Utah’s Viet Pham loses in Food Network Star
Published: July 2, 2013 03:17PM
Updated: July 1, 2013 08:38AM
Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Chef Viet Pham, co-owner of Forage, working at a charity event in Salt Lake City, Wednesday May 15, 2013.

Viet Pham was booted off “Food Network Star” on Sunday night. Blame the missing peppers.

Pham, co-owner of Forage restaurant in Salt Lake City, was one of 12 contestants on the ninth season of the show.

On episode 5, the remaining eight contestants were tested on their ability to cook live. In the first challenge, they made a sausage and pepper sandwich within a couple minutes as if they were on live TV — but with surprises, like a fire alarm or the lights going out. For Pham, his pan of peppers disappeared. He eventually shrugged it off and suggested making a salad. But not before asking a couple of times, “Where are the peppers?”

After the second challenge — making parts of a 4th of July picnic live — the judges praised Pham for his charm and great cooking, but said he loses confidence when the cameras roll.

Pham was gracious in losing. He tweeted, “Those damn phantom peppers — they’re here one moment and gone the next!” and “I had the time of life on @FoodNetwork Star. I learned so much and made friends for a life time. It was my destiny and I’m content with that.”

While he no longer cooks at Forage, he will be opening his own restaurant in Park City this summer, called Fire & Water.