Food Network Star Season Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...

Any suspense about who was going to take home the top prize on Food Network Star completely dissipated early into the Season 7 finale when silky-haired judge Susie Fogelson finally verbalized the thought bubble that’s been forming over her head for the last four or five weeks: “I love marketing this idea,” said the network’s branding honcho, eyes burning with dollar signs, as she made the case of keeping Jeff “Sandwich King” Mauro in the competition. “For what I do, I love this guy.”

And honestly, who can argue with La Fogelson? From Episode 1 all the way to the finale, Jeff maintained a strong and tasty point of view, made very few egregious food blunders (except for maybe that ghastly meat cupcake), and proved to be likable, authoritative, and genuinely funny on camera. That combo of skills not only set him far apart from his Season 7 competitors (except perhaps Susie Jimenez) but put him ahead of more than a few established Food Network and Cooking Channel veterans.

Before Jeff could assume his Sandwich King crown, however, he had to survive a two-part test of his skills. As our final three of Jeff, Susie, and The Culinary Artist Formerly Known as Vic Vegas arrived at Food Network studios ready to shoot their pilots, Giada De Laurentiis burst in with her best chipper smile to inform them that the show was breaking with tradition and eliminating one more contestant before test episodes would be shot. (Mercifully, there were no Italian words on the teleprompter to bring out Giada’s inner enunciation monster.) I kinda figured Vic was toast (with seven or eight too many ingredients) when he announced he’d be trying to boil down the Italian seven-fish tradition into one dish, and that initial feeling of doom was only exacerbated when the editors included footage of him getting splattered by a rogue blender.

Susie nailed her food and her presentation with a twist on her dad’s carnitas recipe, while Jeff deconstructed his dad’s eggplant parm (and told a funny story about Papa Gus’s penchant for late-night sandwich experimentation). I was amazed how the last two words of Giada’s critique changed her intention from exceedingly enthusiastic feedback to the kind of compliment that’s buried under 10 lbs of context. “That was one of my all time favorite sandwiches that I’ve had,” Giada chirped, “from you.”

Vic, however, didn’t bring enough charm or expertise to his demo on making zuppa di pesce. The big dude’s personal stories always lack the kind of vibrant color that would turn them from generic familyscapes into specific and entertaining TV tales, and combined with his inconsistent culinary offerings, he proved to be the right choice for elimination. Vic took it all very graciously, saying he was headed out into the world to figure out what could make him a better Food Network fit. (Maybe gaining the ability to rest his arms against his torso? I kid! I kid!)

With Vic’s burly body pushed off the plank, it was time to shoot pilots with some help from “director” Guy Fieri. (Anyone else ever imagine Giada going cray-cray pronouncing dude’s last name? “Fee-yay-it-tee!” “Feee-ayyy-teeee-yah!” “Fiat-eeeey-ay-uh-teee!” Gah! Someone make her stop already!)

Guy didn’t dispense much in the way of practical advice, but I did get a chuckle out of his big, enthusiastic, non-fakeout for Jeff and Susie: “For one of you, your life will never, ever be the same — IN A FANTASTIC WAY!”

Both Jeff and Susie struggled on camera, or so the editing had us believe, until their respective fourth and final takes. And then it was time to screen pilots in front of the selection committee — plus a focus group of all the eliminated Season 7 finalists. (Cut to shots of Penny pushing a koala into a vat of hot chicken stock.) As Bob Tuschman pointed out, both Jeff and Susie could be described with adjectives like “approachable” and “accessible,” and so it probably came down to the fact that Food Network already has one series about Mexican cooking, and zero about sandwiches. Honestly, I’ve been Team Jeff all season, but Susie performed so well the last few weeks of competition, I wouldn’t have been devastated if she’d scored the upset.

