All Posts By Sarah De Heer

“This Challenge Was Like a 20-Layer Sandwich.” — An Interview with Alex Guarnaschelli

by , June 10th, 2014

An Interview with Alex Guarnaschelli, Season 10 Food Network StarAlex Guarnaschelli is no stranger to Food Network Star. We’ve seen her dish out her opinions on the judging panel of two Chopped-themed episodes during seasons 8 and 9. But this past Sunday, Alex took off her judge’s hat and took to the kitchen. During the Star Challenge, the remaining finalists were tasked with taping a 15-minute demo explaining how to make a simple dish with pantry ingredients in a separate prep kitchen. So where’s the twist? Iron Chef Guarnaschelli was in Star Kitchen watching their demos in real time, attempting to make the same dish, as Bobby, Giada and Alton looked on.

Star Talk caught up with the Iron Chef right after the show to talk about being in the kitchen versus being a judge, and what Bobby, Giada and Alton are really like.

This is your third time on Food Network Star, and this time they put you into the mix of cooking, and you even said that you feel like you’re a part of the cooking audition yourself!
Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s true. I’ve been through a number of shows and I’ve done a lot of this stuff before, so theoretically this is not my first or even my fifth rodeo, but it feels as nerve-racking and as fresh as the first time. And when you realize that, you catch a glimpse into what the stakes are like for these competitors. I mean, they’re standing in front of a trio of people that have enough producing and camera experience to catapult you all the way to the top. How much can you sort out? How much can you really hear them? How do you separate yourself from the pack? On top of being on camera, they have to cook for Bobby, Giada and Alton. I mean that — that’s some cherry and whipped cream on that sundae right there, right?

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

by , June 8th, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go HomeWith the first challenges behind the them, the remaining 11 finalists took to Star Kitchen and were hit with two big surprises this week: teaching Alton how to prepare two of his favorite dishes (Green Bean Casserole and Chicken-Fried Steak) in the Mentor Challenge and having Alex Guarnaschelli follow along their live cooking demos in the Star Challenge.

Overcoming one of these challenges would be enough for anyone, but proving these hopefuls can communicate and cook (especially at the same time) is a requirement of the job.

If you haven’t yet watched the episode, don’t read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of the episode and reveal who was sent home.

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Alton Explains What Not to Do, the Deal with POVs and the Hardest Part of Being a Judge

by , May 27th, 2014

Alton Explains What Not to Do, the Deal with POVs and MoreAs Food Network’s resident food historian and overall respected voice of reason, Alton Brown has a lot to say when it comes to finalists vying for the ultimate job — the job that will allow one person to join the roster that he shares with fellow judges Giada and Bobby.

Star Talk: What are you excited about this season?
Alton Brown: I haven’t participated in as many seasons of Food Network Star as the other judge-mentors. I’ve only really done three. But based on the seasons that I’ve done in the past, I’m excited to see if I can find that nugget — that diamond. You’re walking down a riverbank, you reach down and you pull up a 10-carat diamond and go, “Hey, look what I found.” So you’re looking at each one of these finalists and you’re hoping that one of them is going to be spectacular — amazing. And it could happen. That’s the entire mission.

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Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Preserving by the Pint

by in Books, Contests, May 26th, 2014

Win a Copy of Preserving by the Pint

FN Dish contributor Marisa McClellan is known for her Friday posts, The Weekender. But what Marisa is truly known for is her expertise on preserving. Her first book, Food in Jars, was a quick hit. Now Marisa is back for a second helping, this time for those in small spaces in Preserving by the Pint.

In her second cookbook, Marisa guides readers through making smaller batches from farmers markets, produce stands or their local grocery stores. Some people just aren’t space-equipped for working with quarts or pounds. Readers will find recipes organized by season, such as Rosemary Rhubarb Jelly, Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup, Sweet Cherry Compote and Fig Jam with Thyme. Some recipes take just under an hour to prepare.

You can buy a copy of Preserving by the Pint here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of Preserving by the Pint, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us what you’re looking forward to preserving from this upcoming summer season. Need inspiration? Flip through Food Network’s Canning, Pickling and Preserving 101 gallery here.

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Bobby Talks Pet Peeves, the Biggest Mistake Finalists Always Make and Cooking vs. On-Camera Skills

by , May 23rd, 2014

Bobby Flay Talks Pet Peeves and the Biggest Mistake Finalists Always MakeEarlier this week Giada dished on her fellow judges and behind-the-scenes moments (read the interview here.) Now we’re asking Bobby Flay about his time on Star, what it’s like to be a judge, what mistakes he’s tired of seeing and if he could have survived the show as a contestant.

Star Talk: What are you excited for this season on Star?
Bobby Flay: This is the 10th season of Food Network Star, and every season the most-exciting thing to me is meeting the new finalists — people who have a chance to be the next Star on Food Network. So as excited as they are, I’m excited to see who they are just as much.

Star Talk: From the first season until now, what has changed?
BF: I feel like every season the finalists get better and savvier than the last. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they get to watch the seasons prior and they become students of the sort. It’s definitely a game. It’s a game until you actually get the job. That’s the way it works. I take my role of a judge very seriously. In a way, we’re mentoring people, as well, we’re not just saying yes or no. We’re trying to give advice, but I want to add somebody to the roster of Food Network who is going to strengthen the network as a whole. I think of it as adding a new player to our team to make it better.

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Giada Talks Star Season 10, Her Fellow Judges and Behind-the-Scenes Moments

by , May 19th, 2014

Giada Talks Star Season 10Before Season 10 kicks off, the editors of Star Talk wanted to sit down with show’s ultimate trio of stars, Giada, Bobby and Alton, to talk about what fans can expect, their favorite elements of the show, as well as what they think of each other. First up, Giada De Laurentiis.

Star Talk: How has the show evolved?
Giada De Laurentiis: I think that the finalists have become more savvy. Each time the viewers are able to watch the show, they start to understand what we’re looking for. Although, having said that, each time Bobby, Alton and I meet a new group of finalists, they tend to have the same issues. I think they’re getting savvier, but they’re still missing the point as to what we’re looking for. I think they think they’re polished, but they’re not quite as polished as they need to be. I think people think this job is very, very simple, when actually it’s a bit more complicated than they anticipated once they get into it.

Star Talk: What are the most-common mistakes you see in finalists?
GDL: I think there are several. One is too polished and media trained. Second, I think that they all come in thinking that they’re going to pitch their point of view. They’re passionate, so of course they think they should be the next Food Network Star — as if that’s enough to get you this job, which we all know it goes way deeper than that. We’re looking for charisma. I think the finalists need to feel empowered, show they can be a leader, be an authority and also be a little spontaneous so we never get bored.

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Watch: Guy Takes Fans on a Tour of the New Flavortown Market

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 6th, 2014

A new season of Guy’s Grocery Games premieres Sunday, May 11 at 8|7c, and to get fans excited, Guy’s showing everyone the new digs. That’s right: This season, Flavortown Market moves to Guy’s hometown, Santa Rosa, Calif.

“First and foremost, this set — Flavortown Market — will knock your socks off. It has the most-eclectic and most-international profile of ingredients available,” Guy tells FN Dish. “When you use the term ‘super’ in ‘supermarket,’ that’s what this set is — it’s truly defining in all shapes and sizes. The aisles are wider, the lighting is better, so it makes it easier for the chefs to shop and see what’s on the shelves. Going along with the shelves, the culinary team has stocked and set them up so they’re far more shopper friendly. There are a lot of great markets around the country, but I wish Flavortown Market really existed.”

Tour the new Flavortown Market before the start of the new season by clicking the play button above.