The next Food Network Star will be selected on Sunday, August 11, and America collectively has been enlisted as the final focus group to help determine the winner.
This season’s installment started with 12 contestants, one of whom was voted out each week, and who were evaluated on both cooking ability and TV presentation skills based on their performance in various culinary challenges. Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown have been the primary judges all along, although Food Network execs Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman will — apparently along with the nationwide vote — have the final say.
Each of the remaining three finalists filmed pilot episodes for the Food Network shows they want to do if they’re lucky enough to get the gig. The pilots are embedded below. After watching them, you can go over to the Food Network website to vote for the chef who strikes you as having the most star quality.
The three Food Network star finalists are (in alphabetical order by last name) Rodney Henry, Russell Jackson, and Damaris Phillips.
Henry, the self-proclaimed pie man, wants to do a show called Pie Style in which he will visit restaurants and make a pie based on the establishment’s signature dish and try to outdo the original. Somewhat similarly, Jackson focused on guilty pleasures at existing restaurants, but making an existing high sugar, high calorie dish even more “sinful” using the contents of his briefcase containing the seven culinary sins. Phillips’ proposed show — Eat, Date, Love — is about teaching dudes how to cook and therefore get women. They were mentored in filming their pilot episodes by former Food Network Star winner Guy Fieri, who has several shows going on the network.
Season nine of the Food Network Star premiered on June 2. The final episode of this season’s Food Network Star airs next Sunday at 9 pm Eastern. Voting is open until Wednesday morning, August 7.
Are you fan of the Food Network Star and do you have a favorite among the three finalists?