In his pilot, Jeff was funny and believable talking about wanting to buy a meat hammer for his son Lorenzo when he turns three, and extolling the virtues of crispy onions. Plus, the guy delivered a killer tagline: “You’re only a couple steps away from turning any sandwich into a meal, and any meal into one fantastic sandwich.” Howie, the first and worst contestant booted this season, whined that Jeff’s pilot had “too much schtick,” but Penny actually managed to cook up a positive: “Watch out Guy. Watch out Emeril.” (I kind of agree!) Vic, tragically, made this declaration: “One word for ya: Wow, brother.” Oh, Mr. Mo, that’s two words, not one.

Susie got a little more gussied up than Jeff for her pilot, and she, too, ended up previewing a show that I’d be interested in watching. Her sopes looked mouth-wateringly good, and once again, she shared a story about her parents that was sweet and believable. Even her parting comment about eating with her hands, not a fork, proved she’d finally learned to make her energy more adorable than manic. Penny, never one to try to squelch that horrible myth that women can’t get along with other women, snarled that Susie “wasn’t as engaging” as she was in her on-camera challenge earlier in the season at Mel’s diner, but offered nothing in the way of supporting evidence.

Anyhow, despite the fact that Bob wished aloud that “joie de vivre” was a “Mexican” term, the selection committee ultimately chose Jeff over Susie. Cue scenes of Jeff’s happy wife and baby celebrating with the newest Food Network star. Now let’s make some sandwiches!

What did you think of the Food Network Star finale? Did the right person win? Will you actually watch Jeff’s show when it premieres? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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75 Comments
  1. AJ says:

    The right person won. He was truly the only person of EVERYONE who had a totally different show. Susie is sweet and bubbly, but there is already a Mexican cooking show. i love Mexican food, but I don’t feel that those 2 shows are differentiated enough to justify having 2 shows. It goes to show that while you need the cooking and hosting skills, having a unique idea for a show will be a HUGE help – especially as Susie F said, from the marketing point of view.

  2. grandmachee says:

    The right contestant won, but the presentation was less than exciting. After all the hype and build up of challenges, The Food Network ended up losing the challenge of a great finish. Disappointed.

  3. MJ says:

    I too was on the Jeff bandwagon since episode 1. I am so glad he won. I will definitely be tuning in on Sunday to watch his show.

  4. Fred says:

    So predictable. He got the classic FN Winner’s Edit for several weeks now.

    Don’t worry. As tradition, one or two of the losers will get their own shows anyway.

  5. Deb says:

    If I am going to justify the time to watch one of these shows, it has to show me something I won’t get from an existing or previous show. Both great cooks, both great on camera, his concept less established.

  6. dbaj says:

    Totally agree w/ AJ. Penny actually made a good point, (after successfully stuffing that koala into the stock, & leering miserably at the finalists) that Jeff’s sandwich recipes could be made “breadless” into traditional entrees, giving his show broader appeal than another one-note Mexican cooking show.

    Slezak, another terrific review. I was Team Jeff very early on as well. He’s engaging, charming, & funny & his recipes looks great. I look forward to his new show & getting my hands on his deconstructed eggplant parm sandwich recipe!

    I too cringe every time Giada’s inner enunciation monster comes out. Its so forced & phony. I don’t know which is worse…that, or her need to show every one of her so-white-they-glow teeth with each & every smile. (But I do enjoy her show…)

    • Genie says:

      I know someone that speaks like this and she looks like Giada (and gets told that all the time). She has the same face and body shape, and I wonder too if it’s put on or if they have a real speech issue and that’s how they deal or were taught to deal with it. It is off-putting.

  7. darclyte says:

    Did anyone catch the “reunion” episode prior to the finale? It’s the first time they ripped off another idea from Top Chef, and they brought back all of the contestants to go over the season. What didn’t make sense, though, was that it aired before the finale so everyone had to pretend that the winner hadn’t been chosen yet. Weird.

    At any rate, Penny proved that she is unlikable and said that she wouldn’t have changed a thing in how she went through the competition. Really? When even the Committee pointed out many times that she was hard to work with, and passive agressively pointed out that she sabotaged Mary Beth’s turn in the Iron Chef challenge, neither of those suggest that she should have done things differently? Wow.

