Cupcake Champions


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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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.
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 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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