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.

Caption It: The Brink of Stardom

by , July 29th, 2016

Food Network StarThis. Is. It.

Fresh off last week's momentous pilot shoot with Guy Fieri, Damiano, Jernard and Tregaye are set to return to Food Star Kitchen for the last time on Sunday for what will be a life-changing finale — for one of them. These three Food Ne...

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Get the Recipes for the Finalists’ Last Food Network Star Dishes

by , July 28th, 2016

Smokehouse Pork Chops with Mac and Cheese"Each of you will have 60 minutes to cook the dish of your life," Giada De Laurentiis told the finalists on Sunday night. "And make sure, you guys, that the dish you make leaves no doubt that you should be the next Food Network Star."

That's some pre...

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Richard Experiences the Highs and Lows of Sabotage — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, July 27th, 2016

For Cutthroat Kitchen judge Richard Blais, there was no shortage of roller-coaster emotions as he tried his hands — or, rather, his tongs — at not one but two of the day’s sabotages during the After-Show. After host Alton Brown asked him to prep an everyday cobb salad, the judge was mostly pleased with the task. But in true Cutthroat fashion, the challenges didn’t stop there. “Why do you guys have to do this?” Richard joked after being saddled with a duo of challenges. He was forced to carry multiple shopping bags on both of his arms — which sounds easy enough — but then instead of being able to use his hands to prep the salad, he was given salad tongs. And that’s when the situation turned evilicious.

“The lettuce is going to be an issue,” Richard noted after he mangled his mise en place of fresh avocado and grilled chicken. When it came to cracking and peeling a hard-boiled egg, he said simply, “That’s not fun at all.” But once he learned the basic technique of working with tools upon tools, he couldn’t help but feel proud of himself. “Now I’m kind of crushing it,” he admitted, having successfully used tongs to hold a spoon and scoop out mustard for the base of his dressing. As he used the tongs to claw away chunks of bacon from the strips, he explained how downright diabolical this sabotage proved to be, calling it “one of the toughest challenges” he’d seen. Once again, though, the frustration didn’t last long. By the time Richard added the last of his ingredients to the salad, he admitted, “I’m feeling good about this.” Sure enough, he was pleased with the final results.

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WATCH: Rob Cramps Damiano’s Style

by , July 27th, 2016

Each and every one of the challenges on Food Network Star was important this season, from the finalists' first attempts at cold-open videos in the premiere episode to the holiday parties that took place in Week 9. But Sunday night's very last face-...

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“I’m Getting to O.G. Status”: Guy Talks 10 Years of Food Network Stardom and Directing Finalists’ Pilots

by , July 26th, 2016

Food Network StarWe're just days ahead of Sunday's Food Network Star finale and the announcement of this year's winner, and no one knows what the top-three hopefuls, Damiano, Jernard and Tregaye, are feeling right now better than Guy Fieri. Ten years ago this bona fi...

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Caption It: High-Five to the Mentors

by , July 22nd, 2016

Food Network StarSunday's new episode marks the penultimate week in the Food Network Star, Season 12 competition. After nearly two months of camera challenges, culinary face-offs, unexpected twists and a roster of special guests, only one challenge stands between the...

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Exclusive Interview with Past Star Winner Aarti, Who’s Back for the Finalists’ Last Presentations

by , July 21st, 2016

Food Network StarIt was just a few years ago that Aarti Sequeira secured her future as a Food Network Star, besting her fellow finalists to earn the Season 6 crown. Now, with incomparable been-there-done-that wisdom and an acute realization of what the remaining Seas...

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“This Is Like a Ballet of Pain” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, July 20th, 2016

It’s not often that that Cutthroat Kitchen judges get to choose their own poison, so to speak, when they drop by Alton’s After-Show (usually that’s host Alton Brown‘s job). But tonight Antonia Lofaso enjoyed the freedom to select which sabotage she’d be saddled with. Alton explained that they’d be prepping lobster rolls together — literally, that is — and it was up to her to opt to do so in a giant stockpot alongside Alton or in a harness tethered to him. Ultimately she chose the harness, and we’re glad she did, because what resulted as they both put signature spins on lobster rolls was diabolically hilarious — not to mention downright delicious.

Antonia and Alton agreed that the Connecticut-style lobster roll preparation, which features butter instead of mayo as the binder, is the way to go, but tonight Alton opted for mayonnaise “to contrast,” he explained. After Antonia toasted her bun, Alton oh so gingerly scooted the duo over to his station to work on his lobster. Sure enough, no sooner did Alton get a handle on his prep did Antonia shimmy them back to her table. “This is like a ballet of pain,” Alton noted as they did an impromptu two-step in the kitchen. After what Alton called “a completely neutral Bob” joined them for tasting, the Bob wordlessly deemed Alton’s to be the best of the day — which didn’t actually come as a surprise to Antonia. “It’s true. It’s the mayonnaise. I didn’t put any salt. I’m a failure,” she proclaimed in a series of heartbreaking culinary admissions. And for Alton, that was music to his ears. “Best day ever,” he said.

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Watch the Finale of Star Salvation

by , July 20th, 2016

This is it. After five weeks of culinary and camera challenges, Star Salvation hosts Alex Guarnaschelli and Eddie Jackson have just one battle left to judge before selecting the finalist who's most worthy of returning to the Food Network Star compe...

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The Search for Pintsized Star Power with the First-Ever Season of Food Network Star Kids

by in Shows, July 19th, 2016

Food Network Star KidsWe may be just a few weeks away from finding out who among the Food Network Star, Season 12 finalists will become the newest member of the Food Network family, but that doesn’t mean the search for Star power is ending. This summer, for the first time ever, Food Network is set to discover the greatest rising talent of the next generation: a kid Star. In the premiere season of Food Network Star Kids, the most-ambitious young cooks from around the country are set to converge upon Los Angeles in the hopes of making their food TV debut, and it all begins on Monday, August 22 at 8|7c.

Over the course of six weeks, 10 fearless pintsized hopefuls will attempt to prove themselves worthy of the title of Food Network Star, showcasing not only their comfort on camera but also their culinary skill sets, which surely go well beyond their years. Just like the adult finalists that came before them, these kid competitors will come face to face with a series of demanding challenges to test their ingenuity and quick thinking in the kitchen as well as their ability to command an audience of viewers. They’ll be led by Cooking Channel sensations Tia Mowry and Donal Skehan — two food authorities and experts in the world of entertainment who know just what it takes to make a mark on the industry — who will both judge the kid competitors through their tasks.

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