Food Network Star, the Food Network's variant on American Idol, where cooks compete to land a contract with the channel, announced the winner of its 10th season. Nicole Gaffney, a personal chef from New Jersey, won third place, behind Luca Della Casa and Lenny McNab. Gaffney had pitched the network a show focused on coastal cuisine, and beat Sarah Penrod for the third spot in the shows finale.
The show, which is hosted by celebrity chef's Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay, has led to the success of many other Food Network show hosts, such as Guy Fieri, Justin Warner and Damaris Phillips.
Gaffney, the daughter of a fisherman, focused on seafood and fresh produce-based fishes.
"She is one of the few that really grew a ton and really learned about herself," show judge Giada De Laurentiis said of the private chef. "This is a journey, and a soul-searching journey if you want it to be. She's one of the few that really did exactly that."
The personal cook said that participating on the show has been a huge dream for her, and even though she only came in third, it has been a life-changing event. Judge Bobby Flay noted that this loss was only a "bump on the road to success" for Gaffney.
Gaffney put her private chef business on hold to participate in the show and plans to explore several options before resuming business, including launching her own television show despite the loss, according to Press of Atlantic City.
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