Friday, May 20, 2016

Food Network Star Season 12 Contestants - Where Have You Seen Them?

Photo - Multivu
This Sunday at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network is the start of season 12 of Food Network Star.  As is usually the case, you will probably recognize many of the contestants from other reality shows on Food Network and other channels.  Here is a list of the Food Network Star contestants for this season and where you may recognize them.
  • Rob Burmeister (Staten Island, NY) - Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen (won), Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Tournament, Restaurant Stakeout
  • Erin Campbell (Woodbury, MN) - Holiday Baking Championship (won - prize $50,000)
  • Damiano Carrara (Moorpark, CA) - Cutthroat Kitchen (won), Spring Baking Championship
  • Aaron Crumbaugh (Spokane, WA) - Cutthroat Kitchen (won), Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Tournament, The Amazing Race season 6
  • Tregaye Fraser (Atlanta, GA) - Guy's Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen (won)
  • Yaku Moton-Spruill (San Francisco, CA) - Cutthroat Kitchen (won), Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Tournament
  • Melissa Pfeister (Los Angeles, CA) - Has not appeared on other reality shows, but has 171k Twitter followers due to her revealing pictures and love of sports - mainly Ohio State.
  • Ana Quincoces (Coral Gables, FL) - Appeared on The Real Housewives of Miami on Bravo.  Also has her own cookbooks, which are available on Amazon. She was arrested in 2015 for driving with a suspended license.
  • Monterey Salka (Nashville, TN) - Cutthroat Kitchen: Camp Cutthroat (won 1 episode), Esquire's The Next Great Burger
  • Joy Thompson (Thomasville, NC) - Restaurant owner who has done local news segments.  It was recently discovered that her restaurant owes around $240,000 in back taxes and penalties (Link).
  • Havird Usry (Augusta, GA) - No previous television. Executive chef at an Augusta, GA restaurant.
  • Jernard Wells (Atlanta, GA) - Paula's Party, Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell, Cutthroat Kitchen (won), Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious Tournament
Obviously the contestant who rejoins the competition from Comeback Kitchen will have competed on Food Network Star in the past as well.  It seems like Cutthroat Kitchen was the breeding ground for Food Network Star contestants this year with half of the contestants competing on the show, with some competing multiple times.

If you area interested in any more information about the contestants, there is plenty of information included in the press release and on the Food Network Star website.  Also, if I missed any television appearances by the contestants, let me know in the comments and I can make updates.

*Somewhat related - In an interview with Aaron Crumbaugh, it says Food Network contacted him to see if he was interested in auditioning.  After interviewing he had to get a background check by a private investigator.  I wonder if this is required after the Lenny Mcnab fiasco.

As always, there will be Food Network Star episode recaps here where you can discuss the episode and who went home.

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