Bobby Flay, <EM>The Next Food Network Star</EM> Bobby Flay, The Next Food Network Star

As if the restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, and the line of sauces and rubs weren't enough, now Southwestern cuisine king Bobby Flay takes on responsibilities as host and head judge of The Next Food Network Star, which kicks off Season 4 Sunday night (10 pm/ET, Food Network).

TV Guide: There seem to be a lot of tears this season.…
Bobby Flay: They're never ready for how intense it is. This is what's great about these finalists — they are so passionate and they want it so badly that it gets really competitive.

TV Guide: What's your take on judging the contestants?
Flay: Being critical without being hurtful us the best way to go about being a judge.

TV Guide: Tonight's first challenge is: "In one sentence give your culinary point of view." What's yours?
Flay: Big, bold, exciting flavors. Period.

TV Guide: What's the best perk of being a Food Network star?
It helps me get in lots of restaurants. [Laughs]

TV Guide: Your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Flay: Probably chili peppers — there's such a range of them and they're such a big part of my flavor palate, so that's the thing that I reach for first.

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