Food Network Stars – They Shined Then, Are Their Stars Still Shining Now?


Ever wondered where your favorite Food Network Stars are now? Some of the crazy cooks and chefs from seasons past are still cooking, a few may still be crazy. There may be those who are no longer in the limelight. The Food Network surely knew where to find them, and they certainly knew how to give birth to their careers. See if your favorite Food Network Star is in this list. If not, they may have been booted out of the culinary world, or maybe this list is just too short. Either way, it is best to read on and discover if your bets are still at their best – professionally and personally.

Nigella Lawson

The gorgeous Nigella Lawson became popular thanks to her 2000 show, Nigella Bites. First seen in the UK, the show saw Lawson cook her way to viewers hearts and palate.She was seen on the Food Network’s Nigella feasts back in 2006. Currently, Lawson is more famous for her looks than for her signature dishes. She is set to come back to the culinary universe not as a concocter of delicacies but as a judge. Expect her to dish out some harsh commentaries in Master Chef Australia. Besides cooking, Lawson has been criticized for her public advocacy towards fur. She also, reportedly, has a drug problem. Her addiction issues reached the point where she is said to blackmail her assistants. However, Lawson denies she is addicted to drugs. She also proudly says she is currently drug-free.

Sandra Lee

Sandra Lee’s signature dishes are every lazy mother’s dream and every serious chef’s nightmare. Her 2003 show, Semi-Homemade Cooking saw her create a product that consists of 70% pre-packaged items, and 30% fresh goods. It might have worked as the show received a Daytime Emmy Award. Never mind that Anthony Bourdain criticized Lee for being a “low-hanging fruit”. She has an Emmy and Bourdain has none. Since Lee’s Emmy award, she has had two shows: Sandra’s Restaurant Remakes as well as Sandra Lee’s Taverns, Lounges & Clubs. Lee didn’t let Bourdain’s below-the-belt remark ruin her day or her career. Lee currently has twenty-five books as well as a magazine under her name. Plus, the magazine is based on her Semi-Homemade cooking concept. Beat that Bourdain.

Rachael Ray

Rachel Ray – when she was younger, spunkier, and with less facial fillers – was adorable in her hit show 30 Minute Meals. In it, Ray was seen cooking delectable dishes for thirty minutes or less – a dream for mommies anywhere and everywhere. Never mind that the show did not include prep time and simply had most the ingredients chopped, peeled, and ready for TV. Also, who did the dishes? Nevermind. That was way back 2002. After 27 seasons of 30 Minute Meals, Rachel Ray has received three Daytime Emmy Awards. Currently, Ray’s weight transformation have eclipsed her cooking skills. She has yet to be seen back on TV. However, her fans can rejoice as she released a cookbook for those who like Italian dishes. Her book, Everyone is Italian on Sunday, is where she describes the Sicilian background of her grandfather – a major influence in her style of cooking.

Emeril Lagasse

Lagasse made a name for himself not just for his popular catchphrases, “Bam!” and “Kick it up a notch!”, he also makes good meals. His first appearance on TV was on Great Chefs. It was the show where audiences was first introduced to his New Orleans cooking style as well as his specialty Creole and Cajun cuisine. His very own show was Essence of Emeril. Currently, this restaurateur, celebrity chef, and cookbook author is enjoying the fruits of his labor. He also has a new show called Emeril’s Florida. In it, viewers bear witness to the various restaurants in Walt Disney Resort’s Disney Springs. He also has a few recipe books under his name.

Alton Brown

Audiences who liked authentic meals, as well as how they were made the hard way, appreciated Alton Brown’s preference for details. He also made the art of cooking a delectable science. When Good Eats was shown in the Food Network way back in 1999, Alton Brown became a star. Beginners on their way to become culinary masters liked how Brown backed up the process of food creation with science. Plus, it was also entertaining. Since then, Brown has been seen on Cutthroat Kitchen as well as Feasting on Asphalt. He is currently working on a sequel to Good Eats. Brown is vocal about his dislike towards single-purpose kitchen utensils as well as equipment. He also never fails to include a dash of science to his delicious recipes.

Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri seems well liked and well hated all at the same time. Could it be his hair? His hoarse and loud voice? The fact that he hosted Minute To Win it? Or that he advocates the cooking and consumption of diabetes-inducing food items? Who cares. Fieri still has a slew of shows that prove people are watching him, and that is all that matters. When he won Season 2, he went on to host Guy’s Big Bite. He also became a host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He was also seen in Guy’s Grocery Games. If these weren’t enough, Fieri’s face is also visible as a guest judge on Food Network Star. He also has a ton of cookbooks and has went on cross-country cooking tours. He also has his very own line of food items. Fans of Fieri might have fun at the fact that he is casting for his new show at the Food Network – Guy’s Big Project.

