Monroe Chef Cory Bahr is a finalist on Next Food Network Star.

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“One of the three of you will be crowned the Next Food network star”

Chef Cory Bahr (Courtesy: KNOE 8 News)

It's been an eleven week journey. Each Sunday night Cory Bahr and fans would show up to the Flying Tiger Brewery to cheer him on. But cheers were quieted when it was announced that he would not be the winner.

(Cory you'll not be moving on)

Cory Bahr says: “Bobby Flay said it was the best food in 13 seasons of this show. So I'm proud of that and I'm proud of my community and new restaurant here in the Fall. Win, lose or draw it was amazing experience and I'd do it all over again.”

Bahr taped the show earlier this year in Los Angeles, sworn to secrecy about the outcome. He chose to share the experience with his hometown crowd.

Whitney Wright says: “Such a crazy experience, I mean he's such a great chef and I love seeing him do what he loves. He has a passion for it. Such a tremendous opportunity to be on the show in general.”

Onna Gallagher says: “Even getting third runner up is just an incredible accomplishment for our hometown guy.”

One of the people in the crowd supporting Bahr was Jay Ducote of Baton Rouge, someone who sat in the same chair as Cory in season 11 Next Food Network Star.”

“This guy was amazing. You gave me such good advice but it's crazier in person!”

Competition over, Cory is focused on opening a new restaurant in downtown Monroe. Renovations are happening now to the building on north 2nd street in Monroe. Bahr says even if he'd been crowned the winner, he'd still be based right here in Ouachita parish, loving everything local.

Cory says: “Throughout my career, with all these accolades that I've had, the opportunity to move right after the other but my commitment is to my hometown. This is where I'm from and I believe in where I'm from and want do my best to enrich where I'm from, so me moving was never an option.”

Robert Brewer says: “So the fact that he is staying local himself, supporting another local business by him being here sharing his food with folks it means a lot it has a lot of new meaning to me.”