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America’s Next Great Restaurant with Bobby Flay

AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT

CELEBRITY CHEFS BOBBY FLAY AND CURTIS STONE ARE MIXING IT UP ON NBC’S NEW REALITY COMPETITION SERIES ‘AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT’ PREMIERING TONIGHT

Competition Series Hits the Road On Cross-Country Bus Tour in Search of Unique Restaurant Ideas with Open Casting Calls in New York City, New York, Raleigh, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Kansas, Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California.

Be sure to check out my review of the show HERE.

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – March XX, 2010 –Critically acclaimed celebrity chef/restaurateur Bobby Flay (“Iron Chef America: The Series”) is the first of five important restaurant and business leaders to join NBC’s new reality competition series “America’s Next Great Restaurant” (working title) premiering next season. Flay will be an investor, judge and sometimes mentor to the zealous contestants who are vying for arguably the biggest prize in reality show history — the opportunity to open a new restaurant chain in three cities across America.

Open casting calls for the series are set to take place March 19 – April 5 in New York City, New York (March 19, 20), Raleigh, North Carolina (March 22), Nashville, Tennessee (March 24), Columbus, Ohio (March 26), Chicago, Illinois (March 28), Kansas City, Kansas (March 30), Denver, Colorado (April 1) and Los Angeles, California (April 5).

The reality competition series is from Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, the Emmy Award-nominated producers of “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.”

Flay will kick off the first open casting call in New York as casting teams set out on a cross-country bus tour to scour the nation for potential contestants. Participants do not need to have any cooking or restaurant experience — just a great idea for a unique restaurant concept.

Flay joins a select panel of some of the most important names in both the dining and business worlds who will ultimately select the winner. These individuals will invest their own money in the final restaurant chain, and will have a huge stake in the game’s winner. These larger-than-life personalities will offer the hopeful restaurateurs their expertise, support — and the kind of tough love it will take to overcome great odds. Ultimately, after much-heated debates, the panel will choose the winning concept and decide which idea will become America’s newest restaurant.

Thousands of ideas will be narrowed down and then each week the investors will put the chosen few through rigorous challenges to discover which contestant’s plan has the greatest potential for success. The stakes have never been higher for the contestants and the investors.

Flay, star of “Iron Chef America: The Series” and “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” shows his culinary versatility in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a chef/restaurateur, award-winning cookbook author and television personality. However his first priority always remains with his restaurants.

Interested applicants for the series should log onto nbc.com/casting to pre-register for an open casting call at one of the eight stops on the nationwide casting bus tour. Along with a filled out and signed application and a photo-ID, casting teams want applicants to bring anything they feel would help pitch their restaurant concept. Elements could be visual, edible or even wearable and applicants will have a limited time to pitch their idea.

Visitors also can follow the bus tour on Twitter @magicalelves with photos and video on nbc.com/america’s-next-great-restaurant.

The audition dates and locations follow:

NEW YORK
Friday, March 19 and
Saturday, March 20
NBC Experience Store
30 Rockefeller Plaza
10am – 2pm

RALEIGH
Monday, March 22
6102 Falls of Neuse Rd
Raleigh, NC 27609
10am – 2pm

NASHVILLE/FRANKLIN, TN
Wednesday, March 24
Nashville Film Institute
The Factory at Franklin
230 Franklin Road
Franklin, TN 37065
10am – 2pm

COLUMBUS
Friday, March 26
4750 Morse Rd
Columbus, OH 43230
10sm – 2pm

CHICAGO
Sunday, March 28
28251 Diehl Road
Warrenville, IL 60555
10am – 2pm

KANSAS CITY
Tuesday, March 30
6864 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202
10am – 2pm

DENVER
Thursday, April 1
2760 South Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80222
10am – 2pm

LOS ANGELES
Monday, April 5
135 E. Palm Avenue
Burbank, CA 91502
10am – 2pm

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Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties

Food and sex have been kindred spirits ever since that first cro magnon man landed a mate because of his ability to hunt.  It was around 300 BC that Epicurus first equated the two in philosophical terms.  The belief that a person’s life ambition should be centered on the pursuit of modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility now bares his name.  Epicureanism is the PG-13 cousin of Hedonism and has at its core the belief that one should never pass up the chance for an extravagant meal or generous lover.