Jamie Oliver

His British accent is enough to make you turn your head and listen up. Plus, he makes food that looks delectable. It also helped that the name of his first show on The Food Network was The Naked Chef. Jamie Oliver was only twenty-four when he began his TV cooking career where he was seen creating delectable food while describing his band. Since his start on the show, Oliver has made it his advocacy to focus less on television and instead prioritize teaching kids the value of cooking. Though Oliver is more popular for his English cuisine, the popularity of his programs has reached various parts of the globe, including Asia and South Africa.

Amy Finley

Amy Finley won in the The Next Food Network Star during the show’s third season. After which, she was immediately given her very own show. Titled The Gourmet Next Door, the program was axed after a mere six episodes. She was again seen in a 2012 episode of Chopped. Unfortunately, she was eliminated during the second round. Besides cooking shows, Finley was also seen on The View as well as The Splendid Table. The reason for the halting of her first show was due to a family crisis. The experience she had after leaving the country and moving to a farm in far off rural France, specifically Burgundy, is adequately detailed in an episode she described in How to Eat a Small Country. She credits her culinary skills to her French grandmothers and French culinary expert Julia Child.

Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay began his stint on the Food Network via the programs Grillin’ & Chillin and Hot off the Grill with Bobby Flay. He remains to be one of the popular food TV personalities based on his appearance on non-food TV programs. He has been on Entourage as well as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He is also featured on the TV series Great Chefs. Besides television, Flay is also the author of a slew of books. He wrote Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food, Bobby Flay’s From My Kitchen to Your Table, Bobby Flay Cooks American, and Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill. He is currently busy with franchise plans for his Burger Palace concept.

Aaron McCargo Jr.

Aaron McCargo Jr was seen on Big Daddy’s House when it premiered way back in 2008 on the Food Network. The show ran for an entire six seasons. He was given the show after he won in the fourth season of the show The Next Food Network Star. After this program ended in 2011, he was also seen in other networks, specifically Bar Rescue on Spike TV. McCargo’s specialty is meats seasoned with flavors that are spicy and bold. He similarly avoids concocting recipes that are overly difficult or complicated. He describes his culinary style as a mix of cultural soul food. One of the achievements Aaron McCargo Jr is proud of is that he will be inducted in Camden Schools Hall of Fame – the same high school he went to when he was a teen.

Masaharu Morimoto

Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto became popular due to his appearance on the cooking show Iron Chef way back in 1998. In the show, he gave the other contestants a run for their money and dignity. Morimoto is now a celebrated and successful chef thanks to the line of sushi restaurants he owns. His fame is mostly due to his one-of-a-kind style of food presentation. Currently, he was in Las Vegas to celebrate the anniversary of his restaurant at MGM Grand. He also plans to open a ramen spot in Las Vegas. He laments that his tight schedule has made him unavailable to appear on Iron Chef. But he promises he will appear soon on the program as he is the original winner of Iron Chef Japan.

Melissa D’Arabian

Melissa D’Arabian began her TV career on Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners after being the Food Network Star winner in 2009. Since then, she has been seen on Guy’s Grocery Games, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Food Network Challenge, and The Best Thing I Ever Made. She also hosted her own show on The Cooking Channel titled Drop 5 Lbs With Good Housekeeping. Plus, she authored two cookbooks. Her style of cooking is focused on French and American food.She was similarly seen on Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage Tournament back in 2014. Currently, she has a web series titled Smart Cats: Winning the Supermarket. She also recently partnered with Bluewater Grill in Coronado to create the restaurant’s Greens & Grains menu. The items on the menu are all plant-based and consists of sustainable seafood.

Mario Batali

Considered as the King of Crocs, due to his preference to wear orange crocs along with a fleece vest and shorts, Mario Batali is popular for his show Molto Mario. An expert on the culture and history of Italian cuisine, Batali has been seen on a slew of shows such as Mediterranean Mario, Ciao America, Mario Eats Italy, and Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters. He also appeared on Iron Chef America: The series, either as a judge or participant. Though his Molto Mario show ended way back in 2004, it is set to return this 2018 with six episodes via the Scripps Network.

