The Next Food Network Star from Philly?

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Two Philly-area men turn up among 10 chefs competing for their own show on tonight’s season premiere of The Next Food Network Star (10 p.m., Food Network).

If cooking in quantity is important, Camden-raised Aaron McCargo Jr., 36, is a lock. He’s executive chef for catering at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, overseeing about 40 jobs a day. McCargo says he attended a year at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College, but left after a year to help his mother with his brothers. He later created several restaurants in Camden but opted for Jeff for stability and benefits. He’s married and has three kids.

If camera-friendliness is key, a guy to watch is Adam Gertler, 31, who helped run the Smoked Joint, the ill-starred barbecue eatery in Center City, and now waits tables at Amada in Old City. “The best thing about the show is that it’s excited my passion for cooking again,” says Gertler, who calls himself an attention hound. He’s single, lives in South Philly, acts in commercials, and does improv with the troupe Tongue & Groove.

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