THE VIEWERS HAVE SPOKEN!
AUDIENCE VOTE CROWNS JUSTIN WARNER WINNER OF "FOOD NETWORK STAR"
Winner's Series Produced by Star Mentor Alton Brown Slated for Fall Premiere
NEW YORK - July 23, 2012 - After a groundbreaking eighth season and an audience vote tallying 4.5 million, America has chosen Brooklyn's Justin Warner as winner of Food Network Star's ultimate grand prize - his own Food Network series, to be produced by his Star mentor Alton Brown. Known for his "Rebel with a Culinary Cause" point-of-view, Justin distinguished himself with a witty on-camera presence and unique, edgy spins on every dish he created - all fine-tuned over the course of the series by Food Network icon Brown. Over 30 million viewers tuned in to season eight of the hit series, which began in May with culinary superstars Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay each hand-selecting a team of five finalists to produce and mentor through the Star experience to find one winner who possesses personality and kitchen chops. The finale came down to four finalists - Justin and Martie Duncan (Birmingham, Ala.) from Team Alton, Yvan Lemoine (Maspeth, N.Y.) from Team Giada and Michele Ragussis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) from Team Bobby. The winner's new series is scheduled for a fall premiere on Food Network.
"Justin is a rule breaker in the best possible sense, much like his mentor Alton Brown. He approaches food with a quirky sense of joy that made him stand out from the very beginning of the season," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. "Viewers certainly agreed, and we are thrilled to welcome him and his distinct culinary voice to Food Network."
"I had a feeling about Justin the first time we met, when he auditioned for me in Atlanta. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I'm pretty sure it's because I thought I saw a little me in him - deep down, we all want to replicate ourselves," said Brown. "But as soon as the competition cranked up, it became clear that Justin is an original, possessing a singular culinary vision. I did very little to steer him through the weeks that followed, mostly I tried to make sure his real character came through in each challenge. It's been a great honor to accompany him on this part of his journey."
Justin Warner is a self-taught cook and owner/chef of Do or Dine, a restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y. that he and his partners built from the ground up. Originally from Hagerstown, Md. he began working in restaurants at just thirteen years old and has knowledge of the industry that extends way beyond his years. Justin's approach to food reflects his personality - edgy, intense, passionate and witty.
# # #
FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.45 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (www.gactv.com),HGTV (www.hgtv.com), and Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com), is the manager and general partner.