Star Commentary: Finale Loyalties

by in Food Network Star, August 9, 2011

Vic, Susie and Jeff

Well, there’s only one episode left. Come Sunday night,  Vic "Vegas" Moea, Susie Jimenez or Jeff Mauro will officially be named the next Food Network Star. After 10 episodes of trying challenges, dramatic exchanges and emotional moments, loyal viewers and eager commenters on Food Network’s Facebook page and our Star blog have become attached to the finalists, particularly the remaining three, and are fervently rooting for their favorite.

Susie Jimenez

"Team Susie" fanatics write that "Spice It Up" Susie "should win this competition" and "could connect with a lot of viewers ...and be very successful with her own show." One passionate commenter left Susie a message on Facebook: "Susie Jimenez!! I love YOU!!! Your food is fantastic, and your sense of humor is so adorable . . . buena suerte!!"

Vic Vegas Moea

"Team Vic" supporters are equally enthusiastic, having "loved him since day one." Many "Mama’s Boy" hopefuls are wishing "to see Vic take the win next week," and others wrote that "we don't need someone perfect; we need Vic!!!"

Jeff Mauro

Not to be forgotten, "Team Jeff" devotees feel that Jeff is "the total package" with his "exciting and fresh point of view." Many wrote that he simply "needs to win" and that "The Sandwich King is KING!"

Which team will you be cheering on during the finale? Tell us on Facebook and Star Talk. Don’t miss the final moments of Star Season 7 on Sunday, August 14th, beginning with a reunion episode at 8pm/7c and the finale at 9pm/8c.

Last chance! Cast your Fan Favorite Vote up to 10 times per day.

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Comments (344)

  1. Susie or Jeff either way it doesn't matter because both are still a bit mediocre to me but if either one of them wins then it wouldn't be a shock. Someone has to win.
    Now if Vic wins, then I'd have to be shocked because his POV is unstable and he probably still sucks in front of a camera. I still couldn't see his mama's cookin in that lamb challenge, all I saw was nothin but Vegas, especially in that lamb burger.

    • The Shrink says:

      I agree

    • Deaddoc says:

      I know they need ratings but this remaining Food Network Star crew is awful. Vic has no media skills whatsoever. How many more Mexican cooking shows do we need? If Aaron Sanchez of Chopped can't make a decent television show, do they think that Suie will? Jeff's bathroom humor is childish. I am shocked that no one from Food Network TV hasn't taken him aside and told him, point blank, you don't discuss going to the bathroom on a food program. No one is interested in your bowel habits.

      • Sheridan says:

        Dead, he has learned from that week what..4 experience. He has been trying to balance humor, energy, and warmth, which i think he has been doing well with. I think Jeff can win this.

      • KimbaLion says:

        Anybody ever read the Theroux book "Millroy the Magician?" That's the only instance I know of when bowel habits are indeed a major emphasis of a food show. It's a strange, unsettling, compelling book. Sorry this may not be extremely relevant, but Deaddoc's last couple sentences blasted this right back into my mind ;-)

    • lea says:

      Vic is NEVER Mediocre. I hope he wins and can't wait to watch him in his own show. I'm sure with his talent
      and personality he will be involved in many other shows on FN.

    • joan standora says:

      Agree about the mediocrity - both Susie and Jeff are boring personalities and neither show would be too interesting to watch - at least I won't. As for Vic, he is a bit "unstable" but all of these chefs have had bad days. At least Vic was more honest than the others. I suspect that Susie is the favorite of the judges - too bad - another poor season choice just like last year with "Artie".

    • jimmyz3 says:

      I think Susie should have won but I have to say this seasopn was the worst. I love and watch the Fppd Network for the entertainment npt the drama. I missed most of this season because of the drama. Penny is a total bitch and she probably thinks hers being like she was will get her a show. But she is wrong, she came off mean, nasty and this whole thing about it being a game was such crap. Its about cooking and personality. She is stupid to think she got people voted off. Did she think she was on celebrity Apprentice? She is just an awful person and I would never watch her.

  2. Bob Toren says:

    First of all I'm pretty happy with the final 3, although I think Whitney should be there instead of Vic, but I'm ok with Vic.

    I'm hoping for Susie to win it, and have been a Susie fan since the very beginning.
    Maybe I'm biased living in Tucson and being a fan of mexican food but I think there is plenty of room for another show on FN with a mexican theme, plus, Susie is no doubt capable of taking something non-mexican and putting her "spice it up" spin on it.

    Best of luck to all 3 and GO SUSIE!

    • JamesinAlaska says:

      Yes, I'm rooting for Susie.
      Jeff might be likeable, but a sandwich show? Boring. I just cant see it.
      Vic--seems like when his food is good, his on-camera isnt. When his camera is good, his food falls flat.
      Susie---most consistent of the 3 in making good-tasting (and well-plated) food. Great smile. Getting more relaxed and learning from judges. GO Susie!

    • LindaSta says:

      There are several Mexican/Latino cuisine programs on FN. Most of the other chefs dip into that food style from time to time. So, they don't need another one. But if Susie is allowed to '"spice it up' with other kinds of dishes, then I will give her a try. Jeff is too much of a clown for my taste and Vic is too scattered in his POV
      I had really hoped Whitney would take the prize. She does beautiful food and has the ability to explain difficult concepts with ease and simplicity

    • Bob Toren says:

      I see FN just put up a poll to see who our least favorite contestant is.
      Gee, I wonder who will get the most votes?!

