Out with the Old, In with the New

10 Aug

Amy Finley pulled an amazing disappearing act

I was wondering the other day as to whatever happened to Amy Finley, last year’s winner of The Next Food Network Star series. She won the competition, received a ton of accolades and publicity, and then quickly faded into oblivion. I never saw her show (titled “The Gourmet Next Door”) although I’ve learned that about 6 episodes aired in late 2007. My wife Eileen did a quick web search and found the story you see below. Guess this falls into the category of “Be Careful What You Wish For.”

Amy Finley was the winner of the third season of The Next Food Network Star. She originally attempted to remove herself from the competition following a disastrous five-minute cooking demonstration in Week 5, but was rebuffed by the judges. She was eliminated in Week 7, but after Josh “JAG” Garcia withdrew from the competition for lying about his culinary and military background, Amy was reinstated for the finale in his stead, and she was voted the winner over runner-up Rory Schepisi.

The Gourmet Next Door was named after the theme she adopted through the competition, demonstrating the ease of cooking like a gourmet chef at home. The show aired from October 14 to December 23, 2007, for a total of six episodes, after which it was quietly replaced in its timeslot with reruns of Guy’s Big Bite. Following months of speculation, Finley revealed in May 2008 that she had voluntarily turned down the opportunity to return for a second season, citing the stress of the obligations of being a television personality. She currently resides in Burgundy, France with her family.

Finley is a married mother of two children, a son named Indiana and a daughter named Scarlett. In addition to writing, Amy also works as a caterer and is a homemaker. Her favorite food is eggplant, and she dislikes veal and bok choy. She attended École Gregoire-Ferrandi in Paris, and is the author of a travel book on Italy, The Adventurer’s Guide to the Italian Riviera. Her culinary inspiration is Julia Child.

Aaron McCargo, Jr. (aka Big Daddy) was the winner of the ’08 competition

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