Aarti Sequeira

When Aarti Sequeira won during the sixth season of The Next Food Network Star, she went on to host Aarti Party – her very own cooking show. She also served as a host on Guy’s Grocery Games. Before she became a food TV personality, she worked in CNN as a news producer. She currently hosts the cooking show titled Taste in Translation – a program dedicated to finding the world’s most popular dishes. She will also be seen on another Guy Fieri show called Guy’s Ranch Kitchen – a show that references Fieri’s home in NorCal. Aarti Party is part of a group of chefs Fieri will invite to do various cooking segments. Sequeira will be seen on the show’s first episode titled Friendsgiving where she will appear with fellow chefs Eric Greenspan, Aaron May, and Carl Ruiz.

Jeff Mauro

Considered as the Sandwich King thanks to his show of the same name, Jeff Mauro was 2011’s Food Network Star winner. His other show was $24 in 24 where he was seen to travel across the US to spend $24 on breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mauro was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his show Sandwich King. In 2012, he hosted another show on the Food Network titled Sandwich King. He got this name due to his rigid focus on sandwich creation all throughout the competition. Currently, Mauro made the news when it was announced that he will be part of the lineup of chefs that will fill the Wells St. Market food hall in Chicago where Mauro is set to open a Pork & Mindy’s sandwich stall.

Tyler Florence

Since Tyler Florence made his signature delectable jelly doughnuts way back in 2001 on Food 911, he has appeared on a slew of shows. He was a host of Globe Trekker as well as How to Boil Water. He is currently hosting Tyler’s Ultimate as well as The Great Food Truck Race – both shows are seen on The Food Network. However, he has also been seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show as part of a country-wide Sandwich Showdown. Tyler has similarly authored a slew of best-selling books about cooking. Most recently, he was seen holding a fundraising dinner for Wine Country’s fire victims. Participants paid $500 per lunch the proceeds of which will directly go to the victims of the fire storms in North Bay.

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain began his career of talking and eating while being filmed on camera on the Food Network show, A Cook’s Tour way back in 2002. The Food Network offered him to do a world-travel show after the release of his book/memoir, Kitchen Confidential. The show ran from 2002 to 2003 and had 35 episodes.He was also on the Travel Channel’s No Reservations, and CNN’s Parts Unknown. He is currently working on a scripted show for television that is totally not related to food. Bourdain is also working on a short film. His point for making the short film was “for shits and giggles”.

Damaris Phillips

Damaris Phillips was born in Kentucky and is the belle of the Food Network show Southern at Heart. She was the network’s winner during the show’s ninth season. Southern at Heart ran from 2013 to 2016 and was seen for five seasons. One episode of the show received a total of 816,000 viewers. She currently hosts, along with fellow Food Network Star Bobby Flay, The Bobby and Damaris show. She is also seen on The Cooking Channel’s Southern and Hungry since October 2017 along with co-host and NASCAR personality Rutledge Wood. The show will see her drive to various cities to discover the best food found in different regions.

Lenny McNab

Lenny McNab was The Food Network’s season ten winner thanks to his style of cooking that is described as that of an “elevated chuck wagon”. Unfortunately, The Food Network did not give him a show due to a slew of blog posts McNab was responsible for. Reportedly, these posts were misogynistic and homophobic. Some YouTube videos, that were said to be raunchy, similarly surfaced. Fortunately, he was still seen on TV via Guy Fieri’s hit show Guy’s Grocery Games. He also ventured into a career that is not related to cooking. McNab is now known as a country singer named The Black Mamba.

Eddie Jackson

Eddie Jackson used to be a football star. He was a professional athlete signed up by the Carolina Panthers way back in 2004 as an undrafted free agent. When he retired, he decided to become a personal trainer. Plus, he followed his passion for food. He set up a food truck in Houston which he called Caribbean Grill. He also joined Masterchef in 2013. The reality cooking competition saw Jackson come out in eighth place. In 2015, he joined the 11th season of the Food Network Star where he came out as the winner. He beat eleven contestants. Since then, he hosts BBQ Blitz – a show where contestants make their best barbecue dishes.

Kelsey Nixon

Kelsey Nixon-Kelsey did not win during the Food Network Star’s fourth season, but her charming girl-next-door persona made her a memorable character on camera. Eventually, The Food Network gave her a web series titled Kelsey and Spike Cook. But before she had her own cooking show, she was already prepping for one during her college days via her own show Kelsey’s Kitchen. She received her professional culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu. She similarly interned at Martha Stewart Living. Her show Kelsey’s Essentials was shown on the Cooking Channel in 2010. Last year, she and her husband are expecting a daughter via gestational surrogate.