      • LindaSta says:

        I'm sure most of us have no clue who it will be. .....Right.
        I wish I understood the point of that poll.

        • Bob Toren says:

          I hear you on what's the point of that poll.

          One thing I want to mention is that Chris went up a few notches in my eyes after the way he conducted himself as a sous chef for Susie. Susie gave very good instructions/directions and Chris seemed to give his all and did his best.
          Good job Chris! (Penny could learn from him)

          • LindaSta says:

            Chris is apparently a different animal when the spotlight is not on him. I don't think I could have watched a show that starred him. But he did do well as a sous chef

          • Dishy says:

            I liked Michael Symon's comment about Penny: "That woman is moving at the speed of dirt!" Lmao!! And I agree with you Bob about Chris. He did a GREAT job as a sous chef for Susie, even though he had been voted out.

      • KimbaLion says:

        I voted for Howie (remember him?) as my least favorite. Not that I liked Penny, but at least she actually knew how to cook.

        • Dishy says:

          For me it was a toss up between Penny and the tattooed Justin who gave the "middle finger" to FN when he was voted out. Thought that was totally uncalled for. But, like everyone else is saying: what is the point of the poll?

    • ROX says:


  3. Foodfan says:

    I wish these people on the blog would stop making up rumors that Susie is an illegal. They have no proof she is and that is just a stereotype. Just because she is Mexican, does NOT mean she hopped off the border and snuck into America. That is just plain rude and judgmental.

    • Marsha says:

      Maybe if everyone dropped it. it would go away.

      • Sue M. says:

        Click the "report" button. The comments go away pretty quickly if you do that.

        • Thank you Sue, and if you "reply" to it, the tag stays, and even if the comment goes to the adminstrator, there is evidence of the comment. But if no one replys but insteads clicks the "Report" button, FN is informed and the comment goes away. So please don't hit the "Reply" button and eventually, we'll exorcise this demon.

    • 1894567 says:

      No one has provided any proof either way...unless you have proof?

      • Why should we need proof? And what does it matter? It's a show about cooking!

        • 1894567 says:

          The OP said, "They have no proof..." I pointed out that there is not proof to the contrary either...unless the OP had proof that it was a rumor (as was suggested). There is no proof either way. Some are claiming one way...without any proof. Others are claiming another way...without any proof. Neither can legitimately claim absolute.

          It would matter for the obvious reason.

          • Kristy Roberts says:

            I love it !!! The more you hate. The more successful they become.

          • 1894567 says:

            What? My comment clearly states that neither side has a legitimate claim. It was purely analytical. There was no emotion. So I have no idea what you are talking about.

  4. Evelyn says:

    I certainly hope that because of her deplorable behavior, Penny is blacklisted from anything having to do with the Food Network for all time! I don't agree with unsportsmanlike behavior even during competition, but to intentionally sabotage a fellow competitor when you are not even in competition is absolutely unbelievable and is not the behavior of a person that any of us EVER want to see again.

    • Sam says:

      She's an hired actor for the show. It was so obvious. Even in her interviews with the press, she told them that the thing she's doing next is acting in a movie. On top of that, Alicia suspected that Penny was an actor also.

      • LindaSta says:

        Just curious.... where did you get the information that Penny was a hired actor? What would be the point of that? As shown in previous years, the challenges provide enough drama and make a far more enjoyable show than this one has been. I certainly enjoyed it more once Penny was gone. Seeing her this week in the Iron Chef challenge did nothing whatever to enhance my enjoyment. I originally thought that Penny's pride in her work would make her do her best, but after thinking about it for awhile, I realized she would do whatever she could to not be helpful to her partner. In fact I almost didn't watch this week because I knew what was going to happen as a result. of that pairing.

        • lyn_f says:

          She actually stated in interviews what her next project will be, and it was an acting gig.

          • LindaSta says:

            That doesn't mean that she is a hired actor in this Food Network program. She can want to act all she wants. She can plan to do it all she wants. But want and get are not the same thing. Wanting to act doesn;t make her a professional actress. I can understand the impression that she might be a ringer. We've never seen anyone quite like her before in the Food Network competition. But I seriously doubt that it's the case.

          • lyn_f says:

            I never said that she was a 'hired actor in this Food Network program'. Only that she said in interviews after her elimination that her next project was an acting gig.

      • anotherPaul says:

        I agree that she was a hired actor. I had my suspicions before she was eliminated. But the way she was on the Iron Chef challenge cemented the idea for me. Totally unfair to MB. Yes, as the judges said, you have to learn how to deal with problems that come up. But this is supposed to be a fair competition. They all should have had to deal with problems coming up then, not just MB. I think I've lost interest in what are probably fixed results among mediocre talents. Not sure I'll even bother watching the finale.

        • subdjoe says:

          Proof! Do you have ANY documentation to back up that claim? Or is it just more "I hate Penny" garbage that so many seem to love to spew here?

          Christ on a unicycle! People whine about how mean Penny was for not wanting to deal with Alicia's pouting, preening, and pity party, but laude Jyll for putting together her giggling, vindictive little clique because she 'didn't want to deal with the drama.' What the heck was the difference?



