Aarti Sequeira was named the winner of The Next Food Network Star's season six last night, beating her co-finalists Herb Mesa and Tom Pizzica. Watch the first video below for Bobby Flay's announcement of her win and Aarti's reaction.
Aarti is a former CNN producer who later trained at The New School of Cooking in LA and more recently was food blogging at aartipaarti.com and published home cooking videos on her YouTube channel, Aarti Paarti. Read more about Aarti on her bio page at the Food Network here. Aarti's recipes for her well-received dishes from the show can be found here.
Here's a complete recap of The Next Food Network Star finale from Leah Douglas at Serious Eats, and here's Rene Lynch's reaction to Aarti's win from the LA Times blog "Show Tracker":
Frankly, the judges could have picked any of the three. But Herb and Tom just couldn't outshine Aarti's sparkle. From the beginning, she had a relaxed, humorous style, and it certainly doesn't hurt that she still manages to be sexy in a way that won't turn off viewers. (Brianna, take note.)
She stood out from Day One for good reason. Her blog, her food videos and her background as a journalist made her a natural in front of the Food Network camera. Her biggest problems came from within: she was rattled by self doubt. She kept wondering whether she was good enough, smart enough, talented enough, blah blah blah. It got so bad that the judges wondered whether she would be too needy if chosen. That was Aarti's wake-up call.
Here's a video the Food Network put together to introduce you to Aarti Sequeira, some of the dishes she cooked that helped her win, and Bobby Flay announcing her as the winner last night:
And here's Aari's Pilot for now-forthcoming Aarti Party, which will debut on the Food Network soon:
Lastly, check out some episodes and recipes from "Aarti Paarti," Aarti Sequeira's YouTube cooking channel: