Plus: Two Series Premieres, a Five-Part Special Series and Two Themed Weekends

NEW YORK – April 17, 2012 – Food Network fires up May with season eight of Food Network Star, two series premieres, two special themed weekends, and the season finale of Chopped All-Stars. The four previous Chopped All-Stars battle winners end the season with a bang as they compete to win a $50,000 cash prize for their charity on Sunday, May 6th at 9pm. Primetime programming gets a back-to-back boost the following Sunday, May 13th with the premiere of Cupcake Champions at 8pm when four previous Cupcake Wars winners battle for a chance to present their cupcakes at a star-studded party and a sweet $50,000 cash prize. Then, at 9pm, in Food Network Star’s much-anticipated two-hour season premiere, celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, and Alton Brown kick off the eighth season with high-pressure challenges and fierce competition among a fresh batch of talented hopefuls. Also joining the primetime lineup, Invention Hunters premieres on Monday, May 14th at 9pm, following Steve Greenberg and Patrick Raymond on their quest for the next great food invention, and on Friday, May 25th at 10pm, Mystery Diners goes undercover in bars and restaurants to catch employees slacking on the job. Food Network gets in the summer spirit with Grilling Week from Sunday, May 27th to Saturday, June 2nd, and things get festive with the special Cinco De Mayo themed weekend on Saturday, May 5th and Sunday, May 6th, followed by the Mother’s Day weekend on Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th. Join the Food Network conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

fns8 castFood Network Star
Food Network’s long-running hit primetime series returns to New York City with fifteen talented hopefuls and completely new twists for season eight – this year, returning stars Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis move from behind the judge’s table to square off with culinary favorite Alton Brown for a three-way team competition to find the next Food Network Star. The three “Star” mentors each hand-select a team of five finalists, who they will produce and counsel through the ‘Star’ experience to find one winner who possesses personality and kitchen chops.

Premiering Sunday, May 13th at 9pm – “Impossible Beginnings” – SEASON PREMIERE!
In the much-anticipated two-hour season premiere, fifteen hopefuls arrive in the Food Network Star kitchens to meet their mentors, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown and Giada De Laurentiis. The mentors gather their teams of five before they face their very first challenge. Special guest Robert Irvine (Restaurant: Impossible) explains they must create their own pop-up restaurant from the ground up—with an extremely limited budget and very little time. Robert also throws the contestants a curve ball by revealing they must perform a live presentation to drive customers to their restaurant.

Premiering Sunday, May 20th at 9pm – “NYC on the Go”
The finalists hit the streets of New York in this 90-minute episode to conduct local food tours aboard a state-of-the-art tour bus, where they are challenged to take a busload of tourists on a culinary tour of an iconic New York neighborhood. They will be judged on how entertaining they are, what landmarks they highlight and how much food knowledge they impart. During the food tours, each finalist must prepare and serve a dish based on their exploration of the neighborhood.

Premiering Sunday, May 27th at 9pm – “Dessert Chopping Block”
The pressure is on as the 13 remaining finalists arrive in the Food Network Star kitchen to meet Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Scott Conant, and Marc Murphy. In the Star Challenge, each team must use a mysterious basket of ingredients including a Hershey’s sweet treat to create their best concoction in a head-to-head, inter-team battle for the winning dessert – Chopped style!

Chopped All-Stars
Premiering Sunday, May 6th at 9pm – “Grand Finale” – SEASON FINALE!
In the can’t-miss Chopped All-Stars grand finale, the four winners of the previous battles compete for a $50,000 grand prize for charity. The final rounds will test their creativity, skill and determination to see which chef can take the Chopped kitchen pressure. The first round, with beef heart in the appetizer basket, leaves the judges with an excruciatingly difficult decision. Then, it is anyone’s game in the entrée round when the chefs create a dish with fish and greens. Panforte and pancetta take center stage in the finalists’ desserts, and in the end, the judges must choose just one winner of the $50,000 grand prize.


Cupcake Champions
The crème de la crème of the cupcake world return for the sweetest competition yet in this five-part special series.  Each week, four previous Cupcake Wars winners face off in three tasty elimination challenges until one decorator remains and wins the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes at the winning gig. The competition for the coveted title of Cupcake Champion and a $50,000 cash prize culminates in a finale, where the four bakers pull out all the stops to impress judges Candace Nelson and Florian Bellanger.
Premiering Sunday, May 13th at 8pm –“Spider-Man”
Kicking off the Champions series, our first four returning bakers compete against each other for the chance to serve their super hero cupcakes at a VIP Broadway party for Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.
Premiering Sunday, May 20th at 8pm – “Madagascar 3”
Four former champions are going Hollywood as they compete against each other for the chance to have their cupcakes featured at a special VIP party for new movie Madagascar 3.
Premiering Sunday, May 27th at 8pm – “Glee”
Our bakers will have to be in perfect pitch if they want to win the chance to serve their champion cupcakes at a cast and crew party for one of the most popular shows on TV, Fox’s Glee.


Invention Hunters
Premiering Monday, May 14th at 9pm
Steve Greenberg and Patrick Raymond are two “invention hunters”, scouring high and low across America in search of the next great kitchen invention. In each episode, they come across three home inventors who each believe they have a million-dollar food invention. Steve and Patrick will choose one winning invention and strive to make that idea into reality.

Mystery Diners
Premiering Friday, May 25th at 10pm
When a restaurant owner suspects employees of not doing their jobs – whether it be stealing, lying, mistreating customers or generally doing lousy work – they call in the Mystery Diners. These Mystery Diners are undercover operatives who go into restaurants, bars and food service establishments with hidden cameras and perform surveillance to find out what’s really going on when the boss isn’t around.