          Jyll is a cute little blond barbie doll who smiles as she slides the dagger into your back.

          • anotherPaul says:

            no more proof than you have for your accusations that MB failed to instruct Penny. I don't hate Penny. I couldn't care less about her. But that's probably because I see her as an actress...a paid participant to stir the pot. But it does seem that you are wound pretty tightly with some MB hatred. Oh irony, thy name is Joe.

        • cooksforfun says:

          I really have to disagree. I don't think there were any plants on FNS. It's a cooking show for cryin out loud!

          The 4 contestants who returned to act as sous chefs during the Iron Chef challenge were simply the last 4 who were eliminated. Simple as that.

    • Constance Jay says:

      Totally agree!! Wow! How can a person be so mean and in front of so many people.

    • granbon says:

      I totally agree. I am really disappointed that Penny was invited back for last week's episode. It is extremely unfair that Mary Beth was eliminated for a dish created under the worst of circumstances. Not only was Penny difficult and rude, she worked to defeat Mary Beth in this situation. Shame on Food Network for allowing this situation to occur.

      I am not a particular Mary Beth fan, but do believe she should be invited back into the competition where she can lose or win on her own abilities, rather than the on venom of a spiteful, unhappy person like Penny.

      • LindaSta says:

        That would seem to be a fair solution to the unfair disadvantage Mary Beth had to deal with. Unfortunately it's not going to happen.
        A more possible solution would be to offer her a show where she can use her real talent which is describing food and techniques.
        Actually she survived a lot longer than I thought she would based on her bio and stated credentials. She is a commentater and food writer. She is also a good HOME cook. She doesn't have restaurant experience or culinary training. She has never had to cook under rigid time constraints or in such a hectic atmosphere. .

    • Janny says:

      You really have to wonder how Penny lasted as long as she did. Of all the contestant goings-on in this season, her whole presence seemed to be "set up," and I found myself wondering more than once if she was just a "ringer" FN decided to throw in to bring in more drama. Drama of her kind, no, thanks...don't need it. I especially feel bad for Mary Beth under the circumstances--when Alton mentioned to Penny that her pace could result in someone losing, she just gave him this look as if to say, "That's the idea." It felt like there was an agenda to that whole pairing, as if the idea was to get rid of Mary Beth somehow, but they didn't know how else to do it. I'm wondering if they really wanted Mary Beth to take charge to the point where she ordered Penny around rather than requesting, saying please and thank you, and holding to her own good manners...while Penny deliberately sabotaged her. Did they really want these women to get into a shouting match? What purpose would that serve for either of them? Gotta wonder.

    • bev says:

      I was terribly disappointed when FN brought back that horrible nasty person, and I can't believe they don't get it that no one likes her, she is a horrible nasty human being and has no place on a show that is supposed to be for enjoyment. I will never ever watch any show that she is on, I had a hard time watching when they brought her back and paired her with a nice person and it was obvious that she
      was purposely trying to make her lose.

    • Trudi says:

      I agree with you Evelyn.

      • Rose says:

        One thing that Penny did not realize is that some of the contestants who do not win Star come back with a show of their own. Penny by being negative in helping Mary Beth, I think, lost an opportunity to come back in another capacity. This shows she would rather be a nasty person than try to show the network that she has talent. It seems that her food was good and there is nothing like a Middle Eastern cooking show, so she might have had an opportunity if she had shown to be a better person with a good work and behavior ethic.

    • Sandy says:

      Evelyn: How I was hoping that someone would blast Penny for her behavior. I agree with you that she should be blacklisted.

      She was not Food Network material from the first or second show - being able to cook isn't what it is all about!

      • Dishy says:

        I liked what Michael Symon had to say about Penny: "That woman is working at the speed of dirt!" lmao!

    • CarolJE says:

      I really disliked Penny and was thrilled to see her go. Apparently the judges really liked her food and that must be what kept her there so long. But after Penny was gone, Mary Beth showed a nasty side as well. I was pretty surprised to hear some of her comments and how she reacted to Jeff during the reunion show. I was not impressed with Mary Beth as well as Penny.

  5. Susan says:

    I do not need someone to tell me how to make a "sammich" and I make Mexican food once a year - Cinco D Mayo but oh we love good Italiano and Vic would be the one to bring the recipes. Big Daddy wasn't the best in front of the camera initially, but he has improved over time and is fun to watch. Vic will be better. ****If I don't see you as a Star on FNC, maybe I will have the opportunity to try your food when I am in Vegas this October. GO VIC!!! :) ****

    • LindaSta says:

      If Vic wins, I hope he doesn't stick to Italian only. There are others already on the network who are being there and doing that. He had trouble sticking to that POV in the competitions. So I hope he gets a little adventurous if he is the winner.

  6. Terichef says:

    Moving forward, after much disappointment with the unlucky Penny sabotaging MB, I am moving my platform to "King Sandwich" for a couple of my own reasons. Sandwiches are a quick fix for a busy school/work night meal-King Sandwich can have yummy home made breads, I have an absolute "must" homemade mustard receipe -all kinds of good and fun stuff; both fancy and quick. Maybe throw in some easy desserts (doesn't have to be sandwich-like-just good old regular cookies and bars) and fun side salads-He could have a really fun show; breakfast, lunch, dinner, Thanksgiving left overs, etc. etc. a lot of fun ideas. Good Luck Jeff!!!