Adam Gertler

Adam Gertler did not win the fourth season of the Food Network Star. However, The Food Network eventually gave Gertler his own show called Will Work For Food. The show saw him give audiences a behind-the-scenes look on numerous food-related professions. Gertler learned to do various jobs such as foraging for truffles and ice sculpting. He also entered competitive eating as well as cranberry harvesting. Gertler also appeared on the show Kid in a Candy Store. The show premiered in 2010 and it saw Gertler travel across the US to give viewers access to different desserts. Currently, Gertler is the host of Popcorn Talk Network – a DC movie news podcast.

Jeffrey Saad

Jeffrey Saad was the The Food Network Star runner-up during the show’s fifth season. This lead The Food Network to give Saad his own show on the web titled Spice Smuggler. Saad currently hosts United Tastes of America. The show is seen on The Food Network’s Cooking Channel. Saad’s passion for cooking began when he was working at a diner as a teen. Saad later went to Mexico to brush up on his knowledge of Mexican cuisine. This lead Saad to open his Mexican-influenced restaurant Sweet Heat. He later competed in Chopped All-Stars back in 2012 where he was seen with Aarti Sequeira, Keegan Gerhard, and Michael Symon

Tom Pizzica

Tom Pizzica did not win the sixth season of the Food Network Star competition. However, that did not stop him from getting his own show. The Food Network gave him Outrageous Food, a show where Pizzica is seen travelling across America to discover shockingly delicious heart-stopping food items. Pizzica’s 15-year experience in restaurant kitchens eventually lead him to create his own burger business as well as his own outrageous food. He eventually opened Big Chef Tom’s Belly Burgers – a pop-up that offers burger patties made of 100 percent ground pork belly. The place is located in San Francisco.

Simon Majumdar

Simon Majumdar is a British American chef who is regularly seen on numerous shows on the Food Network. He has appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen, All Star Academy, Iron Chef America, as well as The Next Iron Chef. He also published a book titled Fed, White and Blue. Though he also serves as a judge in many of the shows on Food Network, he is allergic to a host of food items some of which include oysters and coffee. The network makes sure that these ingredients are not present in the contestants’ recipes that are to be judged by Majumdar. Most recently, he hosted a food and wine event at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach.

Alexandra Guarnaschelli

Alexandra Guarnaschelli is a feisty chef who unfortunately lost to Cat Cora on the Farmers Market Battle on Iron Chef America. But that did not stop her from becoming a big name food-wise. Guarnaschelli now has her very own show on the Food Network titled Alex’s Day Off. The show sees her prepare un-intimidating French, American, and Italian meals with a unique twist. She also served as the executive chef of The Darby – an award-winning restaurant – prior to its closure. Most recently, Guarnaschelli was seen contributing her services and skills for the annual Dine Out For Heroes initiative organized by the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The event has benefitted wounded and ill veterans, as well as their families since 2014.

Michael Symon

Since Michael Symon won his first ever competition on Iron Chef America way back in 2007, he is now considered as a Food Network Star. He usually appears on a slew of shows such as Food Feuds, Iron Chef America, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. His style is mostly focused and centered on meat. Symon has been known to be active in the restaurant scene in Ohio, specifically Downtown Cleveland. He actually helped save the area’s restaurant environment. He currently owns and is a chef of various restaurants located in Greater Cleveland. Most recently, he will bring his restaurant to the Las vegas strip along with chefs Marc Vetri and Bobby Flay.

Anne Burrell

Anne Burrell was seen on the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef and was eliminated on the sixth episode. She also competed during the first season of the tournament, Chopped All Stars, where she won the preliminary round. She later advanced to the final round and was second runner up to the winner Nate Appleman. She once again joined Chopped All Stars in 2015 and won $75,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She hosts Secret of a Restaurant Chef on the Food Network and co-hosts the show Worst Cooks in America. She is also one of the sous chefs of Mario Batali in Iron Chef America. Most recently, she opened a Cheetos-themed restaurant in New York called The Spotted Cheetah.

