All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an online editor at FoodNetwork.com, covering top-tier show and talent packages and managing the FN Dish and Star Talk blogs. She grew up in a tight-knit Italian family in Michigan, where food was the focus of most conversations and it wasn't unusual to talk about the next day’s lunch and dinner menus while eating breakfast. Maria graduated from Barnard College in 2012 and currently lives in New York City. She likes her pasta cheesy, her eggs runny and her oysters briny.

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

by , June 11th, 2017

Food Network StarThe nature of the Food Network Star beast is such that no matter how much mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis have to teach the finalists, their time is limited, which means they're forced to make quick decisions about who has the greatest pot...

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Welcome, Rosé Season: It’s Officially Time to Drink Pink Wine

by in Drinks, In Season, June 9th, 2017

The New FroseYou know those “rules” about not wearing white pants after Labor Day and waiting 30 minutes after eating to swim? Yeah, we tend to avoid those rules. The same goes for rosé wine. Yes, it’s definitely more enjoyable to sip this pink wine in the summer, while sunning ourselves on a patio somewhere, but to be honest, we’ve been known to drink rosé on the couch in the winter every once in a while too. But now that summer it actually is summer (well, almost) and we’ll be finding ourselves on a lot more patios in the coming days, we’re moving into an all-rosé-all-the-time phases. Beyond popping the cork on a cool, crisp bottle and drinking rosé straight-up, we plan to celebrate tomorrow’s National Rosé Day holiday and all our summer sun sessions with these four pink eats and drinks.

The New Frose (pictured above)
Break out the ice cream maker, but think beyond ice cream. Here a bottle of rosé and strawberries are churned together to make a frosty, slushy sipper.

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Star Report: 9 Things That Happened on the Premiere That Got Us Talking

by , June 5th, 2017

Food Network StarSeason 13 of Food Network Star kicked off on Sunday night, and in true Hollywood fashion, the bright lights and lofty expectations of the big stage proved to be too much for a few finalists, who found themselves struggling through their auditions. Bu...

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Star-a-Day: Matthew Grunwald

by , June 5th, 2017

Food Network StarMatthew Grunwald has become something of a Food Network Star regular in the last few years. After his first stint in the competition back in Season 11, which ultimately ended in a Week 2 elimination, he returned for a shot at redemption on Comeback K...

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One-on-One with the Winner of Comeback Kitchen

by , June 5th, 2017

Food Network StarMatthew Grunwald is no stranger to the Food Network Star rodeo, having competed in (and lost) in both the Season 11 contest and last year's premiere iteration of Comeback Kitchen. Just a few weeks ago, he returned to Comeback Kitchen for a second tim...

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

by , June 4th, 2017

Food Network StarThe nature of the Food Network Star beast is such that no matter how much mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis have to teach the finalists, their time is limited, which means they're forced to make quick decisions about who has the greatest pot...

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Robert and Monti Talk the Making of a Food Network Star

by , June 1st, 2017

Food Network StarOn Sunday's Food Network Star premiere (set a reminder for 9|8c!), mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will dole out what has the potential to be the most-important challenge of the season: the task of auditioning for them in person and on the...

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Giada Reveals Why Food Network Star Is So Hard and What Finalists Should Do Before They Get Here

by , May 31st, 2017

Food Network Star"I believe that I can see more of the heart and soul of a person. Where he sees it through their cooking, I see it in their eyes," Giada De Laurentiis says of the differences in the way she and Bobby Flay judge Food Network Star finalists. This judge...

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“Honesty, Tough Love and True Advice” — Bobby Shares What He Can Offer the Food Network Star Finalists

by , May 30th, 2017

Food Network StarJust like his fellow Food Network Star mentor Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay is the very kind of Star the finalists are hoping to become. When Season 13 kicks off on Sunday, June 4 (mark your calendars for a 9|8c premiere), an all-new crop of compet...

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Exclusive: Chatting with the Newly Crowned Iron Chef Stephanie Izard

by in Shows, May 21st, 2017

Iron Chef GauntletThere’s reason to celebrate in kitchens everywhere tonight: For the first time since 2012, a new Iron Chef has joined the Chairman’s esteemed ranks. Stephanie Izard, a chef and restaurateur based in Chicago, defeated not only six challengers to earn the right to run the gauntlet but also a trio of Iron Chefs — Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto — following a series of three epic battles on Iron Chef Gauntlet. Each of these showdowns featured a different Secret Ingredient, and it was up to her to decide with which Iron Chef she wanted to do battle as each altar was revealed. It took only the first heat to realize that she wasn’t going to make this mission easy on herself, as she chose to face off against undisputed pepper king and Southwestern-cooking master Iron Chef Flay in Battle Pepper. From there, she challenged Iron Chef Symon to Battle Cheese and Iron Chef Morimoto, a seafood guru, to Battle Tilefish. And though she fell to Iron Chef Flay in the first heat, she ultimately out-cooked Iron Chefs Symon and Morimoto to best their combined score by three precious points.

We were on set with Chef Izard became Iron Chef Izard and caught up with her moments after her momentous victory. Read on below to get her take on where she went wrong in Battle Pepper, and find out why she told us, “I made the challenges as hard as possible for myself.”

Congratulations, Iron Chef! Take us back to the moments before Alton announced the results. You see an empty fourth podium, one that you could potentially take your place on as an Iron Chef. What was going through your mind?
Stephanie Izard: I had a feeling that Iron Chef Flay had beat me by a couple points, and I had a feeling that I had beat Symon by, hopefully, more than a couple points. … Morimoto made a soup and I made a soup, and in my mind, I was thinking, “I wonder which — even just coming down to which soup would you want to eat more.” I feel like the Iron Chefs are like: “All right, all right. You can be in our club.”

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