How Justin Warner Became a Chef

The winner of 'Food Network Star' dishes on his profession

Justin Warner

At The Braiser Lounge at the Dream Hotel in New York City during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, The Daily Meal caught up with Justin Warner, winner of Food Network Star.

While describing one of his favorite restaurants in Fort Collins, Colo. to The Daily Meal, Warner realizes — as if he’d temporarily forgotten — how he originally got into cooking.

Sushi chef Masakazu Suzuki was the first person to teach Warner to eat. He describes the chef as a “regular dude” who is a genius that makes things like tiger’s eye and monkey brains. When the two were roommates, Suzuki made baingan bartha (an Indian eggplant dish) and after trying the dish for the first time, Warner concluded: “that’s baby eggplant and mustard.”


As he puts it, Suzuki “was like ‘dude!’” so Warner thought “Maybe I should do food….”