    • subdjoe says:

      MB did herself in with
      1) thinking that lamb only works as chops
      2) poorly executing the cooking of the chop
      3) snubbing Penny and not giving her any indication of the plans or how much of what to cut.

      Her own petty bitterness and hate is what sunk her.

      (I wonder how long it will take to get to a -10 for not being in accord with the dictates of the "I Love To Hate Penny" club)

      • MB will be eventually employed by FN, for clearly she has the "chops". She would make an excellent counterpoint to Alton. And please, stop with the "hate" word. It really does not belong in these posts. Friends, it's about food afterall.

        • subdjoe says:

          Sorry, I call it as I see it. People seemed to have no trouble at all calling Penny mean, hateful, hurtful, etc. and no one told them to stop. There was even one with a user name of "IHATEPENNY\." But I get whined at for calling people on their clearly hate filled comments about Penny? Nice double standard you have there.

          MB talks a good line, yeah. Maybe give her a show like Unwrapped. Or maybe (yet another) show traveling around the country stopping at eateries and pronouncing things 'yummy' or 'money.' But her cooking skills seem to be just barely above average.

          Is it OK with you, FoodArchitect, if I say that I find MB to be petty and mean spirited?

        • William says:

          I think she would be a good fit as a commentator on Iron Chef

          • Janny says:

            I agree. I'd love to see MB make an appearance on FN in some capacity. But then again, I can easily see Vic, Jeff, and Susie ALL finding some place on's hard to pick between them.

      • KimbaLion says:

        Oh, I'm sure you'll get there, Joe, but you made some points with which I agree. I would have definitely cooked lamb three ways, probably as a rack, as chops, and perhaps ground. How creative could you get with three different cuts! All and only lamb chops showed (sorry) her lack of "chops." And yes, Penny was evil, and yes, Penny didn't help her, but Penny wasn't really asked to do much so she did even less. I'm not convinced that even the greatest sous chef would have made a chops, chops, chops menu into a winner.

      • LindaSta says:

        There was no indication that she thought that lamb only works as chops
        She wanted to present variations on a theme and that is a perfectly valid idea.
        Did you seen any of the others shown giving a lot of direction to their sous chefs? The only part that was shown for Jeff was the explanation of the overall plan and his original request for a task. MB asked Penny to prepare chops and she was pretty slow about that. I could have dissected that rack of lamb faster than Penny did. Although it wasn't shown in the show that aired, there was a clip in the previews where she asked penny to do a task, explained what she intended to do and thanked Penny. So I think that the apparent lack of direction was not an accurate view. They just edited that part out because it's boring.

        I don't hate Penny. I do find myself repelled by her conduct. And what is it about MB that makes you hate her?

        • subdjoe says:

          Now you will have me sounding like all the charter members of the "I Love to Hate Penny" Club. I don't hate MB. I do see her as petty, mean spirited, cold, and two-faced. She was one of the core of the clique that decided that Penny was a monster because she didn't want to put up with one of the self centered barbie dolls and was upfront about trying to win. Basically the clique let Penny know from the start that they hated her and no matter what she did that would not change. So she didn't waste the effort on trying to kiss up to them.


          Interesting, My first paragraph got edited out.

          Basically I had said that we saw all the others actually talking to their assistants and going over things with them. It would seem from the comment Penny made when she was hip deep in chops that MB couldn't even be bothered to give some, even the slightest, hint of how many chops she wanted. You would think that MB would have the smarts to say right from the get go something like "We need 21 chops, so give me 24. Then finely dice three onions and slice up about 3 cups of sweet potato, about 1/8 inch thick, please." But she was unable to set aside the past and get on with the task at hand.

          ON the other hand, we saw no indication that MB thought there was anything else to do with lamb either. And then she couldn't even do a decent job of cooking the chops. And isn't it kind of trite? "I'll do lamb chops three ways!" Kind of like the "with cilantro and raspberry vinaigrette" that was the fad of the late 90s. Seemed you couldn't even get chocolate cake without a smear of raspberry vinaigrette.

          • bmj2 says:

            Interesting that you say MB was the center of a anti-Penny clique. Didn't see any evidence of that, but of Penny herself doing it. I'm not a MB fan and would much rather see Whitney, Orchid, Jyll, or even Katy, but MB didn't do Penny in. So what is your obsession with knocking down MB? Related to Penny perhaps?

          • subdjoe says:

            One of the core, I said. Although she was the last of the Gang of Three, Jyll, Alicia, and MB.

            And I did not make any claim that MB did in Penny. And, yes, I admit it, I'm related to Penny - I live in CA so I must be, right?

            I take it you are related to Whitney?

            I knock MB because to me she seems fake as and eight dollar bill, is mean spirited, spiteful, and can't stop carrying a grudge.

          • bmj2 says:

            Nope, not related to Whitney. Wouldn't mind if I was; she seems like an intelligent young lady. But I have been around long enough to see past the sizzle. Vic would probably do all right hosting a DDD type show, but less so teaching cooking. MB, I see her more of a host of something like an updated version for $40 a day travel show, but not a cooking show. Whitney would be a good teacher on a cooking show, but not as a RR style host.

