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Melissa d'Arabian wins The Next Food Network Star An intimate interview with the ultimate underdog

Melissa dArabian, 40 (Keller, Texas), was the dark horse on this years ! But guess what She really listened to the advice from the judges and improved dramatically every week. She stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park! Melissa combines her self-taught culinary skills, a perky and personable personality, and life experiences to create lifestyle solutions to write approachable but delicious recipes. I had the honor of interviewing Melissa after she was crowned the winner. Please enjoy what this lovely and genuine woman had to say.

How does it feel to be The Next Food Network Star
I am thrilled to be the ! I am also glad to have gone every step of the way with . Next Sunday, August 9th,is the launch of my new show: . What is so great about this show is that even if you arent on a budget, it is still a show that will make you feel empowered about cooking. The challenge is not about figuring out how to find a way to feed your kids hot dogs for dinner, but how to feed them shrimp for the same amount of money. I think people will be really surprised by the ingredients I use and recipes I have come up with!

What are you most looking forward to doing as The Next Food Network Star
I would say definitely connecting and sharing with people is top priority. That is why giving the audience personal stories is so very important to me. I want people to embrace them! I want to share war stories with not only stay-at-home Moms, but career women and men as well.

Do you feel as though the show painted a realistic picture of you Was it a true portrayal
First of all, with hundreds of hours of filming, it is impossible to fit everything into 47 minutes each week! I was floored by the editing given how much complex material they had to work with. I think the editing was very fair and captured the general story beautifully. I mean, did I just blurt out to a bunch of strangers, Hi, my mom committed suicide. network security Of course not! ! But they just cant fit everything into every shot. I thought the editing team did a phenomenal job!

Great demo during the finale! However, the show title was Kitchen Survival Guide but it was changed to Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa dArabian. That changed pretty fast. Did it throw you for a loop
Not at all, budget cooking IS a survival guide, and my waters swim deep in that area. For years as a career girl I worked on techniques to save money as well as analyze budgets. You know, find out how to work it! I think it is great topic and a much-needed one. However, the show is really about the food, and how to make delicious food. All my recipes were ones I already had and are straight from the heart.

It seems for the most part, you were a tight-knit group. If you had to collaborate with another contestant to do a show, who would it be and what would be the theme of the show
Oh wow, that is a good one. I would love to collaborate with about creating recipes for pregnant women, as it was mentioned last night in the blooper and or gag real (with a laugh), what foods are good for a woman breast feeding What you should and should not eat while you are carrying or even afterward It is an important topic and Katie would be ideal for that!

OK, I read that you are a huge fan of Jay Leno. If you could have him over for dinner, what would you prepare
Oh my goodness, Jay Leno My stomach just flipped! We are still living in boxes! I need to do research on what he likes to eat! But I would have to say, although I am not a pastry chef, some sort of pastry would have to be on the menu. It shows that you care and took the time to prepare it. It just oozes warmth and love. I am not sure what would be in it, but definitely a pastry.

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