Prime Time Pulse Exclusive Interview: Brett August of Next Food Network Star 5


The fifth season of the Next Food Network Star started two weeks ago. Ten people who love to cook were all trying to be the next “star” on the Food Network and get their own show. The most well-known contestant of the competition is Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite, Guy Off The Hook), who won the second season competition. The second person eliminated from this season’s competition was Brett August. Brett is an executive sous chef at Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Rye Brook, N.Y., where he has worked for 11 years while enjoying the music, sports and culinary scene in his native New York City. I had the chance to ask him a few questions after we got eliminated. Here is what he had to say…

Did you try out for any of the past seasons of the Next Food Network Star?

Brett August: No, this was my first.

Why did you try out for the show?

BA: I felt it was my time to be on TV and let my personality shine. 

Explain your try-out process in detail. How many rounds/interviews did you have to go through? What did you have to do to try out?

BA: I sent in a video and filled out an application first, then they brought me in for a call-back where I did a cooking demo, then another one, a couple interviews and.. here we are. 

Did you think you would make the finals to begin with?

BA: In the beginning, yes.  I had confidence that I would be a great addition to the show.

Why did you tell the judges that you helped Melissa?

BA: Melisa was getting credit for her food when she had not actually finished the first three meals. 

Do you think that is why you got eliminated?

BA: I do not know for sure, but the time I had on the show was a lot of fun so I am not going to regret anything I did or didn’t do. 

If not, why do you think you were ultimately eliminated?

BA: I honestly can’t tell you why the judges felt my time was up, but I still enjoyed the experience. 

What did you think of Teddy not saying anything to the judges about helping Melissa?

BA: Teddy is a good friend of mine so I am certainly not going to judge his actions- I can only comment on mine.  

Did you think you were gone when it was down to you, Katie, and Eddie?

BA: I definitely had no doubt at that point is was probably me going home. 

How much Food Network did you watch before the competition?

BA: A ton.   I am a big fan of the network.  

Favorite Food Network shows? Favorite Food Network stars?

BA: Good Eats in particular.  I really respect Alton Brown.  

Who have you been most excited to meet so far?

BA: Aaron McCargo Jr from Big Daddy’s House was really nice in person.  It was also great meeting the winner of last year’s competition being a finalist.  

Anyone from The Food Network you would like to meet that you haven’t yet?

BA: Michael Symon.  He seems like a lot of fun and his food is amazing.   

Favorite meal to cook? Favorite meal to eat if different?

BA: Grilled Sirloin and French fries with truffle mayo.  It’s a classic ‘meat and potatoes’ meal.  

Did you make any friends on the show that you will keep in contact with?

BA: Yes, I really connected with everyone and looking forward to keeping in touch.  

Any finalist you didn’t like?

BA: No, everyone was really easy to get along with.

Hardest part of the competition for you?

BA: Definitely working on having camera presence- that’s the big different between being a great chef behind the scenes and one on TV.  

We have seen a few Next Food Network Star contestants that haven’t won the competition, but still get their own shows. Most promentily Adam from last season. What do you think your chances of getting your own show are?

BA: I hope the network wants to do something with me. I will keep my fingers crossed! 

What kind of show would it be? What would be the theme or “hook” of your show?

BA: One idea, ‘Taste of August’ which would focus on cooking based on memories, maybe of childhood or special occasions. I would base the show on a conversation with someone who is close to me and we would talk about something we remember and base the meal around it. 

If no Food Network future, what is next for you?

BA: Entertainment is definitely a passion of mine so maybe pursuing other TV or film opportunities.  I would also love own my own sporting franchise. 

The Next Food Network Star airs on the Food Network on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.