            But the only reason folks question you is you seem to jump into every threat, no matter the topic, to post some form of "poor Penny/it's all MB's fault." That is the attitude that did Penny in, so it's natural for people to wonder ...

          • subdjoe says:

            Nice freudian slip there - every threat.

            Well, quite possibly is people would drop the Penny is a witch, Penny sabotaged poor little MB, MB can walk down the Amazon without getting her feet wet, mantras, whether there is any basis in it or not, I wouldn't be stepping in attempting to correct what I see as unwarranted bashing. Even on comments about the show she wasn't in people were heaping abuse on Penny. She wasn't there, why bring her up?

          • Dishy says:

            Joe, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, but I didn't see Mary Beth as being mean spirited nor spiteful. Every time she was paired with Penny, I say her trying to get along with her. Remember the hugs? Plus she tried to help Penny out when she was behind in the food truck challenge.

          • LindaSta says:

            I don't have you sounding like anything. You sound like what you write. You seem to have a strong bias against Mary Beth. If that perception is incorrect, then that is unfortunate, but your words are what lead me to that conclusion. And it appears that I am not the only one who has that impression from your words.

            Mary Beth never pretended to have culinary training or experience working in a restaurant.
            She presented herself as a person who loves food, loves writing about it and enjoys cooking good food at home. She says she has never cooked under such strict time constraints or under such chaotic conditions. So it's actually surprising she could produce as much good food as she did.

          • LindaSta says:

            You say she led a coalition to exclude and be rude to Penny. I saw no evidence of that. She met Penny's antagonism in the TV Stsr episode by being as considerate and friendly as possible and Penny responded by feeling ":nauseous" the next time they had to work together. Mary Beth was heard to say that she wanted to like Penny but that Penny was making it difficult. I think that was a pretty fair assessment.

            In the Food Truck episode, Mary Beth did some of Penny's prep work when she realized that Penny was in the weeds time wise. She worked the crowd to placate and entertain them while Penny finsihed her very overdue sandwiches. Penny responded by making fighting cat noises at her when she truthfully answered a direct question in the evaluation.
            I can't see where your perception that Mary Beth was "petty, mean-spirited, cold or two-faced" comes from.
            I'm not asking you to like her, but your comments about her are not particularly fair, You objected to the comments about Penny, so it's not especially balanced to make the same kind of comments about Mary Beth

          • Glad that you said it. MB is any thing but mean. Well said and thank you.

        • Janny says:

          I think Penny's conduct showed way more about her own insecurities than it did anything else. And anyone who has to walk over other people, and is dumb enough to TELL THEM about it...hello? She had all the signs of a ringer, a plant, someone FN threw in to cause drama. Too bad she was allowed to sabotage Mary Beth so successfully. I cannot shake the impression I had that that whole pairing was set up ahead of time. For FN to in effect reward a woman who did everything in her power to set other people up for failure, while at the same time talking about how they're a "family"? Sorry. Doesn't wash.

    • Deaddoc says:

      Sorry, his bathroom humor has no place on a cooking show. Every time I see him, I think of someone doing a prep for a colonoscopy and forgetting to wash his hands.

    • Dishy says:

      I hope Susie wins. Maybe it's because of her great personality (met her in person) and the fact that I love spicy food. As for Jeff, I like the fact that he always had a strong POV (remember Whitney never had a real POV which was one of her downfalls). However, I rarely eat sandwiches so I doubt if I would watch Jeff's show.

  7. vereader says:

    I gained a lot of respect for Susie on Sunday's episode. She really took charge in the competition, and I was impressed with her creativity. Of the remaining contestants, I had been rooting for Vic, but now I'm rooting for Susie!

    • Dishy says:

      I am also a Susie fan. I met her in Atlantic City (along with Alicia, Mary Beth, Chris, Jeff and Whitney. Susie has such a great personality and is so outgoing and friendly. I think that she will at least be in the final two, which means she will probably have her own show anyway.

  8. subdjoe says:

    If FN doesn't box Susie into the little ethnic box that Fogleson stereotyped her into, I think she would have a very watchable show.

    Vic has potential. He has taken risks, but reasonable ones (except for the mint flavored apple jelly). A lot of his stuff had nice twists to it.

    Jeff. Nope. I can't take his junior high locker room humor. Also still irked at him for wrapping a flag around his neck like a scarf. Irked at FN for not calling him on it too.

    • Agree with you but not for the reasons you have expressed.

      Anytime that I hear Susie's name mentioned with the words "ethnic" or "illegal", I think of the word "RACIST". Even though you may not be, I suggest that let's just not go there. It doesn't belong.

      Vic has taken no risks, none. That is obvious. He has come only to please. Remember that the (Las) Vegas mindset is "Viva Las Vegas" and I think that Vic has fallen into that trap.

      And I agree about Jeff. But he may get his own show anyway.

      • 1894567 says:

        Your comment is quite revealing about the way you think. But not everyone thinks like that...and it's a bit much to censor people...unless you are one of the mods.

        Ethnic foods are ethnic foods. That's what they are. That's what they're called. There isn't anything racist about that...unless you make it that way.

