5 questions with Tom Pizzica of Food Network’s Outrageous Food


Photo courtesy of Food Network

Even though he finished as one of the runners-up in this season’s “Next Food Network Star” to Aarti Sequeira, Tom Pizzica knew he had the talent to have his own show, anyway. So did yours truly, because Pizzica has a Guy Fieri-like charisma about him. He also took more chances on the show than anyone I’d seen before, and it’s hard not to respect him for that.

Well, sure enough, Pizzica did get offered his own show on Food Network, and “Outrageous Food” airs this Friday at 10pm ET/PT. The show is about Pizzica being “on a quest to unearth the most jaw-dropping, eye-popping, occasionally heart-stopping foods in the country – dishes that give “outrageous” a whole new meaning.”

We had the opportunity to ask Pizzica a few questions about his upcoming show:

Premium Hollywood: How soon after you came in second place on “Next Food Network Star” did they contact you about having your own show anyway?

Tom Pizzica: I started shooting “Outrageous Food” shortly after “The Next Food Network Star” finished airing. Aarti’s show was already on and doing very well, and the network decided to move forward with me on this great new project.

PH: The premise of this show is awesome. How much hand do you have in selecting venues and episodes?

TP: The selection of locations is a collaboration between Food Network, Page Productions (my production company, who also produced “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives”), and me. There are many outrageous places to highlight across the country, and this season features a great group. I am excited about all of them!

PH: What has been the craziest outrageous food episode so far and why?

TP: There have been so many categories of outrageous food on this season, it’s hard to pick just one. A few that stand out: Outlaw Catering, the 105-pound burger, and the $175 burger at Wall Street Burger Shoppe.

PH: I feel like you may wind up as the networks’ next Guy Fieri. I’m sure a lot of folks agree with me. What goals do you have personally?

TP: My goal is to see “Outrageous Food” go on for many more seasons and hopefully even have other shows on Food Network. This is such a great opportunity, and I am thrilled to have it!

PH: Tell us in a couple of sentences why folks should watch this new show and what they can expect.

TP: “Outrageous Food” will blow your mind – it’s the craziest food I have ever seen. You will meet engaging and entertaining characters at each location; it’s going to be mayhem!

“Outrageous Food” airs this coming Friday, November 5 at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network.

  

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Susie: I think people are really curious about this cuisine you know, I think it’s a really hot time which obviously from a marketing stand point was what one of the things that was appealing about Aarti to me. But I think Aarti has the credibility with this cuisine with these flavor profiles but she’s sorta of Americanized enough to figure out how to bring those flavors to foods. That’s what I heard her just mentioning Indian flavors to American food, and I think that’s the right order of operations potentially for a new audience to try new flavors. So, I am hoping that it goes over really big.

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Beth Schiff: I have been involved with “Chopped” since the first season. I have been casting for over 14 years. I started in commercials and industrial films, which I still do, but recently I have been working on mostly cable TV projects.

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BS: Skill and personality. Can you make something out of nothing and have fun doing it? Can you make a $10,000 meal out of our mystery baskets? And why should the Food Network choose you?

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BS: There have been a few contestants that I thought would not do that well that have won, and others where I thought they would kick ass and went out in the first round. It’s a game. It’s anybody’s game. So skill is important, but strategy and focus are key.

PH: Do you also choose the judges and/or how does that process work?

BS: Judges are chosen by the Food Network. I do sometimes cast guest judges, who are usually New York restauranteurs.

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BS: We are really thinking creatively — fun holiday episodes, and chefs with various backgrounds, championship rounds. Stay tuned!

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