    The reunion also showed that Mary Beth is probably the other side of the same coin that is Penny. They showed unaired footage of her cheering Penny’s dismissal, and then unaired footage of her crying when she got eliminated. Jeff tried to give her a friendly hug and she lurched away and acted like it was his fault. Now, I don’t necessarily blame someone from not being “friendly” when they just had their dream dashed, but how was it Jeff’s fault? When asked if she’d watch his show, she hemmed and hawed and sputtered something about not being able to separate what she knows from the series. What did Jeff ever do to her? Maybe there were some unseen shenanigans, but it seemed like Jeff was liked by nearly everyone (including Penny.) So his trying to console her made him a bad guy? That he was the other person on the block at the time made it his fault? I think her hatred of Penny carried over to Jeff because Penny liked Jeff which made him Mary Beth’s enemy by association. Sheesh.

    Also, Chris got into it with Jyll and Justin with the Earrings. While I think Chris might have more training than Jyll, if he really wanted a “throwdown” with Justin, he’d get his clock cleaned. Justin made one bad dish and that’s when he got the boot. He was terrible on camera, but his food was always excellent, so the Committee couldn’t cut him until he finally slipped on the food. Chris always had big ideas for his food, but almost never the chops to pull it off. He and Mary Beth both need the help FN offers, rather than giving it (was it Giada who said that about MB?) So true.

    This was the first season in a while where it didn’t matter to me who won. To paraphrase what Bob said, both were the type of person FN looks for and both could have good shows. I still think they’ll do something with Susie and Vic, even if it’s on Cooking Channel or live appearances. I had thought perhaps they’d hire Mary Beth to write for one of their 3 websites, especially food2.com, but after the reunion show, I think she showed her “true colors” and I doubt FN wants anything to do with either her or Penny.

    I’ll turn in to Jeff’s show as I too am a bit of a “Dagwood” and love to make sandwiches, so I’ll be interested in any new, fun ideas. Sandwiches are always great for those Labor Day family get togethers, football season, and even Holiday leftovers. All of that is coming up, so I will check his show out.

    • Saracen Riggins says:

      I watched the Reunion show and WOW! I did not get what Mary Beth’s deal was with Jeff AT ALL. Based on what was shown, she just seemed to be a sore loser. I found it all very confusing…

    • um says:

      You do realize that this is Michael’s column and not yours, right?

    • Amanda says:

      I watched the reunion and I thought they were finally showing the real Mary Beth. To me she always came off as a rather unlikable person who put on fake veneer of sweetness and I think that showed in the reunion.

    • Kristen says:

      My jaw dropped when Mary Beth made it sound like Jeff had wronged her. I highly doubt it – he always came off as a super nice guy who tried to be friends with everyone. MB did get mad at Jeff on the “roast” episode when he gave her duck (which she had never cooked before). Did he even know that?? Regardless, way to hold a grudge, MB. I’ve been cheering Jeff on all season and will be watching his show for sure!

  8. Yibbet says:

    This will be my last time watching this crap. For two straight years the most obnoxious, annoyingly irritating person wins (Okay, Penny was worse), so I’m done Food Network.

  9. jack says:

    I can believe they picked Jeff, what can he teah about sandwiches, this is the food network, not the personality network. He will go down in flmaes like Erin Macargo did, I understand they just canceled his show, I did not think he brought anything great to the screen, and I did not watch him nor will I watch Jeff. I woudl have watched Susie, she bring some fresh ideas to mexican cooking, at least I can use her ideas as a base and adjust the recipes to my liking. Wrong choice… Food Network too bad.

    • Gretchen says:

      FN already has a woman with wavy dark hair hosting a Mexican cooking show. To have Susie win would have been to create a duplicate show.

      Susie came across as very fake to me. Happy she didn’t win!

