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Fred Smoot, Next Food Network Star

Posted by Matt Terl on July 8, 2009 – 10:53 am

The Next Food Network Star is one of my summer TV guilty pleasures. Just about any cooking reality show can safely be classed as one of my guilty pleasures, actually, but I feel particularly guilty about NFNS this season, largely because I can’t stand any of the contestants. I’m sure they’re all perfectly lovely people, but I have no interest in watching any of them host anything.

This has put a real damper on my enjoyment of the show, and I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to think of how it could be improved next season. Up until today, the best suggestion I had come up with was eliminating multiple contestants in one episode, but a video on NFL.com has provided an option that I really should’ve thought of myself:

The Food Network — much like professional bowling and radio color commentary — needs Fred Smoot. Check out this tour of the team’s dining area from NFL Total Access:

He’s got a distinct culinary point of view — count how many times he mentions the rich food heritage of his Mississippi upbringing — and excellent camera presence. Sure, in the course of this brief video he misidentifies quail as “river pigeon” and needs Colt Brennan’s help to make a smoothie, but is that so much worse than anything this year’s NFNS contestants have done?

No, no it isn’t. Once Smoot’s done with the whole bowling thing, this is what absolutely needs to be next.

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