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Characters: The Next Food Network Star
    open/close all folders 

    Judges and Mentors 

Bobby Flay


  • Big Applesauce
  • Fiery Redhead
  • The Kirk
  • Jerkass Fašade: He's harsh with the contestants, but it's because he sincerely wants to push them to do their best work.
  • Self-Made Man: Bobby came from a hard-scrabble existence in a rough neighborhood of the Bronx, dropped out of high school, and fell in with a bad crowd, by his own admission. But then he got a job at a restaurant and realized he loved it. He finally had a long-term goal, and he began working hard to become the best chef and entrepreneur he could be. He built himself up into the celebrity chef he is today through Horatio Alger-style hard work. Quite admirable.
  • Stern Teacher

Giada De Laurentiis


  • But Now I Must Go: In Season 6 she's brought aboard as a mentor to the contestants during the Los Angeles portion of the season; when the contestants go to New York for the final leg of the journey, Giada wishes them good luck and encourages them to remember everything they've learned.
  • Cool Teacher
  • The McCoy
  • Perpetual Smiler
  • Team Mom

Alton Brown


Bob Tuschman

Susie Fogleson

Contestants:

    Season 1 

    Season 2 

Guy Fieri

    Season 3 

    Season 4 

Aaron McCargo Jr.

Adam Gertler

    Season 5 

Mellissa d'Arabian

Jeffrey Saad

    Season 6 

Aarti Sequeira

Herb Mesa

  • Adorkable: Depending on how you look at it.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Averted. With Herb, they wanted him to act more foreign.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Though it always seems the people who don't win disappear, the winner and the other runner up, Aarti and Tom, both got their own shows, while Herb was just as good a cook.
  • Lovable Jock: He is very muscular, and a personal trainer, though he can hardly stand being separated from his familt for so long.
  • Nice Guy

Tom Pizzica


  • Breakout Character: He's definitely a character, which is likely why they tried to get him his own spin-off. Didn't quite work out too well, though.
  • The Runner Up Takes It All: Open to interpretation on whether or not this was attempted. Aarti's show was still more of a success.

Brianna Jenkins


  • Dark-Skinned Blond: She's not exactly a blond, but her hair is light colored, especially compared to her skin.
  • Male Gaze: She tries to aim at a sort of seductive style. And yes, she does succeed.

    Season 7 

Jeff Mauro


Penny Davidi

I am a couger.

Vic "Vegas" Moea

Mary Beth Albright

    Season 8 
Notable Team Alton Members:

Emily Ellyn


Justin Warner


  • Adorkable
  • Hipster: He is called this by the judges.
  • Like a Son to Me: He seemingly is this to Alton which leads to...
  • Running Gag: The constant question of whether or not he uses lipstick. He has stated that he doesn't, and that his lip color is from the frequent use of Burt's Beesnote .

Martie Duncan


  • Cool Old Lady: She seems to think of herself as this, but she is not all that old.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Her food never looks all too appealing, but it doesn't seem to taste too horrible. She also has had a number of dishes that weren't well liked.
  • Expy: She is basically a cross between Paula Dean and the Pioneer Woman — who cannot cook all too well.
  • Motor Mouth: She just talks, and talks, and talks, to the detriment of her team.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: The judges decide to let her make a pilot rather than eliminate her in the penultimate episode, only for her to be the lowest scoring contestant in the national poll. Also a notable subversion of Creator's Pet, since despite her being put through she still didn't win. invoked
  • Southern Belle

Judson Allen

Notable Team Giada Members:

Ippy Aiona

Martita Jara


Yvan Lemoine


Notable Team Bobby Members:

Malcolm Mitchell

Michele Ragussis

Nikki Martin


    Season 9 

Viet Pham

Lovely Jackson

  • Hey, It's That Girl!: Yes, this is the same Lovely that competed on season 6 of Hell's Kitchen.
  • Lethal Chef: The mini-arc in episode four concerning the rise and fall of her "doughnuts" made from store bought pizza dough which she's rolled into super-dense wads and deep fried before dunking in cinnamon and sugar certainly made her seem this way. Nobody thought this was a good idea except for her. And she looked completely baffled and shattered when told by the judges that everyone found them inedible.
  • Sassy Black Woman: While she's generally very nice, she can shift into this when necessary.

Damaris Phillips

Danushka Lysek

  • 0% Approval Rating: In the first episode, her dial drops faster than anybody else's to begin with. In the second, she only attracts two people out of one hundred to her burger stand.
  • Brainless Beauty: Definitely brainless most of the time, and she was a formal model.
  • The Bully: Not afraid to share her opinion on the other contestants behind their backs. Nikki might be her most common victim.
  • Dumb Blonde
  • Femme Fatale: She joked in one episode that to attract people to her burger stand she would take off her shirt and hope they like what they see.
  • Simpleton Voice
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Seems to be heading this way with Nikki.

Nikki Dinki

  • Genki Girl
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Focus seemed to be going this way in episode two, but Danushka's early elimination in episode three doesn't allow for much more exploration.

Chris Hodgson


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