Enter to win our ‘Next Food Network Star’ prize package!

I am so excited to share with you this great giveaway from the AJC and The Food Network.

The fifth season of “The Next Food Network Star” is about to begin on June 7, and we are going to send several lucky winners to a VIP viewing party at the Art Institute of Atlanta for the premiere episode. We also have a prize package worth about $350 for our grand prize winner.

Click this link to enter the contest! (The link is up and LIVE!)

The Food Network is one of our family’s favorite channels on TV. My 6-year-old son loves to curl up with me at night to watch the “Food Network Challenge.” He especially loves any challenges that involve cake – the Dr. Seuss cake challenge, the Disney cake challenge, the wedding cake challenge. He’s mesmerized.

My husband Michael likes to watch “Everyday Italian.” I don’t think he’s really learning Italian cooking. I just think he’s staring at the super sexy host Giada.

My daughter and I love to watch “The Next Food Network Star.” If you haven’t watched it before, they are literally trying to find the next Food Network star. They put them through many cooking challenges but also on-screen, marketing and personality tests trying to find someone that will pop on camera.

Bobby Flay is the host. (I think he’s really hot.) Senior VP Bob Tuschman and VP Susie Fogelson are the judges. They tell the contestants things like you’re too frenetic on the screen or I don’t think you’re showing enough food expertise. After I’ve been watching the show, I find myself talking through recipes out loud as I cook and reminding myself to follow Bob’s and Susie’s advice on presentation. Last season, I found my 8-year-old daughter in the basement doing exactly the same thing with plastic food.

You can get ready for this season by checking out videos of the 10 new finalists. You can also read their bios.

Two contestants that I am interested in are:

Jamika Pesoa, 29, a personal chef from Atlanta, Ga.

and

Melissa d’Arabian, 40, a stay-at-home mom from Keller, Texas. She has four kids under the age of 3. I’m sure she could teach moms something about feeding their families well and quickly.

What are you favorite shows on the Food Network? Do your kids like to watch with you? Does your husband ogle Giada too? Who do you think will be “The Next Food Network Star?”

55 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

May 26th, 2009
7:28 am

My daughter LOVES the Food Network…is the contest open today…we both looked and could not get in. We watch the Food Network Challenge together each summer. I ordered her the new Food Network Magazine for her birthday tomorrow. She has taken a keen interest in cooking and would like to try culinary school but I think she may need to get her B.S. first. The economy is so unpredictable. She will be senior next year. If anyone has any thoughts or help on this one…I would appreciate it.

Theresa, your column yesterday was a good one and, as I feared, most folks would be out CELEBRATING and not APPRECIATING. Perhaps some will drop by and make a comment today.
We often miss what we have, when it is taken away from us and those who do not recognize the sacrifices made will be the first to complain when their freedom is taken away.

Photius

May 26th, 2009
8:23 am

Oh boy…. Giada! There is one episode of Giada removing the meat from sausage casings…. my wife walks in and yells “What are you watching?!”. I’m in love with Giada~

HB

May 26th, 2009
8:42 am

MJG, she may want to take a look at Johnston & Wales. The culinary school is excellent, and the do have other programs as well (the Providence campus offers more than Charleston), so it’s possible she could work on her culinary degree and another at the same time. There’s also a bachelor’s that combines culinary arts and food service management — seems like the second half of that could prepare one for a lot of jobs. As for the economy, restaurants are being hit very hard, but so are most industries. Nothing’s a sure thing, but her graduation date 5 years from may drop her into a recovering job market that the best in years. If she wanted to wait, though, I’ve known several people who went to J&W for some sort of certificate or maybe associate’s degree that took a year or two after they completed their bachelor’s somewhere else. If she completes a bachelor’s at a public school in GA, that would probably save a lot of money. I think most culinary schools are pretty pricey.

Michelle

May 26th, 2009
8:43 am

Good Morning! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday! MJG, I did make a comment on yesterday’s blog today! I rarely get on the computer at home. I think Mr. Liberty needs to get a life!

I couldn’t get into the contest either. It shows up, but there isn’t any way to enter (that I could find!)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 26th, 2009
8:53 am

We are supposed to be able to enter today!!! I will send a note to my bosses saying we can’t get in!! How frustrating!!! Ugg! Check back by 10 and I bet they’ll have the link live — sorry guys!! Sending the note now!!

motherjanegoose

May 26th, 2009
8:57 am

Thanks HB…this is what I was thinking about: staying in Ga for 4 years and then making a decision.

