The Next Food Network Star

Set your DVR’s for Season 7 of “Food Network Star” on Sunday, June 5; the culinary world’s equivalent of “American Idol.”

Bobby Flay returns as host and judge, and there’s new judge Giada de Laurentiis. L.A. is the star of the two-hour season premiere, as the finalists find themselves facing challenges staged at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the city’s Original Farmers Market.  Alton Brown will help competitors answer that all-important question — what’s your culinary point of view? — and then the contestants will serve up a four-course meal to judges and special guests, including “Extra” host Mario Lopez.

Adding to the star quotient: Finalists will visit the set of ABC’s hit series “Cougar Town” and create custom meals for cast and crew, including Courtney Cox and show creator Bill Lawrence, and there will be stop-ins with the likes of such network celeb chefs as Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Melissa d’Arabian, Paula Deen, Ina Garten, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine, the Neelys, Rachael Ray and Michael Symon.

If you just can’t wait until June 5, go to Next Food Network Star for casting videos. (LA TIMES)

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