January 25, 2007 08:33 PM by Joe Reality
Production has begun on Food Network’s third season of hit reality
series, The Next Food Network Star, with a new and seasoned batch of
contestants ready to slice and dice their way to the top when the
series premieres on Sunday, June 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The names of the
finalists were announced today by Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President,
Programming and Production.
“Last season’s winner Guy Fieri has become a big success and we’re hoping to find another unique talent who can join our roster of talented chefs,” said Tuschman. “We’re upping the ante on this season’s challenges, making them more difficult and demanding, so that we and our viewers can judge who should truly be our newest star."
Ten of the finalists were chosen by an internal Food Network panel, while the final contestant was chosen from a field of two semi-finalists via an online vote at FoodNetwork.com. The 11 finalists will travel to Food Network’s New York City headquarters to begin a series of tests and challenges that will ultimately determine which one of them can “take the heat” to become The Next Food Network Star and receive a six-episode series deal in the process. The 11 finalists include:
Vivien Cunha, 39 (Winnetka, CA) Chef and actress
Amy Finley, 32 (La Mesa, CA) Caterer and freelance writer
Josh Garcia, 25 (Havelock, NC) Chef de Cuisine
Tommy Grella, 33 (Methuen, MA) Certified Financial Planner
Colombe Jacobsen, 28 (New York, NY) Private chef and exercise instructor, also the FoodNetwork.com finalist
Paul McCullough, 36 (Los Angeles, CA) Private chef and caterer
Patrick Rolfe, 32 (Lake Forest Park, WA) Chef
Michael Salmon, 52 (Brooklyn, NY) General Manager of two New York-based restaurants
Rory Schepisi, 30 (Vega, TX) Restaurant owner
Adrien Sharp, 29 (Jackson, MI) Domestic Uniform Delivery and part-time local TV host.
Nikki Shaw, 38 (Manhattan Beach, CA) Caterer and wife of former LA Lakers player, Brian Shaw
Produced by CBS EYE too Productions, the series will include a rotating cast of judges including Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, Cat Cora, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine and season two winner Guy Fieri. The ultimate winner of The Next Food Network Star will be determined by Food Network viewers with voting on FoodNetwork.com and receives a six-episode show that will premiere in Fall 2007.
The finalists will be tested in a series of challenges and be evaluated by a panel of judges, including several Food Network chefs who will help evaluate the finalists’ personality, performance and food knowledge. The judges will narrow the field down to two contestants and the viewers will then vote via online and text messaging and determine the overall winner, who will be revealed during the series’ finale.