May 20, 2008 05:18 AM by Jennifer_Brown
Just as Top Chef is winding down and Hell’s Kitchen is whittling down the finalists, reality TV food junkies are getting served up a heaping helping of culinary competition, thanks to Food Network and the fourth season of The Next Food Network Star.
Set to kick off on Sunday, June 1st, The Next Food Network Star will feature Bobby Flay and a myriad of big-name guest judges, as well as 10 talented up-and-comers, one of which will land the grand prize of a Food Network show of his or her very own!
Competing in this season’s delish competish are:
Nipa, 35 (Victoria, MN) is a marketing manager by day and cooking enthusiast by night. Nipa is the former owner of the Gypsy Curry House and has taught a variety of cooking classes. This married mother of two thinks everyone should cook with a fearless attitude. Her versatile background has allowed her to grow up in both India and the United States and bring both worldly tastes to the table.
Jennifer, 32 (Woonsocket, RI) is a self-taught chef who started playing in the kitchen at the age of seven. Currently, Jennifer is the Executive Chef at Geppetto’s and Briggs Corner restaurants and is the proud mom to her 3-year-old daughter. Jennifer hopes her cooking can show people how to discover the basic ingredients behind some of the greatest flavors.
Lisa, 32, (Dallas, TX) brings her own sense of style and elegance to the kitchen. Voted in 2006 by The Dallas Morning News as one of Dallas’s “5 To Watch – Chefs,” Lisa is the co-owner and special event planner of Suze Restaurant & Catering. She designs her own line of chic kitchen aprons and brings glamour to the gourmet scene.
Adam, 30 (Philadelphia, PA) is an actor and server who has made the kitchen his stage! Adam is the former owner of The Smoked Joint – a BBQ joint he ran with his brother that brought ‘the barbeque experience’ to Philly. Currently starting up a catering company, he constantly searches for new ways to bring easy, approachable meals to the table with a side of fun.
Cory, 45 (New York, NY) is a New York City native who is no stranger to the spotlight. Cory has previously been featured on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. When it comes to cooking though, Cory is serious about great food. She considers her style MAMMA cooking – grounded in the classics of Mediterranean, Austrian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Asia.
Shane, 20 (Colorado Springs, CO) shows the kitchen holds no boundaries when it comes to age. As a former child star and professional actor, Shane was part of the hit Nickelodeon show, ALL THAT and won a Kids Choice Award with the cast in 2004. At 20, Shane runs his own catering service, Experience Dining, in Los Angeles and still dabbles in acting. Shane is also a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America.
AARON MCCARGO, JR
Aaron, 36 (Camden, NJ) is a family man who loves all things simple and flavorable. Aaron got his start cooking in a local hospital at 13 and is the Executive Chef of Catering for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Married with three kids, Aaron brings an easygoing presence to the kitchen with his warm smile and passion for down to earth cooking.
Kelsey, 23 (North Ogden, UT) happily dubs herself as the ‘Mini Martha Stewart.’ This bubbly, blonde dynamo has brought her unique cooking style to her eager peers at the local college cable station as the former host and star of “Kelsey’s Kitchen.” Turning the kitchen into a classroom, Kelsey currently teaches culinary classes covering everything from seafood to cupcakes and freelances in the food department for The Salt Lake Tribune.
Kevin, 39 (San Diego, CA) is widely known as “The Food Dude.” As the Executive Chef of East Village Tavern & Bowl, Kevin is immersed in the San Diego food scene. Kevin writes cookbooks and is the food contributor for a local radio show. This martial arts expert thinks all flavors should pack a mighty punch!
Jeffrey, 43 (White Plains, NY) is 6’5” and brings a tall order to the kitchen. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has owned his own restaurant, catering business and was even a TV intern at one time. Although Jeffrey has a BA in Political Science and English from Howard University, he says he couldn’t pass up the way cooking channels the creative side of the brain.
Catch the cast on the season premiere of The Next Food Network Star on Sunday, June 1st at 10:00 PM (ET) on The Food Network.
Photo Courtesy: The Food Network