Chopped: Grill Masters

SIZZLING SUMMER LINE-UP WITH FINALE OF ‘FOOD NETWORK STAR’ AND PREMIERE OF ‘CHOPPED: GRILL MASTERS’

NEW YORK – June 13, 2012 – Food Network brings the heat this summer with the season finale of Food Network Star, a five-episode Chopped stunt and all viewers crave for summer food and fun. It’s a back-to-back primetime event on Sunday, July 22nd with the much-anticipated season finale of Food Network Star at 9pm and the premiere of Chopped: Grill Masters at 10pm. The remaining Food Network Star finalists take a look back on their journey to the finale, and one contestant’s dream comes true as the judges reveal who will be the next Food Network Star on Sunday, July 22nd at 9pm. Following the dramatic finale, Food Network launches a five-episode Chopped stunt as 16 competitors head to the Wild West to compete in Chopped: Grill Masters for a $50,000 grand prize beginning Sunday, July 22nd at 10pm. Melissa d’ArabianJoin the Food Network conversation on Facebook and Twitter. boosts the daytime lineup with a new season of Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabianbeginning Sunday, July 15th at 10am, and Bobby Flay comes to the rescue of restaurants across the country in 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay Friday, July 20th at 10pm when he helps save food businesses from failing before opening night. Food Network also dishes out premiere episodes of primetime hits including Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Iron Chef America and Restaurant: Impossible.
 
FEATURED SERIES
 
Food Network StarFood Network Star
·         Premiering Sunday, July 1st at 9pm –“Deen Family Beach Party”
The finalists head to Miami for the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival where Paula Deen (Paula’s Best Dishes) hosts a summer beach party for VIP guests. They must provide the food for the beachside occasion and in addition to creating a dish for the party, they also create a kids version to appease the youngsters in attendance. The finalists shop at Target for fun and stylish items to help bring their family beach party to life. The final eight also perform a 30-second “entertaining tip” on-camera which will be watched by the judging table, and whoever wins the challenge receives a $20,000 Target gift card.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 8th at 9pm –“Deliciously Unpredictable Demos”
The seven remaining finalists are invited guests at a standing-room-only Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Festival demo tent with 150 fans and upon arrival the tables are turned – they each must take the stage for their very own cooking demonstration in front of the huge crowd! The finalists take the stage for their demos, and unbeknownst to them, each one will face a technical glitch set up by the producers. Tensions are high as each finalist struggles to save themselves from elimination.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 15th at 9pm –“Pilot Greenlights”
The six remaining finalists star in promos for their own Food Network shows directed by their producers/mentors. Network stars including Sunny Anderson (Cooking For Real), Anne Burrell (Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Worst Cooks in America), Melissa d’Arabian (Ten Dollar Dinners), Robert Irvine (Restaurant: Impossible), Jeff Mauro (Sandwich King)and Aarón Sanchez (Chopped) give feedback on the promos. The finalists who survive the drastic and dramatic cut get to make pilots for their show produced by their mentor. At the end of the show, viewers vote online at www.foodnetwork.com/star to determine who will receive the ultimate prize during the July 22nd finale: their own Food Network show.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 22nd at 9pm – “Finale – A Star is Born” – SEASON FINALE
Before the winner is revealed, the finalists are back in the studio with their mentors and judges to view never-before-seen footage from the season. Bobby, Alton and Giada each share their favorite moments and discuss why they think their finalist should win during an emotional look back at remaining finalists’ journey to the finale. Then, the results are in as America has voted to determine who will be the next Food Network Star.
 
