What little time I spent in front of the television as a child was evenly split between cartoons and cooking shows. I grew up watching Julia Childs, Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan, Graham Kerr, and Justin Wilson. Since I had little hope of ever starring in my own cartoon, I dreamed of one day playing with food on television. In 2003, I was invited to be a guest on a local cooking show called Flavors of the South and before the day was through, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to have my own show doing my own thing. In 2004, the Ellijay Telephone Company gave me that opportunity: In the Kitchen with Hans. I ended up taping 9 episodes of that before accepting a full-time position with the company as the host of a new local news program called North Georgia Now.
Shortly after that show began, I was selected out of over 8,000 applicants to appear as a finalist on the Next Food Network Star. I finished 3rd in that competition. The entire experience was truly fantastic and I made some lifelong friends in the process. More importantly, it gave me some great ideas and technical television experience that I've taken with me on my new show Hans Cooks the World. Season 1 of HCTW included 18 episodes and ended up winning three Telly Awards. Season 2 was taped in front of a live audience, which added an entirely new dimension to the show. In the fall of 2007 we taped a pilot for Georgia Public Television called Hans Cooks the Holidays, which lead to a new project for 2008, Hans Cooks the South, a show which highligted some of the magnificent places we discovered while showcasing Georgia's amazing culinary treasures.
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