  10. The WB Frog says:

    Much better choice than the last few years’. Aarti Party sent me over the edge last year! The “sandwich king” is a much better choice.

    • Sookie says:

      Totally with you on that one. I could not understand why they kept that ridiculous name. Is her show about making party food?

  11. Steph says:

    I was so excited when Jeff was announced as the winner. I’d been pulling for him for weeks and saying that I’d watch his show in a heartbeat. I love his POV and his personality. I’m a big sandwich fan, so to have a show that’s going to show me how to make sandwiches I would’ve never thought to make before is going to be fun. I can’t wait to watch it next Sunday. Susie was sweet, but too perky, for me, and I love Mexican food, but like you said, they already have one show about Mexican cooking, so I think Jeff’s show will be a great addition to their network. Can’t wait to see it :)

  12. L says:

    I’m happy Jeff won and have already set up my TIVO to tape it. Liked Susie very much, but as I’ve said earlier, there are already Mexican cooking shows on Food Network.

    Thanks for the always entertaining recaps Michael. Love to read what you write.

  13. Bob says:

    A bit taller, but if the camera angle catches Jeff just right, he’s the spitting image of Johnny Depp. I’m sure that went a long way on the Marketing Department end of things. Add his talent and camera-friendly abilities, and there was simply no other choice.

  14. spike says:

    Of course that annoying Chicago aayyyccsuunt was going to win it. All the food network and cooking channel primetime lineups are male centric, to attract the all important male demographic for advertisers. Housewives rarely buy anything but dish detergent, and ad revenues are sky high for the coveted male demo. Penny will get her own Cooking Channel show out of this, her middle eastern concept being a new angle for the company to exploit. I predict a traveling around the country sandwich show for “Juff frum Chuckayygow”.. snooze fest this season.

    • Steph says:

      Really? You have to make fun of Chicago and the way some people here speak? Do you make fun of the way people from the South talk? Just because he speaks differently or has an accent doesn’t make him annoying. He was a likeable guy who was rarely (actually I think only once) on the bottom and the POV was something he carried from the beginning of the show.

      Penny might be a great cook with an original idea but she is not likeable at all. She is rude and apparently doesn’t know the meaning of teamwork or how to lose gracefully (which she showed during the Iron Chef America challenge). Even the judges noticed it and Alton Brown pointed it out.

    • Templar says:

      @spike What a ridiculous statement about Jeff’s accent. People in Maine think southerners talk funny. People in Texas are taken aback by a Brooklyn accent. In truth only native Californians are without regional markers. Midwest speech is considered one of the least accented. Even a place as comparatively small as England has extremely diverse regional dialects.

      • spike says:

        ‘LEAST accented”?!!! You must be writing this from your Michigan Avenue apartment. Right….people from Minnesota and Chicago have never been called out for their regional accents. The “midwusturn ayycsunt” has got to be one of the most distinct regional identifiers. “Least accented”? LMAO. My issue is that a person from Boston or Mississippi or Texas would be called out as sounding ‘stupid’ by shallow persons like myself… but yet that unbearable Chicago twang is acceptable?

        • Templar says:

          In truth I’m writing from Vancouver Island, but no matter. I find no twang in the Chicago accent. Try listening to someone from Yorkshire, England sometime. And it’s their language. Better yet, try sussing out what someone from Sumter So. Carolina is trying to tell you. I’ve no idea where you hail from, but I guarantee you sound strange to someone somewhere.

  15. Cin says:

    This show can’t compete with Top Chef and really shouldn’t try.
    First- you need new judges.
    Second-you need better screeners, of these are the best of the submissions, Heaven help us. And not just this year, look at the pas.
    Third-You give shows to other losing contestants, isn’t that admitting you made a bad choice.
    Fourth- You really have to stop leaking the winner.

    • um says:

      Learn to proofread.

