Nicole Gaffney needs to be The Next Food Network Star.  I watch three shows on Food Network.  The Next Food Network Star, Chopped, and Cutthroat Kitchen.  I have also never cooked a recipe or anything else I have seen on any show ever and the only things I can make really well are grilled cheese and tuna salad.  But none of that chnages the fact that Nicole Gaffney needs to be The Next Food Network Star.  Here’s why, starting with what the show even is and ending with my master plan for Nicole Gaffney world domination.  And if you are too lazy to read, just go vote for her, here.

What is The Next Food Network Star?


From left: Clever Alton Brown, Terrifyingly Erotic Giada De Laurentiis, Only a Good Chef Because Food Network Tells Me He is Bobby Flay.

If you have ever seen Guy Fieri then you have witnessed the fruit of the show’s loins.  The show consists of having people submit auditions to the network for the network to then make a show running the prospective employees through their paces to find their next host.

The prize is your own show.  As far as I can tell, the only one who has stuck is the aforementioned Guy Fieri who won in like, season two.  The rest of them are sort of like the people who won American Idol after the first two seasons.  Remember them?  Me either.  Which is why this is the year that Nicole Gaffney shakes things up and dominates the network for the next 20 years.  Here’s her audition, which got her on the show (obviously).

Why Nicole Gaffney?

Why have I latched onto Nicole with such zeal when I usually spend more time trying to guess who will ACTUALLY win as opposed to who I want to win?  Remember, I only watch three shows so unless she kills Alton Brown or Ted the host of chopped I will never watch her.  So why do I care?  Because for some reason I think of all the shows I wouldn’t watch, hers would be the one I would come CLOSEST to watching.  And I have some authority on this because I have seen like, every episode of the show since the season after Guy Fieri (I had never heard of it before then).  Let’s run down her skill set.

  • Nicole Gaffney: talented, stern, not gross-looking.

    Nicole Gaffney: talented, stern, not gross-looking.

    Not gross-looking.  Please note I say it that way so nobody thinks I am being creepy.  This isn’t a beauty contest, people.  May I remind you that the only famous winner of the show is Guy Fieri and he looks like the kid that went to your high school who saved up all his money for an IROC except as part of a genetic experiment gone wrong he was fused with a pineapple.  So Nicole’s photogenic…ness is a plus but doesn’t get in the way of her cooking.

  • Her culinary point of view is “coastal cuisine“.  The Food Network people never stop harping on culinary point of view because apparently it is super important to have one or the viewers won’t connect with you.  Nicole is from a family of fishermen in NJ and lives on an island off Atlantic City (just checking to see if you watched her video) which is a big plus.  So her POV makes sense and anyone can connect with it.  Also, as part of her genius, if she wins she will have a show where she needs to be on the coast.  So have fun being on the beach all the time.  Well-played Mrs. Gaffney.
  • She’s young.  According to this INTERVIEW OF HER (not that I am jealous that I didn’t get an interview or anything even though in truth I was too chicken to ask her) she is 29.  So if when she wins she could seriously run with the gig for 20 years.  She would be like Mariska Hargitay in Law and Order: SVU.  Change her hair every year, age gracefully but unapologetically, and wait out all the other Food Network Stars who will die and/or retire and become queen of the network.  Except for Giada who will never age because she drinks blood or something.
  • She runs her own website AND blog.  She gives a recap of the episodes of the show that are well-written and interesting.  So right off the bat she has won me over because I know that keeping a site going is hard work even as a hobby.  I am sure she is under a lot of gag orders or whatever from Food Network so I am impressed that she can be informative without being total schmaltz.  Plus she gets like, no comments which makes me like her more.  Not because I don’t want her to get comments, but because she is on a frigging TV show and still doesn’t pull many (yet) so I feel better about this place when it’s slow.
  • She is super accessible.  She actually talks to people on her Twitter and seems super nice.  Of course the further along she gets she will get more famous but for the time being you can actually engage with a genuinely nice person who might end up being famous which won’t help you any in your life but hey it’s the Internet so it is about the best you can hope for.
  • Even if she doesn’t win, she seems interesting enough to stick with anyway.  Again, unless you live near her I am not sure what that gets you, but you don’t live near me and I am awesome so why not?

