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Next Food Network Star: Q&A with Susie and Aarti

Aarti was crowned the winner of this season’s Next Food Network Star and in a Q&A with winner Aarti Sequeira and judge Susie Fogelson we discuss toughest moments, Aarti Party and why Aarti was the best for the job.

Aarti Sequeira

Aarti Party
The filming of Aarti Party was quite familiar for Aarti. She has been producing her web series of the same name on YouTube for a year. So when it came to shooting her new series Aarti expresses that she was very confident walking into it. The season has already been taped, but as to what you’ll see on the show the concept is the same introducing classic Indian flavors into everyday American food. On where the shows will differ, Aarti Party web is more of a variety show, showcasing many of her talented friends, Food Network’s Aarti Party won’t have quite so many guests.

On The Next Food Network Star
When asked what her favorite moment was from the competition, Aarti recalls working with Tom on the food truck challenge. Aside from her admiration of those who work in food trucks, Aarti speaks of how great it was to get to know fellow competitor Tom. On being asked what one of her lowest points was, Aarti remembers episode 9, when the contestants got a surprise visit from their loved ones. Aarti cites saying goodbye to her husband as her lowest point. Aside from being sad to see him go, Aarti admits that she was feeling defeated.

But this is a triumph story, Aarti may have had her rough spots, but in the end hearing them call her name was well worth it. This is ‘who I am, what I am meant to be doing.’

Susie Fogelson

The final decision that made Aarti the Star was not that difficult. This, according to judge Susie who is also Food Network’s VP of Marketing. While describing finalists Tom and Herb as amazing personalities, when it came down to it Aarti was just more marketable and the most consistent. While Tom has a great personality, Susie admits she was at a loss on figuring out how to work with him in a business sense. Susie called it “hard to imagine” what business they could go into together. This problem was not the same with Herb. While Susie admits that she found Herb easily marketable his inconsistent performance was hard to keep up with. Compare that to Aarti’s knockout performances and her great back story the decision was easily made. Susie describes Aarti’s winning combination so potent that Brad himself wouldn’t have won, even if he had made it to the finale (which he didn’t {sour grapes.})

By the way, Food Network announced that contestant Tom Pizzica will be premiering his own show as well. Outrageous Food will premiere this November on Food Network.

Aarti Party will premiere next Sunday, August 22 at 12pm on the Food Network.

For more on The Next Food Network Star, click here.

Sundays at 9/8c on Food Network

Photographs courtesy of Food Network.

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