The Food Network announced it has ordered a fourth season of The Next Food Network Star -- and for the first time, will hold open casting calls to find amateur or professional chefs looking to compete for the chance at their own Food Network television show.

Open casting calls began today in Seattle and will continue over the next month in New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Minneapolis.  This is the first time Food Network has held open casting calls for The Next Food Network Star, however those interested can still apply via mail-in application until October 12 (additional mail-in audition tape details are available Food Network's website).

"Season 3 of The Next Food Network Star performed beyond our wildest expectations and we are thrilled to extend this exciting franchise into a fourth season," said Bob Tuschman, The Next Food Network Star judge and Food Network's senior vice president of programming.  "As always, we are looking for people who have strong culinary knowledge and vibrant personalities who can pass along their passion for cooking to our viewers."

The Next Food Network Star's fourth season will follow a similar format to the reality competition series' previous three installments, with contestants being tested in a series of challenges and judged on their culinary skills and on-air potential for the opportunity to helm their own Food Network show.  It is scheduled to both film and air in 2008.

The Next Food Network Star fourth-season casting call dates and locations are:

Tuesday, September 11
Seattle, WA
Hotel Andra Ballroom
2000 Fourth Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
10AM - 4PM

Monday, September 17
New York City, NY
Food Network Studios
75 Ninth Ave.
NY, NY 10011 (Chelsea Market)
11AM - 4PM

Monday, September 17
Los Angeles, CA
Chefs, Inc.
10955 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
10AM - 4PM

Tuesday, September 25
Las Vegas, NV
David Burke Las Vegas
The Venetian Hotel-Resort- Casino
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South Ste. 108
9AM - 3PM

Tuesday, October 9
Minneapolis, MN
The Chambers Hotel
901 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
10AM - 4PM