TV: ‘Next Food Network Star’ casting in Waikiki

Aug. 30, 2011 | 2 Comments

Food Network casting director Jennifer Dubin, left, welcomes Cary Peterson into the audition room on Tuesday, Aug. 30. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

BY STEVEN MARK / smark@staradvertiser.com

Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis wannabes lined up to get a shot at becoming the next “Food Network Star” as the reality TV series held an open casting call today at the Sheraton Waikiki.

By 11 a.m., 80 hopefuls had signed up for five-minute interviews with casting producer Jennifer Dubin.

Donna Haarman, left, and Angela Gonzalo show some personality while waiting for their turn to audition at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel on Tuesday, Aug. 30. (Star-Advertisr photo by Dennis Oda)

Contestants filled a waiting room and a waiting area overlooking the crashing waves off Waikiki to audition for season 8 of the show, which last year chose comedian-turned-sandwich specialist Jeff Mauro to host his own television program.

“They have to have the culinary know-how, they have to have that star quality, and they have to have that passion for food, and that camera presence,” said Dubin, who had been given lei, fruit and other gifts by some of the auditioners. “You got to be able to ‘take a room.’ It seems like we have some great people here, so hopefully we got some ‘Next Food Network Star’ candidates.”

Auditioners were eager to express their ideas and plans for the show. Cary Peterson, who owns Kohala Burger & Taco on the Big Island, said, “I want to prove to the world that Mexican food and hamburgers are real food, and that they take real skills and real background and real levels of execution to do perfectly every time.”

Food Network casting director Jennifer Dubin shows off a lei she received during the casting call. She said the people who auditioned on Tuesday, Aug. 30 were very warm and friendly. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

Though he had no experience performing on television, Peterson said: “Every day’s a show at my place. I’m on the grill every day and pretty much know everybody who comes in. They come back in and talk to me every day and find out what’s good, what’s fresh, what’s special.”

Jessica Stare, who owns a Pilates studio and physical therapy clinic in Kailua, wanted to emphasize healthful, affordable and convenient ways to eat well.

“We talk to people about health and nutrition and their bodies every day,” said Stare, whose previous experience before a camera was making an exercise DVD. “And I just love to eat and I love to teach.”

Jessica Stare flashes a smile to show off her personality during the casting call at the Sheraton Waikiki on Tuesday, Aug. 30. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

Dave Josephson saw the chance to be on television as a business opportunity that happily coincided with his many interests. He is a fishing boat captain, real estate broker and writer, having authored a book, “The Macho Man Diet,” which chronicled his own weight-loss travails.

“I can go catch my own food, hunt lobsters, get mahi, ahi, ono, go shoot a pig and deer, and film myself killing it, catching it, then bringing it back to the kitchen and cooking it,” he said. “I’ve been doing it my whole life.”

Dave Josephson shows off his Macho Man Diet before his casting interview. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

Josephson has filmed cooking videos to promote his book on the Internet, but was using the income from selling real estate on Maui to make them. With Maui’s economy struggling, he said he moved to Oahu recently to make ends meet. Having his own show on the Food Network would allow him to “just drop everything else,” he said.

His dream would be to “open my own bar, Captain Dave’s, and put my show in the bar.”

Carolyn Lee shows off pictures she planned to share during her casting interview. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

Colleen Gillis waits in a hallway at the Sheraton Waikiki before her casting interview. She said she flew to Hawaii from Utah for the opportunity to be interviewed. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

Former UH football player Grant Sim, front, waits outside the interview room with Heidi Haliniak, Keoki Naylon and Peter Frank Haliniak, left. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stacy-Dow/1387337772 Stacy Dow

    Cary Peterson: I have worked with Cary and known him for 25 years.Not only a showman and fun to be around,he is someone I would love to watch.A plus is that he knows his way around a kitchen and is a fabulous chef..Yum!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stacy-Dow/1387337772 Stacy Dow

    Cary Peterson: I have worked with Cary and known him for 25 years.Not only a showman and fun to be around,he is someone I would love to watch.A plus is that he knows his way around a kitchen and is a fabulous chef..Yum!