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'Food Network Star' returns with new name, new judge and three local competitors

April 11, 2011 |  2:05 pm

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Season 7 of "Food Network Star" begins June 5 with a new name and three local competitors determined to take home the title: Katy Clark of Long Beach, Penny Davidi of Los Angeles and Jyll Everman of Glendora are in the running for the culinary world's equivalent of "American Idol."

L.A. is the star of the two-hour season premiere of the show, which is the channel's biggest hit. The finalists will find themselves facing challenges staged at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the city’s Original Farmers Market. Alton Brown will help competitors answer that all-important question -- what's your culinary point-of-view? -- and then each contestant will serve up a four-course meal to judges and special guests including "Extra" TV host Mario Lopez.

Bobby Flay returns as host and judge, and there's a new judge in town: Giada de Laurentiis. (I am mildly disappointed. She was outstanding as a mentor. But I'm sure she will shine at the judge's table as well.) And there's a new name: While it used to be called "The Next Food Network Star," now it's just "Food Network Star."

Are you looking forward to the new season? What do you think about the new name? Do you know any of the local competitors? Care to tell us how you think they'll fare in this cutthroat competition?

Read more about the show at our food blog, Daily Dish, including a look at the rest of the competitors and how you can get a look at casting videos.

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--Rene Lynch
Twitter/renelynch

Photo: Season 7 "Food Network Star" competitors. Credit: Food Network

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