    • spike says:

      you’re right and wrong. Unfortunately, the Food Network is no Bravo. The food network and cooking channel have to take in way more ad revenue; and thus have to appeal to a less specialized, broader American audience. Sponsors like Sears and Hershey’s Chocolate sort of beg for programming hosted by vanilla wafer mid-western white people with self-educated culinary points of view. Thus, it’s more about the person than the cooking talent unfortunately. Were that not the case, the edgy and uber culinarily talented Justin would have won.. and that ridiculous suzie homemaker Jill would have been booted the first episode. “The Sandwich Guy” (or whatever his ‘I’m already bored with you’ concept is) is a sure bet that dumb fat people in the middle of the country won’t have to think too hard, or be educated enough to know what ‘braising in duck fat’ means.

  16. Sookie says:

    I was Team Jeff from early on as well. He is very good on camera and can be spontaneous (remember the Rachel Ray challenge) and natural. The selection committee drove me crazy this year with their contradictory advise to him to either turn up the energy or turn down the energy depending on the week. He can be much more versatile then Susie because I can see him hosting many different shows as well as his own show. I am not sure how often I would watch a show about making sandwiches but then again I mostly watch the food network for the competition shows anyway. I didn’t even know there was already a Mexican cooking show on the network.

  17. cpreynolds says:

    I actually think Susie would do a better Mexican show than the one that is on.

  18. Sookie says:

    One of the things that always bugged me about this show was that the so called selection committee would change the contestants POV during the season like they did with Vic this year (from Vic Vegas to “Mamas Boy”) so it was obvious they already had a show idea in mind and were just looking for a personality to fit it. The biggest example of that was when they picked Melissa D’arabian whose POV all season was how to turn a home cook into a more gourmet cook and gave her a show about cooking cheaply. Last year they did it with the Cuban guy who wanted to do a show about healthy eating based on his own weight loss and personal training and by the end of the season it was a show about Cuban cooking. (the kind of cooking that he has said made him a chubby kid). At least Jeff stuck with his POV all the way through.

    • Chris says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. I rooted for Melissa the whole way but have no desire to watch a show about how to cook a meal for ten bucks. It’s like they couldn’t get past the fact that she was a home cook. I’ve never understood why the contestants have to have a POV if they’re gonna change it anyway.

  19. Layla says:

    Jeff and Susie were my favorites all along (well, and Whitney and Justin D., but their edits [including no camera challenge footage shown in Episode 1] made it clear they weren’t getting to the end), so I was pleased to see them as the Final Two. My only gripe is that it was painfully obvious that a guy would win this season because the last few winners have been women. So when the Final Two were announced, I knew there was no chance Susie would win, even though I felt her pilot was very strong. I hate that reality TV works that way, where producers sometimes place more emphasis on the diversity of the winners than on talent, and this unfortunately made it completely obvious who would win in the end.

  20. Lisa says:

    Thank you darclyte, for mentioning Mary Beth’s behavior on the reunion show. I couldn’t agree more. I always felt that, for being a mediocre cook, she thought a little to highly of herself, but man, she didn’t do herself any favors by acting downright cruel to Jeff. Did she honestly think she stood a chance to win over Jeff or Suzy or Vic? At least with the evil empress, Penny, she can cook and no one can accuse her of being fake—what you see is definately, what you get.
    Even though predicatable, I’m happy Jeff, our loveable “bloated” Jimmy Fallon look-a-like. won. He was the only one who had a personality, POV that wasn’t already on the air and was camera-ready to front his own show. Hopefully Vic and Suzy will get something on the Cooking Channel.

  21. lawyerchick99 says:

    Jeff as as a culinary Jimmy Fallon? Did not think of that but I totally agree.

    To the poster who wants Penny on Cooking channel? Good grief, heaven forbid NO. The network would implode because of her ego and snail-like cooking style. When Alton Brown approached her during the Iron Chef challenge I LOL’ed.

    I have posted here before that Vic needs to be on Cooking channel, NOT PENNY, ever ever ever.

