Eddie Jackson's primetime series to debut in late fall
After a fiercely competitive 11th season, "Food Network Star" concluded Sunday night with Eddie Jackson of Houston named the winner of the series grand prize: his own show on Food Network.
A former NFL player who became a personal trainer, food truck owner and private chef, Eddie proved to be the ultimate culinary champion. He was known for his charismatic personality, charm under pressure and spectacular cooking skills. Eddie's take on food, which combines his southern background with his passion for rich, bold flavors, consistently distinguished him with the judges and audience over the 11-episode season.
Leading into the finale, this outing of "Food Network Star" averaged a 1.0 rating among adults 25-54, up 15 percent from last season. In the series, culinary icons Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay led the charge to find the next promising face in food television. This year's finale came down to finalists Eddie, Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and Dom Tesoriero (Staten Island).
The winner's show will premiere late fall 2015 in primetime.
"The camera loves Eddie Jackson. He came to this competition with impeccable cooking skills, tremendous on-air charisma and that innate 'Star' quality. Add in the focus and determination from his days as an athlete, and Eddie was a clear standout among this very talented cast," said Bob Tuschman, general manager and senior vice president at Food Network. "We are excited to bring his energy, charm and passion for food to the network."
Eddie is a former NFL player who is a fierce competitor both in the kitchen and on the field. Now a private chef and personal trainer, he also owns a Caribbean grill-inspired food truck in Houston. In Eddie's world, there is no need for a "cheat day," because his good-for-you food is packed with flavor and does not leave one feeling deprived.
In addition to his own show on Food Network, Eddie will make an appearance at the upcoming Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival this October and be featured in Food Network Magazine.