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Next Food Network Star

Jeffrey Saad was the runner up on the most watched show season 5 of Next Food Network Star.

NFNS Photo


47 Comments leave one →
  1. Michele Young permalink
    October 8, 2009 5:36 pm

    Jeffrey, I think you are an amazing chef and I love watching you cook. I was so disappointed that you ddidn’t get a FN show…but I’m hoping you will be on a network soon. I made your fish tacos with anise seed and mole sauce today, and my husband said he wanted to have it again tomorrow night. He also said it tasted like something from a restaurant, and it only took me 30 minutes to make! I’m so glad you have more recipes on this site; I will be visiting often.
    Michele Young
    Tampa, Florida

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      October 9, 2009 7:50 am

      thank you Michele. you are the reason I exist!!! i love to hear that. Enjoy and keep in touch. Jeffrey 🙂

  2. October 16, 2009 4:04 pm

    Really like this site, would you mind if I link to it from my blog?

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      October 23, 2009 9:12 am

      sure, thanks 🙂

  3. Elpida F. permalink
    November 1, 2009 7:38 am

    Jeffrey, watching you cook on “The Next Food Network Star” every week reignited my passion for food and experimenting with different flavors. You reminded me that daily cooking for one does not have to be boring. You made it look so easy! Your passion for food, as you were describing the different flavors, is contagious. I’m hooked!

    I’ll be checking your website regularly for recipes and tips.

    Thank you,
    Elpida F.
    New York, NY

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 2, 2009 3:32 pm

      You are the reason I exist!! Thank you for that. Thanks for the support and for following the blog. Enjoy!

  4. Cindy Montano permalink
    November 4, 2009 2:05 pm


    I just wanted to say how excited I am to discover this website and your videos on the! I loved you on the Next FN Star, and was very disappointed that you didn’t get your own show. The premise of your show speaks to my heart. I’m always in the store looking for new ingredients to try. I really enjoy your videos on spotlighting different individual ingredients.

    Hope to see more of you on the network!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 7, 2009 10:59 pm

      Thank you Cindy. Hearing that is what makes it all worthwhile. Thanks so much for the support! Keep cooking 🙂

  5. Zack permalink
    November 8, 2009 2:20 am

    Jeffrey, you are the man!! I really wish and hope you will be on TV someday. You were my favorite contestant from the start, i was fairly certain from the first episode to almost the end it was going to come down to you and Michael or you and Debbie, and you pretty much proved you can own both their culinary points of view. I like Melissa and think she seems really sweet and all, but i just kept expecting her to lose up to the last episode. I tried to adjust to watching her show but it seems too designed for houswives, its just not the show for me. The fact that her overall show is different from her pilot makes me think maybe it was a set-up and they may have been considering her all along, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t awesome and don’t deserve it.

    The only finalists of season 5 i didn’t really like were Brett, Eddie, and Teddy because i found the way they seemed to be bullying Melissa very unsportsmanlike and uncool. I don’t like guys who bully women which is something i’m sure we have in common. Another reason i didn’t like Eddie is because of how he cheated you out of a win in that Esquire magazine challenge which i feel your dish should have won; I mean, come on.. How often do you see a middle-eastern recipe in a magizine?

    Anyways; I hope your Spice Smuggler show or something similar airs on TV someday. What would be great is if you could take us at least sometimes to a market within the country/region where the spice/ingredient originates from. Honestly, you deserve two shows; It’d be cool if you could do live shows too, i’d fly to wherever just to sit in the audience and see you cook live. Not bringing you onboard wasv the biggest mistake in their nearly 17 year history.

    Take care and good luck,
    Your fan and loyal viewer for life,

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 8, 2009 10:10 pm

      Hello Zack, thank you so much, means a lot, really! If you make it to LA I am opening for Guy Fieri at the Gibson theatre in Universal city on December 17th. It is going to be great. Keep an eye out. I am determined to have a show. Take care and thanks again! Warmly, Jeffrey 🙂

  6. Lyla permalink
    November 16, 2009 7:55 pm

    Watching you cook on season five of the next iron chef was so inspiring and enjoyable. I was extremely dissapointed when you ended up taking 2nd place, but I have a feeling you will be very successful in the food business. I was a fan of yours from the beginning, and will continue to be so! Good luck in the future, and I truly hope you get a cooking show one day.
    Love, Lyla

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      November 18, 2009 5:26 pm

      Hello Lyla, Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Keep an eye out for me. I plan to have a show. Thanks for checking out the blog. Keep in touch! Warmly, Jeffrey

  7. Cecilia permalink
    December 1, 2009 8:21 pm

    Hola Jeffrey, My boyfriend and I just watched the finale of the show tonight. We thought you both deserved to win, but you were the favorite so we’re a little disappointed. We thought you shined from the first episode and that your show idea is unique and captivating. We are fans for sure! We live in Lima, Peru and we have many wonderful flavors that you should try. If you have never tried a rocoto pepper I encourage you to do so. I know you will love the combination of sweetness and heat. We use rocoto in our world famous ceviche and we love to blend it into different creams for use on just about anything you want to spice up. Check it out. con carino desde Peru! – Ceci