    Come to think of it, the Bitchin’ Kitchen lady would clean Penny’s clock and I’d watch that.

    Congrats to Jeff even though it was obvious he was going to win a few weeks back.

  22. Danielle says:

    I’m so glad that Jeff won! He definitely has the personality and POV for successful cross-branding and I can’t wait to see him break out of his Sunday time slot!

  23. Amanda says:

    I think the right person was chosen but I do wish they would have done the final show a little differently. At the very least have a real focus group and have them give their opinions on the pilots when the two contestants are not in the room.

  24. Ada says:

    Suzie should have won. I was looking forward to making Mexican dishes. I like Mexican food, not the Taco Bell kind, but what real Mexicans eat. I watch and tape Pati’s Mexican Table which I get on the PBS channel, and wanted to see more of the type of food Pati makes-Real.
    I liked Jeff, but I can make any dish and stick it between 2 slices of bread and it’s a sandwich. He didn’t even bake the bread. I don’t plan to watch his show and that Penny should get therapy-she’s vicious.

  25. SmileIvan says:

    Slezak, may I just point out the atrocious fact that the final two-shot of Jeff and Susie awaiting the verdict was dominated by the looming image of Giada’s cleavage in the background. Seriously, if you missed it go back and take a peek. It’s right there, center frame. What an awful and strange background to have.

  26. director101 says:

    I grew up near the U.S. border with Mexico, and Susie is bland, boring, and unattractive compared to the Latina cooks I’ve known. Sorry, but if it came down to a choice of watching preschoolers fingerpaint or Susie’s show, I’d tie on a splatter shield and sit down with the kids.

    And Jeff … who really needs a show about how to make sandwiches? If you can’t figure out how to make sandwiches, perhaps you’re too stupid to be allowed into a kitchen where there are knives and other objects that can hurt you.

    • Chris says:

      I have no desire to watch a show about sandwiches but that doesn’t mean that other people don’t. And that doesn’t make them stupid. Jeff’s sandwiches went way beyond BLTs and PB&Js. Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t make those who do stupid. Be respectful.

  27. Dee says:

    I don’t have any interest in watching a sandwich show either.

    God forbid there is more than one Mexican food show on the air.

    How many shows of Italian food are there? How many shows show regular American food?

    The sad part about all of this is like the first poster pointed out, that Suzy Fogelson said they needed somebody that could be marketed. What?

    I thought cooking shows were all about showing people how to cook good food, no matter the ethnicity of the chef. If they had only kept the actually talented, proven chefs instead of running them off. Mario, Emeril, hell, even Cat Cora isn’t on Iron Chef anymore. I’ve never seen the stupidly titled “Artie Party” stuff and will not watch this dumbed down cooking stuff either. Sandwiches? Please.

    • tnsmoke says:

      I actually find cooking shows boring. I love the cooking competition shows better. But, that being said, I would TiVo Jeff’s sandwich show.

  28. PJ says:

    I’m fine with Jeff as the winner and would have been fine with Suzie as the winner as well. I have a feeling that Suzie and Vic will land on their feet within the Food Network empire. However, I was disappointed all season long with the Food Network’s decision to the focus on drama between the contestants then revisit the drama with that ridiculous reunion show. Dispite the drama, I enjoyed how they mixed thing up this seaon with the challenges (I particularly like the “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” challenge). So, I think they’re doing a good job at keeping things fresh each season, but the drama has got to GO! If not, I certainly won’t stick around very long next season.

  29. Mali says:

    I’ll give the sandwich show a shot. I would have never thought of making a sandwich with eggplant as a filler so hopefully he’ll have many more good ideas like that one. FNW has Mexican Made Easy and there is the afore mentioned Pati’s Mexican Table and Rick Bayless: Mexico-One Plate at a Time. The genre is well represented. To be honest I was put off by Susie when she said “I want to be a celebrity chef” instead of saying I want to share my expertise in cooking tasty Mexican food. She’ll no doubt get her wish though and have a cooking show on one of the cable channels that feature food. Oh and I liked Aaron McCargo and have cooked some of his recipes that turned out good and tasty.

