Season 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.
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.