        • Well being Danish, Irish, American indian, and a little bit of everything else, I do not beleive that I am obligated to cook any or all of those types of food. However, the excessive "hate", anger and maliciousness' on these posts needs to stop.

          • 1894567 says:

            What you cook has nothing to do with the OP or the OP using the word "ethnic." Again, your post is quite revealing.

            Since you are setting rules...are you a mod?

          • I must be. Feel free to call me "Food Blog Cop".

          • subdjoe says:

            Then you should drop it. You seem to be finding all sorts of stuff that isn't there.

          • Seems to me that so many of your posts include the word "hate", either expressed by yourself or others. What "is" with that? After all, it's about the food, isn't it.

          • subdjoe says:

            Ah! So you seem to be picking out ONE word of my comments about the members of the "I Love To Hate Penny" club trope. In which case I guess I should point out that I use the word "Love" about as often as I use the word "hate." (see how it balances out?).

            Also, you seem to have no problem taking people to task over things YOU don't like. But you seem to take exception to others doing the same thing. Do you try to be this controlling in the real world too? Or just in fora on the internet?

            You have also taken people to task for getting off the subject of food, yet you seem to be leading the pack in topics off the subject of food. Pot, meet kettle.
            (reminds me, I need to go try to scrub the soot off the camp kettle)

          • Let's put this thing into context. I do like you, really I do, but hate does not "balance" with love. Hate is hate and stands on its own. You have never said that you love any of the the contestants but I have read continuously about an indirect hate by yourself and others towards contestants.

            Oh, and there is only one other person since I have been blogging that I have "taken to task". And, if my guesses weren't correct, I am pretty sure that I wouldn't be getting this much talk.

          • 1894567 says:

            Good post.

          • 1894567 says:

            Follow the arrows...

          • I did and it felt good. Thank you man.

          • 1894567 says:

            Apparently you don't know how to read the indents and arrows. (The arm of the arrow aligns with the left edge of the reply button of the post to which it applies.) Notice, on my post above, the arm of the arrow aligns with subdjoe's post while on this post it aligns with your post. See the difference?

          • Totally know how. It was fun. Many hugs.

        • Oh, I forget. Go ahead, say what you want. And ethnic and food is one thing, but the term ethnic with a persons name has another. Mildly the term is usually called "steorotyping" but in reality it has another name.

          • 1894567 says:

            (Pssst....spelling and grammar)

            If that is how you see it, then it is only because you choose to define it that way. In reality...not everyone sees the world through your pre-conditioned, tainted glasses.

          • Gee, now, you have to go after spelling and grammar. Well at least you're toning it done a bit. Sounds like somebody has gotten worked up. And it's not over food. I must of said something that struck a nerve. Usually that means something - it's called the "truth".

            And don't expect any apologizes etiher, grammerically correct or otterwise (misspelled just for you).

          • 1894567 says:

            Now look what you did there. I pointed out that you choose to see it that you came back with a personal attack. Wow...never saw that coming. Chuckle.

            You see yourself as above and better than other the extent that you feel the need to go around telling them to follow your rules (that you don't follow) and to accept your definitions while you have no respect for theirs. You take your view as absolute. You don't seem to realize that others might have different interpretations and outlooks on life.

            I'm not offended by "ethnic," not ethnic foods, not ethnic people, not the ethnic section in the grocery store. But you...who claims this is about food...made it about "ethnic" that you turned into racism.

          • subdjoe says:

            My turn: "Well said!"

          • Thank you and yes I know where the arrows point. Need to come to each others rescues I see. Difficult to stand on you own?

            Oh, by the way, I love you guys. Group hug please.

          • 1894567 says:

            You see "rescues." That shows how you see terms of wanting and/or needing help...yours or someone else's. No one needed rescued. Both were fine alone. (Your posts say more about you than they do about the posts to which you are replying.)

        • LindaSta says:

          I agree that the use of the word 'ethnic' is appropriate here. The FN people seem to be locking her into a Latin - specifically Mexican - cuisine. That is an ethnic style of cooking. There is nothing racist about describing it that way.

          I agree with FoodArchitect that the assumption that she is an illegal is, if not racist, at least highly prejudiced. For one thing, I doubt she would be stupid enough to enter a competition like this one if she were.

      • subdjoe says: Ms. F harping on Susie to be true to her roots isn't pushing her into a stereotyped ethnic box? I find it very odd that you have taken onto yourself the role of though police here. And a real shame that you equate "ethnic" with "illegal" and then jump right to "racist."

        Maybe you would be so kind as to give us a list of o, so correct and tolerant words that you find acceptable for others to use.

        • subdjoe says:

          OK, so what the heck was so wrong with my comment "If FN doesn't box Susie into the little ethnic box that Fogleson stereotyped her into, I think she would have a very watchable show."? Somehow YOU jumped onto a high horse about illegal and racism.

          Ms. F DID force Susie into a stereotyped ethnic box. Why can't I mention that?

          And, yes, I got that you were talking to me. And giving me a ration because my comments don't seem to fit into your nice, neat, o, so tolerant world view. To the point where you jump on me for pointing out intolerance. Nice.

        • 1894567 says:

          Another good post.

