Given the amount of celebrity chefs that drive us crazy, we try not to make a habit of watching the Food Network too terribly often. Overall, we’re happy with this strategy (leaves us more time to watch good food TV), but the downside is that occasionally, we miss very important Boston-related food news, like the fact that this season of The Next Food Network Star includes a contestant from Methuen! Not exactly a Bostonian, but still! That’s certainly better Hub representation than Top Chef has had over three seasons.
Tommy Grella, the Methuen contestant, is one of only two contestants who doesn’t currently work somewhere within the food industry. Grella, 34, is a financial planner and nonprofessional red sauce enthusiast. He counts Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain as two of his cooking inspirations (sounds like our kind of guy!) but refuses to eat innards or entrails, which seems a bit contradictory. He loves serving giant “Grella size” portions of his food, and god knows we’re down with that. We missed the season premiere on Sunday (we were busy watching another show prominently featuring Italian Americans), but judging from the elimination video on the show’s site, the judges (especially Food Network VP Bob Tuschman) seem fairly enamored with him. We’re hoping to catch the premiere when it re-airs on Thursday night and, starting next week, we’ll be bringing you recaps each Monday. Until then, gooo Boston (area)!
Representing on Reality TV: Tommy Grella on “The Next Food Network Star” [Bostonist]
The Next Food Network Star [Food Network]
Thomas Grella, Jr. [Food Network]
[Photo: The Food Network]