All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an editor at Food Network, now living in New York City after being born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She likes her eggs runny, her pasta cheesy and has been known to throw back dozens of oysters at a time.

WATCH: When the Wheel Isn’t Your Friend

by , June 29th, 2016

Let's be honest: There was pretty much no chance that Rhett and Link's Wheel of Mythicality was going to yield such friendly "Will It" combos as peanut butter and jelly or strawberries and cream on Sunday's latest episode of Food Network Star. But ...

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The Trickiest Surprise Ingredients Featured on Cooks vs. Cons

by in Shows, June 28th, 2016

Cooks vs. ConsJust when Cooks vs. Cons competitors think they’re set to cook the assigned dish in Round 1, host Geoffrey Zakarian is on hand to change their plans with the announcement of a mandatory surprise ingredient that must be showcased. And again in Round 2, though competitors can prepare any dish they’d like, their freedom goes only as far as yet another surprise ingredient. Cereal, soda, pickles, mushrooms and chocolate — all of these sweet, savory, tangy eats and drinks, and others, have made appearances, though not all the uses of them were wholly successful. When we checked in with Geoffrey recently, he told us about another ingredient he’d like to see revealed in the future. When we checked in with Geoffrey recently, he told us about another ingredient he’d like to see revealed in the future: “I think … another protein, like a chicken that they have to butcher or something they have to butcher — that would wipe me right out.” Browse photos to see how both professional chefs and amateurs approached the surprises.

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Watch Episode 3 of Star Salvation

by , June 28th, 2016

Just as the remaining Food Network Star finalists worked with their own food wheel this week (remember when the wheel matched bread pudding and kimchi, octopus and macaroni and cheese?), so did the hopefuls on Star Salvation. Host Eddie Jackson unv...

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The New York City Wine & Food Festival Returns in October — Buy Tickets to Hang Out with Your Favorite Chefs

by in Events, News, June 27th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalIf you’ve ever watched Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli on TV and thought to yourself, “Man, it would be so cool to meet those chefs someday,” that day has come — well, it will in a few months, actually.

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One-on-One with the Latest Food Network Star Finalist to Go Home

by , June 26th, 2016

Food Network StarWith only 11 short weeks to ready finalists before a winner will be chosen, the Food Network Star beast is such that week after week, hopeful competitors will fall, faced with the crushing disappointment of elimination. Here on Star Talk, we'll be br...

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Exclusive: Geoffrey Zakarian Previews the New Season of Cooks vs. Cons

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, June 24th, 2016

Geoffrey ZakarianFresh off a hit first season, Cooks vs. Cons — the game that asks if a professional chef can be outcooked by an amateur home cook — is set to return for Season 2 on Sunday, July 10 at 10|9c. Recently we caught up with Geoffrey Zakarian, the host of this culinary whodunit, to get his take on the success of Season 1 and what to expect from upcoming battles. Read on below to hear from him in an exclusive interview, and find out the pro-or-joe hunches he develops while watching each contest unfold.

Fans really gravitated toward the first season. Why do you think this is such a craveable game?
It’s on everybody’s mind that they all want to be a chef. So it’s very fun for people to imagine trying to trick someone like myself and two judges into [believing they’re] a chef, so I think it really sets up their interest first. And then the premise is great. It’s very quick. It’s easy to understand. You get it right away. And you’re just hooked because the chefs and the amateurs are both very interesting people. Pros are interesting, and the amateurs are interesting. It’s really great casting.

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Caption It: The Funny Side of the Competition

by , June 24th, 2016

Food Network StarFood Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis expect the best from the finalists in terms of on-camera charm and culinary expertise. And the mentors know just how to deliver no-nonsense challenges that test both skills, as they are kee...

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Food Network Star Pets: Bobby’s and Giada’s Cats — Watch Now

by , June 23rd, 2016

It might be time for this year's Food Network Star finalists to pack it up and head home, because we're pretty sure we just found the next faces of Food Network stardom: Nacho Flay and Bella De Laurentiis, cats to Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis...

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“If This Doesn’t Move, This Isn’t That Bad” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, June 22nd, 2016

Oh, if only that were all there was.

In the After-Show following tonight’s new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the fourth and final preliminary heat of the Time Warp Tournament, host Alton Brown unveiled a roster of totally righteous sabotages in keeping with the 1980s theme of the battle — and judge Antonia Lofaso was on hand to experience some of the best of them. The Miami Vice-style boat, which made its debut in Round 2’s blackened-fish challenge, looked innocent enough to the judge as she took her seat at the wheel. After all, she had a space to prep and she had a heat source within arm’s reach. “If this doesn’t move,” Antonia noted, “this isn’t that bad.” But of course it did move — and that was only part of what she’d have to endure.

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Watch Episode 2 of Star Salvation

by , June 22nd, 2016

If you've ever taken a road trip, you know that many fast-food dining destinations can leave a lot to be desired. This week, it was up to the Star Salvation finalists to reinvent the everyday road-trip tastes you know and (probably don't) love, tra...

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