Geoffrey Zakarian

Geoffrey Zakarian joined the Food Network via the show Iron Chef. Since then, he has appeared on a slew of programs such as Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, as well as The Kitchen. Zakarian hosted the show Cooks vs Cons. His culinary style is described as modern. According to Zakarian, his cuisine is dynamic American. His restaurants, named Town and Country, are located in Manhattan. Most recently, Zakarian and Charlize Theron teamed up to organize a private dinner party for the decade-long anniversary of Charlize Theron’s Africa Outreach Project. The event took place at Zakarian’s restaurant Georgie at Beverly Hills. It was attended by more than a hundred guests including Seth MacFarlane and Aisha Tyler.

Sunny Anderson

Sunny Anderson began her gig at the Food Network by hosting Gotta Get It way back in 2007. Since then, she hosted another show titled How’d That Get On My Plate as well as Cooking for Real. Anderson’s recent work is as co host of the show The Kitchen. She was similarly seen on morning news programs and talk shows such as The View, The Early Show, and Good Morning America. Most recently, Sunny Anderson was seen on The Today Show to reveal her tips and tricks on how to make delectable turkey, delicious mashed potatoes, and mouth-watering pies.

Marc Summers

Unwrapped was a Food Network show which features the origins of sponsored food items. Hosted by Marc Summers, the show toured viewers inside factories and other locations that are related to how food was made. The focus was on breakfast cereals, candies, TV dinners, and snacks. Marc Summers later hosted another show which was a spin-off of Unwrapped. Unlike the original, Trivia Unwrapped is a game show. Summers also hosted Unwrapped 2.0 during the spring of 2015. Most recently, Summers will reveal how he battled cancer, a car wreck, and his obsessive compulsive disorder via a documentary titled On Your Marc.

Robert Irvine

Robert Irvine’s first experience cooking a meal was in the Royal Navy when he was only fifteen years old. His TV career began with a popular Food Network show titled Worst Cooks in America. He is now considered a veteran of the network as he has starred in most of its famous programs a few of which include Dinner: Impossible, Chopped, Restaurant: Impossible, and All Star Academy. He also launched his very own daytime show titled The Robert Irvine Show on the CW. Most recently, he received the 2017 Spirit of Hope Award bestowed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Marcela Valladolid

Marcela Valladolid’s passion for cooking began when she worked in the cooking school of her Aunt Marcela in Mexico. She eventually graduated at the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School as a pastry chef. In 2010, the Food Network welcomed Valladolid with her very own cooking show titled Mexican Made Easy. Fans liked her so much that the network gave her another opportunity to co-host a show called The Kitchen. She also authored a cookbook in 2011 and has similarly appeared on Throwdown! With Bobby Flay, as well as in Iron Chef America back in 2012.Most recently, Valladolid attended a workshop on pop-up cookery in West Hollywood along with her fiance Philip Button.

Charles Stiles

Besides hosting the Food Network’s Mystery Diners show, Charles Stiles is also the president and founder of Business Evaluation Services – a national mystery shopper company. Mystery Diners is a hidden-camera show that features behind-the-scenes recorded video footage of what employees really do when no one is watching. The show eventually grew prompting advanced tech equipment, along with professional private investigators, to be used in the series. Stiles is proud of his show Mystery Diners as he feels he helps employers by sharing his knowledge and expertise on customer service. Most recently, Stiles did the weather at KBAK KBFX Eyewitness News in Bakersfield Now.

Justin Willman

If you like cupcakes, you probably and regularly watch Cupcake Wars as well as King of Cones. Both shows were seen in 2009 on the Food Network. Justin Willman was the host of these shows. Besides being on the Food Network, Willman was also the host of Win, Lose or Draw back in 2014. This show was the teen version of the classic game show of Burt Reynolds and Bert Convy. Most recently, Willman will be seen in a six-episode half-hour magic series on Netflix. The show will see Willman bring his skills as a magician to the nooks and crannies of America’s subculture.

36 Buddy Valastro

Buddy Valastro is a regular contestant on Food Network Challenge despite having a reality show on TLC. He is also the host of Bakers vs Fakers, a game where a home baker attempts to beat true professional bakers. The winner is determined by a blind taste test. The best baker gets to take home as much as $10,000. However, if the amateur baker wins, he or she will get to bring home $15,000. Most recently, Valastro was seen in Orlando, Florida this October for The Americas Cake Fair. The event is considered as the largest consumer and trade show in South and North America where items featured are essentially chocolate, cake, and sugar artistry.