I forgot to say that we get a kick out of Barefoot Contessa and call her Mrs. Wilson, as she looks like the principal my daughter had at Rock Springs Elementary years ago….anyone who knows her laughs when I tell them that we still watch her on Food Network.

Theresa…I am sticking by you but the frustrations are getting to be the norm.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 26th, 2009
8:58 am

MJG — I had a friend that did the food science program at Georgia and I think it’s a pretty good program. He’s a dietician and chef now. He was actually on a Food Network show :”Chopped!” He did go on and do other culinary schools after the food science program. Atlanta has it’s own campus of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary School (http://www.cookingschool-atlanta.com/?src=100010) and I think the Art Institute offers some classes == New York has multiple cooking schools — some in the city and upstate — I found a book one time in NY that had lists of cooking schools from all over the country —

Here’s the amazon link to directory books of cooking schools — she should order one of these and start reading
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cooking+school+directory&x=0&y=0

Lisa

May 26th, 2009
9:07 am

My favorite Food Network Show is Throwdown with Bobby Flay. My 11 year old son and I love that show!! Last year we went to New York for spring break and had a list of restaurants we wanted to go to (restaurants that were featured on Throwdown). My son’s favorite was Junior’s Cheesecake. He met the owner and was so excited to tell him that he had seen him on TV with Bobby Flay.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 26th, 2009
9:08 am

The marketing link has nothing to do with me –I had nothing to do with that link.

JJ

May 26th, 2009
9:23 am

I can’t stand Bobby Flay!!!!! Every time he comes on I switch channels. He is so pompous and thinks he is the best Chef ever. He has such a big head. I just cannot stand him.

Becky

May 26th, 2009
9:27 am

mjg, you don’t always have to blog to be appreciative..I don’t have a computer at home (my choice)..When we went out to breakfast Sat. my six year old grandson walked (on his own) over to a table near us and shook hands with an older man that had an MIA/POW hat on and told him thank you for being in the war..They both put flags up in our yard, because they say they are proud to be American..

As for todays topic, I love the FNW channel..I watch it with my six year old granddaughter…I love all of the challenges and we try to watch as many of them as possible..I love anything with Bobby Flay in it..I would love to meet either him, Paula Deen or Guy..

Cammi317

May 26th, 2009
9:34 am

The AJC link says check back soon for your chance to enter.

lovelyliz

May 26th, 2009
9:35 am

tHE fOOD nETWORK REALLY IS FAMILY FRINEDLY. eVERYBODY CAN ENJOY THE PROGRAMMING

motherjanegoose

May 26th, 2009
9:37 am

Becky…you are correct perhaps some will show gratitude today and make a comment!

JJ

May 26th, 2009
10:57 am

I love the Barefoot Contessa, Rachael Ray and Paula Deen. And Tyler Florence is a DOLL.

deidre_NC

May 26th, 2009
12:24 pm

MJG~~ my daughter is graduating in a couple of weeks and here is her plqan–she is going to get her RN (2 years instead of 4 yr bs) and then get a good paying job-go to culinary school and save all her money and open a restaurant. ok–i love for kids to have a plan and that may very well be what she ends up doing-her thoughts are that the restaurant business is very iffy and can be veyr fickle (we have close friends in the business) so she wants to get a degree that will always give her a wway to make a decent living if the food business goes plunk.

TOPIC** omg we love the food network-everyone i know loves it. i duobt there is any more watched show in american history-kids love it-adults love it-MEN!!! love it. aits mazing to me that a show can interest people from every gender and walk of life. i dont get to watch regularly since i have this new job that pretty much owns me :) but i have watched the contest and loved it..i love the compettition where they make cakes or whatever. iron chef is ok..my daughter loves that one tho. i adore paula because she loves butter and cream lolol.. my kind of cook…and i have loved rachel rays easy fast recipes and use some of them all the time. i really like the one where she goes to different cities on $40 bucks a day. (altho i think i could do it cheaper) but yeah…food network rocks…

deidre_NC

May 26th, 2009
12:28 pm

scuse the typos..im in a hurry lol

FNW Junkie

May 26th, 2009
12:29 pm

I am a FNW junkie. I think I have been watching food network tv since Julia Childs,Justin Wilson, and the two ladies from Great Brittain that road a motorcycle (can’t remember their names). I am in Love with Paula Deen she seems to be a member of anyone’s family, plus she loves butter(that’s a plus for me). I sent in my audition tape for the first time for this show(5th season), and I didn’t think I would make it, but I am proud that I had the nerve to do it.I will probably do it again for next season. It is not easy, even if you do love cooking like I do.I have gotten so many of my friends hooked on watching that is funny (even die hard sports fans like my boyfriend). My three sons want to take a trip one day where we follow Guy’s D,D, &D’s route. Even if I run across a show that is boring to me (featuring something I may not eat) I still watch just to learn something new. I can never go wrong with FNW From Ask Aida to The Neely’s it’s all good!!!

