Star Scrapbook: Chris Hodgson

Chris Hodgson was the sixth finalist eliminated on Food Network Star, Season 9. Flip through his personal photo journal to relive the most memorable moments from his time on the show.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Nathaniel Chadwick/Creel Films ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Nathaniel Chadwick/Creel Films ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chris Hodgson

A Cleveland-based chef and restaurant owner, Chris was the sixth finalist eliminated from the competition. He delivered thoughtful dishes and presentations, but his lack of progress at the end of six weeks ultimately prevented his attempt for more.

Channeling Care

In his premiere pitch tape, Chris spoke of wanting to inspire "passion" and "compassion" in others through his food, something that left Bob Tuschman "confused." He told Chris, "I just have no idea who you are as a personality."

Sales Tactics

Thanks to his experience in the restaurant industry, Chris had no trouble convincing the audience at Burger Bash to taste his burger, but Alton warned him at evaluation that he ought to focus on marketing himself as a talent rather than simply his food. "As you move forward," Alton told him, "you need to start taking a real look at the product you're trying to sell to us, which is you."

Burger Reflections

Each finalist was given a journal to use during their time in the competition, and Chris filled his with reflections on past challenges, notes on recipes and judges' critiques. Here he jotted down his thoughts on Burger Bash, including his goals moving forward: "I need to dig deep and sell them on my cause."

Familiar Mystery

While several contestants had never before tasted or worked with their Episode 4 mystery ingredients, Chris was familiar with his: bottarga. He was aware of its salty flavor so he used it sparingly, but in the end he may have been too reserved with the product, as Alton couldn't discern it in his celery salad. "I taste no bottarga whatsoever," Alton explained.

Outcooking the Chopping Block

Working with kid-friendly ingredients like chicken nuggets, cheddar fish crackers, fruit leathers and apple juice in the Chopped-style challenge, Chris created fried chicken in just 30 minutes. "I wanted to make something old into something new," he said.

Revelation

When Bobby questioned Chris' mention of a "broken life," Chris finally told the story of his troubled past, which includes a history of substance abuse. This came as a shock to fellow finalists and the Selection Committee alike, but Alton encouraged him, saying, "You're a success story. Why would you not want to inspire people with the truth of that?"

Say It in Song

Chris joined Lovely and Rodney on Team Musical to create a movie trailer that included a promo for their themed menu. Together, the group put aside their stage fright to sing the entirety of their 60-second trailer, which was later played in front of the judges and a packed theater full of moviegoers.

Competing Flavors

While the mentors were impressed with Team Musical's willingness to sing on camera, they weren't wowed by Chris' chorizo-laced lobster macaroni and cheese. "The spicy chorizo with the lobster with the goat cheese doesn't work," Giada said.

Audibly Enthusiastic

While Chris managed to recover well from an unexpected on-camera spill, he struggled to control his volume during a live television segment with E! News co-anchor Terrence Jenkins. "Me being loud is me being passionate," Chris explained.

Stars and Stripes on the Spot

At a 4th of July Live event hosted by Alton, the finalists were tasked with cooking and answering viewers' questions live, without time to rehearse or the opportunity for do-overs. "I'm able to bring my energy down and channel it in the right direction," Chris said, pleased with his performance. The coleslaw he made for the challenge, however, wasn't as successful.

Building a Brand

Chris was concerned that his "compassion"-based point of view would be difficult to translate into a marketable food product, but he managed to create a savory apple-pepper ketchup that the judges enjoyed.

Presentation Plan

Before presenting to the panel of marketing executives and the judges, Chris penned a few ideas for what he'd tell them about his ketchup and why it was meaningful to him. "It's my childhood in a jar," he wrote, although when speaking to the group, he failed to mention this, much to his detriment.

Pitch Flop

"I just didn't feel the connection that you have with the product," one executive told Chris. After, he revealed a story about an apple orchard smokehouse that another professional told him "would have been money" had he included it in the pitch.

Saying Goodbye

After six weeks of challenges, Chris was sent home, but not before Bobby told him, "You have a lot of skill, a lot of talent." He's off to compete on Star Salvation, an exclusive Web series hosted by Robert Irvine, which will give one previously eliminated finalist the chance to return to the on-air competition. Watch the latest showdown to see how he fares.

Redemption on the Line

If Chris can survive Star Salvation, an all-new, exclusive Web series, he has an opportunity to return to the competition. Watch the latest episode to see how he fares.

Go Behind the Scenes

Browse exclusive snapshots of the finalists and judge-mentors on set, plus learn insider trivia about the show from Food Network's culinary team.

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