Unexpected Twists as Newest ‘Food Network Star’ Winner Revealed

Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis Crown Newest Member of Food Network Family

NEW YORK -Food Network’s hit series Food Network Star concluded on Sunday, August 5th, with chef and restaurateur Christian Petroni and food novelist Jessica Tom both named season 14 co-winners. Through nine arduous episodes of culinary challenges to test their cooking and on-camera skills, both Jessica and Christian impressed mentors and judges Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, as they beat out 10 other culinary hopefuls for the ultimate title. But Christian and Jessica’s journey could not have taken more different paths – Christian (Portchester, NY) thrilling early in the competition with his charismatic personality and decadent dishes, while fan-favorite Jessica (Princeton, NJ) was eliminated during the season but earned her spot back in the competition by beating other eliminated finalists on Star Salvation. One-by-one, Jessica and Christian overcame every obstacle thrown their way, proving they have what it takes to be a Food Network Star! Heading into the finale, the 14th season of Food Network Star has been watched by over 9 million viewers and has ranked within the top 5 cable programs in its 9pm timeslot for P25-54, with +4% YOY growth for Millennial viewers (P25-34).

“Both Jessica and Christian wowed Bobby and Giada and the viewers at home throughout the season, with their unique blend of charm and culinary talent,” said Allison Page, President, Food Network and HGTV. “We are thrilled for Christian and Jessica to join the Food Network family and continue to entertain and inspire fans to follow their dreams.”

Christian Petroni grew up in an Italian family in the Bronx, where he spent countless time in the kitchen learning to make Italian feasts. Starting at a young age in the restaurant business Christian quickly fell in love with the industry, working his way up and is now the owner of restaurants in Brooklyn, Connecticut and Westchester. With his authentic home cooking and larger than life personality, Christian constantly keeps his customers coming back for more.

As a food novelist, it was destined that Jessica Tom would incorporate food into every facet of her life. An avid foodie and home cook, Jessica started out in the kitchen as a child helping her father perfect his dishes. While attending Yale Jessica wrote restaurant reviews for the college paper, and soon after graduating embarked on her first novel. In her spare time Jessica also runs a culinary blog, where you won’t find anything run of the mill to make in the kitchen.

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment whose portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.