Justin Warner is the new Food Network Star!

Food Network has a new face – Justin Warner! Young, daring, unconventional, this chef’s point of view is ‘rebel with a culinary cause,’ and his new show will be directed by his mentor from The Next Food Network Star, Alton Brown. Right from the start we saw him cooking up unconventional recipes: Mixing pancetta and dates in cookies, blowing off excess sugar with a towel, freezing chicken before using it in a caesar salad and so on. Justin’s show might offer that extra edge to Food Network and cater to those who are looking to cook outside-the-box, instead of just expanding their repertoire in the comfort of their homes.

For a few of his unconventional recipes that are already available, check out:

Fauxritos – tortilla chips dusted with a dry three-cheese mixture

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad – marinated chicken is frozen for 8 hours before serving with the salad

Nippon Nachos

No Bake Moon Rock Cookies – Inspired by the cookie lady he went to in high school, these cookies contain pancetta, kumquats, butterscotch, Hershey’s chips, graham crackers and….garam masala. Go Figure.

While I did vote for Justin and was therefore pleased to see him win, I was disappointed to see Martie lose. Her show seemed to be promising, she had a great personality, and I felt as if she’d already paid her dues and finally deserved to have her own show. Still, the result was no surprise as Justin topped the fan votes right from about week 4 or so.

The question that Food Network must face now is – Will their next star be able to live up to their fanfare? Being season 8, the only continually successful star that they’ve chosen from the show is Guy Fieri of Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins fame, and Aarti Sequeira, though even she comes to memory only occasionally.

So what do you think of Justin? And what did you think of the show’s new format this season?

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