: Cook URL: thebluestar.net Favorite comfort food? I LOVE Buffalo wings with thick and stinky blue cheese. Guilty pleasures? Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Buns ice cream. What food won't you eat? Soy butter. What would you like to try but haven't yet? Haggis. Favorite food person? Alton Brown.... More

'The Next Food Network Star,' Episode 6 Recap: Brownies, Not the Edible Kind

If the remaining five contestants had never babysat, or were the types to ignore the brats and run away with the pizza money, it was clear this episode. Five delightfully cute Girl Scout Brownies (that means ages six to eight) arrived to moonlight as sous chefs. Some stole the stage and should really teach the remaining crew a thing or two about camera charisma—the pigtails helped—while others were ignored and silent. Like Shane's pipsqueak partner, who was basically shoved aside as he made chicken. The Challenge: Who Has the Cutest Brownie Sous Chef? Not really, but that was a major factor in achieving camera friendliness. Contestants had to perform a cooking demo on the Rachael Ray show alongside an... More

The Next Food Network Star, Episode 5 Recap: Don't Screw Up In Front of Bon Appetit Judges

I really wasn't a fan of this show when handed the beat. Everything felt so sloppy, forced; the goofy personalities were hard to watch. These people are seriously on television? Not to mention a decent Food Network time slot. But I found a new way of looking at it, and now I'm hooked. The Next Food Network Star is less a food-food show, more a spoof of everything else on the network. The focus is not on raw kitchen talent, Asian street food or four-second meals. Instead, it's like a sketch comedy group's reaction to food television today. The overstated personalities, the ridiculous do-or-die challenges (involving something of grapefruit-caliber), and our obsession with fame. Then you realize it's not... More

The Next Food Network Star, Episode 4 Recap: Share Your Feelings

The Next Food Network Star must have a private string orchestra for all the sappy music. It's becoming less a show about food, more a therapy session and mope party. Last week, our robotic, perky-faced friend Kelseybot turned on Niagara Falls for judges, "Um, I really am so passionate about ..." She goes on and on as tears stream down, and with that, her blond booty was saved. Other contestants must have taken note, since this week, Aaron teared up about his still-missing son who ran away from home, Lisa dedicated her dish to her brother fighting in Iraq, and self-deprecating Jennifer overapologized after misshucking an oyster. "If I can't shuck an oyster, I can't do anything," the poor... More

The Next Food Network Star, Episode 2 Recap

The second episode of The Next Food Network Star aired last night and it's safe to say we're still smitten with Lisa Garza. We were nervous we'd starting hating the "firecracker dynamo" contestant with her razor-cut hair and super-bronzed cheeks. But she whipped out her head bandanna and prepared crostini-style French toast with honey crème fraîche on a moving train, with the boldness we expected her to, and we're still fans. So are the judges, who handed her the get-out-of-jail-free immunity status at the end of the episode. The challenge took place on a New Jersey rail line, where teams of three had to prepare three-course brunch plates with ingredients (bread, cheese, and meat) acquired in previous trivia rounds.... More

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