Tom Pizzica's Star Turn

In season six of The Next Food Network Star, Tom Pizzica made an uncertain start ... but turned the game around to become one of the competition's final three contenders.

Photo By: Peter Thron

Ready, Set ... Go

After taking his place on the Star set, Tom, second from the right, anxiously awaited instructions for his first test of culinary skill of The Next Food Network Star Season 6 competition.

No Worries

Tom took a moment to reflect in Episode Two. (How was he always so chill?)

Red Carpet Fever, Travolta-Style

Tom strutted his stuff for the Week Three Star "Grammy Party" Challenge. Judge Susie Fogelson praised him in the evaluation: "You got some mojo. You exuded confidence and warmth."

Pepper Pizzazz!

In Week Four the finalists created a unique pepper dish for Bobby Flay's Camera Challenge. Tom's approach to the competition: Asian-style stuffed poblanos.

Ring-a-Ding-Ding

Aarti Sequeira, The Next Food Network Star winner, Brianna and Tom reflect on what modern versions of classic '50s dishes they'll create for the fabulous Star Challenge at Frank Sinatra's Palm Springs estate in Week Six.

Close Call

With the competition heating up in Episode Seven, Tom was beyond relieved to realize he was safe for another week.

Then There Were Five

The five remaining finalists checked out the Star set, outfitted with individual stations featuring signs with each hopeful's point of view. The surprise? Their families were waiting off-camera to bring them their least favorite ingredient ... to use in the next challenge!

Huggin' It Out

Tom was thrilled to see his fiancee during the "visiting hours" in Week Eight.

Final Four Calling

Tom's attention to detail (along with some inspired story-telling) paid off big during his presentation to Eva Longoria Parker at her restaurant, Beso.

Kitchen Stadium Battle Begins

The Final Four duel it out in an intense round of Iron Chef America at NYC's Chelsea Market in the Kitchen Stadium.

Bacon Blahs

Tom and Aria Kagan weren't too excited about working with bacon as their main ingredient in the Iron Chef challenge.

Intimidation Factor

Tom didn't show it, but presenting in front of the judges in the Stadium had to fray his last nerve. Not. He made it to the Finale!

Follow My Lead

Food Network star Rachael Ray spent time with Tom on the set before shooting his pilot, explaining how he could fine-tune his demo to keep it on track.

Lights, Camera, Action

After a couple of rocky starts, Big Chef got focused and aced his presentation.

Thanks, Director Ray

Feeling great about his finished pilot, Tom was ready to kick back and relax ... until the screening.

Fought the Good Fight

"I believe I have the chops, the imagination and the humor to get millions of people to stop fearing the kitchen and be bold in it," Tom said at the beginning of the competition. He gave it all he had, winning millions of fans along the way.