Duff Goldman

Duff Goldman is the host of Food Network’s hit show Ace of Cakes. The program features his very own Charm City Cakes shop based in Baltimore. The show sees Goldman create his unique cake masterpieces. His recipes have taken him all over the world. Thanks to his cake-making skill, his products have been to the Inauguration of President Obama as well as to a slew of Hollywood Premieres. Most recently, he signed an amicus brief that expresses support for LGBT rights. Goldman, along with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, is rallying for equality in response to a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple.

Cat Cora

Cat Cora is popular for her Iron Chef role on the Food Network from the years 2005 to 2012. Since then, Cora has made sure she diversified her career. She is now a co-host of My Kitchen Rules – an Australian cooking show. She also serves as a co-host on the program Around the World in 80 Plates on the Bravo Channel. Most recently, she is set to keynote as well as honor community leaders Giants Enterprises, Barbara A Garcia, Linda Glick, and Gilead Sciences in Fairmont San Francisco. Proceeds from the event will benefit the non-profit organization Project Open Hand. The organization aims to serve meals to neighbors and seniors who are critically ill.

Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond is a popular cookbook author and food blogger who fans also refer to as The Pioneer Woman. This city girl left the noise of urban life to move with her husband, kids, and a slew of farm animals. Drummond’s break came when she also moved from being a book writer to TV star via the Food Network show titled Pioneer Woman.The show began in 2011. In it, Drummond offers a look inside her life. She also invites audiences to watch her do some home-style cooking in the comfort of her own kitchen. Recipes range from a hastily prepared – yet delicious – meal or an elaborate feast. Most recently, Drummond has been declared as the 23rd largest land owner in America.

Amy Thielen

Amy Thielen began as an author and professional chef who had her own show titled Heartland Table way back in 2013. The program was based on her book, The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes. These thirty minute episodes offers viewers a glimpse of the Midwest’s food and traditions. Thielen hoped that fans of the show will eventually fall head over heels in love with Midwest’s heritage, food, and flavors. Recently, Thielen promoted her memoir Give a Girl a Knife – a book where Thielen details her experience cooking in New York and rural Minnesota. She also cooked in various kitchens of New York’s premiere chefs.

Daisy Martinez

Prior to being a TV chef, Daisy Martinez was a model and actress. She also appeared in commercials for companies such as AT&T, and Ford. She can also be seen in the films Carlito’s Way as well as Scent of a Woman. The Food Network gave Martinez her very own show back in 2009 called Viva Daisy. The show saw her provide tips and recipes for creating fast and simple homemade meals. The dishes were Martinez’s own Latin favorites. Besides cooking, she is also a spokesperson for the HIV/AIDS fundraiser event Dining Out For Life. The event aims to financially support service providers in funding AIDS/HIV-related services.

Ingrid Hoffmann

Born and raised in Columbia, Ingrid Hoffman was initially an actress who starred in 16 telenovelas before she was twenty years old. She later moved to Florida in 1985. After which, she opened a boutique and a restaurant with two business partners and her mother. She named the restaurant Roca. Eventually, the place became a hot spot for local celebrities. The Food Network eventually gave Hoffmann her very own show titled Simply Delicioso. The show became a hit. Currently, Hoffmann has a cookware and cutlery line available for purchase from the Home Shopping Network.

Roger Mooking

Roger Mooking wears a lot of hat other than that of a chef’s. He is also a musician and a TV host. Originally from Trinidad, he later moved to Edmonton, Canada to start his culinary journey. Prior to becoming a star in the Food Network, he was also co-owner and Executive Chef of Kultura Social Dining as well as Nyood. These two restaurants were included in the list of Toronto’s top 10. He also became host of Heat Seekers with chef Aaron Sanchez. The show saw them travel on the road searching for the country’s spiciest food. Most recently, Mooking opened Social Eatery at Calgary’s Telus Spark. Mooking describes his menu as “home cooking with a global twist”.

Ron Ben-Israel

Ron Ben-Israel danced before he baked. He loved baking so much that Martha Stewart voluntarily mentored him after she saw a cake he baked. Since then, Ben-Israel’s masterpieces have been seen at the Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton. His confectionaries were also present in prestigious hotels such as St. Regis, Pierre, and New York Palace. He was also seen on the Late Show with David Letterman, and The Oprah Winfrey show. The Food Network also made him a host on the competition program Sweet Genius. Most recently, Ben-Israel has been dubbed as the Manolo Blahnik of wedding cakes.