Casting Food Network Star
Premiering Saturday, May 12th at 9pm
In this casting special, viewers get a glance into the ‘Star’ finalist selection process as Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, and Alton Brown choose their five hopefuls to mentor in season eight of Food Network Star, kicking off Sunday, May 13th at 9pm.

Grilling Week (Sunday, May 27th – Saturday, June 2nd)
Premiere episodes include:
Iron Chef America: Premieres Sunday, May 27th at 10pm – “Morimoto vs. Forgione”
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Premieres Monday, May 28th at 10pm – “BBQ Road Show”
Chopped: Premieres Tuesday, May 29th at 10pm – “Grilltastic!”
Restaurant Impossible: Premieres Wednesday, May 30th at 10pm – “Pollard’s Bar-B-Que”
Iron Chef America: Premieres Saturday, June 2nd at 10pm – “Military Grill Battle”

Cinco De Mayo (Saturday, May 5th from 7am-12pm and Sunday, May 6th from 7am-12:30pm)
Premiere episodes include:
30 Minute Meals: Premieres Saturday, May 5th at 8:30am – “Can’t Miss Mexican”
Mexican Made Easy: Premieres Saturday, May 5th at 9am – “Cinco De Mayo”
Giada at Home: Premieres Saturday, May 5th at 11:30am – “Book Club: Chapter 2”
Rachael’s Week in a Day: Premieres Sunday, May 6th at 9am – “Border Bonanza”
Guy’s Big Bite: Premieres Sunday, May 6th at 10:30am – “Guy Says Tamale”
Sandwich King: Premieres Sunday, May 6th at 11am – “Is that a Sandwich in Your Pocket?”
Best Thing I Ever Made: Premieres Sunday, May 6th at 11:30am – “Bring the Heat”

Mother’s Day (Saturday, May 12th from 7am-12pm and Sunday, May 13th from 7am-12:30pm)
Premiere episodes include:
Mexican Made Easy: Premieres Saturday, May 12th at 9am – “Mother’s Day”
Paula’s Best Dishes: Premieres Saturday, May 12th at 10am – “Southern Staples”
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Premieres Saturday, May 12th at 10:30am – “Gwen’s Girls”
Giada at Home: Premieres Saturday, May 12th at 11:30am – “Nonna Luna’s Recipe Diary: Chapter 2”
Guy’s Big Bite: Premieres Sunday, May 13th at 10:30am – “Brie-ng On the Pork”
Sandwich King: Premieres Sunday, May 13th at 11am – “Date Night Delights”
Best Thing I Ever Made: Premieres Sunday, May 13th at 11:30am – “Family Dinners”

Premiering Tuesday, May 1st at 10pm – “Yuzu Never Know”
The chefs face a puzzling challenge in the first round as they experiment with yuzu juice and sturgeon. Then, one chef’s recollection of what he did with a mystery ingredient comes into question. In the second round, something orange and something green color the chefs’ choices. The competition heats up even more in the final round when the two remaining chefs find a spicy surprise in the dessert basket.
Premiering Tuesday, May 8th at 10pm – “Reversal of Fortune”
The chefs struggle to make elegant dishes with green goddess salad dressing in the first round, but they successfully impress the judges with their innovative dishes using fortune cookies and branzino. Two finalists then go full steam ahead into the last round, but when the chefs realize they are making the exact same dessert, using sourdough bread, will either competitor change course?
Premiering Tuesday, May 29h at 10pm – “Grilltastic”
It’s a grilling spectacular as four pros set out to show how good cooking over extreme heat in a short period of time can be, but what will these meat-loving competitors do with an unwelcome surprise in the appetizer basket? In the entrée round, the judges hope that the chefs are able to coax some big flavors out of some dream ingredients, including wagyu steak. Two competitors then attempt to wow the judges with a signature dessert recipe in the final round, using marshmallow spread and stout beer.

Cupcake Wars
Premiering Sunday, May 6th at 8pm – “Renaissance Faire”
It’s a blast from the past as four cupcake bakers fight for a place at the VIP party for the 50th anniversary of the Renaissance Faire in Los Angeles.
Iron Chef America
Premiering Sunday, May 6th at 10pm – “Zakarian vs. Ferraro”
Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian faces off against Challenger Michael Ferraro, Executive Chef at Delicatessen and Macbar in New York City. Judges David Rosengarten, Ching-He Huang and Phil Rosenthaldecide which chef comes up on top.
Premiering Sunday, May 27th at 10pm – “Morimoto vs. Forgione”
It’s a battle of the Iron Chefs as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto faces off against Iron Chef Marc Forgione in an Iron Chef Grilling Battle set in Kitchen Stadium. Judges John T Edge, Elizabeth Karmel and Rick Abramsondecide who walks away the champion.

Daytime: 30 Minute Meals, Barefoot Contessa, Cooking for Real, Down Home with The Neelys, Giada at Home, Guy’s Big Bite, The Pioneer Woman, Paula’s Best Dishes, Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Sandwich King, The Best Thing I Ever Made, Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian, and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen

Primetime: Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Fat Chef, Food Network Challenge, Good Eats, Heat Seekers, Iron Chef America, Restaurant: Impossible, Restaurant Stakeout, Sweet Genius, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Worst Cooks in America

Cinco de Mayo
Throw a fabulous fiesta with margaritas, tacos and authentic Mexican recipes from Aarón Sanchez and Marcela Valladolid. Plus, Bobby Flay’s Taco Bash, Top 10 Margaritas, Nachos 50 Ways and more fifth of May favorites.

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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.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99
Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
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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