    • Avery says:

      Mali -Haven’t you ever heard of eggplant parmegian heroes? That was a sandwich the last time I looked, and its been around for…forever!

  30. Sue says:

    LOL Michael. This blog was more entertaining and interesting than last night’s TNFNS. My favorites were “Mercifully, there were no Italian words on the teleprompter to bring out Giada’s inner enunciation monster, maybe gaining the ability to rest his arms against his torso, anyone else ever imagine Giada going cray-cray pronouncing dude’s last name? Fee-yay-it-tee, Feee-ayyy-teeee-yah, Fiat-eeeey-ay-uh-teee,”

    I lost interest this year after they booted Whitney. Of the final three I think Jeff was the right one to win but it felt anticlimactic. I would give his show a chance. I wished they would have let Susie cook something other than Mexican food. While Vic grew on me over the weeks I couldn’t see myself watching a show of his. Biggest shocker of the night was finding out that Mary Beth didn’t care for Jeff. This show is all about the editing.

  31. Kelsey says:

    Wasn’t really feeling this season. Not sure how long a show just revolving around sandwiches can last, but who knows? I’ll be tuning in anyway though out of curiosity. Oh, and about that reunion show…WOW. As if we didn’t get enough “drama” throughout the season. This group was anything, but close. I don’t blame Mary Beth for being thrilled with Penny leaving though. I was a bit happy myself when she was finally gone. Not sure what to say about the Jeff hug thing.(Hello, girl was just eliminated. Doubt that she’s going to do a happy dance.)There obviously isn’t a law that says that you have to be close with all of the contestants. As Penny clearly proved.
    Now I just have to briefly talk about a season of FNS where I actually cared about the outcome… Aarti’s show(Which is currently in it’s 3rd season.)is wonderful. One of these days I’m definitely going to make something of hers. Though honestly everything that I’ve seen her make so far has looked pretty damn good. How anyone can hate a sweetheart like her is beyond me, but whatever. Can’t please them all.

    • Dee says:

      LOL, you’ve been watching the show for 3 YEARS and have yet to make any of her recipes? Really?

      And you like her food?

      A successful television chef makes you want to make their stuff right away. Their enthusiasm and love of the food should be infectious, they make something that pleases them and you want to be pleased in the same way.

      I watch something Anne Burrell does and it looks good? I make it that weekend. I like something Giada and Ida make? Again, make the food right away. I am never disappointed with their stuff. Alton Brown too.

    • Sookie says:

      3 years? She hasn’t been on the air for 3 years. I think she is very nice too and I wanted her to win I just hated the name Aartie’s Party. She always did make her food look and sound delicious but as hard as I’ve tried I just don’t like Indian food.

  32. shelly says:

    i will be interested in how they twist and turn his show…the show is never exactly the winner’s pov

  33. Jordan says:

    Random, Does anyone know where I can find out about the wardrobe of this show? Obviously your feelings of Giada are irrelevant, her polka-dot blouse was adorable though. I’ve looked and can’t seem to find anything…

  34. jef says:

    Jeff winning the contest has been a done deal for a long time, mostly because of the type of show he will do. But I do like Susie too.

  35. Tim says:

    I would have liked Susie to win simply because a show about sandwiches is stupid. And as for Penny…I didn’t know satan had a daughter. Talk about hanging yourself with your own rope. Lastly, I thought Susie the judge had more of a crush on Jeff than his idea.

  36. Sookie says:

    Am I the only one that finds it just a little insulting to the viewers to assume that we can only relate to a food network star if they constantly work in stories about their kids or dead relatives?

  37. Writer says:

    Sandwich show? Really?? As someone else commented: who doesn’t know how to take two slices of..ug…(I add: white store-bought bread, at that!) and find something to put between them? I agree with Howie: Jeff had too much schtick. And I can’t forget the time his sweat dripped into his food. YUCK! I would never watch a sandwich show. A mexican food show like Suz’s you bet!