Brad Smith

Brad Smith used to be a Canadian Football player. He later became a Bachelor for the season opening of The Bachelor Canada. When he gave his final rose to Bianka Kamber, Smith and Kamber became engaged for two years. The couple split shortly thereafter. Smith turned to hosting and became a co-host for Canada’s Breakfast Television Toronto. He also became an entertainment reporter and co-hosted Your World This Week for Rogers Media. The Food Network grabbed Smith in 2015 and made him the host of the culinary competition, Chopped Canada. Most recently, he attends Culinary Showdown events across Canada. He is also set to open his very own Toronto restaurant called Resto Boemo.

Jonathan Bennett

You may remember Jonathan Bennett as the football player in the popular Lindsay Lohan movie Mean Girls. Since then, he has appeared in a slew of TV and movies. He was seen in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 as well as Van Wilder: Freshman Year. Television was witness to his presence on shows such as Smallville and Veronica Mars. But Food Network saw more in Bennett and so took him to host Cake Wars. Most recently, Bennett was in South Korea’s capital Pyeongyang – the sight of the 2018 Winter Olympics – to try his hand at cross country skiing. He also sits down with the American Ski Team so they can all try out the popular Korean BBQ.

Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis debuted in 2003 on the Food Network show Everyday Italian. Currently, Laurentiis now hosts Giada At Home. She is also seen regularly as a guest co-host of The Today Show in NBC. Laurentiis was born in Italy and regularly shares her favorite places to eat on her website. Most recently, she opened her own restaurant at the Las Vegas Strip called Pronto by Giada. Giada’s Pronto customers can expect delectable Italian dishes made simple. She describes the menu at Pronto as more casual than her first restaurant, Giada at The Cromwell. Ambiance-wise, Pronto’s concept offers a lightweight and open feel.

Michael Chiarello

The Food Network started airing Michael Chiarello’s show, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello way back in 2003. Chiarello similarly appeared on the show, The Next Iron Chef in 2011, but was unfortunately eliminated during week seven of the competition. He was last seen on TV via the LifeTime original titled Supermarket Superstar. The show aired for a single season. Most recently, Chiarello opened his Teatro Bistecca – a Tuscan-style steakhouse located in Yountville, Napa Valley. The restaurant is situated in the food emporium called Ottimo where Chiarello offers a five-course dinner good for two people for $400, plus tip and tax.

Marcus Samuelsson

The Food Network was impressed with Marcus Samuelsson’s skills when he joined the Next Iron Chef’s 2011 season. Unfortunately, Samuelsson was eliminated during the fifth week. Fortunately, that did not stop him from showcasing his hosting chops. Samuelsson eventually became a regular Food Network contributor. He also is one of the judges regularly seen on Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, and Chopped Jr. He was also on The Taste as one of the judges back in 2014 and 2015. Most recently, he is slated to host a PBS show this 2018 titled no Passport Required. The program aims to celebrate the diverse culinary culture of America’s immigrant communities.

Amanda Freitag

Amanda Freitag was not afraid to battle it out with Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America in the episode Battle: King Crab. Unfortunately, she lost to Flay by a mere point. Fortunately, her on-screen performance was memorable enough that she was given an opportunity to compete on The Next Iron Chef. Freitag still did not win. But this did not stop her from returning after a few seasons. She finally received the victory she wished for when she was seen on Iron Chef in Battle: Kale. Currently, Freitag is one of the judges regularly seen on Chopped. Freitag will be in next year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Bobby Deen

Bobby Dean’s fame is usually overshadowed by his more popular mother Paula. But he can definitely hold his own. His first TV appearance was on his mother’s program Paula’s Home Cooking. He later hosted his own 2006 show with his older brother Jamie titled Road Tasted. The show did not last though as he eventually focused on rearing his family. His most recent hosting gigs are for the shows Not My Mama’s Meals. He can be regularly seen on Holiday Baking Championships and in Southern Fried Road Trip. Most recently, Bobby and his brother Jamie premiered Deen Brothers – their very own brand of kitchen accessories, cookware, and wine collection – on the multi-platform video company called Evine.

Ted Allen

Ted Allen may be best remembered for being one of the gang of men who does makeovers on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Back then, Allen was the group’s wine and food expert. He later appeared as a judge in 2005’s Iron Chef America. He continued to be a judge until 2013. He also served as judge on Top Chef, a show in Bravo channel. He also hosts Chopped, Chopped Jr., as well as the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate. He was recently seen hosting the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show in Phoenix where he similarly hosted a Secret Ingredient Cooking Challenge that pit local chefs against each other to see who could create the best dish using Arizona-based ingredients.