Nicole Gaffney the Next Food Network Star

OK so I need to bring this all together.  You need to get invested in the show and root for Nicole. I have given the other contestants the once-over and let’s just say I have made the right choice.  I could use this opportunity to rip on the other people in the show but I feel like Nicole wouldn’t like that so I will just respectfully state that Nicole is better than all of them.  AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I have been staring at the screen for like, 10 minutes because I REALLY want to do a bunch of jokes about the other contestants but I promised myself I wouldn’t.  Maybe this post needs an after-show.

And since she is so clearly better, I think our best strategy is to just act like she is already the winner.  The only thing that could screw that up is if she doesn’t win but in the unlikely event that she doesn’t it will hopefully at least be many episodes from now so she has time to get some shine off the whole thing.  Also because if she loses I could be accused of cursing her since every TV show I like gets cancelled.  So let’s stick with: She already won and she will be on the network for the next 20 years.  And if you are going to spend 20 years on TV and you aren’t hosting Jeopardy! you are probably going to need a few things.  First, since she is from A.C. she should have her own theme song based on the Bruce Springsteen classic.

Burgers and fries baby that’s a fact.
When I won Food Network’s prize, never once looked back.
My meat’s always cooked well, clams are never gritty.
My name’s Nicole; I’m from Atlantic City

Then we need to come up with some shows.  You figure each one will last four years with some overlap so she needs at least five.  And the longer she is on the Network the dumber they can become (it’s like tenure I think) so here are some to choose from.

  • Seaside (her main show where she cooks beachy stuff and seafood and whatnot).
  • Get Through It.  She seems like she would be a good teacher so I am thinking she should do a show where she tells people who don’t know how to cook how to get through times when they have to, like dates or holidays or inviting the boss over.  The culinary equivalent of knowing three things about a current event so you can hang in the conversation long enough to sound smart.
  • From the Boat to Your Throat.  Not sure what it’s about but I love shows that rhyme.  I loved Minute to Win It and actually thought Guy Fieri was the perfect host so do not underestimate the power of rhyming.
  • Boardwalk Bistro.  It ties in New Jersey and says bistro in it.  She could sit there and pick her toes while corn boils and people would watch it.  It just sounds like a show that is already on Food Network.
  • We Promise It’s Not Poison.  This is a game show where the contestants have to eat super gross things and the longer they swish it in their mouths the more money they make.  The only rule is that the stuff isn’t poison.  It might not even be food.  You can eat money and shoelaces and stuff like that.  Nicole doesn’t need to necessarily host it, but I really want this show so exist.  So if you don’t win, Nicole, let’s see if we can do this as a web show.  Not sure how it wouldn’t be an instant hit.
  • Eat it Whole with Nicole!  Again, rhyming.

So there you have it.  Nicole Gaffney is the Next Food Network Star.  She has the personality and honestly it is TV so who cares if the stuff she cooks tastes good?  I mean really.  I’m sure it IS good but I’ll never know so she needs to focus on being fun and interesting.  So do what I tell you and root for her.  Follow her on Twitter.  Be a general supporter of her.  It’s not like you were going to root for anyone else in the damn show.  Now enjoy this gallery of pictures of Nicole and her food that each show off one of her winning attributes.

Audible: Calling the people in the neighborhood to her yard.  Not sure what happened after that but at least they all showed up.

Audible: Calling the people in the neighborhood to her yard. Not sure what happened after that but at least they all showed up.

Stealthy: What I assume it would look like if she ever decides sneak up behind and kill her husband.

Stealthy: What I assume it would look like if she ever decides sneak up behind and kill her husband.

Delicious: Scallops rule.

Delicious: Scallops rule.

Descriptive: A shot of Nicole when someone in the audience asked her to describe Giada's boobs.  Nailed it.

Descriptive: A shot of Nicole when someone in the audience asked her to describe Giada’s boobs. Nailed it.

Helpful: Telling ships where to dock or something.  I don't know.

Helpful: Telling ships where to dock or something. I don’t know.

Imaginative: Here we see Nicole pretending a sink is a stove.

Imaginative: Here we see Nicole pretending a sink is a stove.

Strong: Unless that surfboard is made of styrofoam.

Strong: Unless that surfboard is made of styrofoam.

Clever: Here we see toast.  But notice how she made it look like CLASSY toast.

Clever: Here we see toast. But notice how she made it look like CLASSY toast.