The Next Food Network Star and Normal People

One of the ironies about me is that I love cooking shows, but I don’t cook.  Like, at all.

For example, if you’ve hung out with me recently you know that I’m a Top Chef fanatic.  I read all the blogs, message boards, and even post a comment once in awhile.

But I don’t cook (Tina can attest to this.  My rationale is, why cook when Tina does it so well?).

Tina and I also like watching The Next Food Network Star, although we’re not as devoted to the show as much as Top Chef (btw, this season of Top Chef has made me feel uncomfortable – I’ll share in another post, perhaps).

Anyhow, this season of The Next Food Network Star just ended, and Aarti Sequeira was the winner!

I really liked all the finalists (Tom, Herb, and Aarti), and I wouldn’t be surprised if all three finalists end up with a show sometime down the line… but yeah, Tina and I were really happy for Aarti, who was our favorite.

Congratulations, Aarti!

In many respects, Aarti was the front-runner all season because she consistently made delicious food (Please watch the Iron Chef episode – “the best food I’ve ever had on Next Food Network Star” according to Chef Symon)  and was delightful to watch onscreen.  She had mad culinary skillz, a unique point of view (infusing Indian flavors into food), and clear poise and presence on the camera.

The one thing she lacked was outrageous, I’m-gonna-kill-this-competition-because-I’m-the-MJ-of-Food-Network confidence.

Meanwhile, throughout the season, there were snippets of Aarti reading a Bible, praying, and even quoting Scripture (Perfect love casts out all fear), especially when she started to lose confidence.

Aarti’s faith did not come off in-your-face but very genuine, and so I started to read her blog Aarti Paarti, and I discovered that her faith in God is indeed very important to her.  In fact, her blog sounds very much like her on the show – easily likable, excitable, passionate about food, and dependent on God.

Aarti’s bio says that she’d invite Jesus to a dinner party because he always brings the best wine.

I love that line.

One reason I get so excited about seeing “likable” Christians in the media is because the stereotype seems to be so counter to what most people think about Christians – judgmental, stiff, conservative, etc.

But Christians are just normal people, trying to find our way, looking to depend on God whenever we have the grace to remember… all the while making and eating good food, being merry with family and friends, and hoping to bless the world however we can.

Thanks, Aarti, for being so human and likable, broken yet faithful, and of course, for cooking some dang good food.

Tina and I will be watching in earnest.

I just might try to cook something, too.


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