The Next Food Network Star

The Next Food Network Star (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Next Food Network Star is a reality television series produced by and aired on the Food Network in the United States which awards the winner his or her own series on the Food Network. The first two seasons were hosted by Marc Summers; the hostless third season began airing on June 3, 2007, with 11 finalists.

Season One


The first season of The Next Food Network Star series was taped in February 2005, and was composed of five episodes premiering on Sundays at 9 PM in June 2005. Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh were the winners of the first season. These two Chicago area caterers host a show called Party Line with Dan & Steve, now titled Party Line with The Hearty Boys, which premiered on September 18, 2005. The runner-up, Deborah Fewell, was chosen to host a special on food at beaches, Surf N Turf, which aired in June 2006. Michael Thomas is the recurring chef on The Tyra Banks Show. Susannah Locketti has made an appearance on The Tony Danza Show, and is also an on-air chef for Publix grocery stores in the southern United States.


  • Brook Harlan (Columbia, MO)
  • Harmony Marceau
  • Michael Thomas
  • Eric Warren
  • Susannah Locketti
  • Hans Reuffert
  • Deborah Fewell (runner-up)
  • Dan Smith & Steve McDonagh (Bellmore, Long Island, NY & Wayne, NJ) - Three Mushroom Tart (winners)

Season Two


The second season of The Next Food Network Star series was taped in December 2005 and began airing in March 2006. Guy Fieri was announced as the winner on April 23, 2006, beating Reggie Southerland. Guy's Big Bite premiered in June 2006, and Fieri's second series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, premiered April 23, 2007, a year after he won. Fourth-place contestant Nathan Lyon began hosting his own series, A Lyon In the Kitchen, on the Discovery Health Channel in March 2007.


  • Jess Dang (Menlo Park, CA) - Asian Bolognese
  • Elizabeth Raynor (Sausalito, CA) - Turkey Pine Nut Cabbage Wraps
  • Evette Rodriguez (Port St. Lucie, FL) - Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade Over Spaghetti
  • Andrew Schumacher (Brooklyn, NY) - Sauteed Skirt Steak with a Mushroom Pan Sauce
  • Nathan Lyon (Los Angeles, CA) - Asian Infused Pork Tenderloin with Melted Onions and Herbed Goat Cheese
  • Carissa Seward (San Diego, CA) - Easy Breezy Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  • Reggie Southerland (Los Angeles, CA) - Pureed Spinach and Sweet Pea Soup with Fresh Mint Cream
  • Guy Fieri (Santa Rosa, CA) - Rhode Island Calamari (winner)

Season Three


The third season began on June 3, 2007, and the winner was announced on Sunday, July 22. In season 3, judges narrowed the field down to 2 with 1 or 2 contestants going home weekly. Once the field is down to 2, the viewers will pick the winner. During the season, the contestants lived in a shared house in New York City. The contestant's challenges have included cooking concession food for a NBA game (with guest Darryl Dawkins) to a mini version of Food Network's Iron Chef America (with guest judges Bobby Flay and Cat Cora). The judges (the "selection committee") always include Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson along with one guest. Other guest judges have included Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, Duff Goldman, season two winner Guy Fieri, and Robert Irvine. Paula Deen and Rachael Ray have also helped the contestants with their challenges during season 3. During season 3, Bobby Flay has also played an important role in the guidance and selection process. Despite making it to the final round only after "Jag" withdrew, Amy Finley was chosen by America as the Next Food Network Star on July 22, 2007. Her new show The Gourmet Next Door premiered on October 14, 2007.


Name Age Hometown Eliminated
Amy Finley 33 San Diego, CA Winner (Eliminated week 7, then reinstated)
Rory Schepisi 31 Vega, TX Runner-Up
Joshua Adam "Jag" Garcia 25 Havelock, NC Week 7 - Allowed to withdraw before Finale
Paul McCullough 36 Los Angeles, CA Week 6
Adrien Sharp 29 Jackson, MI Week 5
Michael Salmon 53 Brooklyn, NY Week 4
Tommy Grella, Jr. 34 Methuen, MA Week 3
Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine 29 New York, NY Week 3
Nikki Shaw 38 Oakland, CA Week 2
Patrick Rolfe 33 Seattle, WA Week 1
Vivien Cunha 40 Hermosa Beach, CA Week 1

Contestant Resignation

Amy Finley was originally eliminated in week 7. Joshua Adam "Jag" Garcia falsely claimed to have graduated from The New York Restaurant School and to have been deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment infantry unit. After Food Network discovered that he had falsified his records and lied about some of his past, he withdrew from the competition.

Season Four

The Next Food Network Star has been renewed for a fourth season.

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