Nothing has changed in the thousands of years since.  Take blogger extraordinaire Jennifer Iannolo for instance.  In addition to her work with the Gilded Fork, Jennifer has also caused quite a stir with her Sex on a Plate attitude which she exhibits on her blog Food Philosophy that is dedicated to food, sexuality and sass.  Food based television programming  is no stranger to the concept either.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comOddly enough it was the Style Network that introduced American audiences to the concept of “food porn” with the British import, Nigella Bites starring the effervescent Nigella Lawson.  The saucy Brit with the plunging neckline soon had many imitators like Food Network’s Sandra Lee, Giada De Laurentiis and Ingrid Hoffman all of whom have tastefully celebrated their ample curves.  And who can forget Cat Cora AND Rachael Ray tripping saucy in the pages of men’s magazine FHM.

That was the first wave and it was soon followed by Bravo’s Padma Lakshmi and Kelly Choi from the network’s two Top Chef franchises and two more Food Network hosts, Gina Neely and Anne Burrell.  And there has been some eye candy for the ladies like Jamie Oliver and Tyler Florence on Food Network and TLC’s Curtis Stone.  But now there is a new wave of haute cuisine hotties looking to lure more male viewers to networks whose regular viewership is predominately female.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comEarlier this year Food Network kicked it off with the Private chefs of Beverley Hills which chronicles six chefs (three male, three female including Sasha Perl-Raver who has been named one of LA’s hottest chefs) that are all considerably easy on the eyes as they cater, literally, to the BOTOX® crowd.  And of course many of their clients also look as if they just stepped out of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comNow get ready for the full court press.

Travel Channel fired first with Food Wars host Camille Ford.  Each week she takes viewers to cities across America to decide which local eatery makes the best example of their town’s signature dish.  In 2008 Camille founded Sassy Pole Girls a fitness group that uses striptease and pole dancing for exercise.  But Ford is much more than a pretty face and rock hard abs, she is the award-winning producer of the Off Broadway production Jitter.  She is also an avid adventurer often spending her free time rock climbing, kayaking, water skying, snow skying and hiking.  Camille Ford is the consummate modern woman who proves that feminism is wrong, you do not have to choose between intellectual and beautiful.  For more of Camille Ford in action watch full episodes of Food Wars online HERE.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comFood Network, not wanting to be outdone, came back with season six of The Next Food Network Star which featured a cougar (Dzintra Dzenis), a pocket hottie (Doreen Fang), a Giada clone (Serena Palumbo) and a self-proclaimed diva (Brianna Jenkins) plus three hunks – Herb Mesa, Darrell “DAS” Smith and Brad Sorenson.  Sorenson especially seemed to resonate with female viewers who gushed over his dimpled smile via Twitter and the blogsophere throughout the contest.  The young chef even made an impression on guest star Eva Longoria who openly flirted with him during one segment.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comCamille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comThey followed that up with their newest reality show, The Great Food Truck Race which pits seven lunch wagons against each other in a cross country race, ala the Cannonball Run.  Two of the teams feature ladies who are already beginning to rack up Google searches.  They are Nom Nom Truck co-owners Misa Chien (who has also been named one of LA’s hottest chefs) and Jennifer Green and Rajun Cajun’s very own Creole princess Jazmina Banionis.  While Banionis is an aspiring actress and model, Chien and Green all about the food.

Sheetal Bhagat of MasterChefEven Fox’s MasterChef has gotten into the mix.  How lucky are they that two of the fifty finalists to make the final four were the breathtakingly beautiful Sheetal Bhagat and the adorable Southern belle Whitney Miller?  Miller is a student from Poplarville, MS while Bhagat is a cooking instructor from Chicago who apparently has designs on being a star.  On her web site there are MP3’s of her original music, a gallery of photos that look straight from a Cosmo spread, her MasterChef diary and links to her cooking videos.

And “the Online” has its share of haute cuisine hotties as well.  There’s the Bikini Chef Susan Irby who’s known for her figure flattering flavors and the Kitchen Vixen Elizabeth Brown is single-handedly responsible for making “quinoa” a popular Sara O'Donnel is Average Betty and Susan Irby the Bikini Chefsafe word.  And one would be remiss to not mention the super fly red head who has a voice as so hot it could melt an iceberg, Average Betty.

Is this a trend that will continue?  Frankly, I hope so.  I know there will be critics who say that these women are just being exploited for their looks but that is just code wording for all pretty people are stupid.  I say as long as the pretty faces and muscle bound chefs can actually cook no sane person could have a problem with it.

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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

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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