motherjanegoose

May 26th, 2009
12:43 pm

Yes, I love DD and D! Guy, not so much as he is a bit full of himself ( guess he can be since he is the STAR!!!) but the patrons at the restaurants are so cute. I love how they all tell their own personal stories about the wonderful food at each place. My kids bought me the book for Christmas and my daughter and I keep a look out for the restaurants. YUM!

JJ

May 26th, 2009
1:30 pm

I think I shall bid adieu to this blog and to this crappy “newspaper”. Topics have been boring, and there hasn’t been many responses lately. And my child is on her way to college so these topics aren’t for me anymore…….I have enjoyed the last several years, but I believe it’s time to go…….

Peace……..

Becky

May 26th, 2009
1:50 pm

FNW Junkie, you’re right, that is something to be proud of..If you make it onto next season, maybe you’ll let us know which one you are, so that we can root for you..

Has anyone ever been to eat at The Lady & Sons in Savannah? If you haven’t, boy are you missing out..The food is fantastic, the service is great and her cookbook is one of the best..

The Neelys are about the only show on FNW that I don’t really care for..To much oozing of sexual topics for my taste when I watching with the kids..

t'bolt

May 26th, 2009
2:55 pm

Alton Brown is the Best! “Good Eats” is the most clever show on TV anywhere.

Along with Alton Brown, I would love to have a meal with Bobby Flay and Mario Betali. Guy seems like a good guy as well.

I used to like Paula Dean, but since they made her stop saying “It’s to die Fowa!” not so much!

motherjanegoose

May 26th, 2009
3:05 pm

JJ…is this really you…I am frankly surprised….that was sort of a rude cut to Theresa.

I have one in college and one in high school and I enjoy the dialogue, even when the topics are not on my top ten list….hmmm…wonder who else is going to bale and who will stay and make an interesting contribution. Many older mothers ( like myself) have tidbits of wisdom and younger mothers share quips about things that make us reminisce ( sp?).

Becky, we were in Savannah last week and could not get in to Lady and Son’s but LOVED Sweet Potatoes, which looks like a dive from the outside but has the best southern food.

Becky

May 26th, 2009
3:24 pm

JJ, sorry to hear that from you..Yes, there are parts of this paper that don’t appeal to me, but like MJG said, that was really a rude cut..If a lot of the regular bloggers are like me and do most of their bloging from work, that could be why the responses are fewer..Just an opinion..There have been a few topics over the last 3-4 weeks that didn’t have an interest to me, but I lurked to see what others had to say..

MJG, we were lucky that we went to The Lady and Son’s just before she became “super” famous..A niece had been there and raved about it, so we were able to get in without the long wait..Will have to try Sweet Potatoes next go round in Savannah..

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 26th, 2009
3:54 pm

Hey T’bolt — Love Alton Brown — love the science behind the cooking! would love to go and see him tape his show — i believe it’s in Atlanta.

Sunshine

May 26th, 2009
3:59 pm

I don’t think that was the real JJ. She’s not that rude.

Becky

May 26th, 2009
4:56 pm

Sunshine, you are right about JJ..She did leave us once, but came back..I think then she said something to the effect, that even if she didn’t always agree, it was nice to have us and be able to agree to disagree..Hopefully it wasn’t the real JJ..

DB

May 26th, 2009
5:19 pm

JJ (if that was really you), I hope graduation went well? After graduation on Saturday and a family reunion on Sunday, we’re all sitting around in major burn-out mode. Can’t wait for our cruise in a couple of weeks!

Re: Food Network. I never watch it — whenever I turn to it, they seem to be cooking something that no one in my family would touch on a dare!

FCM

May 26th, 2009
5:24 pm

MJG — My father is well known in the food industry (desiging the kitchens)….when my (then) fiance was looking to go to culinary school Johnson & Wales was the recommended place to go. YES your daughter could go local but that would be like expecting a KSU degree to equal Yale outside of the South…..Pay the extra if you can afford it and send to J & W…they have a campus in South Carolina.

fk

May 26th, 2009
6:09 pm

JJ: I’m with you…oh, that Tyler Florence! I also enjoy, ‘The Barefoot Contessa’, too, (actually have one of her cookbooks) along with with Paula Deen. I can take or leave Rachel Ray, though…I think she’ overexposed herself, media-wise.

Motherjane Goose: Check out the Culinary Intstiture of America. There are two campuses, one in Hyde Park, NY, just outside of Poughkeepsie, and the other is in Northern California…stellar reputations. They offer a four year program. My husband is a graduate. He worked his way up to Executive Chef, starting out in Rockefeller Center in NYC…right oustide the ice-skating rink. He is still in the hospitality business, but out of the kitchen…hard on family life with small children, but enjoys it very much. It’s an exciting field with many more opportunities than you would imagine. She’ll never be bord. Good luck to your daughter.

fk

May 26th, 2009
6:23 pm

MJG: I had posted a longer response, but I don’t know where it went. Have your daughter check out the Culinary Institure of America. There are two campuses…one in Hyde Park, NY and one in Northern California. “CIA” has a stellar rep and does offer four year programs. It is intense…and every student works an externship. My husband is a graduate. There are so many opportunities in the hospitality industry…she will always be employable and never bored. If she is serious, and you want to contact my husband about the school or a career, we’ll find a way to connect. Good luck!

FCM

May 26th, 2009
9:30 pm

fk— your right CIA is awesome too….I believe Alton Brown and Bobby Flay went there? Emeril (RI) & Tyler Florence (SC) are J & W alum. I have several friends who are also alum of the J & W so I am more familiar with that program. What I would not do is attend the culinary institute in Atlanta.

FCM

May 26th, 2009
9:41 pm

ok I checked wrong on both of whom I thought went to CIA….Flay went to French Culinary Institute and Brown to NE Culinary Institute.

Giada and Mario Batali went Le Cordon Bleu.

Cat Cora (NY) and Duff Goldman (CA) however are CIA.

ie….education is like most things…..you will get what you pay for, so make the $$$ well spent.

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lakerat

May 27th, 2009
7:12 am

I went to Paula Deen’s restaurant (Lady and Son’s) in Savannah a couple of years ago – not impressed at all. No better or worse than The Smith House in Dahlonega, The Dillard House in Clayton, or Aunt Catfish in Daytona Beach.

My favorite on TFN is the lady who comes on before the Barefoot Contessa (sorry, can’t remember her name right now but she is blond and always has her favorite toddy to make to finish off the show!) and just after Giada.

Suggeste topic for "Fun Friday"...

May 27th, 2009
7:19 am

…that 66 year old British woman who is pregnant – Why is she still “doing it” at her age? Why have a child when she is likely to die BEFORE the child is 10 years old?(just selfish on her part); etc, etc.

The REAL JJ

May 27th, 2009
8:07 am

Hey, WTH??? NO that wasn’t me posting about the topics. I left work around noon yesterday and haven’t been on a computer since. Someone hijacked my name………how rude!!!!! I would NEVER diss this blog…..

Lakerat – It’s Semihome Made with Sandra Lee. I like her too……..and her tablescapes are pretty as well. I like that her kitchen is always decorated differently, to match her outfit, or theme.

Andrea

May 27th, 2009
8:31 am

Lakerat – I think you are talking about Sandra Lee. She is the cocktail lady!

As for the subject – I love this channel. I literally watch it all weekend. My kids and I love the challenge shows. We love the cake challenge shows. I love the Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes are killers at home. Easy to prepare and delicious. Once we started watching the shows together, I was able to get my kids to try different foods. Alton Brown’s show is a fave of mine as well. I really like the way he explains the dynamics of food and cooking. I love the Neely’s show. Their recipes are sooooo good!

I am still a HUGE fan of the original Iron Chef series. There will never be another personality like the original Chairman Kaga.

I agree with the other poster that said Rachel Ray is overexposed. I don’t watch her show on Food Network as much anymore, but her magazine is awesome. I guess you don’t have to hear her to read the magazine (that was harsh I know!). The recipes are good in her magazine and it really gives some useful tips.

I lived in Savannah before relocating back to Atlanta and I have to say Paula Deen is not one of my favorites. The overly southern persona is simply put, overacting. It is just not genuine anymore.

Becky

May 27th, 2009
8:33 am

lakerat, I went about 15 years ago, so maybe since she moved to a “bigger and better” location, things might have changed..We loved it though..