      • ShinyKitchen says:

        What is racist is forcing poor Suzy to cook a specific type of food based entirely on her ethnic background. I agree 100% with subdjoe's blogpost: the judges forced Suzy into a little box based on her ethnicity, instead of letting her talent and personality shine free.

    • The Shrink says:

      Subjoe! I finally see someone who thinks the way I do about Jeff...I couldn't quite put it in words, but you explain it perfectly...I don't like Jeff because he acts like he's at the maturity level of Junior High! Well put. And thank you! I can't help wondering what adult woman would find him charming??? Mayb e an 8th grader, but not an adult. And I agree with everything else you've said too...except about mint jelly is classically paired with lamb...all through'squite delicious!

      • subdjoe says:

        Thanks, Shrink. I think the attraction to him is his Aw, shucks, boy-next-door looks.

        I'll stand by my comment about mint JELLY. Now a classic mint SAUCE, mint, water sugar, vinegar, maybe finely chopped shallots, THAT goes well. How that lovely sauce was transformed into apple jelly flavored with mint is beyond me.

        That sauce also works with pork and turkey. Or a dab of it on green beans. Makes an interesting dressing for boiled potatoes too.

        • KimbaLion says:

          I like your recipe for mint sauce, Joe. Although, I've actually made mint jelly with fresh mint from my garden (and way less sweet than the store-bought kind) with no food-colouring or anything gross and it was just delicious! Even won a prize in the County fair. And, it made fabulous Christmas presents. Gee, I've strayed from the FNS topic and am just chatting about food. Think I'll get in trouble ;-)

          • subdjoe says:

            You wicked, evil person! How dare you talk about food here! I've had home made mint jelly and other than the name it has little resemblance to the store bought stuff.

            Interesting that you call a list of ingredients a recipe. What do you see at the proportions and method?

          • KimbaLion says:

            Honestly, Joe, I see your point. But with your list of ingredients I am confident that I could use experience, intuition and my taste buds to come up with some GREAT mint sauce. It may or may not be exactly like yours, but it would please me and my family 0-)

          • subdjoe says:

            Oh, I'm sorry. I was curious, not snarky. Most people now won't call a list like that a recipe. No quantities given, not even a method. But, if you are a fan of old cookbooks and recipes, you will no doubt have run across things like: Coarse gingerbread. Take a quart of honey clarified, and seethe it till it be brown, and if it be thick put to it a dish of water: then take fine crumbs of white bread grated, and put to it, and stir it well, and when it is almost cold, put to it the powder of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and a little liquorice and aniseeds; then knead it, and put it into moulds and print it: some use to put to it also a little pepper, but that is according unto taste and pleasure. which gives method, but no amounts.


            For lumbardus mustard. Take mustarde and let hit drye Anonyn, Sir, wyturlye. Stomper hit in a morter fyne, And fars hit þurghe a clothe of lyne. Do wyne þerto and venegur gode, Sture hom wele togeder for þe rode, And make hit þyke inowghe þenne, Whenne þou hit spendes byfore gode menne, And make hit thynne with wyne, I say, With diverse metes þou serve hit may.

            I was just wondering what your interpretation would be. Mine is about a quarter cup each of water and sugar put in a pot, boil till sugar is dissolved (if using shallots, mince them fine and add at the start), while that is on the fire, chop up a good quantity of fresh mint, say a pint or so. Add about a cup of vinegar and the chopped mint to the pot. Or add the vinegar to the pot, put the mint in a bowl and pour the hot mix over it.

            Alternative is to sprinkle some sugar over freshly washed mint leaves (leave them slightly damp), chop them fine, put them in a bowl and pour hot vinegar over them. I prefer cider vinegar, but just about any will work although they give different tasting sauces.

          • KimbaLion says:

            I think I would be more apt to use your first suggested method, and I would definitely use cider vinegar in a sauce like this. I'd put the mint in a bowl rather than directly into the pot...a bit more love and a little less bruising. Of course I would finish with: taste and correct if necessary!

  9. JamesinAlaska says:

    The pictures above of the final 3 are all quite good. Susie and her Spice it up (and her smile) makes me wanna find out more!
    Vic, looks authoritative in his (that's good).
    Jeff, looks like enjoying himself (also good).

    But I was thinking of something else. Judging food.
    First of all, I suppose if iiiii were actually doing it, it's probably tougher than it looks. So, I give that, to the judges. But I just wish the judging was more...(what's the word?)--"informal" comes to mind. Less technical or culinary-school sounding. For example:

    I've watched judging on Next Food Network Star, and Chopped, and Iron Chef.
    It just makes me roll my eyes. Here's why:
    If you or I ever cooked and had 3 or 4 people over, would ANYONE comment on the foods "Acidity"?
    Would they even mention the word "texture" at all?
    Would they tell you if your food was "properly executed"?

    NEVER! People don't dooooo this! At least not us regular folks.
    We say its either "really good"..or its..."different" (bad). But none of this culinary-school technical stuff. It seems so out-of-touch with the viewers because it isnt what viewers do!

    Perhaps its a way to "sound important"---but its so...i just hear it and think: Gaaawwd! We can talk about too hot, too cold, over cooked, undercooked, too tough, too sweet, too spicy. But all this stuff about Acidity or Texture. Pleeease.
    Noooobody does this when they have dinner at anyones house.