Chopped: Grill Masters
Food Network’s blowing the roof off Chopped, traveling to the glorious Arizona desert for a breathtaking event! Sixteen outstanding grilling professionals face off in an old Western town in this captivating five-part tournament. The stage is set for the ultimate culinary feud, with astonishing mystery ingredients and tremendously talented competitors. Only four chefs can make it to the final fiery showdown, and when the dust clears, the greatest grilling pro of all will walk away with $50,000.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 22nd at 10pm –“Grill Masters: Part 1”
To kick off the first-of-its-kind Chopped grilling tournament, the first four Grill Masters must prepare a dish using cookies and yak steaks in the appetizer round. Then, a giant surprise awaits the competitors in the entrée basket, and in the dessert duel, chocolate meets fruit for a showdown not to be missed.
Competitors:   Ray Lampe, Jen Duncan, Tommy Duncan, Galen Zamarra
Judges: Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag, Aarón Sanchez
·         Premiering Sunday, July 29th at 9pm –“Grill Masters: Part 2”
Four more Grill Masters step up to the challenge for a chance to compete in the $50,000 finale. In the first round, the chefs must hatch a successful meal plan using chile taffy and Hawaiian blue prawns. Then, after the remaining competitors serve up their rack of boar entrées, the judges debate the relative complexity of flavors in the three dishes of the entrée round. Delicious Italian surprises await the finalists, but perfect desserts will be difficult to execute in a windy and intense final round.
Competitors:   Sam Choy, Nicole Davenport, Carey Bringle, Dushyant Singh
Judges: Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag, Aarón Sanchez
SEASON PREMIERE
 
Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian
·         Premiering Sunday, July 15th at 10am – “Chick, Chick, Ole” – SEASON PREMIERE
Melissa d’Arabian serves up the craveable flavors of restaurant-style fajitas on a budget-friendly bill. Her Grilled Chicken Fajita Platter is loaded with strips of lime-marinated chicken breast and veggies, ready to fold into Melissa’s Homemade Flour Tortillas. Grilled Tomato Salsa is the perfect topping for this delicious chicken meal.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 22nd at 10am – “Appetizing Savings”
Melissa d’Arabian makes a whole meal inspired by popular appetizers. Bowls of chilled White Gazpacho, Spicy Turkey Lollipops with a raspberry glaze, warm Blue Cheese Fondue, and Crispy Fried Celery Sticks will fill you up without draining your wallet.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 29th at 10am – “Back in Tucson”
Melissa d’Arabian shares some of her favorite recipes from her childhood in Tucson. She whips up her Arroz Con Pollo, and for dessert, Applesauce Empanadas are a hit with kids and adults alike. She tops it off with Garden Iced Green Tea.
 
ON-AIR SPECIAL
 
Chopped: Food Network StarsPremiering Sunday, July 22nd at 8pm
Winners of the hit series Food Network Star compete to see who can beam brightest in the Chopped Kitchen. Cooking for the powerhouse panel of Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown, the competitors must be ready for whatever they find in the notorious baskets. It is a bubbly first round with sparkling cider as a mystery ingredient. Then, a black cloud hovers over the entrée round in the form of black chickens. With $10,000 going to one Star’s favorite charity, a lot is riding on crafting desserts from frozen peas and cinnamon cereal.
Competitors: Melissa d’Arabian, Amy Finley, Jeff Mauro, Aarti Sequeira
 
ON-AIR THEME WEEKENDS
 
Food Network’s Summer Party Weekend
Premiering Saturday, June 30th and Sunday, July 1st from 7am to 12pm
Get your summer party started right with a full weekend lineup of Food Network chef’s seasonal tips and premiere episodes of Barefoot Contessa, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Giada at Home, Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen, Mexican Made Easy and Paula’s Best Dishes.
 
Food Network’s Bird is the Word Weekend
Premiering Saturday, July 14th and Sunday July 15th from 9am to 12pm
Food Network’s  chefs share their favorite bird recipes in an all-out salute to the endless variations of that mighty food staple, chicken – featuring premiere episodes from Barefoot Contessa, Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Giada at Home, Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen, Mexican Made Easy, and Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian.
 
