5 Food Network Stars Who Put Faith First

Photo from Ella Olsson via Unsplash

5 Food Network Stars Who Put Faith First

By Movieguide® Contributor

For these five Food Network stars, food isn’t everything. From “The Pioneer Woman”  Ree Drummond to “The Grill King” Douglas Walls, these chefs have prioritized faith.

Aarti Sequeira

Aarti Sequeira, winner of FOOD NETWORK STAR and host of AARTI’S PARTY, had an unlikely start to Christianity. 

Raised in Catholicism with Hindu ancestors, she lived in the Muslim-dominated UAE while many peers were New Age followers.

She began attending a Christian church after marriage. Since then, she says, “Nothing has given me peace like the message of Christ.”

Sequeira wrote about her and her husband Bren’s faith: “Over the past year, we’ve been part of a team planting a church in our neighborhood, Mid-City Los Angeles. I can’t tell you how happy I was this past Easter when Bren got to help baptize four people into the Kingdom!”

“It made me realize that THIS is what our lives are all about,” the chef continued. “The Mid-City Vineyard is only a few months old, but we’ve already seen so many lives touched and changed by the Lord — my faith is renewed as is my love for my ‘hood!”

Movieguide® also reported how Sequeira “teaches her children about faith through cooking.”


Ree Drummond

THE PIONEER WOMAN’s Ree Drummond considers her faith a “gift” she doesn’t “take for granted.”

“We’re Bible-reading folks, and we love that verse that says, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” the chef said about her and her husband, Ladd.

“We’re very mindful of storing up our treasures in heaven rather than on earth,” the chef told People. “We don’t want to bury them in the backyard and sit on them. It’s exciting to use whatever success we’ve achieved to do things that aren’t just about us.”

Movieguide® recently reported on Drummond’s enthusiasm for fostering her son, Jamar.

Her Food Network show, THE PIONEER WOMAN, has been running since 2011.


Melissa d’Arabian

After TEN DOLLAR DINNERS host Melissa d’Arabian’s mom committed suicide, the chef embraced Christianity.

“I came out of that with a much more mature sense of faith; that was more purposeful and one where I participated more actively,” the chef told Risen Magazine.

“I grew in my faith, leaning on it the way I had leaned on that kitchen counter when I first got the bad news,” she wrote in a Guideposts article. “I found help in Bible passages, like Paul saying, ‘If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord.’ So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

“D’Arabian sees connections to the divine in almost every aspect of food,” Guideposts wrote.

“God is using food to draw us closer to Him,” d’Arabian said. “Food’s not an admonition. He’s not trying to guilt us that, ‘oh, you’re doing it wrong.’ Nope. It’s an invitation into love and peace and closeness to Him.”

D’Arabian hosts numerous shows for the Food Network.


Douglas Walls

CUTTHROAT KITCHEN competitor Douglas Walls realized his need for God in his 20s and turned to his mother, a Christian counselor, explaining that he wanted to be a different person.

“I came to the realization of God being at work, and it was time for me to come to Him,” Walls said.

He would serve as the executive chef at The Cove, a restaurant at the Billy Graham Training Center. The day he started his job, his wife left him. Walls faced other trials but shared that God helped him through.

“God’s the No. 1 person to have on your side. If He can create a universe, He can surely take care of somebody,” Walls said. “Through all this, He’s taught me to trust Him.”



Julian Rodarte

BEAT BOBBY FLAY competitor Julian Rodarte grew up in a Christian home and sees God’s plan in his life as a chef and restaurateur.

“I’m telling you, God is undefeated when it comes to recipes,” the chef said.

“Chefs create these recipes, but at the end of the day, they’re God’s recipe,” Rodarte explained.

“Go when God calls. Listen, at the end of the day, success or failure, in the world’s eyes, it won’t matter because at least we answered the call,” Rodarte said about his experience starting a restaurant with his father.

“I always feel like one of the most beautiful things in life is when God’s timing and your preparation kind of align,” he added. “When he calls and that beautiful moment of those two things colliding, a lot of times that’s when breakthroughs happen.”

Rodarte competed on BEAT BOBBY FLAY, appeared in WORST COOKS IN AMERICA, Food Network’s CRACK AN EGG WITH, FOOD PARADISE, CHOPPED U and numerous TASTEMADE productions.

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