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HOME > The Next Food Network Star > Food Network Star 7

'Next Food Network Star' reveals seventh-season cast, to debut June 5

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/12/2011 

Food Network has revealed the identities of the 15 culinary contestants competing on the seventh season of Food Network Star which will premiere with a two-hour episode on Sunday, June 5 at 9PM ET/PT.

In addition, the network has announced Giada de Laurentiis will serve as a regular member on the judging panel for the new season of the show, which was formerly called The Next Food Network Star.

Food Network Star's seventh season, which was filmed in Los Angeles, will follow a new crop of contestants as they are tested in a series of challenges and judged on their culinary skills and on-air potential.

Seventh-season challenges will include adding fireworks to a meal with MGD 64 for an All-American July 4 Food Festival hosted by Guy Fieri, creating and advertising a unique food truck under Tyler Florence's watch, throwing an impromptu dinner party for Wolfgang Puck, and visiting the set of the ABC series Cougar Town to create custom meals for the show's cast and crew with special guest stars Courtney Cox and show creator Bill Lawrence.

Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Melissa D'Arabian, Paula Deen, Ina Garten, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine, the Neelys, Rachael Ray and Michael Symon will join Fieri, Florence, Wolfgang Puck, Courtney Cox, and Bill Lawrence and serve as guest stars during the season.

Iron Chef America star Bobby Flay and network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson will reprise their roles on the show's judging panel and ultimately determine the grand-prize winner -- who will receive his or her own six-episode Food Network series.

The Next Food Network Star's seventh-season finale will air Sunday, August 14 at 9PM ET/PT and the winner's new series will debut later that month.

The 15 contestants who will be competing on The Next Food Network Star's seventh season are:

- Mary Beth Albright from Washington, DC

- Justin Balmes from Marietta, GA

- Whitney Chen from New York

- Katy Clark from Long Beach, CA

- Penny Davidi from Los Angeles

- Justin Davis from Minneapolis

- Howie Drummond from Highlands Ranch, CO

- Jyll Everman from Glendora, CA

- Susie Jimenez from Carbondale, CO

- Juba Kali from New Orleans

- Jeff Mauro from Elmwood Park, IL

- Vic "Vegas" Moea from Las Vegas

- Chris Nirschel from Hoboken, NJ

- Orchid Paulmeier from Bluffton, SC

- Alicia Sanchez from New York

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