NEW EPISODES
 
Chopped
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 3rd at 10pm – All-American Competition
It’s a special All-American Chopped! From apple pie in the appetizer basket to bourbon for dessert, the patriotic theme makes for some yummy, original dishes.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 17th at 10pm – “Orzo It Seemed”
The judges find creativity in the variety of flavors in the four chefs seafood sausage appetizers. In the entrée round, the chefs must integrate tiny pasta and a powerful liqueur into their dishes.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 31st at 10pm – “Belly Dance”
The chefs get started with  tuna belly in the appetizer basket while lamb top round is round two’s mystery protein. For a delicious dessert, the chefs must put cayenne pepper and canned pumpkin in the works.
 
Cupcake Wars
·         Premiering Sunday, July 1st at 8pm – “USO Salute”
Four returning Cupcake Wars champions come back to prove themselves and serve their cupcakes at a black tie gala celebrating the 70th anniversary of the USO.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 8th at 8pm – “Tony Hawk”
Four cupcake bakers try to skate their way into an exclusive party for Tony Hawk’s Stand Up for Skate Parks event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 15th at 8pm – “Kate Walsh Perfume”
Four bakers will compete for the opportunity to serve their cupcakes at a VIP party celebrating the release of “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh’s latest fragrance, Billionaire Boyfriend. Kate Walsh judges.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 29th at 8 pm – “Angry Birds”
Cupcakes will fly as four competitors fight for the chance to have their cupcakes featured at a huge kickoff party for the new Angry Birds Space app in Seattle, Washington.
 
Iron Chef America
·         Premiering Sunday, July 8th at 10pm – “Flay vs. Isidori”
Iron Chef Bobby Flay faces off against challenger Joe Isadori. Chef Isadori is the executive chef at Southfork Kitchen in Bridgehampton, New York. The judges are Joshua Applestone, Georgia Pellegrini and Glen Davis.
·         Premiering Sunday, July 29th at 10pm –“Symon vs. Nunez”
Iron Chef Michael Symon faces off against challenger Jesus Nunez. Chef Nunez is chef and owner of Gastroarte Restaurant in New York. The judges are Jose Andres, Cady Huffman, Andrew Zimmern and Sophie Michell.
 
 
 
 
Restaurant: Impossible
·         Premiering Wednesday, July 11th at 10pm – “Longbranch Steak and Seafood”
Chef Robert Irvine heads to Fayetteville, Ga. to try and keep Longbranch Steak and Seafood in business. Owner Lisa was given the restaurant two years ago as a wedding gift from her husband and has been struggling financially and emotionally ever since. Robert races against the clock to clean the filthy kitchen, whip the insubordinate staff into shape and give Lisa the confidence and tools to run a successful restaurant.
·         Premiering Wednesday, July 18th at 10pm – “The Main Dish”
Chef Robert Irvine heads to The Main Dish in Meridianville, Ala. where he finds a family desperate for help. Owners Lynn and Ken bought the restaurant five years earlier because Ken loved to cook, but with no restaurant experience at all, the couple now find themselves working 80 hours a week and over $50,000 in debt.
·         Premiering Wednesday, July 25th at 10pm – “Zandi’s Grill”
Chef Robert Irvine quickly realizes that Zandi’s Grill in Millersville, Md., isn’t just failing because it’s in a hard-to-find location, with lackluster food, poor service and tired décor; It’s failing because sisters and owners Yvonne and Evette have completely lost their passion for the restaurant and are watching it crumble before their eyes. While Chef Robert comes up with a new look and a new menu, will he also be able to give Yvonne and Evette the tools and passion they need to successfully run the business?
 
