Melissa d'Arabian won The Next Food Network Star last Sunday, as you know, and her show Ten Dollar Dinners premieres tomorrow, Sunday the 9th, at 12:30pm ET. Unlike last year's winner, Melissa and her show pretty much remained under wraps until the big reveal. And, luckily, the first episode was pretty good! She managed to not kiss any raw meat.
Melissa's first episode, titled "Perfectly Priced Parisian," sounded very similar to season 3's winner Amy Finley's show The Gourmet Next Door when I first got it in the mail. (I already pointed out the recycling of Amy's blue tiles, and now after watching I'm pretty sure she also got Amy's old oven. So green of Food Net!)
While Melissa and Amy do have some similarities (both are moms who have lived in France), Melissa comes across as much more polished and TV ready than Amy ever did. There was some debate as to whether or not Amy ever wanted to be on TV or not; with Melissa there's no question.