Category: The Next Food Network Star (Page 1 of 10)

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.

The Next Food Network Star: an interview with Susie Fogelson and Aarti Sequeira

Last week we had the pleasure of taking part in a conference call announcing and celebrating the winner of “The Next Food Network Star,” Aarti Sequeira, and also with long-time show judge Susie Fogelson. We got to ask two questions to each of them, but full disclosure–this is the full transcript as sent to us by the Food Network’s PR firm. We thought you’d find reading the entire interview(s) to be most interesting. Thanks and enjoy!

Q: How well do you think Aarti’s Indian influence of American dishes will go over with the viewer?

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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The Next Food Network Star: tipped off?

During this week’s episode of “The Next Food Network Star,” we may have been tipped off about who would be eliminated this week before they were eliminated. But more on that later.

The Final Four made it to New York City, where they would be duking it out for real to see who would have their own show on Food Network. The finalists? Aarti, Aria, Tom and Herb. And this week they would be battling Iron Chef-style. Alton Brown was waiting for them, as well as Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto. They would be competing in groups of two, making three dishes each based on the secret ingredient. When they weren’t competing they would be floor commentators ala Kevin Brasch.

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The Next Food Network Star: final four

This week during “The Next Food Network Star,” mentor Giada Di Laurentiis announced that the finalists who made it past this week were going to New York City to finish the competition. So much for having this season in a different city, huh? They must have realized they had way more resources in New York to draw from.

Anyway, this episode began with Giada asking the chefs to make their signature dishes and to present them on camera in a one-minute presentation. Sounds too easy for this point in the competition, doesn’t it? Well it was….Giada showed up 10 minutes in and threw them a curve…they would have to add in their least favorite ingredient, and to present them with that ingredient were their family members. Pretty emotional stuff! Aria’s was anchovies, Tom’s white pepper (really?), Aarti’s was okra, Brad’s was ranch dressing and Herb’s canned peas.

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The Next Food Network Star: the tides are turning

With the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop to this season’s “The Next Food Network Star,” it’s safe to say that the proverbial tides are turning as we move deeper into the competition. Two contestants have emerged as front runners quicker than you can blink, and a few others are regressing.

Last night’s episode began with “mentor” Giada Di Laurentiis announcing the initial challenge, which was to create a party bite based on a specific holiday or event, and using the three ingredients that were set before each of them in a picnic basket.

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