Whatever Happened to These Food Network Stars?

Published on 11/08/2017
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In life, we know there are a few necessities that we just cannot live without, like food. So thanks to the likes of the Food Network, we have 24-7 access to the best that food has to offer. Particularly their chefs and hosts who provide over 150 countries some of the best, and most delicious, programs around. That’s precisely why we rounded up the biggest stars of the Food Network and what they’ve been up to since landing their first gig on the network. Try to get through post without hunger taking over!

Emeril Lagasse – The Essence of Emeril

After Emeril Lagasse attended culinary school, he opened his very first restaurant in 1990 in New Orleans. Fast forward a few years and Lagasse begins to appear on the Food Network! Eventually he lands his own shows, like Emeril’s Essence and Emeril Live. Aside from his TV presence, Emeril is well known for the empire of products and restaurants he’s built along the way. Oh, and who could forget his epic catchphrases?

Emeril Lagasse – The Essence of Emeril

Emeril Lagasse – The Essence of Emeril

Jamie Oliver – The Naked Chef

British chef, Jamie Oliver, worked as a kid in his parent’s restaurant, which helped steer his career path. By 16, he attended Westminister Catering College and gained beneficial experience while he worked at many reputable restaurants. Then his big break came when he appeared on TV documentary while employed at the River Café in London. From then on, Jamie Oliver was a household name. Especially thanks to his hit cooking show, The Naked Chef. Didn’t take long for his many cookbooks and restaurants to follow, since the 2000’s, he’s been a champion for healthy eating – primarily in kid’s school in the States and England.

Jamie Oliver – The Naked Chef

Jamie Oliver – The Naked Chef

Bobby Flay – Grillin’ & Chillin

52 year old Bobby Flay has hosted 14 cooking shows and specials on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel – eight of those are still running! Moreover Flay is also the owner and executive chef of various restaurants across the United States.

Bobby Flay – Grillin’ & Chillin

Bobby Flay – Grillin’ & Chillin

Masaharu Morimoto – Iron Chef

Guys, 1998 was the year that Masaharu Morimoto had contestants shaking in their boots while on the cooking show Iron Chef. The 62 year old Japanese chef has a string of restaurants across America, like New York, Philly, and Florida to name a few. Furthermore Morimoto is known for uniquely presenting his dishes.

Masaharu Morimoto – Iron Chef

Masaharu Morimoto – Iron Chef

Mario Batali – Molto Mario

At 29, the King of Crocs worked as a sous chef for various hotel chains before working at an Italian restaurant in NYC. Shortly after, he opened his own Italian restaurant which caught the attention of the Food Network, and bang! Batali starred in his own show, Molto Mario, which aired from 1996 to 2004, Thanks to the show, his career really took off. Now Mario co-owns various restaurants in the States and one in Singapore.

Mario Batali - Molto Mario

Mario Batali – Molto Mario

Sara Moulton – Cooking Live

Where do we even begin? Sara Moulton has accomplished tons over 40 years so far. From 1997 to 2012, she was the on-air food editor for Good Morning America. For 20 years, she was the chef at the executive dining room Gourmet. Between 1996 and 2005, Moulton appeared on various shows on the Food Network. In fact, she became one of the original stars of the channel during its first decade!

Sara Moulton – Cooking Live

Sara Moulton – Cooking Live

Tyler Florence – Food 911

First of all, Tyler Florence started off as a presenter on Globe Trekker. Then he went on to host Food 911 and How to Boil Water. Currently on the Food Network, he hosts Tyler’s Ultimate and The Great Food Truck Race. At 46, Florence has a chain of luxury kitchen supply stores and three new restaurants. Also, he has published 11 cook books.

Tyler Florence – Food 911

Tyler Florence – Food 911

Amy Finley – The Gourmet Next Door

Once Amy Finley won season three of The Next Food Network Star, she was given her own show, The Gourmet Next Door. However after just six episodes aired, the show was taken off the air! In 2012, she was a contestant on Chopped but got eliminated in round two. Finley has appeared on various shows like The Splendid Table and The View.

Amy Finley –  The Gourmet Next Door

Amy Finley – The Gourmet Next Door

Jeff Mauro – Sandwich King

Just in 2011 did Jeff Mauro, aka “Sandwich King”, win season seven of Food Network Star. Oh, the nickname? Mauro maintained a concentration on making sandwiches all throughout the competition. Of course he received criticism for this but he was adamant that “any handheld meal can be classed as a sandwich”. Currently he hosts the Daytime Emmy-nominated TV show Sandwich King.

Jeff Mauro –  Sandwich King

Jeff Mauro – Sandwich King

Damaris Phillips – Southern At Heart

Think you know Southern food? Damaris Phillips will challenge you on that fact. As the host of the Food Network’s Southern at Heart, this Kentucky belle is taking the cooking world by storm. However before she landed her own show, Phillips was the winner of season nine of Food Network Star. Before we forget, the only reason Phillips went to culinary school is due to the fact she “didn’t know what to do in life”.

Damaris Phillips – Southern At Heart

Damaris Phillips – Southern At Heart

Kelsey Nixon – Kelsey and Spike Cook

So Kelsey Nixon may have finished in the final four of season four of Food Network Star, but it was her girl-next-door vibe that caught everyone’s attention. Therefore she earned her very own Food Network web series, Kelsey and Spike Cook. Although Nixon had already created her very own cooking show while she in college, Kelsey’s Kitchen.

Kelsey Nixon - Kelsey and Spike Cook

Kelsey Nixon – Kelsey and Spike Cook

Simon Majumdar – Iron Chef America

Up next is the British American chef who appeared on numerous Food Network shows, like Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef America, All Star Academy, and The Next Iron Chef. Majumdar recently published his own culinary book titled Fed, White, and Blue.

Simon Majumdar – Iron Chef America

Simon Majumdar – Iron Chef America

Alexandra Guarnaschelli – Alex’s Day Off

As a child, Alexandra Guarnaschelli fell in love with cooking while watching her mom, a cookbook editor, test recipes at home. Fast forward to 2007 and Guarnaschelli just loses out to Cat Cora on Iron Chef America. Guarnaschelli has appeared on many Food Network shows such as Chopped, All Star Family Cook-off, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Since 2009, she has starred in Alex’s Day Off.

Alexandra Guarnaschelli – Alex’s Day Off

Alexandra Guarnaschelli – Alex’s Day Off

Anne Burrell – Secrets Of a Restaurant Chef

Up until 2007, Anne Burrell was an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. Her big break came when she was asked to be the sous chefs by Iron Chef Mario Batali on the Iron Chef America series. Now Burrell is the host of Secrets Of a Restaurant Chef and the co-host of Worst Cooks in America.

Anne Burrell – Secrets Of a Restaurant Chef

Anne Burrell – Secrets Of a Restaurant Chef

Geoffrey Zakarian – Iron Chef

58 year old Geoffrey Zakarian appeared on plenty programs for the Food Network, such as Chopped. Then in 2011, he starred on The Next Iron Chef, where he earned the right to become a member of Iron Chef America. Now he’s the executive chef of many restaurants in New York City, Atlantic City, and Miami.

Geoffrey Zakarian – Iron Chef

Geoffrey Zakarian – Iron Chef

Sunny Anderson – The Kitchen

2008 is when Sunny Anderson started hosting How’d That Get On My Plate? and Cooking for Real. Since 2014, Anderson has been co-host of the Food Network series The Kitchen .

Sunny Anderson – The Kitchen

Sunny Anderson – The Kitchen

Marc Summers – Unwrapped

Ahem the 65 year old is best known as the host of Double Dare for Nickelodeon, Unwrapped for Food Network, and most recently he was Executive Producer for Dinner Impossible and Restaurant Impossible.

