Winner of Season Four of The Next Food Network Star in 2008
Host of Food Network’s Big
Daddy’s House, now in Season 3
TV Appearances: The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, and Rachel
Contributor to Essence Magazine
Spokesperson for The Great American Dine Out, in which he
works with Share Our Strength to help nearly 12.6 million American children in the fight against
Presented the keys to the city of Camden, NJ, in 2008 – September 25 was declared Aaron
McCargo, Jr. Day
Attended Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts
Married, three children
Aaron McCargo, Jr.: Cooking in Big Daddy's House
BIG DADDY’S IN THE HOUSE
On August 3, 2008, the Food Network show Big Daddy’s House premiered. It ranked as the No. 1“In the Kitchen” weekend show during its first six-episode run. The show’s host, Aaron McCargo, Jr., beat out thousands of contestants vying for their own cooking show on the Food Network in season four of The Next Food Network Star in 2008.
On Big Daddy’s House, Aaron loves big, bold flavors. The "big", he has said, was influenced by his father’s love of big portions. The bold flavors he has attributed to his mother’s fondness of cooking with spices. When asked how he would describe his style of cooking, he simply says he makes anything flavorful and good. From family favorites like macaroni and cheese to mini shepherd’s pies, Aaron adds his own spice and flair to every dish he makes.
He will release his first cookbook next fall. For recipes from his segment on The 700 Club, check out Big Daddy's Holiday Dinner Recipes.
A WINNER BASED IN REALITY
Aaron says he never set out to be a contender on The Next Food Network Star. He had a good job that he loved -- being a chef at a hospital. His wife saw the ads to apply to be a contestant on season four. She did all the paperwork and sent it in. Before he knew it, Aaron was one of the top ten finalists. When he found out he won, he was joyful, but he was still “based in reality.” One of the things that has been important to him is to tell the young people of his neighborhood that if he could achieve success, they can too. He just wants to be an inspiration and a good example to others. Aaron regularly speaks to young people at events and community schools letting them know that they can be successful in spite of the odds.
Aaron was born and raised in Camden, NJ, in a big family. His brothers and sisters have constantly supported him in reaching his goals. His passion for cooking started when he was four. He started baking cakes with his sister’s Easy Bake Oven. When Aaron was 13, he was a Junior Volunteer in the kitchen at Cooper Hospital University. After that, he worked at nine various casual and fine dining restaurants in New Jersey. Aaron opened his own restaurant, McCargo’s Restaurant, in 2005, which closed three years later. He also served as the executive VIP catering chef at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys reading the Bible, spending time with his family, traveling, tennis, Buffalo wings and watching sports.
AARON’S GREATEST PASSION
Even though Aaron has a passion for cooking and big, bold flavors, these are not his greatest passion. His greatest passion is to serve God through his gifts and talents. His desire is to see the lost won to Christ and one day hear his Heavenly Father say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” However, this wasn’t always the case. Aaron strayed away from God in his youth. His parents were God-fearing people, who taught Aaron to trust and love God. As a child, he was active in his church, where he participated in Sunday school and sang in the youth choir.
In 1999, Aaron started attending the Living Hope Christian Center in Pennsauken, New Jersey. During one of the services the pastor, Ronald G. King, Sr., anointed Aaron’s hands, feet and head and prophesied that Aaron would do great things for the Kingdom of God. Soon after this prophecy was spoken to him, Aaron rededicated his life to Christ and became a member of Living Hope Christian Center. As a member of the church, Aaron has served as a drummer, church caterer and usher. Aaron is blessed to be living life according to the prophecy spoken over him years ago. He says everything he has now is all from God. He is thankful, and he trusts God everyday.
Big Daddy's Holiday Dinner Recipes
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