One-on-One with the Latest Star Contestant to Go Home

By: Sarah De Heer

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

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Every Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network's next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Food Star Kitchen.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the latest finalist to go home.

A Pennsylvania-based chef passionate about all things barbecue, Chad Rosenthal survived seven weeks of competition before ultimately being sent home. During his run, he served several winning dishes, but his inability to prove his progress thus far forced his exit.

Do you think he deserved to go home? Tell Star Talk in the comments below.

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

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

You seemed to gravitate toward Memphis-style barbecue in the beginning of the competition. Is that what you’re known for at your restaurant?

CR: Yes. My first place was a Memphis-style BBQ joint — it was all about pork, smoked low and slow over hickory wood smoke, with beans and slaw, just like you find in Memphis.

What’s your favorite style to cook at home?

CR: If you're referring to barbecue, I favor the Memphis, dry rub style of true BBQ. I love to taste the meat and smoke — the sauce can always come later. Beyond barbecue, I love comfort food. What's comfort food, you ask? Anything that makes you happy when eating it or cooking it. I can cook it all!

After working so closely together with the same group for seven weeks, you must have formed strong friendships with the cast. Any funny behind-the-scenes stories you can share?

CR: All 12 cast members are awesome and unique in their own way, especially The Barbecue Guy (if I may say). We all have huge personalities and are all used to being the "talkers" in our own settings, so when we were all together, getting a word in wasn't easy. It was actually pretty funny at times! Rodney, Chris, Viet and I started a whiskey club, outside by the pool at the hotel we were staying in near the studio. I became pretty tight with Rodney when Viet and Chris went home. Rodney had a blender by his toothbrush — that's all I can tell you!

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

Eddy Chen, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

What was your favorite moment of the competition?

CH: I won't name names, but during an interview on the 4th of July Live episode, someone told me that Bob Tuschman told him that my Philly to Texas Grilled Veggie BBQ Sandwich was the best of the day and that he actually took a sandwich back to his hotel room. That was a huge compliment!

Who do you think was the most intimidating judge/mentor? And which judge’s mentoring style was most beneficial?

CH: Alton was the most intimidating and, at the same time, made the biggest impression on me in so many ways. He's very scientific and I'm not. He's a straight shooter and taught me a lot about not only cooking, but on-camera presence. He seems to really care about the show, the outcome and teaching us as much as he can, in the short period of time that he has with us. It doesn't hurt that he likes bourbon either.

As “The Barbecue Guy,” do you have any tips for your fans who want to make authentic barbecue at home but may not have a grill or smoker?

CH: No [laughing]. My tip would be to make or go buy a smoker if you're going for authentic barbecue. No shortcuts here. You saw what happened to me when I tried to make barbecue in 30 minutes.

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