On Sunday, the Food Network debuts the new season of an 11-week series, Food Network Star, which will feature 12 chefs competing to become the next host at the Food Network. (Catch it on Sunday, June 7, at 9pm ET.)
Normally, we might not get too excited about such a thing, but one of the 12 chefs in the competition is DC’s own Alex McCoy, who started up Duke’s Grocery (1513 17th St. NW, DC) in Dupont Circle and recently left it to open new ventures in the city.
Chefs participating in the program are required to demonstrate great skills in the kitchen but also to dazzle on camera under the guidance of Food Network hosts Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.
Alex appeared on Good Morning Washington on Tuesday morning to discuss the show and to share secrets of using leftover BBQ meat to make a quick Thai meal. Watch him in action:
Regardless of the outcome of Food Network Star, Alex plans to open two DC restaurants in the near future with his business partner Hunter Campbell, who has been establishing nightlife venues like the Mason Inn in Glover Park and the Chinese Disco in Georgetown in recent years. Last month, Tim Carman of the Washington Post broke the news of the new restaurants, revealing one would feature Asian food from Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, and the other would likely be more of a gastropub, similar to Duke’s Grocery.
In an interview with Tim, Alex said he hoped his Asian place would be similar to expat bars he encountered in Thailand while on a journey there earlier this year.
Tim Carman wrote, “[E]xpat pubs are spaces where cultures intersect and collide with neither conflict nor ceremony…. It is this atmosphere that McCoy wants to recreate with his own, still-unnamed Southeast Asian restaurant.”
I interviewed Alex last year for a feature on his background for We Love DC, where the chef discussed how he likes to see places up close and personal to get his hands dirty with making cuisine associated with certain cultures.
“In many cases, unless you’ve seen someone making that dish in its element and in the place it was created, it’s really hard to respect food the way food should be respected,” Alex told me.
So regardless of how well he does in the Food Network competition, we are looking forward to some delicious food from our globetrotting friend here in DC in the very near future.
But meanwhile: Go, Alex! My money is on you as the next Food Network Star.