Marc Summers – Unwrapped

Marc Summers – Unwrapped

Marcela Valladolid – Mexican Made Easy

39 year old Marcela knew she wanted to be a chef after she worked at her Aunt Marcela’s cooking school in Tijuana, Mexico. AFter culinary school, Valladolid become an editor and recipe stylist for Bon Appétit magazine then she came in fourth place in the 2005 series The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Now she is the host of Mexican Made Easy, and co-host of Food Network’s The Kitchen.

Marcela Valladolid – Mexican Made Easy

Marcela Valladolid – Mexican Made Easy

Aarón Sanchez – Taco Trip

Now Aaron Sanchez kicked off his career as a co-host on Melting Pot but he’s come a long way since then. Currently he is the host of his own Emmy-nominated TV show Taco Trip. Moreover Sanchez is a co-star on the Food Network series, Chopped. And yes, he wrote two cookbooks.

Aarón Sanchez -Taco Trip

Aarón Sanchez – Taco Trip

Melissa d’Arabian – Ten Dollar Dinners

Want to hear something pretty special? Melissa d’Arabian learned how to cook all on her own as her mother was a single mother of two, putting herself through medical school. After d’Arabian won Food Network Star, she launched her show, Ten Dollar Dinners. The whole premise of her show is to offer healthy, family friendly recipes that cost just under ten dollars.

Melissa D’Arabian – Ten Dollar Dinners

Melissa D’Arabian – Ten Dollar Dinners

Aarti Sequeira – Aarti Party

Just in case the name didn’t give it away, Aarti Sequeira was born in Mumbai and sometimes draws on flavors from Indian dishes. Sequeira won season six of The Next Food Network Star with many judges and viewers adored her bubbly personality, on-screen charisma, and strong food. She’s the host of Aarti Party and Taste in Translation.

Aarti Sequeira – Aarti Party

Aarti Sequeira – Aarti Party

Justin Willman – Cupcake Wars

37 year old Justin Willman hosts some delicious shows like Cupcake Wars and King of Cones on the Food Network. Plus he hosts Win, Lose or Draw on the Disney Channel. Oh yeah, Willman is also a magician.

Justin Willman – Aarti Party

Justin Willman – Cupcake Wars

Buddy Valastro – Cake Boss

Uhh, Buddy Valastro is easily recognizable thanks to his work on Cake Boss! It’s his store that is featured on the show and Valastro is the owner and head baker of Carlo’s Bakery. Due to the popularity of Cake Boss, he has opened 17 more bakeries!

Buddy Valastro – Cake Boss

Buddy Valastro – Cake Boss

Alton Brown – Good Eats

Let’s assume you recognize his face, cause you’re looking at the creator and host of the Food Network show Good Eats. Alton Brown is also the host of the mini-series Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves. Moreover he’s the host and main commentator on the shows Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Camp Cutthroat. Lastly Brown is a best-selling author of many books on the genre of food and cooking.

Alton Brown – Good Eats

Alton Brown – Good Eats

Rachael Ray – 30 Minute Meals

We’d be foolish not to include the “quick and easy” cooking star, Rachael Ray. From 2001 to 2012, Ray hosted 30 Minute Meals on the Food Network. Since 2006 she’s been the host of her own daily talk and lifestyle program titled Rachael Ray – which won three Daytime Emmy Awards. Ray has penned several cookbooks and has her own magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray.

Rachael Ray  – 30 Minute Meals

Rachael Ray – 30 Minute Meals

Paula Deen – Paula’s Home Cooking

Firstly Paula Deen’s relationship with the Food Network started way back in 1999! Her show Paula’s Home Cooking ran from 2002 to 2012, totaling 129 episodes. Then from 200o5, the Food Network gave Deen two more slots, Paula’s Party and Paula’s Best Dishes. After Deen made controversial comments in 2014, the Food Network didn’t renew her contract. The following year, Deen made her comeback with Positively Paula and Paula Deen’s Sweet Home Savannah.