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      December 3, 2009 9:19 am

      Hola Cecilia! Gracias. Acabo de comer a Le Mar in San Francisco. Un restaurante Peruviana famosa? Forgive my bad Spanish. I love the flavors of your country and am just now starting to learn about them. thank you for watching the show. Que tenga un buen dia! Jeffrey 🙂

  8. Pafalona permalink
    January 5, 2010 10:30 am

    I actually believe that not winning the Food Network competition was the best thing that could have happened to you. If you had won, all your energies would have been focused on a specific show with narrow boundaries, with all the usual suspects weighing in with their final judgments. Good chance you will have your own show at some point but it will be more well thought out and come as a result of a more natural evolution as opposed to a slapped together effort to satisfy the requirements of the competition.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      January 7, 2010 3:33 pm

      Thank you Pafalona. You are so nice! I am determined to make it happen. I appreciate your support!

  9. Jeffrey Saad permalink
    April 4, 2010 1:33 pm

    Did you hear from my agent Tim? Take care and thanks. Just got back in town.

  10. Beth permalink
    April 23, 2010 6:37 pm


    Where are your restaurants located?
    I live in L.A. and hope to come taste some of your food!!
    What an honor.
    Do you still keep in touch with any finalists, like Melissa??



    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      April 25, 2010 8:07 am

      Hello again Beth, we are moving to San Francisco this June and plan to open a restaurant there by Spring. Keep an eye here on the blog for the opening date. I live in LA now. Hopefully we can connect. Check out the “events” section of the blog to see where I am at next. Thanks for the support. I am working on a food truck that should hit the streets of LA in the next few months as well. Take care and keep eating well! Best, Jeffrey 🙂

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      April 25, 2010 8:08 am

      ps love all the contestants. We email each other now and then. Some more than others. We will all share an incredible bond forever but we are all also busy with our separate lives all over the country so it can be tricky keeping in touch. Thanks for asking.

  11. Beth permalink
    April 23, 2010 6:39 pm

    Also Jeffery….

    Can you think of a way to cook with Daikon?? Is it good roasted, or steamed?


    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      April 25, 2010 8:04 am

      Hello Beth, You can pretty much treat it like you would a radish. Shred it thin and pickle it with rice wine vinegar and chile flakes to serve as a garnish or side salad. You can boil it and then puree it with some hot chile sauce you use it as a condiment for fish or sushi. I hope that helps! Enjoy and thanks for reading. Best! Jeffrey.

  12. April 25, 2010 9:03 am

    please leave a comment

  13. April permalink
    May 19, 2010 12:19 pm

    i just found this site, i was questioning fn about when you would be on!! (because let’s face it, the only reason the other one won was because they already had that show concept and she fit into it better) who’d want to watch you make $10 meals???!!! 😀 but anyway, i’m on the lookout for your new show, hope it’s soon!!!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      May 20, 2010 1:38 pm

      Hello April, thank you for the support! Keep an eye out. i am not stopping until it happens. Take care and stay in touch! Best, Jeffrey 🙂

  14. Meagan permalink
    May 25, 2010 7:14 pm

    Hi Jeffrey! I just discovered your site from the link on Food Network. I’m so glad you’re continuing to pursue a TV show! (And a restaurant, too, wow!) Unfortunately we live in Alabama, so I don’t think we’ll be able to stop by your restaurant when it opens, but I’m looking forward to your TV show.

    Best Wishes!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      May 26, 2010 7:39 am

      Hello Meagan, Thanks for the support! Hopefully I will have a gig in Alabama and see you then! Take care, Jeffrey 🙂

  15. Lisa Passo permalink
    June 6, 2010 10:53 am

    Jeff, I may not be a daredevil in the kitchen with exotic ingredients but I love to cook and bake… The finale was on FN the other day and I was hoping you’d win…. we don’t need another budget meal….we all can do that…I found you interesting and although I don’t watch FN as much as I used to (find it boring lately…outside of Ina and Giada who genuinely love cooking and enjoy eating!!! ) Me too! I found you to be down to earth and really had an education of the food you were preparing….. FN is supposed to be educational and I found you to be that…. Personally, I think you are better off not winning… second best doesn’t mean you lost! You’ve won the hearts of many inspiring cooks who look for food outside the box! We have a world of ingredients out there… and you are the just the person to let us know what they are! Good luck! Your family is blessed to have you in there lives!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      June 6, 2010 12:42 pm

      Hello Lisa! Thank you for watching and for checking out my blog. I appreciate the support!! Lots more to come…. Take care and keep on enjoying your cooking! Best, Jeffrey

  16. Ginny permalink
    June 15, 2010 8:09 pm

    Jeffrey – You had me at your Harissa Steak Sandwich and have never looked back. Hearing of your adventures at Farmers Market, outings with your children and lovely wife, and now your move to San Francisco, the city of dreams, brings zing to my day. You are an inspiration in every way. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      June 18, 2010 12:19 pm