    The female judges who voted for him were all gaga over Jeff as were the females in all the audiences. Cher once said “Women fall for nothing”…she did add: “then marry them but does not apply to this”…just sayin’

    • tnsmoke says:

      If all you think a sandwich can ever be is two slices of bread with something boring in-between then you don’t like them to beging with. Sandwiches are what I crave down here in the South with months of hot, humid weather. Susie and Penny both made food that sounded wonderful but I would never have the energy to make most of that stuff, too many ingredients that would sit on my shelf or in my fridge too long till I needed them again. Sandwiches rule!

  38. Writer says:

    @tnsmoke: Essentially that is what a sandwich is: “something” between two slices of bread! We Californians experience hot summer days, too, but some of us opt for a salad, a smoothie or skip lunch altogether.

    You are right, though – I don’t like them, but I can see how they would appeal to guys, but a show about them is beyond my comprehension? Oh well…diversity is what life is about, right? I concede that what’s one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

    • Templar says:

      I’d really like to see a show based on Chinese take away food. Don’t laugh. For years I’ve wondered what makes egg foo young so tasty. I know there are lots of shows on asian inspired food. That’s not what’s required. Good Chinese take away [Moo Goo Gai Pan, Mu Shu Pork etc.]. Not asian fusion, not Japanese, not Thai. Chinese.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    No, the right person did not win. Susie’s food was consistently the best all season, her show would have been great, and her personality was great as well. Jeff was likeable, his food was sometimes good sometimes not so good, and his show was not particularly interesting. I think they picked him because A) the last two seasons were won by women and B) the last season was won by an ethnic person…he is one of about a million Italians on the Food Network, which doesn’t count. I think Food Network didn’t want to have 3 women and 2 ethnic women in a row…thus, Jeff wins, even though he was less consistent.

    • Sookie says:

      I’m not quite sure which show you were watching. Susie was pretty bad on a lot of the camera challenges. She talks way too fast as well. The committee kept pushing her charm but in truth I never really saw it. Jeff was never in the bottom until the last challenge either.

  40. jrs says:

    Eh, I won’t be watching the “Sandwich King”. No interest in this guy at all. He’s NOT funny…I just don’t get it. Frankly, there weren’t too many options, so I can see how he was chosen, but I won’t be watching. I don’t like the guy.

    • Stormy says:

      I’ll watch him. I like how he is so totally himself. No pretense, no neediness [which is so apparent in Susie]. Just a natural relatability. Rachel Ray is like that.

  41. Phoebi says:

    I suppose Jeff was the strongest contestant, but I have no interest in watching his show. From this season, I would have watched Orchid, Mary Beth, or Vic, no one else.

  42. mike says:

    Haha. A lot of snobby uptight people in here. But I guess that’s to be expected. I thought it was a great season, and far better than the last two. I’m excited for a sandwich show, think the right person won and Jeff is very likeable. Vic and Suzie will clearly get their own shows too.

  43. nancy says:

    I’m glad that Jeff won but would have been just as thrilled had Susie won. I also did not know that there was another Mexican show on FN.
    I had to look up Jimmy Fallon to see what he looked like…and there was Jeff! No! It actually WAS Jimmy….
    But more to the point; I will watch Jeff to see how he does but I’m not so interested in a show about sandwiches. I don’t eat sandwiches very often because of the bread and fat you usually have in a sandwich. I used to watch cooking shows for the recipes but in the last few years I watch it for the contests. That’s pretty sad considering the shows SHOULD be about the food and not the challenges. Anyone else out there agree with me? Cooking shows are games now instead of cooking lessons?

  44. DNS says:

    Personally, I am tired of the FN formula of having their hosts continually relating story afer story of their family history while preparing their dishes.
    What we viewers are interested in is THE FOOD, and not the ongoing narrative of their lives.

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