SERIES PREMIERE
 
3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay Premiering Friday, July 20th at 10pm
Bobby Flay, critically-acclaimed chef and owner of 15 restaurants, is saving new food businesses that are at risk to lose it all before they even open. With only three days until opening, Bobby offers his expertise to restaurateurs with no prior experience in the high stakes world of food. With everything on the line – including savings, livelihood, and integrity – these new businesses need Bobby’s help or failure is imminent.
·         Premiering Friday, July 20th at 10pm – “Melt Mobile Meltdown”
Bobby Flay goes to Stamford, Conn. in attempt to open Melt Mobile’s gourmet grilled cheese truck in only three short days. With best friends who have mortgaged their homes and are at each other’s throats, soggy sandwiches and absolutely no organization, Bobby has a lot on his plate to get this grilled cheese truck moving before it stalls.
·         Premiering Friday, July 27th at 10pm – “A Sticky Situation”
Bobby Flay takes on New York City chicken finger joint, Sticky’s, in an effort to get them open for business in only three short days. With zero leadership, dwindling funds, no recipes and a slew of negative press, Bobby has to roll up his sleeves to save four young entrepreneurs from a very sticky situation.
PREMIERE EPISODES
 
DaytimeThe Best Thing I Ever Made, Bobby Flay’s Barbeque Addiction, Giada At Home, Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen, Mexican Made Easy, Paula’s Best Dishes
PrimetimeChopped, Diners Drive-ins and Dives, Mystery Diners

Food Network Announces a Bevy of New Shows

Meat Men
Series Premiere: Monday, April 9th at 11pm ET/PT
Pat LaFriedaFamous New York butcher and meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda brings Food Network viewers inside the fascinating and compelling world of Meat Men. Running Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, a third-generation wholesale meat purveyor business, Pat, along with his cousin Mark Pastore, and his dad Pat Sr., supply more than 500 customers, including some of the most prestigious restaurants and bistros in New York City. Expanding from a small corner shop in New York City to a 35,000 square-feet facility in New Jersey, this growth comes with great pressure to maintain the high-quality product for which Pat has become known, and to manage the many hurdles that occur. Whether it’s last-minute requests, creating custom blends and menus for new clients, or navigating the personalities of a work staff, Meat Men takes viewers on a high-‘steaks’ ride with a side of humor, served medium rare.
 
Cupcake Champions
Series Premiere: Sunday, May 13th at 8pm ET/PT
Cupcake Champions pits 16 of Cupcake Wars’ best and most memorable winners against each other in a tournament to name the ultimate cupcake champ. The series features star-studded, themed events including Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Glee, Madagascar 3, Pixar’s Brave and a special Food Network Star-themed finale. These bakers are the best of the best, but only one can fend off the challenges and survive the war to win $50,000.
 
Invention Hunters
Series Premiere: Monday, May 14th at 9pmET/PT
Steve Greenberg and Patrick Raymond are two “invention scouts”, scouring 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 kitchen gadget. Steve and Patrick put the inventions to the test ensuring they work as promised and determine whether there is a market for the idea. They will then choose one invention to bring to buyers in the retail manufacturing world to convince them to buy it and make the inventor’s dreams a reality.
Mystery Diners
Series Premiere: Friday, May 25th at 10pm ET/PT
What happens in the food world when a bad employee starts to take down an otherwise thriving establishment or when restaurant owners suspect someone of not doing their job appropriately? They call in the Mystery Diners. These undercover operatives go into restaurants, bars and food service establishments with hidden cameras to find out what’s really going on when the boss isn’t around.
 
The New Anne Burrell Project (working title)
Series Premiere: June 2012
When top restaurants are in need of an executive chef – the critical employee who can make or break a restaurant – they turn to Anne Burrell. Each week Anne puts four candidates through the toughest job interview of their lives – testing everything from their culinary mettle to business acumen. It all ends with the biggest test of all: running the restaurant. After a grueling “interview” process, only the chef who serves up the most profitable and delicious dinner service lands the dream job as the restaurant’s new Executive Chef.
Bobby Flay’s Opening Night (working title)
Series Premiere: July 2012
Bobby Flay, critically-acclaimed chef/owner of 14 restaurants, offers his expertise to first-time restaurateurs. Bobby arrives just in time, stepping in to save restaurants from opening without all the crucial elements in place, hoping to prevent an opening night-nightmare. Without Bobby’s sage advice, the restaurants would have little chance to succeed, but with less than a week to opening the doors to customers, Bobby works with the restaurateurs to see their business start off on the right foot.
 