53 Paula Deen

The Food Network’s 2003 series Paula’s Home Cooking made Paula Deen an indispensable host thanks to her delectable southern recipes. Unfortunately, her racial jokes did not go down well with audiences. Since Deen’s apology, her warm southern menu can still be seen on her new program Positively Paula. Plus, she and her sons currently own and operate The Lady & Sons restaurant in Georgia. Deen has also written fourteen cookbooks. She also has her very own lifestyle magazine titled Cooking with Paula Deen. Most recently, Paula is set to open her restaurant chain in North Texas. The Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen will be located in Fairview Town Center.

Ina Garten

Ina Garten is considered as the Food Network’s culinary queen. Since she appeared on Barefoot Contessa in 2004, she is still as flawless and refined as her delectable recipes. Garten has her own columns on O the Oprah magazine, as well as in Martha Stewart Living. Garten is a self-taught cook who has no formal training. She learned her culinary techniques from reading New England and French cookbooks. Most recently, Garten will be seen on her new show Barefoot Contessa, Cook Like a Pro where she will answer viewers’ crazy questions such as ‘How to cut cauliflower so it will not spread all over the kitchen’.

Jay Ducote

Jay Ducote was a runner-up on the eleventh season of the Next Food Network Star. Since then, he has been busy building his brand via his radio show and blog titled Bite & Booze. Currently, Jay has his own restaurant located in his Baton Rouge, Louisiana hometown called Gov’t Taco. Recently, he was in New York along with ten Louisiana chefs to promote good old Louisiana cooking. The event was organized and hosted by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board as well as the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association. The event featured, besides special menus and live music, delicious Louisiana seafood.

Justin Warner

Justin Warner won the Food Network’s search for Food Network Star on the show’s eighth season. Popular for his rebellious vibe and Elvis-like looks, Warner has since released his own cookbook titled The Laws of Cooking, the foreword of which was written by the host of Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown. Most recently, Warner can be seen diving deep into the universe of cheese dust as a host of the new YouTube series titled Snack Talk – a series seen on Thrillist’s channel. Some of the questions the show answers include: Why do donuts have holes? And What is inside your favorite fruit snack?

Stacey Poon-Kinney

Stacey was first seen on Restaurant Impossible prior to appearing on the ninth season of the Food Network Star. Since then, Kinney has continued operating her own restaurant The Trails Neighborhood Eatery situated in San Diego, California where she remains its chef and co-owner. Her TV appearances helped fuel more traffic to her business. She was most recently seen concocting her delectable dishes at Fox 5 San Diego’s Honey What’s For Dinner? segment. Her son seems to be following her footsteps when he and Stacey recently appeared on FYI Television Network’s Stove Tots – a culinary fight club for kids.

Nikki Martin

Before Nikki Martin appeared on The Food Network, she was also into acting and appeared on a slew of TV shows such as Scrubs and Titus. She was also seen on movies such as Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and Sorority Boys. She also competed on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle back in 2011 and had to compete with Dana Chaney, her best friend. She was later selected as a contestant on season eight of the Food Network Star and was a mentee to Bobby Flay. Unfortunately, Martin was eventually eliminated. Martin later started The Roulette Society – a Los Angeles-based members-only dinner club.

Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon did not win the second season of The Next Food Network Star. His friend and fellow contestant Guy Fieri did. However, Lyon’s loss did not stop him from carving his own place in the culinary world. Nathan eventually released his cookbook titled Great Food Starts Fresh way back in 2011. The book contains 135 recipes as well as quotes from fellow chefs Curtis Stone, Graham Kerr, and Jamie Oliver. He was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work on Good Food America. He also hosts A Lyon in the Kitchen – a Discovery Health series that focuses on fresh ingredients and food. He also has a PBS show titled Growing a Greener World.

Tregaye Fraser

Tregaye Fraser won in season 12 of the show Food Network Star. She similarly appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen as well as in Guy’s Grocery Games. This year, Fraser is co-hosting Kitchen Sink – a show where she, along with her food-loving friends, will create a feast of party dishes. Fraser also founded Playing The Game Tour Inc, a non-profit organization aimed to inspire people to be their authentic selves. The foundation also teaches culinary knowledge using creative methods such as cafeteria takeovers. It similarly promotes healthy cooking. Fraser is also a restaurant consultant for Mad House bar and restaurant and Chef Tregaye-N-Company.