So last night capped off this season of ‘The Next Food Network Star’ on Food Network of course. I thought that this year’s talent was pretty decent in comparison to some of the prior seasons, and the final two contestants this year made it ‘the most difficult decision that the judges have ever had to make in the history of this show’ said Bob Tuschman, Food Network’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Production. In the final episode of each season, the finalists shoot a pilot for their very own show as a final challenge to see who will be the best fit. This year both Jeffrey and Melissa repeatedly proved that they deserved to be the final two. Each with their own unique style and culinary point of view, either of the two would’ve made great Food Network personalities. Their mini-pilot episodes confirmed this and probably made it even more difficult to decide. In the end, Melissa, mother of four, and her cooking survival tips helped her win out in hopes that busy working parents who still need to get a home-cooked meal on the table will appreciate her helpful hints and advice. Though Jeffrey was charming and a great chef, I guess they felt that Melissa’s concept and personality was one that would reach more people. We will see as her first episode actually airs on Food Network next weekend.
With one reality-based competition cooking show over, comes an onslaught of new episodes of our old favorites. We of course know that Hell’s Kitchen has already started, but coming in August / September are the new seasons of Top Chef, The Next Iron Chef and a new season of Chopped (Only this time featuring past Chopped champions squaring off in a tournament style battle).
This is an exciting time for all the ‘foodies’ and reality fans alike. I am not huge on reality TV, but in my opinion cooking competitions are comparable to sports in their own right. Not that you have to be athletic or even in good shape, but these chefs, caterers and home cooks are giving it their all in hopes of cashing in on a great opportunity and in many cases a big prize. If a little drama slips in there, so be it, but you can definitely learn something or just become inspired to cook for yourself more often. In some cases, the chefs own restaurants in the near vicinity that you may want to check out after seeing the delicious dishes that they create. Either way, I will be tuned in to watch them battle it out on both Food Network and Bravo in the coming months, quenching my thirst for new television programming to watch while my other favorites remain on hold until the upcoming television season.
Sidenote: Food Network is airing a new show later this month in which everyone’s favorite figure skater takes advantage of an iconic parody song featuring his name. That’s right, the name of the show is: 'What Would Brian Boitano Make?' I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. I don’t know if I will be checking that one out, but I can only imagine that the theme song is destined to fail unless it involves those cute little South Park kids. I’m guessing it wont, and I’ll also go out on a limb and guess the show wont have a very long shelf life either, but intriguing nonetheless. I wonder how Trey Parker and Matt Stone feel about this?