Utah chef Viet Pham has been showing up a lot on the Food Network this past year. Viewers can see more of him beginning June 2, as he's been announced as a contestant on the ninth season of "The Next Food Network Star."
Pham, the co-owner of Forage in Salt Lake City, beat chef Bobby Flay on an episode of "Iron Chef" last January. He was also runner-up on the "Extreme Chef" series last fall.
"The Next Food Network Star" makes a group of chefs compete in nerve-wracking challenges, with the grand prize being a series on the Food Network. Past winners include Guy Fieri of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," and Melissa D'Arabian of "Ten Dollar Dinners."
Pham is the only Utah contestant in the group, according to a Food Network press release. Judges are Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown, with a "focus group" of food fans taking part as well.
The last Utahn to compete on "The Next Food Network Star" didn't win, but eventually ended up with her own cooking series, "Kelsey's Essentials" on the Cooking Channel. In 2008, Kelsey Nixon, of North Ogden, made it all the way to the final four contestants before being eliminated. Aaron McCargo Jr. went on to win his own series, "Big Daddy's House," but viewers voted Nixon the "fan favorite."