RJ

May 27th, 2009
8:48 am

Enter your comments here

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 27th, 2009
8:54 am

lakerat — you mean Sandra Dee — I’m not crazy about her — I love Tyler Florence, I love Alton Brown, I love Giada but I think she should eat more of her own food and I’m hoping now that she’s had a baby her breast will be less perky! I love, love Barefoot Contessa — I used to be very in to Rachel Ray but not so much — I think that lady with make ahead meals plans way too much for me — I’m not that organized – I find her frustrating! We’ve never been able to get into Ladya nd Sons — always too busy but we love Mrs. Wilkes boarding house in Savannah – that’s our favorite place.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 27th, 2009
8:55 am

I’m working on two topics for today — will be posting soon!

motherjanegoose

May 27th, 2009
9:08 am

JJ…glad that was not you…we had an issue with hijackers a while back.

Lakerat, thanks for suggesting those other restaurants ( we have been to the Dillard House) …my daughter wanted to go to Paula Dean’s but we were told that you had to get there before 7:00 a.m. to get a reservation. While I am thrilled that she is so popular, NO restaurant is worth that effort for me. I will NOT even wait 90 minutes to get into any place….no matter what kind of food it is. We passed at 12 noon and they were completely booked up for the rest of the day.

Thanks for all the tips about culinary school. While I always preach that you get what you pay for ( to my clients) we may not have that kind of money for culinary school unless we dip into our retirement and I am not confident that my daughter will be the next iron chef and be able to support us….LOL.

My hairdresser told me that his cousin moved here to Atlanta ( from NYC) to attend culinary school. Why would you come here if the better schools are elsewhere?

We have several cookbooks from the food network shows and my daughter fixes some of their delicious dishes. TIP….you can get the cookbooks for a lot less at COSTCO or ROSS ( in the book section).

Happy Birthday to my daughter today,,,,we were up until almost 1:00 with her little party….just a few friends MOM ( LOL), I am going to give her a birthday kiss now!

Stan

May 27th, 2009
10:22 am

Any one have any thoughts about a 36 year old wanting a major career change going to culinary school? I live reasonable close to Athens and saw that Athens tech has a 2 year culinary program. It is not feesible for me to go to a “good” school as I have house payments and a wife, but I think I could handle going to a program that is affordable part time to get away from computers.

So any input would be appreciated, if anyone is still reading yesterdays topic :)

Andrea

May 27th, 2009
10:55 am

Stan – as long as you are living, you have time to persue your craft. My parents live in Madison, GA, which is very close to Athens Tech. When we were born, my mother was young and while she knew how to cook Soul Food, she wanted to focus on more nutritous meals for five children. So, guess where she went to school? Athens Tech. She took the culinary classes and she also studied food service management. She loved it and she said the classes were great.

As for the Lady & Sons. I went there and it is overrated. Any soul food cook can beat that place. I think since they moved to the larger spot, they have to cook more generic to try to please multiple palates. So, the food is very “cafeteria” to me. The essence of the original spot has been lost. When you add in the wait and the cost, you can go down the street to Mom & Nikki’s on MLK in Savannah and get a much better meal.

Stan

May 27th, 2009
11:01 am

Andrea, Thanks for the encourgment

Becky

May 27th, 2009
11:31 am

Stan, if you want to go and can afford it, by all means, go ahead and do it..Regardless if you actually become a chef after you finish the school, think of the experience you will have..The break away from computers in itself (to me) would be worth it..Good luck with the decision that you make..

Kim

May 27th, 2009
6:24 pm

For culinary school, MJG’s daughter might want to consider The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta. That’s where the Food Network preview party for Next Food Network Star will be. Jamika Pessoa is a grad. They’ve got a culinary management BS as well as an associate’s in culinary arts. Definitely more expensive than a state school, but the employement rates for culinary grads look really good on the web site. Anyway, important to check out lots of options before making a decision. Good luck!

Do you check out the FN web site? I’m always looking up recipes! It’s great, plus cooking and even shopping tips.

deidre_NC

May 27th, 2009
6:52 pm

STAN: go for it…as long as you can do it without jepardising your families welfare go for it. thats kind of what my daughter is planning–get a degree that is a sure thing and then do her cooking. she loves the restaurant/chef life–she worked as a line cook in a fine dining restaurant for 3 years. it is not always an easy way to make a living. as someone above said-its a hard life for a person with a family and small kids..but go for it while you can. never pass up an opportunity to expand your knowledge and think of the self satisfaction you will..plus your wife will probably love being the tester for you new recipes lol good luck to you!

FCM

May 27th, 2009
7:58 pm

Stan I am older that and starting back for a 2nd undergrad in the fall.