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Utah's Viet Pham loses in Food Network Star

Published July 2, 2013 3:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.

hmay@sltrib.com