Melissa d'Arabian wins "Next Food Network Star" season five

Melissa d'Arabian wins "Next Food Network Star" season five

The Food Network’s version of “American Idol” has crowned its fifth-season winner of “The Next Food Network Star”: Melissa d’Arabian. She beat out Jeffrey Snead, who was considered a frontrunner right from the start, and now will start her own cooking show on the Food Network in less than a week.

Melissa is a mother of four from Texas and spent a lot of time early on worrying about both her age and lack of cooking school credentials. However, she  quickly became a favorite with her bubbly and effervescent personality. The finale came down to mock pilots made by each finalist and the panel said it was the hardest decision in five seasons.