Will Work for Food

Review: Kid in a Candy Store

Adam Gertler on WannabeTVchef.comThis is going to be a very short review.  Because the show isn’t any good?  No, not really.  It’s because the newest show from Food Network, Kid in a Candy Store, isn’t new.  Adam Gertler is just as charming as he was when he (and three other people) should have beaten out Aaron McCargo Jr. on NFNS 4.  It’s the format of the show.  There is nothing really new about it.

If you liked Food Finds, Will Work For Food, Unwrapped, Food Tech, Road Tasted (with either the Neely’s or the Deen’s), Man vs. Food, FoodCrafters, Unique Eats, Follow That Food or How’d That Get on My Plate? then you’ll like Kid in a Candy Store.  It is pretty much those shows.  Only it’s just about desserts.  I’m sure for those of you with strong sweet teeth it will be a fun variation of a tried and true formula with an amusing and talented host.  As for me, I’m not a big dessert guy.  My idea of the perfect dessert is a second cheeseburger.

It is certainly better than Cupcake Wars.

Be sure to check out this recent interview with Adam Gertler.

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Adam Gertler is a “Kid in a Candy Store”

Food Network’s new sweet treat, Kid in a Candy Store, is set to debut July 12 with NFNS 4 alum Adam Gertler playing the part of a real life Willy Wonka.  To help publicize the series the folks at FoodNetwork.com did a great interview with Adam that touches on his NFNS days and what he’s done since the show ended.  Here’s a taste:

Where are you living and working now?

Kid in a Candy Store Adam Gertler on WannabeTVchef.comI’m currently living in Venice Beach, Calif., which has led to much ridicule from my East Coast friends for being a “sellout.” I will accept this moniker in exchange for the weather and being six blocks from the beach. I work (if one could call it that) all over the country in any given city on any given day.

What have you been up to since NFNS?

I began my Food Network show, Will Work for Food, right after NFNS4, and I feel like I’m still stuck in the whirlwind. I did a special for FN called Extreme Sweets, followed by a series of “Freaky” specials for Fine Living Network, including Freakiest Festivals, Freakiest Foods and Freakiest Vacations. These have all been travel shows mostly involving the world of food throughout the country.

I recently participated in episodes of Food Network Challenge and Chefs Vs. City, both of which were incredibly fun and educational experiences. Most recently I began working on Kid In A Candy Store for The Food Network. This is a show where we travel the country to discover the most delicious, creative and unusual desserts out there, which reminds me I have to call my dentist today and schedule an appointment.

What was your favorite thing about being on NFNS? And your least favorite?

I met some friends that I plan on having for the rest of my life. I got to bring the two things I love to do most in this world together and somebody put it on camera. It would be an understatement to say that being on the show was a life-changing experience. My least favorite thing about being on the show was watching the mistakes that I made on TV and just kicking myself. I often found myself saying, “Dude, did you really just do that?”, “What were you thinking?”, “Why weren’t you thinking?” and many other incredulous reactions to my behavior.

Do you keep in touch with other finalists?

I do still keep in touch with several of the finalists from my season. In the past few months I’ve hung out with Lisa Garza, Kevin Roberts, Shane Lyons and, of course, Big Daddy himself, Aaron McCargo Jr., who is just the coolest, truest, most talented dude. I’d be on his team any day.

What was the funniest/coolest/weirdest (or worst!) incident to happen behind the scenes?


NFNS 4 Marathon

Originally published December 31, 2008.

Well, it is News Year’s Eve and Food Network is passing the time by showing the entire fourth season of NFNS.  Now everyone who didn’t get to see how Kelsey, Lisa and Shane got screwed can watch it for themselves.  This way they can watch (SPOILER ALERT!) Aaron McCargo and wonder the same thing the rest of us did who watched the first time, “How the hell did this guy win?”

They also get to see Tuschman string Nipa along three or four episodes simply because there are 3 billion people in India, a virtually untapped market.  Granted Nipa is beautiful and very good at her cuisine but OMG!  I belive that “Nipa” is the Klingon word for deja vu.

You can now relish the quick exit of Kevin Roberts who referred to people who eat boxed mac and cheese as white trash in an interview in the push leading up to the beginning of the season.

Then there is Cory, the professional comedian, who wasn’t funny or even pleasurable to watch in anyway.  During her exploits in the first episode all I could think was there are thousands of qualified chefs (self included) who didn’t even get a casting call but you run over to the set of Last Comic Standing and say, “You, Cory, have you ever cooked anything before?  You have?  Cool come be on our show and make people laugh.”

Let us also not forget Mary Nolan?  What you don’t remember her from NFNS?  That’s because FN execs were so blown away by her interview that they just gave her a show without having to compete.  She was the actual winner of NFNS 4.

But my heart will always go out to Kelsey Nixon who blew away the competition every week and got let go because she was only 23 and Tuschman just didn’t think audiences would buy her as a food expert.  BTW, Mary Nolan was only 26.  During the season Food Network maintained an interactive fan poll and Nixon was far and away the big winner there.  Even today with FN rerunning the whole dog and pony show the hit to my site have been overwhelmingly from people searching the name Kelsey Nixon.  The stats?  Kelsey 21 hits, Big Daddy 5, Lisa Garza 4.

Oh and Adam Gertler who proved to be a poor cook but a great personality is getting his own show, Will Work For Food which will air in prime time as opposed to winner McCargo whose show Big Daddy’s House is buried in the no-man’s land of seldom watched Sunday morning programing.

And with NFNS 5 just around the corner I wonder what ploys we will have to endure this season in the name of ratings.


Let the spin begin:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Adam Gertler shared his humorous take on food throughout the most recent season of The Next Food Network Star. Now, he pairs his comedic timing with an adventurous spirit in the new Food Network series, Will Work for Food. Currently in production, the series will premiere on Tuesday, September 30th at 9:30pm ET/PT. The half-hour primetime series exposes Adam to the world of little-known food jobs, as he puts his life – and mouth – on the line to try them all!

UPDATE: New premiere date for Will Work For Food.

“On The Next Food Network Star Adam exhibited a unique combination of quick wit, passion for food and an engaging personality,” said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production for Food Network. “He earned millions of fans across the country who have let us know that we have a second star in our midst. We feel this series is a perfect fit for his talents, letting him showcase his brand of humor while he works for food.”

Will Work for Food follows Adam on a fearless journey to learn about a wide variety of unique food jobs. Throughout the series, Adam will introduce viewers to the people who do this work the best, as he learns the tricks of the trade and tries everything firsthand. Whether he’s protecting his fingers while feeding sharks, closely examining potato chips for flaws or trying his hand as a dog food taste tester, Adam will stop at nothing to learn how each job is done.

Adam is an actor and restaurant server who has made the kitchen his stage. Adam is the former owner of The Smoked Joint – a BBQ joint he ran with his brother that brought ‘the barbeque experience’ to Philly. In June 2008, he competed on season four of The Next Food Network Star and finished as one of the runners-up. Currently living in Philadelphia, he is starting up a catering company and constantly searches for new ways to enjoy food with a side of fun.

So here’s the lesson – it doesn’t matter that your kitchen skills are a little weak, just don’t fudge on your résumé.

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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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