Singapore – Scripps Networks Interactive announced the winners of Food Hero, its inaugural Asia-wide talent search. With their outstanding onscreen personas and passion for all things food and travel-related, Sarah Benjamin from Singapore and Michele Lean from Malaysia triumphed over nearly 300 talent hopefuls to become the new faces of Asian Food Channel and Food Network, respectively.
“Food Hero is our first integrated initiative to run online and on-air for Asian Food Channel and Food Network, and it has received â€‹â€‹a very positive response from our viewers and fans across Asia,” said CheeK, Head of Creative Content and Marketing, Asia Pacific. “Growing our pool of on-air personalities in Asia is a key part of Scripps Networks’ strategy to produce more local original content as we continue to expand our footprint in the region. We have found two extremely talented individuals with whom we work and look forward to making their dreams of becoming on-air personalities come true.”
Viewers in 11 territories across Asia can look forward to Sarah and Michele’s highly anticipated debuts on Asian Food Channel and Food Network at the end of this year and early 2015, respectively. Sarah will host Scripps Networks’ original production, Must Try: Asia, a brand-new six-part series that follows two hosts on their quest to discover ‘must-try’ dishes from around the region. Michele will host the Asian version of well-loved Food Network program Food Wars, where each week she will pit two of the best restaurants in Asia against one another in a culinary showdown.
Sharing her excitement, Sarah said, “Winning Food Hero feels like a dream come true! I have always loved travelling and tasting different types of cuisines from around the world. It is an amazing feeling to think that I can now do this as a profession. I cannot wait to start my journey and look forward to sharing my experiences with all of the Asian Food Channel viewers.”
Sarah, a former marketing executive, grew up in a multicultural Singaporean family and speaks English, Mandarin, Malay, Cantonese and Korean. With a fervent passion for cooking, Sarah also writes for her own food blog, sharing her unique culinary creations and passion for food with the online community.
On what inspired her to join Food Hero, Michele said, “I’ve always been a big fan of Asian Food Channel and Food Network, and I love watching them to get inspiration when I’m cooking at home with my family. At first, I wasn’t sure what it meant to be a Food Hero or if I had it in me, but I am so glad that I took a leap of faith and submitted my video. It has always been my dream to host a food and travel program on either of these networks and I feel so fortunate that I now have the chance to do so for Food Network! I would like to thank Scripps Networks for giving me this incredibly exciting opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to our journeys to come.”
Michele graduated from world-renowned culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Canada where she trained in French cuisine. Her time there gave her an in-depth understanding of French cooking techniques and expanded her culinary repertoire, giving her the confidence and skills to tackle any recipe.
Food Hero is an ongoing talent search campaign by Scripps Networks in Asia, and the second edition of the campaign will take place in 2015.