5@5 - 'Next Food Network Star' Winner Aarti Sequeira
August 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Spoiler alert all you TiVo devotees: Aarti Sequeira is the "Next Food Network Star."

The CNN producer (Editors' Note: woot!) turned culinary school graduate turned blogger was crowned the winner of season six on last night's finale. Born in Bombay, India and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Aarti's recipes spruce up American classics with unique Indian influences. No time to dilly-dally on the victory though: Aarti's new show, "Aarti Party," is set to premiere Sunday, August 22 on the Food Network.

With the NFNS title now under her belt, Aarti is sharing her menu to celebrate. Don't be tardy to the Aarti Paarti!

5 Things I’ll Make Now That I Won "The Next Food Network Star": Aarti Sequeira

"Carrots, fennel, tomatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, lemons - when I come back from the farmers market and I'm not sure what to do with all that organic booty, I just toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper and some ground coriander and bung it in the oven. That gave birth to one of my favorite meals from the past few weeks: Roasted Root Jumble with Halloumi and Polenta. Oh dear heart. I want some now."

2. White gazpacho
"I make a version with cucumbers, green grapes, almonds and yogurt (I made this on my online show, 'Aarti Paarti,' much to Heidi and Spencer Pratt's surprise.) You basically throw it all in a blender with some other special ingredients and you've got a delicious, cooling lunch ready to go."

3. Greek yogurt with sliced bananas, sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey
"This used to be my 'dessert' when I was a chubby little kid. I still think of it as a special treat, especially with that Greek yogurt. Even the 2 percent kind is so thick that I feel like I'm eating a vat of cream cheese. And who doesn't like eating a vat of cream cheese? No? Oh."

4. Quinoa pilaf
"I made this for the selection committee during the show, and impressed Melissa d'Arabian, last year’s winner. Quinoa is great for lazy day cooking because it's packed with complete proteins, but it cooks in only 20 minutes. And, you can flavor it any way you wish! I make mine with onions, lots of ground ginger, turmeric and coriander, and then whatever dried fruit and nuts I have around. A flourish of grapefruit zest and juice, and you're done. Easy-peasy dinner."

5. The Halloumi Cheese plate
"My husband's hands-down favorite meal requires no effort on my part at all! Halloumi cheese (a hard cheese from Cyprus that has such a high melting point that you can fry up slices in a pan so it gets a golden-brown, crispy crust. Salty, crispy, cheesy heaven), sliced avocado, sliced tomato and maybe a sausage or two, all dressed with some lemon juice. "

What's your go-to party menu? Dish it out in the comments below.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Next Food Network Star • Television • Think

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Jessica Jacobs

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    June 22, 2014 at 12:03 am |
  2. Indian Chic

    I must say Aarti sucks. Having been born and brought up in India for a long time, I know what Indian food is like. She is just a shame to the Indian food. Food being the major part of our lives, every woman in the household is a great chef. An average Indian cook would outperform her. She says she adds Indian twist to the classic American food. But all she does is add Garam Masala and Turmeric to every damn thing. And you know what, Indian food is not just about Garam Masala, it's way way beyond that. Besides we don't use Garam Masala for our everyday cooking. But trust me, I have been in the US for a long time now, and I do do all these mix and match of Indian, Italian and American fusion all the time, no biggie.
    On a side note, "Sanjay Thumma" is an authentic Indian chef who lives in the US and he makes cooking really easy. I am just wondering how talented people like him are not in the Food Network show..And, no I am not paid to write this..

    September 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  3. alice mauk

    Sorry, did not approve of your choice (Aarti) but decided to give her a chance and watch her show..did not care for her (giggles too much) or her style of cooking..will not take the time to watch her again. However I do enjoy your magazine and most of your shows. Is it possible to bring some of the "non-winners" back for a series of shows?

    August 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  4. KOF

    It was obvious that Aarti Sequeira was picked from the beginning. It will be interesting to see what she can add to the menu, but she must stop that awful laugh.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  5. Sam

    So funny how if a minority wins, it's PC. If a white dude wins, it's bc of pure talent.

    It's a half hour show that airs once a week. Get over it and get a life beyond wetting yourselves over reality TV stars.

    No one gives a flying fug if you love or hate indian food or if you think curry stinks. Your latent racism is apparent...what isn't is just how bloated and rancid you mouthbreathers who get so riled up about this look.

    And to the lady who said she could have "related" more to Tom or whoever having a show – this is why your vagina is dried up and your husband is cheating on you with some Asian chick lol

    August 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  6. Sandy Johnson

    I think it is funny, they cut her down the whole time the show was airing. I think they just needed someone to cook indian food. I am very dissapointed with the results. I will not watch the next season of the show. YOU CHEATED TOM OR HERB OUT OF THE TITLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shame on you Bobby Flay

    August 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Rose

      Don't know what show you were watching,but all I ever seen was ALL the judges complimenting Aarti's food. The Iron chef competition show she blew everyone away! As with alot of the other shows. WTG Aarti !

      August 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  7. kar

    I think what a lot of people are forgetting is that we only see a fraction of what actually happens. We don't get to see everything. We see what the producers want to show us. I knew that Tom didn't win because they did what was necessary to fool us and/or surprise us. I see it a lot on reality shows.

    I do admit that I was a little disappointed, but Aarti really has much that the network doesn't have and it should be very interesting. She's very sweet and I gotta say - not an Indian food fan at all and yet every time she cooked I really wanted to try her food. I'm definately going to do that. I wish her the best!

    August 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
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