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New series, new stars for Food Network

By JANET K. KEELER
Published January 19, 2005


Forget what Jesus would do. What would he eat? Or better yet, would he want to be a Food Network star?

He may soon be. In May, the Food Network debuts What Would Jesus Eat?, a special that explores faith-based diet programs. Don Colbert asked that same question in his 2002 diet book.

What Would Jesus Eat? is one of five specials on the network's schedule for spring and summer. There also will be five new series, including Iron Chef America (9 p.m. Sunday) and Food Network Challenge (10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, 20, 27 and March 20), which premiered this month. Iron Chef America is a stateside version of the campy Japanese show, and Challenge features some of the nation's biggest cookoffs and baking competitions.

The other new series are Take It Off, The Dave Lieberman Show and The Next Food Network Star. The other specials are Food Network Caters Your Wedding; Emeril Live: Chelsea Market; Ball Park Cafe III, and Grill-Gantua. Times and dates of some shows have not been announced. Check www.foodtv.com for updates.

NEW SERIES

* Take It Off, March. Juan Carlos Cruz, also the host of Calorie Commando, and a team of nutritionists and fitness trainers help men and women adjust their eating habits and exercise regimes to slim down for an important event in their lives.

* The Dave Lieberman Show, April. Host Dave Lieberman's mission is to teach people how to live, eat and entertain like a king or queen on the budget of a commoner. Practical tips for food and decor, all for a tight budget.

* The Next Food Network Star, June. Marc Summers (Unwrapped) hosts the hunt for the next Food Network star. Eight finalists, chosen from thousands of tapes sent to the network, compete in a series of challenges that test cooking knowledge and skills. A little personality doesn't hurt. Viewers vote for their favorite online. The winner gets a six-episode series that will premiere in September.

NEW SPECIALS

* Food Network Caters Your Wedding, 9 p.m. March 13. Giada De Laurentiis (Everyday Italian), hosts this two-hour special that follows a couple as they learn which delicious treats will be made for their wedding by Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray. Ina Garten, Paula Deen and Tyler Florence also make appearances.

* Emeril Live: Chelsea Market, 8 p.m. March 27. Emeril Lagasse shows off the network's new digs in the Chelsea Market in New York City. The market that is now a food and media center was once a Nabisco factory. Oreo cookies were tested there in 1912.

* Ballpark Cafe III, April. Ubiquitous Rachael Ray takes viewers on a cross-country tour of some of America's favorite ballparks. Bobby Flay and Mario Batali have gone there before.

* What Would Jesus Eat?, May. Programs to be explored include "Hallelujah Diet" and "Weigh Down Diet."

* Grill-Gantua, May. A team of competitive barbecuers races to design and build the ultimate grilling machine in five days. Watch the team build the monster grill and try it out at a major barbecue competition.