Paula Deen – Paula’s Home Cooking

Paula Deen – Paula’s Home Cooking

Guy Fieri – Guy’s Big Bite

Once Guy Fieri won season two of The Next Food Network Star, he landed his own show in 2006 Guy’s Big Bite. Oh, and that show is still on air today! That’s how good it is. Apparently his appeal is “his rowdy, mass-market culture to American food television”, according to The New York Times, “his prime-time shows attract more male viewers than any others on the network”.

Guy Fieri – Guy’s Big Bite

Guy Fieri – Guy’s Big Bite

Ina Garten – Barefoot Contessa

Seeing as how Garten had absolutely no formal training; the fact that she’s now “the Culinary Queen” is impressive. Garten taught herself all the best culinary techniques just from French and New England cookbooks, and feedback from friends and family. After leaving her job at the White House Office of Management and Budget, Garten launched her gourmet food store, Barefoot Contessa. All of which translates to numerous best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, convenience products, and also a popular Food Network show.

Ina Garten -Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten – Barefoot Contessa

Anthony Bourdain – A Cook’s Tour

First of all, Anthony Bourdain is considered “one of the most influential chefs in the world.” So yeah, he’s a pretty big deal. Not only has he released numerous culinary books, but he’s also a fiction, non-fiction author. A Cook’s Tour was his first series with the Food Network, from there he’s appeared on the Travel Channel and CNN.

Anthony Bourdain – A Cook’s Tour

Anthony Bourdain – A Cook’s Tour

Aaron McCargo Jr. – Big Daddy’s House

46 year old Aaron McCargo Jr. is the season four winner of The Next Food Network Star, and he only entered the competition thanks to his wife’s urging. From 2008 to 2011, his show Big Daddy’s House was the number one “in the kitchen” weekend show. McCargo makes frequent appearances on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue.

Aaron McCargo Jr.  –  Big Daddy’s House

Aaron McCargo Jr. – Big Daddy’s House

Justin Warner – Foodie Call

Season eight winner of Food Network Star is also the author of The Laws of Cooking: And How to Break Them . In 2013, Warner debuted a special one-hour pilot on the Food Network, Rebel Eats.

Justin Warner – Foodie Call

Justin Warner – Foodie Call

Lenny McNab – Guy’s Grocery Games

Up next is the season 10 winner of Food Network Star, Lenny McNab, who is a big part of Guy’s Grocery Games. Recently, McNab kicked off his career as a country singer, taking on the name Black Mamba.

Lenny McNab – Guy’s Grocery Games

Lenny McNab – Guy’s Grocery Games

Eddie Jackson – BBQ Blitz

Yup, we do mean the former Carolina Panthers football star, Eddie Jackson – the one and the same. His Food Network show BBQ Blitz is a fan favorite, thanks to his practical recipes and charm. From 2016, he’s been the cost of a new cooking competition, Kids BBQ Championship.

Eddie Jackson -BBQ Blitz

Eddie Jackson -BBQ Blitz

Adam Gertler – Kid in a Candy Store

So Adam Gertler may have lost the season four Food Network Star competition, but he still landed his own show Will Work For Food on the Food Network. Currently he gts to travel the country thanks to his new show, Kid in a Candy Store. Now he’s also co-host of a DC movie news podcast on Popcorn Talk Network.

Adam Gertler – Kid in a Candy Store

Adam Gertler – Kid in a Candy Store

Jeffrey Saad – The Next Food Network Star

As a teenager working a diner, Jeffrey Saad fell in love with the world of culinary. Years later, he flew to Mexico in order to learn more about the Mexican cuisine. With his expanded knowledge, he opened a Mexican-influenced restaurant, Sweet Heat. Then in 2009, he was the season five runner up of The Next Food Network Star. That didn’t stop him from being given his own Food Network series, Spice Smuggler, and now he’s the host of the Cooking Channel’s, United Tastes of America.

