Two Hauppauge business owners are hoping to rally local votes behind their cousin to win the next Food Network star.
Large signs posted throughout The Bagel Gallery in Hauppauge, well known for its red-and-yellow "Hot Bagels" sign, ask customers to cast their vote for Michele Ragussis, one of four finalist for the next Food Network Star.
Ragussis, 42, of Brooklyn, is the cousin of The Bagel Gallery owners, is seeking votes to be nominated the next Food Network Star. Local residents have grown up and cooked alongside her in the kitchen.
Ragussis claims to have a passion for seafood and New England cuisine after spending eight years in Rhode Island for college, according to her Food Network profile.
The Next Food Network Star finalist filmed a 30-second show promotion and nearly 3-minute pilot episode in her run up to the finals, as the last standing member of Chef Bobby Flay.
Fans of the next Next Food Network Start can vote for Ragussis in two ways, by visiting the Food Network's website or by calling 1-855-547-8273. Voting is open until 5 p.m Tuesday with a 10-votes per person limit. The winner will be announced in the season finale on July 22 at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.