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Team Giada: Down to Four

by , May 29th, 2012

Team Giada held strong in the first two episodes. Week one, Josh Lyons made it successfully through the pitch room, and then the team took home a win in week two’s food tour challenge. Giada still had all five of her finalists going into week three — but not for long.

After ending up in the bottom of the Chopped desserts challenge, Josh faced the Producers’ Challenge once again, and this time Giada’s pitch-room plea wasn’t enough to save him from elimination. Bob and Susie thought that as the front man of a rock band, Josh would be more comfortable in the spotlight, but he continued to stumble over his presentations. “I think he’s talented,” said Giada. “I just don’t know that he was ready for this.”

Hear more from Giada, Susie and Josh in his exclusive exit interview. Do you think it was Josh’s time to go?

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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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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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Star-a-Day: Josh Lyons

by , May 9th, 2012

Josh Lyons

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.

Team Giada’s Josh Lyons was a singer in a rock band when he decided to switch gears and enroll in culinary school. He lives in Jupiter, Florida, where he’s now a sushi chef and restaurant consultant. Josh, 42, still writes songs and performs with his band on the side.

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Scenes From the 2012 James Beard Awards

by in Events, View All Posts, May 8th, 2012

On Monday night the food industry celebrated the best of the best from the past year at the 2012 James Beard Awards at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Often referred to as the Oscars of food, the evening honored both well-known chefs (the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Wolfgang Puck) and up-and-coming stars (Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York won Rising Star Chef of the Year). Get the full list of winners here and check out our photos from the red carpet below.

James Beard Awards, Ted Allen

James Beard Award-winner and Chopped host Ted Allen snapped his own photos.

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Star-a-Day: Cristie Schoen

by , May 8th, 2012

Cristie Schoen

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.

Today we spotlight the fifth member of Team Alton, 35-year-old Cristie Schoen. Growing up in a military family, Cristie loved cooking Cajun cuisine with her dad. Now she lives in New Orleans and aspires to open a cafe of her own, serving locally grown, nutritious cuisine.

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Star-a-Day: Kara Sigle

by , May 7th, 2012

Kara Sigle

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.

Team Bobby’s Kara Sigle is a 31-year-old caterer and fitness guru from Chicago. She learned to cook from her mom and likes to put a healthy spin on favorite tried-and-true dishes.

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Star-a-Day: Linkie Marais

by , May 6th, 2012

Linkie Marais

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.

Twenty-eight-year-old Linkie Marais is Team Giada’s resident baking queen. Linkie grew up in South Africa and moved with her family to Mississippi at age 16. This trained pastry chef and wedding cake expert now lives in Massachusetts.

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Star-a-Day: Emily Ellyn

by , May 5th, 2012

Emily Ellyn

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.

Today we meet Team Alton’s quirky retro gal, 29-year-old Emily Ellyn. Emily grew up on a farm, trained at the Culinary Institute of America and Academie Internationale de Management in Paris and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in hospitality management.

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