Next Food Network Star – The Winner Is…Amy Finley!

Amy Finley

The reality show stars certainly don’t align well for Rory Schepisi. This is the second time she has finished second in a televised reality show. Despite a marketing campaign on her behalf, and despite facing the woman who originally had been eliminated, Schepisi came up short. Instead, San Diego’s Amy Finley, aka “The Gourmet Next Door,” came out on top.

I must admit I was happy to see Amy Finley come out on top. Her concept of “The Gourmet Next Door” is a show I’m waiting to see. I never did completely understand Rory’s “Backyard Bistro” as well. I’m also impressed by Amy’s genuine, easy voice with the camera. She really does look and act like someone I might find next door. Among other food reality bloggers, Amy was a popular choice. Her status as a stay-at-home mom was pleasing to some. For others, she was so popular a little jumping on the couch was in order.

The finale show on Next Food Network Star was disappointing. It had the feel of a cheap game show and Marc Summers as host was simply unable to match the intensity week after week of other Food Network stars such as Bobby Flay and Alton Brown. A glimpse into the home life of Amy and Rory was interesting. It looks like Rory will be keeping herself busy with a new restaurant and a love affair with life in small-town Texas. Amy apparently lives very close (almost like a compound) to many members of her extended family. The film shown mentioned nothing about her husband, Greg, and that has raised questions among show viewers. Perhaps we will know more as the Food Network begins to roll out Amy’s show this fall.

Congratulations Amy! Here’s to the “Gourmet Next Door!”