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Turlock native finalist in ‘Food Network Star’

Turlock native finalist in ‘Food Network Star’

Turlock native Susie Jimenez competes in the season finale of “Food Network Star,” which is set to air at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

POSTED August 12, 2011 9:22 p.m.

Susie Jimenez, a Turlock native, already knows how the series “Food Network Star” will end. As a final contestant she has already filmed the last episode, but she isn’t telling even her closest friends and family who wins. They will have to find out on Sunday night with the rest of the world when the final episode airs.

Jimenez grew up in Turlock and went to Turlock High School. She now works as a personal chef and owns her own catering company near Aspen, Colo. She attended an open casting call for Season 7 of “Food Network Star” in Denver last August.

“I decided to just go and see what my chances were,” Jimenez said.

She made it through several rounds of auditions and made the cut to be on the show. The show started airing weekly episodes on June 5. The show format includes one camera challenge, and one star challenge. At the end of the star challenge one contestant is eliminated. Jimenez has made it through 10 episodes and is one of three remaining contestants in the season finale.

“It’s been a wild ride for sure,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said that one of the biggest changes she has noticed since the show has been on television is that people recognize her out in public now. She recently attended a food and wine festival and people actually screamed when they saw her.

“It just threw me off,” she said.

The most challenging thing about being on “Food Network Star,” said Jimenez, is having a group of people judge everything she does. She said that overall, though, she enjoyed the experience. She is having a final episode viewing party in Apsen, and her friends and family in Turlock are throwing a final episode party at Los Gallos in Turlock.

The final episode of “Food Network Star: Season 7” will air at 9 p.m. this Sunday. Jimenez’s family will be hosting a viewing party at Los Gallos starting at 5 p.m. The show will start at 6 p.m.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

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