Hagerstown native a finalist on 'The Next Food Network Star'

July 15, 2012|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • Hagerstown native Justin Warner was named one of four finalists for 'The Next Food Network Star' during Sunday night's airing of the show on Food Network.
Submitted photo

He’s just one step closer to having America taste fried fish bones.

Hagerstown native Justin Warner was named one of four finalists for “The Next Food Network Star” during Sunday night’s airing of the show on Food Network.

The show started with 15 contestants, who were separated into three groups with mentors Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown. Warner’s mentor was his quirky counterpart, Brown. Contestants were then put through a series of tests, and cooks were kicked off every week, leaving six contestants.

In Sunday night’s episode, the contestants were originally told that only three pilots would be shot, but in a TV twist, Warner and his Team Alton teammate, Martie Duncan, were asked to shoot a pilot.

In addition to Duncan, Warner, 28, will compete against Michele Ragussis from Team Bobby and Yvan Lemoine from Team Giada in the final stage. This year, fans will be able to vote online for their favorite contestant. The finale will air on the Food Network at 9 p.m. Sunday, July 22.

Brooklyn-based Warner has become a network judges and fan favorite for his quirky culinary point of view. As of presstime, Warner was leading as a fan favorite in online voting. Duncan was just points behind.

During Sunday’s show, the remaining contestants had only three chances to make a 30-second spot about their show. The spots were shown to regular network judges Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson, with guest judges and Food Network stars Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Robert Irvine, Sunny Anderson, Aaron Sanchez and season five “Next Food Network Star” winner Melissa d’Arabian.

To vote for Warner’s pilot, go to

The person named The Next Food Network Star will receive his or her own show on the Food Network produced by his or her mentor, a feature in Food Network magazine and a featured spot at the New York Wine & Food Festival.

Read an in-depth interview with Warner on Wednesday’s Food page.

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