Birmingham native in 'Food Network Star' finale
by JENNIFER COHRON
Jul 17, 2012 | 2353 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contestant Martie Duncan of Team Alton cooking for the Star Challenge “Culinary Neighborhood of NYC - Lower East Side” as seen on Food Network’ Star, Season 8.
Contestant Martie Duncan of Team Alton cooking for the Star Challenge “Culinary Neighborhood of NYC - Lower East Side” as seen on Food Network’ Star, Season 8.
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Birmingham-based entertaining expert Martie Duncan recently realized her dream of filming a pilot for her own cooking show, “Martie with the Party.”

Now it’s up to America to decide if she is the next “Food Network Star.”

Voting began Sunday night and ends today at 4 p.m. The winner, which will receive his or her own show on Food Network, will be announced during the reality show’s finale Sunday, July 22.

Duncan was one of 15 contestants selected for this season of “Food Network Star.” She was the only cast member from Alabama and also the only one who has never gone to culinary school or worked in the food industry.

Duncan said during an interview with the Daily Mountain Eagle in May that she was honored to represent her city, state and homecooks everywhere on national TV.

“We’re real people. We go to our jobs everyday and do what we have to do. I just feel like I get to stand up for everybody. It’s me on TV, but I’m there for a lot of people,” Duncan said.

Duncan escaped elimination nearly a dozen times to make it into the finale.

Some of her most popular dishes included tuna noodle casserole, puffed pastrami, cheesy chicken bon bons and chocolate roulage.

During the episode of “Food Network Star” that aired Sunday, judges initially led Duncan to believe that her teammate, Justin Warner, would be advancing to the finals instead of her. However, they quickly announced that she had earned the opportunity to film a pilot as well.

“I have been an entrepeneur my whole life. I have worked very, very hard. I have struggled. How badly do I want my own show? Oh, gosh. There are no words to say,” Duncan said during the end of the three-minute clip, which is available on the Food Network site.

Facebook users may vote for Duncan online at www.foodnetwork.com/star or by phone at 1-855-547-8271.