All Posts By Sara Levine

Sara Levine is a Senior Online Editor at FoodNetwork.com and a culinary-school-trained home cook. Several years ago she quit her magazine job to go to Le Cordon Bleu, which led to a stint in Food Network Kitchen. Although cooking professionally wasn’t her thing, she loves frequenting restaurants and putting her own amateur culinary skills to work in her tiny kitchen.

Star Poll: Pick Your Dish

by , May 24th, 2012

For the bus tour challenge, Team Giada ended up right in their mentor’s comfort zone: Arthur Avenue, the Bronx’s answer to Little Italy. Maybe this added a little pressure — as Team Giada, they couldn’t mess up Italian food! They...

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Restaurant Revisited: University Grill

by in Shows, May 23rd, 2012

University Grill

At the University Grill in Burlington, N.C., Robert Irvine faced three co-owners who refused to get along. Siblings Eleni, George and Manny opened the restaurant five years ago to help provide for their retired parents, but they were facing failure when Restaurant: Impossible came along to help. We checked in with the siblings after their restaurant’s makeover to see how business is going.

A few months after Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team arrived on the scene, sales at the University Grill are up 15 percent. “Everyone loves the new decor,” says Eleni.

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Team Bobby’s First Farewell

by , May 22nd, 2012

Team Bobby was riding high after taking home the first win of the season, only to come crashing back to reality in Episode Two. On their food tour of Harlem, caterer and fitness guru Kara Sigle hoped a strong presentation would distract from her lifeless chicken and waffles. Unfortunately, she stumbled, lost focus and completely forgot to tell the crowd — and the judges — about her dish at all. She wasn’t surprised to end up in the Producers’ Challenge, going head-to-head against Judson to create the ultimate potato dish and make it memorable.

When Bob and Susie decided that Team Alton’s Judson was the better gamble to keep around another week, he was the one who shed tears. Kara left the competition with her head held high and still hopes to see Team Bobby come out on top. “They become your family immediately,” she said of her team. “I think they’re going to go all the way. That’s the final four right there.”

Hear more from Bobby, Susie and Kara in her exclusive exit interview. Do you think she deserved to go home so soon?

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Caption It: Stay Out of Trouble

by , May 18th, 2012

Oh, Josh. In Episode One, this rock star/sushi chef was Team Giada’s problem child. First, he somersaulted onto the stage to get Bob and Susie’s attention — and it worked, but not in a good way. Then he ended up in the bottom two. With...

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Restaurant Revisited: Barolo

by in Shows, May 16th, 2012

In Aptos, Calif., Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible team faced the daunting task of turning things around at Ristorante Barolo. Owners Giovanni Guerisoli and Cristina Locke struggled with the changing economy as well as family health problems, and could barely keep their 10-year-old business afloat. We checked in with the couple to see how things were going after Restaurant: Impossible.

Three months later, sales at Ristorante Barolo have increased by 37%. “The new decor and also all the publicity because of the show have brought new customers,” says Cristina. “People watch and really like Restaurant: Impossible.” Read more

Team Alton: Down to Four

by , May 15th, 2012

Team Alton was the first to lose a member with the departure of Cristie Schoen in Sunday’s premiere. Cristie, a movie-set caterer, came off as angry when she delivered her pitch for healthy eating (and a bland black-eyed pea and cabbage soup) in the Restaurant: Impossible challenge. She tried to redeem herself in the Producers’ Challenge, but Bob and Susie ultimately felt that Josh had more staying power.

“I got confused and you lost me at the end. I don’t see the joy and the excitement that will excite an entire nation to eat healthy,” Bob Tuschman told Cristie. She handled her early exit gracefully, but with regrets about her performance: “I’m really disappointed that I did not make it close to the top because I do have such an important message to share. I wasn’t able to communicate that message out.”

Hear more from Alton, Bob and Cristie in her exclusive exit interview. Do you think she deserved to be the first to go?

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Star-a-Day: Eric Lee

by , May 10th, 2012

Eric Lee

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Last but not least, our final Star of the Day is Eric Lee from Team Bobby. Eric, 44, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and now lives in Petaluma, California. He worked for 11 years as the executive chef of a winery before leaving to shoot Food Network Star.

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