Jeffrey Saad – The Next Food Network Star

Jeffrey Saad – The Next Food Network Star

Tom Pizzica – Outrageous Food

Despite losing on season six of Food Network Star, Tom Pizzica still snagged his very own primetime show on the Food Network, Outrageous Food. With 15 years experience and a “Big Chef” personality, Pizzica took dazzling foods to a whole new level.

Tom Pizzica – Outrageous Food

Tom Pizzica – Outrageous Food

Michael Symon – The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Before Michael Symon entered the Food Network scene, he and his wife opened many restaurants all of which received glowing reviews – heck, he’s even credited with helping save Downtown Cleveland, Ohio’s restaurant scene. Having won both The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Symon regularly appears on the Food Network.

Michael Symon – The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Michael Symon – The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Robert Irvine – Worst Cooks in America

Meet the English chef who is a Food Network veteran as he’s starred on Dinner: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America, Restaurant: Impossible, Operation Restaurant, All-Star Academy, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Chopped: Impossible and Restaurant Express. Speaking of being a veteran, Irvine served on Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia. Since 2016, he’s been the host of his own daytime talk show, The Robert Irvine Show.

Robert Irvine – Worst Cooks in America

Robert Irvine – Worst Cooks in America

Charles Stiles – Mystery Diners

Meet Charles Stiles, the founder and president of Business Evaluation Services (BES), a national mystery shopper company. Stiles is also the host of the Food Network’s show Mystery Diners, which features a hidden-camera that exposes the behind the scenes diner life when employees think no one is watching.

Charles Stiles – Mystery Diners

Charles Stiles – Mystery Diners

Duff Goldman – Ace of Cakes

Name the event, any event, because Duff Goldman is a specialist in all cakes and desserts for any event. No, really. The chef has created cake recipes for Hollywood premieres, the Inauguration of President Obama, and also for organizations like Share Our Strength. Duff’s Food Network show, Ace of Cakes, showcases his Baltimore-based cake shops, where he creates the most stunning cakes. Man, it makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Duff Goldman – Ace of Cakes

Duff Goldman – Ace of Cakes

Cat Cora – Iron Chef

Easily recognized for her performance on Iron Chef from 2005 to 2012, Cora is now co-host of My Kitchen Rules, an Australian cooking show. Additionally Cora is the co-host of Around The World in 80 Plates on Bravo.

Cat Cora – Iron Chef

Cat Cora – Iron Chef

Ingrid Hoffmann – Simply Delicioso

Fun fact for you: Hoffmann appeared in 16 telenovelas by the time she turned 20. Afterwards she moved to Miami and opened up her own high-fashion luxury boutique – it quickly became a celeb hot spot. In 2002, Hoffman hosted a Miami area TV show, had a bi-weekly segment on Despierta America, and her own show Delicioso aired on DirecTV Para Todos. Once she appeared on Martha in 2006, the Food Network contacted her and her own show started airing to a larger audience on their network. So far, she’s released two cookbooks, has her own cookware line, and donates her time to various charity organizations.

Ingrid Hoffmann – Simply Delicioso

Ingrid Hoffmann – Simply Delicioso

Jonathan Bennett – Cake Wars

YES is the answer. Jonathan Bennett is the actor from Mean Girls, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and various others. Since 2015 though, Bennett has served as the host of the Food Network hit show Cake Wars.

Jonathan Bennett – Cake Wars

Jonathan Bennett – Cake Wars

Giada De Laurentiis – Everyday Italian

Surely the Italian-born American chef, writer, and TV personality makes the list. Currently she is the host of Food Network’s Emmy nominated Giada at Home. De Laurentiis is often a contributor and guest co-host on the NBC show Today. In 2012, she was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

Giada De Laurentiis – Everyday Italian

Giada De Laurentiis – Everyday Italian

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