Chopped: Grill Masters
Series Premiere: Sunday, July 22nd at 10pm ET/PT
Fire it up! Food Network blows the roof off Chopped, traveling to the glorious Arizona desert for a breathtaking event. Sixteen grilling professionals face off in an old Western town in this captivating five-part tournament. The stage is set for the ultimate culinary feud, with astonishing mystery ingredients and tremendously talented competitors.  Only four chefs can make it to the final fiery showdown, and when the dust clears, the greatest grilling pro of all will walk away with a $50,000 grand prize.
$24 in 24 Hours (working title)
Series Premiere: August 2012
Jeff Mauro (Sandwich King) takes an exciting journey through cities across America to show viewers how to experience great food at a great price spending only $24 in 24 hours.
 
Undercover Critics
Series Premiere: September 2012
SIMON MAJUMDARIn new series, Undercover Critics, Alex Guarnaschelli (Chopped), Troy Johnson (Crave) and Simon Majumdar (Next Iron Chef) go undercover as restaurant critics armed with hidden cameras to unfold the good, the bad and the ugly of established restaurants. Then, they give the owners new life and a second chance to improve on their violations before the review is actually published. After visiting the restaurant, the Undercover Critics give an anonymous tip to the owner letting them know they visited, but won’t write a review just yet. Instead, they give the owners a laundry list of things to fix, and the owners do whatever it takes to turn a bad review into a great one before it hits the press.
 
Sugar Dome
Series Premiere: October 2012
Welcome to the Sugar Dome, home to the most amazing food displays on earth. Each week, three teams comprised of three artists from different disciplines, battle it out to create never-seen-before, jaw-dropping masterpieces of food art. Renowned cake designers, chocolatiers, engineers, food carvers, window designers, candy makers and special effects experts will enter the Sugar Dome to determine who can create the most mind-blowing displays.
 
Blind Dinner Party
Series Premiere: October 2012
What happens when seven strangers – who come from completely different backgrounds, beliefs and views on everything – come together to break bread in the most dysfunctional family dinner imaginable? Comedian Margaret Cho headlines this bizarre social experiment to see if people from extremely disparate worlds can come together and find common ground through food.
 
NEW SERIES DAYTIME:
 
Trisha’s Southern Kitchen
Series Premiere: Saturday April 14th at 10:30am ET/PT
Music superstar and best-selling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood brings her family-inspired recipes and food traditions to Food Network this spring, with the premiere of the new daytime series Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. From preparing dishes from her childhood to planning a baby shower and family reunion barbecue, each themed show invites viewers into Trisha’s kitchen for her favorite meals, nostalgic stories and visits from family and friends. The six-episode series offers Trisha’s unique how-to tips and techniques for down-home dishes.
 
Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen
Series Premiere: Saturday, June 16th at 10:30am ET/PT
For Jamie Deen, it’s all about food and family. As a husband, father, and cook, Jamie puts his personal and professional skills to the test to create great family dinners.  Jamie always welcomes a helping hand, whether his son Jack joins to make dessert or Grandma Ginny (aka Paula Deen) comes over to help put the finishing touches on the meal. In the Deen family, there’s nothing more fun that being Home for Dinner.
 
Sunny Travels (working title)
Series Premiere: July 2012
Sunny Anderson travels the country to discover the best home-cooked recipes she can find. From heirloom recipes for apple pie to undefeated family barbecue recipes, Sunny uncovers the secrets and the stories behind every dish.
 
The New Sandra Lee Project (working title)
Series Premiere: Fall 2012
Best known for her Semi-Homemade & Money Saving Meals, Sandra Lee will offer fans a new take on her cooking and entertaining tips.

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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

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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