Food Network Star Winner Lenny McNab, the so-called gourmet cowboy and chuckwagon cook, allegedly has left a trail, as it were, of offensive comments on social media.
Based on an online vote, McNab emerged as the winner Sunday night in the 10th season of the Food Network’s reality show over his last remaining rivals Luca Della Casa and Nicole Gaffney in the culmination of an 11-episode competition. The winner gets his or her own cooking show on the network so the steaks, er, the stakes are high.
McNab’s show pilot for “Cowboy Up,” which evidently helped him win the grand prize, is embedded below.
Projecting a good ol’ boy, down home persona on TV, McNab works as a chef at a Colorado mountain resort and luxury hunting lodge.
The Food Network Gossip website has the rundown on McNab’s alleged internet history, some of which apparently has been deleted:
“… there is currently a lot of outrage on message boards and in the Food Network blog comments section because of things Lenny has posted on the internet in the past. Lenny had a crude YouTube video, which was recently removed by someone after people started talking about it. Lenny also has a past with calling into the Ron and Fez show (currently on Sirius Radio) and is a frequent poster on multiple Ron and Fez forums. Lenny’s comments on those forums are also vulgar, and he even makes a derogatory comment toward Food Network’s Ree Drummond. Finally Lenny has a photobucket site with more videos that could be considered offensive.”
The Food Network apparently has as yet made no comment about the potential controversy surrounding this season’s grand prize winner.
At the time of McNab’s win, Food Network exec Bob Tuschman, who appears in some episodes of the reality show that stars recurring judges Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay, said in a statement that “Lenny’s magnetic personality, culinary chops and cowboy swagger made him stand out in this very talented crowd from the beginning. Lenny has a true passion for great food and the great outdoors, and we look forward to adding his unique voice to Food Network.”
In an interview the day after winning the competition, McNab said “Working in front of a crowd is very easy for me. It’s what I do here on my ranch. I have an open kitchen, and feeding off the energy of live people is just second nature to me. I’m just hanging out with people so it’s easy. But when you’re talking to a cold box, it becomes a little bit daunting. You end up being inside yourself.”
He added, “I got a lot of great feedback from the mentors, especially Giada. She just told me to pretend that camera was her, and ever since then I’ve just been more than happy to talk into a camera.”
The only Food Network Star who has actually become a big star on the network and in other media is Guy Fieri.
In reporting on this potentially hot potato for the Food Network, Gawker also noted that the crude online postings in question could be the work of an impostor and not Lenny McNab himself.
Did you watch the Food Network Star this season, and if so, are you a fan of cowboy chef Lenny McNab?