Eight weeks ago, nine home cooks entered All-Star Academy for a chance to join a mentor’s team and compete to win $50,000 and bragging rights as the best home cook in the nation. Tonight one of those cooks did just that. The finale began with Team Alex’s Lee, Team Robert’s Natasha and Team Andrew’s Zoe, but halfway through, Zoe was eliminated, and she and her mentor left for good. That left Lee, a home cook with a Northern California flair, and Natasha, a home cook specializing in foods with a Southern inflection. Their final challenge required them to cook a dish from the heart — something that showed how far they’ve come in the competition. It all came down to that last dish.
Tag: all-star academy
Mentor vs. Mentor: What the Season 2 All-Star Academy Team Leaders Have to Offer — Smack Talk Includedby Joseph Erdos in Shows, February 12th, 2016
This season two new chefs are stepping into the role of mentor on All-Star Academy: Robert Irvine and Andrew Zimmern are bringing a new energy to the arena. Season 1 mentors Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone return to try their luck at winning yet again, but this time with lots more experience under their belts. All four have the job of mentoring a team of two home cooks, but only one home cook will have the chance to walk away with the $50,000 win. On the line for the winning mentor: infinite bragging rights as the best teacher this academy has seen.
These four chefs may be friends outside of the show, but when it comes to competition, that friendliness gets shoved aside and replaced with rivalry, an urge to come out on top — and all of this includes some smack talk flying around. FN Dish spoke with Alex and Curtis to see if they had anything to say about the two new mentors, Robert and Andrew, and whether they had any advice for them. And we asked Robert and Andrew what they bring to the table — what sets them apart from veterans Alex and Curtis. The answers we got from both sides were exactly what we were hoping to hear. This competition is going to be good.
On the new season of All-Star Academy, Robert Irvine and Andrew Zimmern are joining returning mentors Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone. The four mentors will each lead a team of home cooks through intense cooking challenges beginning on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 10|9c. In each school-themed lesson, special guest professors will judge the home cooks’ dishes, with an elimination every week. The top student who makes it through all of the eight episodes will leave with a $50,000 grand prize and earn bragging rights for his or her mentor.
By: Leah Brickley
Who else is super excited that Joseph’s striped bass entree made him the winner of All-Star Academy? It looked delicious (though we thought Vanessa’s did too) and judge Curtis Stone certainly confirmed that it was. But Joseph didn’t escape without some constructive criticism — the skin on his striped bass could have been a little crispier. So, in honor of Joseph attending culinary school with his winnings, here’s a little lesson in crispy fish skin.
Eight weeks ago 10 home cooks entered All-Star Academy with hopes of making it to the end and leaving as the winner of the $50,000 grand prize. After many hard-fought battles, having faced numerous culinary curveballs, maniacal mash-ups and more, one person has come out on top as the winner. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winner.
It’s been seven weeks leading up to the finale on Sunday, April 19 at 9|8c. Ten home cooks from around the country entered All-Star Academy with the goal of leaving victorious and $50,000 richer. In the premiere only eight competitors were chosen for four teams led by mentors Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon. And each week one home cook was eliminated, leaving just one per team.
But with the elimination of Team Curtis this past Sunday, there are only three home cooks left in the competition. Who will win? You’ll have to find out by tuning in, but until then support your favorite by voting for them in the fan poll.
By: Leah Brickley
This week on All-Star Academy, the competition got hot (literally) when mentor Bobby Flay instructed mentee Joseph to add harissa to his tomato sauce for a surprising spin on his duck Parmesan dish.
We here in Food Network Kitchen are big fans of the spicy North African condiment, made from dried red chiles, garlic, and spices like coriander, caraway and cumin, so we cheered Joseph on as he added spoonfuls of the brick-red paste to his simmering sauce. Here’s a little harissa tutorial if you’re thinking about doing the same.
Harissa can be found in specialty food stores (or maybe even at your local market) in a tube, jar or can. It’s super-concentrated (think tomato paste), and heat levels can differ from brand to brand, so be sure to always taste it before cooking. You can add the concentrated paste straight into soups, stews and sauces, like Joseph did, or add just a few ingredients to make an entirely new condiment. Here are four other fun ways to play with harissa:
- Mix it into softened butter and freeze into a log in parchment. Melt pats of harissa butter on grilled steak, grilled chicken or a baked potato.
- Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, water and some salt into the paste. Use this new drizzly condiment on grain bowls or vegetables, or use it as a spicy vinaigrette for a green salad.
- Stir harissa into mayonnaise. Use it as a dip for chicken fingers, or spread it on a sandwich.
- Add a little harissa to your peanut butter for a spicy-sweet-salty spread. We love it on just saltine crackers for a quick snack, but you can also pair it with a little apricot preserves for a made-over PB&J.
There’s only one episode left! Tune in this coming Sunday at 10|9c to find out who takes home the $50,000 cash prize.
During the latest episode of All-Star Academy, the remaining contestants got a double whammy — they all had to share guest mentor Robert Irvine and create a winning dish using a mystery canned good. Once all the cans were opened, we learned that chicken, ham, tuna, salmon and clams were on the menu. Some of you may have run for the hills faced with such a challenge, for those of you left, which canned protein would you have wanted?
We in Food Network Kitchen (well, some of us) would go straight for the tuna. But not all cans of tuna are equal. There are many types from which to choose. Below is a little bit about what’s in the can.
Our knees were knocking during the latest episode of All-Star Academy when the remaining contestants served up their alphabet-themed dishes — there needed to be four ingredients beginning with the letters S, T, A and Y in each dish — to judge and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia. We were sad to see Angela, one of Bobby Flay’s mentees, go after she was docked major points for a messy fried egg (Y was for “yolk” in her dish). Even if you have all the time in the world, the simplest of dishes takes practice and technique. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s step-by-step how-to for the perfect fried, sunny-side-up egg.
On All-Star Academy, Sundays at 9|8c, each team of home cooks is mentored by an expert Food Network chef. The four mentors pass on their culinary knowledge to their mentees, teaching them cooking skills, how to react to certain situations and how to deal with the pressures of time management. But the experts weren’t born with this knowledge; they too had to learn it from someone when they were first coming up in the ranks as professional chefs. Their mentors also had to teach them technique and how to find focus in the kitchen.
FN Dish recently caught up with the mentors of All-Star Academy to find out who those influencers were, what they learned from them and how they made a difference in their lives, personally and professionally. Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon reveal their mentors, and you might be surprised to find out some have even shared the same mentor, or have been one another’s mentor.