Justin M. Warner, self-professed “rebel with a culinary cause” and twitter handle @EatFellowHumans is, as of last night, our new Food Network Star. I say “our” because those of us who watch the Food Network tend to be #dedicated.
While some of the past Food Network Star winners have gone on to have great success – like Guy Fieri (Season 2 winner) – others have slinked away from the limelight, leaving us with less than memorable shows and memoirs – like Amy Finley (season 3 winner, who never let us forget that she went to the École Gregoire-Ferrandi).
I predict Justin M. Warner will go on to have great success and many fangirls (of which I am one), because there is nobody quite like him on the Food Network. I always complain that there is too much of a focus on home “cooking” (*ahem* Sandra Lee *ahem*) on the Network. There’s a time and place for it, as during hard economic times people look for ways to make cheap and easy meals, butttt I think we’ve had enough. While our good friends over at the FN are experts in their respective fields, sometimes a company needs some young blood to keep them relevant. Justin’s mission of cooking in new and unconventional ways (exhibit A: foie gras filled doughnut), of cooking as a “culinary rebel,” is exactly what the Food Network (and America!) needs. Justin represents a whole generation of young chefs that have learned to take what they know about culinary tradition and make it new again.
As a self-taught chef, Justin began working in kitchens at age 13.This is something that maybe should have been emphasized more during the show, seeing as it is a trait that has the potential to be marketable. I hope to see that experience carried over into Justin’s new show, as a sort of cross between Anne Burrell’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Alton Brown’s Good Eats.
This season’s Next Food Network Star was new and exciting in two ways: the contestants were divided into teams, and America got to vote to choose the winner from the four final contestants. Sometimes America makes the wrong decision with things like this (Taylor Hicks?) but let’s be honest here and say that the fact that Justin is young, “hip”, and attractive helped. Watching the teams compete was fun and all, but what made things a bit more interesting was watching the team leaders/mentors (Giada, Bobby and papa Alton) compete right along with them. And all of my suspicions that Giada had a scary side to her were confirmed.
Another highlight of this season’s show was watching the budding father-son type relationship between Justin and Alton Brown (Ultimate BROTP Justin/Alton). The two understand each other because they’re both wicked smart; and it quite literally brought tears to Alton’s eyes when Justin won. Alton Brown has feelings!
- Justin is adorable.
- Justin is a nice guy in real life- ask Kellie and Taylor, they met him just last week!
- He has an actual restaurant (Do or Dine in Bed-Stuy) that you can actually visit to back up all the claims that he is a good chef.
- Justin M. Warner is authentic.
- His new show is going to be produced by Alton Brown which just makes it a bazillion times better.
- America needs more foie gras doughnuts.
- If you need any other reason to love Justin M. Warner, please see his twitter avatar below or just creep his twit pics.
- Justin M. Warner for president.
Now someone please make this boy a Wikipedia page.