Entering last night's episode of "Food Network Star," Cleveland chef Chris Hodgson was in the final seven. The high-energy chef-partner of the Driftwood Restaurant Group had survived six prior eliminations, but last night his shot at winning it all came to a screeching halt.
"The sheer amount of love and support from Cleveland, and also nationally, is both humbling and mind boggling," the chef said after the episode aired. "I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the people of Cleveland pushing and motivating me."
Hodgson also starred on the Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race," making it all the way to the end and securing a second place finish.
Last night's episode included a challenge for contestants to create a packaged food item that would impress top execs from three major brands: Target, Kellogg and Kraft. Unfortunately, Hodgson's presentation of his smoked apple ketchup was heavily critiqued by the judges, who later eliminated the chef from the competition.
A last chance online series titled "Star Salvation" hosted by Robert Irvine gave Hodgson one last chance to re-enter the show. Battling against former contestant Loveley to create a potato chip inspired dish, Hodgson again came up short. "I lost to potato chip sprinkles," jokes Hodgson
What's next for the popular Cleveland chef? Apart from a charity event this Saturday at Hodge's, which will feature five of his former Food Network Star contestants, the chef is focused on the September opening of Cibreo Tuscan Italian Kitchen in the Theater District. "We are excited to continue to build out relationship and grow with PlayhouseSquare."