Brett August

Brett, 32 (New York, N.Y.), keeps busy as the executive sous chef at Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Rye Brook, N.Y., where he has worked for 11 years while enjoying the music, sports and culinary scene in his native New York City. Inspired to cook by his father at a young age, Brett's culinary point of view focuses on simple food for the home cook. The New York Restaurant School graduate exudes passion and ambition in and out of the kitchen.

Food specialty: Can't say that I have one specialty. My mom raised me on Italian and just good home cooking, but when it comes to my job, I use a lot of different food styles to feed so many people.

Favorite restaurant: Living in the Big Apple gives me the best options in the world, so right now I'm going with Commerce, Prune, Lucky Strike, and Balthazar.

Three foods you can't live without (other than bread or water): Very tough; I have done a lot of thinking about this and have come up with pizza, Coca-Cola, and steak.

Food you won't go near: Silly question; being a chef there is nothing I won't attack food wise. I'm a very adventurous eater.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: I have eaten many strange things during my time, but one of the weirdest was rattlesnake.

Interests: I love sports, house music, different cultures, good wines, and my nieces and nephew.

Favorite Food Network chef: This is very tough for me, but if I had to pick one it would be Morimoto.

Favorite shows (doesn't have to be Food Network): When it comes to my favorite shows I am old school: The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford and Son and the ultimate Talk Soup.

Favorite food destination: Nothing beats Cape Cod; the fresh fish during the summertime is amazing. When I'm there with my girl, we always eat at The Lobster Pot. Plus, my parents have been taking me there since I was a kid.

Culinary inspirations: The biggest inspiration is my mom. She had me in the kitchen since I was a kid. Then there is James Gamberdella who straightened me out and showed me the right way to run a kitchen.

Three people, alive or dead, whom you'd like to invite to a dinner party: If I had to choose three people to eat with it would be Anthony Bourdain, Michael Jordan and Tupac Shakur.

Favorite books: Very easy to pick out my favorite books: No Reservations, Gone Bamboo, and the best of all Kitchen Confidential.

Favorite movies: The movies I love are Sweeny Todd, Do the Right Thing, Arthur (all of them), and the best right now is Young Frankenstein.

Why do you think you should be the Season 5 Food Network Star? I should be the Food Network Star because I love cooking and teaching people about food, but most of all I love being in front of the camera.

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