WTVC Exclusive: Food Network Star Justin Warner

Justin Warner Rebel with a Culinary CauseSeason 8 of Food Network Star is now but a memory.  I have made some terrific friends in this year’s cast and I have to honestly say that all 15 contestants were good enough to have a show on TV.  That’s never happened before.  That also makes Justin Warner’s run all the more impressive.

In a season where any of the fifteen contestants could have won on previous seasons, Justin eclipsed the competition.  We haven’t seen a contestant dominate FNS like Justin did since Kelsey Nixon in season four.  Despite coming in fifth (Bob Tuschman that was just wrong!) Kelsey remains the only cast member still on the Food Network payroll.  Justin was just as dominant and against an even better cast.

So who is this kid with the quirky palate and puffy red lips?

Well why don’t we let Justin tell you in his own words:

Justin’s whimsical Brooklyn eatery, Do or Dine, has already gotten the attention of the folks at Michelin and now America will be lining up to bust through its doors.  For a 28 year old he’s been quite busy.  But Justin was not too busy to answer a few of my questions.

Justin Warner Food Network StarWhat chefs (other than Alton) have had an influence on you and your cooking style?

Gabriel Kreuther of The Modern in NYC.  Masakazu Suzuki of JeJu in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Some fans may be fearful that Rebel with a Culinary Cause is going to be a reboot of Good Eats.  Can you contrast your show from the science-based cooking shows that have come before it?

I’ve never presented science as my thing.  Sure, I might know it, but I’m not here to feed that to you.  Alton Brown is.  I’m here to take those scientifically perfect dishes and make them bonkers.  I am here to expand the palate and culinary creativity of America’s hungry TV-watchers.

A lot of professionals in the culinary arts are excited about your show.  Do you feel added pressure to put out a product that not only teaches the masses but also entertains your peers?

I have never felt more pressure in my life…. but that’s what it’s all about, right?

Was there a dish that one of the other contestants prepared that really knocked your socks off?

Anything Ippy made.  He and I have similar palates.

Do you plan to have any of the other members of Team Alton on your show?

Right now I am planning on having a currywurst for lunch.  All the rest is TBD.

Food Network Star: The Wannabe TV Chef Interviews

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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