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The Next Food Network Star: Aria Kagan Elimination Interview And Bob Tuschman Answers Some Questions!

August 09, 2010 01:23 PM by Lisa Princ


On Food Network last night, Aria Kagan’s dream of becoming The Next Food Network Star ended as she was told she would not be moving onto the finale next week. Aria sat down and answered some questions today, as did judge Bob Tuschman. Pull up a seat and read on to hear these two wanted to share!

We caught up with Aria Kagan today to hear some of her thoughts after last night’s elimination on The Next Food Network Star on Food Network. Here is what Aria wanted to share with us.

Question: What was it about The Next Food Network Star and not just the great chefs that made the show appeal to you?

Aria Kagan: When I thought I wanted to audition for this, I really wasn’t sure I could pull it off, especially since I had never been in front of camera before. My mom said to me “you have to go, you have to go” but I wasn’t quite sure if I should. Then on my birthday she surprised me by buying me a ticket for the audition. Talk about support, but I still wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into to be quite honest. It was fun, exciting and a great ride. It was super challenging and I met the most incredible people.

Question: How do you find cooking in the competition different from your regular everyday cooking?

Aria Kagan: It doesn’t, I love finding great delicious ingredients and cooking them. When I first started on the show I really wanted to do a farm table approach, and that’s how family style came about. A lot of my food became not as creative as I normally am because I wanted to focus on the show and building a show on family style.

Question: Do you think the high praise earlier on hurt your performance last night?

Aria Kagan: Yes and no, they either love me or hate me and I thought I may as well be myself and see how it goes. They started to pick me apart and I got confused about what they wanted to see as I wanted so hard to please them. I went through tough times trying to figure out what I needed to do next.

Question: Did you really eat a tablespoon of cinnamon on a dare?

Aria Kagan: Yes I did. At the time someone offered me $100 to do it and dared me so I did.

Question: Do you have any regrets?

Aria Kagan: My only regret is not doing tons more bacon for the bacon challenge last night. I should have put bacon on every single element of the dishes. The judges really liked my food but I should have used a lot more bacon, especially since I went with a breakfast theme.


Next up was Bob Tuschman who took a few moments to answer some questions again as we head into the finale next week on The Next Food Network Star on Food Network.

Question: What are you looking for when you approach the winning dish for the upcoming finale?

Bob Tuschman: It’s not just the dish, it’s a combination of everything. We look for star charisma, a unique point of view and the ability to create and teach delectable dishes that viewers will want to make.

Question: What hurdles do you foresee for the finalists in this week’s finale?

Bob Tuschman: Each three have their own specific challenges that we are concerned and that we excited about. Tom has a winning personality, he is funny, easy going, imaginative, but his food has been uneven as you saw last night on the Iron Chef challenge, however there is also a lot that we like about the guy. Herb has been such a rollercoaster. He has had weeks where he was at the top of his game both cooking and in energy, and others where he has been low key and fell flat. The last couple weeks he has really come out with his point of view that really works, but the fact that he has been so up and down is a concern for us.Then there is Aarti who has a real easy and vivacious camera presence, but she has such problems with her confidence and star quality with us. She has been up and down in that department. Each finalist has great promise but also some challenges to make it to the finish line.

Question: Last night when the judges told Tom that his bacon dish was the worst ever in The Next Food Network Star history, were you exaggerating or was it really that bad?

Bob Tuschman: It was really that bad, the texture made it literally inedible and it didn’t work because you couldn’t eat it. Other dishes in the past have come up that didn’t succeed but you could at least eat it. It was a grand idea that had no grounding in reality.

Question: When the contestants come in with their show names, are they permanent or do you all play around with them and change them based on who wins?

Bob Tuschman: It’s only what they come in with for their pilots, but not definitely what it will be. There is no guarantee that their suggestion will be the final name for the show upon winning, we try to make it as appealing as possible while fitting their culinary point of view.

Thank you and best of luck to Aria Kagan and thank you to Bob Tuschman! Be sure to catch the season finale of The Next Food Network Star on Food Network Sunday!

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Photo Credit: Food Network

Topics: Food Network Reality TV Shows, The Next Food Network Star |

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