      Wow Ginny, you are so nice. thank you!!! Keep in touch and I will do my best to keep it coming 🙂 Warmly, Jeffrey

  17. Lisa P. permalink
    June 18, 2010 5:23 pm

    I find the Spice Smuggler inspiring…. you really enjoy what you do and it shows….. that’s wonderful! Enjoy life and every moment it brings to you!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      June 21, 2010 10:59 pm

      Thank you Lisa, I truly do and am so grateful for it! Best to you and yours! Jeffrey

  18. Lisa P. permalink
    June 18, 2010 5:28 pm

    P.S. Have a wonderful Father’s Day…. I imagine an abundance of great food on your table!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      June 21, 2010 10:58 pm

      Thank you Lisa! It was great.

  19. Himani Singh permalink
    June 26, 2010 5:26 pm

    Jeffrey, I still can’t believe that you were not chosen as the Next Food Network Star. Melissa is good but to me she seems just like another Rachel Ray. Your cooking , your presence on the camara and food ideas were very different from the others. Keep cooking and I would love to see you on Iron Chef. Hope your new resteraunt goes well, I would love to visit it since I live in the SF Bay Area!


    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      June 28, 2010 8:05 am

      Hello Himani, Thank you so much for the support! Take care and keep in touch! Best, Jeffrey

  20. Andrew B. permalink
    June 27, 2010 9:24 pm

    Hey Jeffrey! My fiance and I are HUGE fans! We wish you would have won on Food Network Star and were just thinking back to your season so we looked up your web site. Hope to see you on television soon. We were saying how great you are at using descriptive words when you discuss your recipes. Keep it up, and I have no doubt you will make it as a star yet!

    PS: The candidates on Food Star this year, don’t even compare to your caliber. You’d easily win hands down this season! lol

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      June 28, 2010 8:04 am

      Hello Andrew, THank you and please tell your fiance the same (congratulations by the way!) Be married is the greatest, enjoy! Keep an eye out. I have lots of great stuff in the works. Watch for my “Grill It” episode with Bobby Flay this summer (don’t know the air date yet). Take care and thank you so much for reading and for your support!! I hope you are eating something tasty! Warmly, Jeffrey

  21. Lana permalink
    July 13, 2010 6:12 am

    Hi Jeffrey,
    It is wonderful to know you are busy and loving what you are doing! Food is multi-cultural, non-denominational, non-discriminatory and meets everyone where they are….hungry! Regardless of the condition of our nation, rich or poor, we all NEED food! It is the best business to be in…always desired, constantly evolving and unmistakably popular! Looking forward to seeing you on Grill It…and learning more of how you are using your God-given talents. I loved the “Spice Smuggler” and I hope you get to use that catch phrase wherever you plant your fork! My family and I watched last year’s episodes of FN Star with gusto…cheering you on to the end. For some reason this year the gusto is not so much there…different group of folks, different mix of personalties…Season Five was a happening group with memorable moments and sparky situations! We are your fans Jeffrey, keep it coming. Happy Eating! Lana, Doyle, Andrew and Alexis

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      July 15, 2010 2:00 am

      Hello Lana, Doyle, Andrew and Alexis! I thank you for your awesome words and support! There are lots of good things coming so keep in touch. I hope to add a little value to your family one dish at a time! Take care and thanks again. Warmly, Jeffrey 🙂

  22. George C. permalink
    August 1, 2010 6:34 pm


    I loved your Achiote grilled sea bass, I use Shai fish. Bro, if I new you were in San Francisco I would have loved to stop by. I lived in the City for 17 years until 2009 when I moved down to Newport Beach.

    Take it easy man and keep cooking man!!


    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      August 2, 2010 8:01 pm

      Hello George, we just missed each other. I just moved from LA to SF last month. Take care and thanks for watching/reading. Keep in touch. Best, Jeffrey

      • George C. permalink
        August 7, 2010 1:29 pm

        Thanks Jeff,

        Next time I’m up in The City I will stop by your restaurant to have a bit & bev 🙂 Question for you, when I’m using the Achiote Paste and grilling the Sea Bass or whole fish, how do you manage the fish not sticking to the grill? I use Pam and oil a bit but still had the skin stick a bit. Thanks!! George

      • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
        August 8, 2010 8:30 am

        Hello George, that is the right question! The key is to make sure the grill is really hot. I like to keep one side of the grill cooler. Get a good sear on the hot side, it won’t stick and then you can move it to the cooler side so it doesn’t burn. Also take a towel with a good amount of oil (canola or any high heat tolerant oil) and rub the grates of the grill just before placing the fish on. The thicker your grill grates are the more heat they retain and the less likely your food is to stick. That is the one thing I always look for when buying a grill – heavy, cast iron, coated grill grates. I hope that helps. Thanks for watching and for cooking it up!! Cheers. Jeffrey 🙂


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