    • mel says:

      Well this is at lest the fourth or fifth time this remark as been copied and pasted, can't anyone come up with an original thought anymore???
      In regards to the comments though, The Acidity, Texture, and Property Executed comes into play, if you are presenting dish's to be Judged for Taste, Texture (firm, mushy, Etc) Looks (IE plating) Portion Size__which is what all those shows are doing, in one fashion or another.

      If you owned a Restaurant and were bring out new dish's wouldn't you want to know before hand from people with discerning taste buds weather or not you should make some minute adjustments before you quite possibility ran off all your customers because of bad taste and looks??

      • JamesinAlaska says:

        The point is:
        Most of us, dont, own a restaurant. And most of us who dont, ARE "the average viewer" watching the shows---and making the ratings. So while I can see judging food in a restaurant, thats restaurant. My whole point was having people over to your house and cooking for them. Again, regular folks.
        Chances are your next door neighbor, someone from your work, or your best friend, isnt even going to bother with comments about texture, or acidity, etc. And they are great majority watching the show.

        • LindaSta says:

          James, this is a cooking competition. Same with the other shows you mention. So commenting on texture, acidity. balance, contrast and so on is perfectly acceptable and appropriate in that context. The descriptive comments tell us how the food tastes.
          I agree that people don't make such comments as guests in each other's homes, but that is not a cooking competition situation.

    • subdjoe says:

      If you or I ever cooked and had 3 or 4 people over, would ANYONE comment on the foods "Acidity"?
      Would they even mention the word "texture" at all?
      Would they tell you if your food was "properly executed"?

      NEVER! People don't dooooo this! At least not us regular folks.
      We say its either "really good"..or its..."different" (bad). But none of this culinary-school technical stuff. It seems so out-of-touch with the viewers because it isnt what viewers do!

      Um...yes, regular folks will do that. Unless you don't consider foodies 'regular folks.' "I like the way you balanced out the acid with fruit juice." "I don't know, I think you over marinated that meat, the texture is kind of mushy." "Oh, great texture on that bread! How did you get the crust to be crunch and chewy like that?"

      That "culinary school technical stuff" lays a foundation on which to build and the tools to build with. A person might not know the names of all the mother sauces, or the technical difference between a matchcstick and a julienne, but knowing how to use them and quickly prepare them can really enhance your cooking. (I just grabbed a few things out of the air as examples, by the way)

      I will say that I sometimes don't get the whole 'texture' thing. When Irvine wanted one to put corn into the corn pudding - sorry, unless it is a steamed Christmas pudding, or a rice pudding, I don't want chunks in my pudding. Nor on a main course do I feel a need to have crunchy, chewy, soft, firm, and smooth in every bite.

    • anotherPaul says:

      Why on earth would you want to dumb it down? Isn't there enough dumbed down television on already. Hearing knowledgeable people talk about those things will teach you how to think about cooking and how you can improve your own food. What does, "It was really good." teach you? Nothing.

      I'm sure you're right that a lot of viewers want simple, uncomplicated entertainment. But there are also many viewers who remember when FN used to be a tool to help cooks grow. They actually mourn the fact that it's become a game show channel where people watch to drool over food they can't even make or watch people carry cakes over their heads through a fountain in Vegas.

  10. JamesinAlaska says:

    Your right--I DONT consider foodies regular folks.
    Was it last year?...when I think Brad Sorenson (and all the contestants) cooked for a bunch of downtown-yuppie-FOODIES. Gaawwwwd. They ALL seemed like a bunch of uppity snobs! I would never hang out with them. And I'm not some hick. I am an educated white-collar professional. I just dont make any big deal about it.
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion (isnt America wonderful?)...but I think you're way off. I think what I said is very true and accurate. Even if you can find an exception, somewhere.

    • subdjoe says:

      Maybe it has to do with living in Sonoma Co. for a couple of decades. Likely half the people here are foodies. Heck, at impromptu parish cookouts we were throwing around terms like that. And it got really thick when we were prepping for a major feast day or our fall food fair. And we all are pretty much paycheck to paycheck types.

      I agree about the yuppie foodies. But I took them to be more indicative the trendoid monied class than the common run of folks. Just like I can't stand the New York-centric view of food that Bob T and Susie F cling to (like bitter conservatives clinging to their Bibles and guns). NYC isn't the end all of food.

      • bmj2 says:

        Might be part of the reason for the discussion then -- Sonoma. That's hardly middle America. Very few home cooks will have a clue what those terms mean when thrown around. For example, the chefs were upset at mint jelly, but in much of real world, mint jelly, ketchup, and Tabasco are food groups. To reach and relate to those people, FN has to speak their terms. Otherwise they'll look at the chefs as pretentious (** and tune FN out. Might not be pretty, but real.

        • Joe G says:

          It's the Food Network, not the Grocery Network. Before someone goes belittling foodies, keep in mind that without "uppity foodies" we wouldn't have, in the culinary mainstream:

          Balsamic vinegar
          Sun dried tomatoes
          Porcini mushrooms
          Soba noodles

          I'll grant you there's a difference between knowledge and pretension, but speaking in a specific set of terms isn't the latter and FN stands to lose more of its core audience by condescending to those who do tune in to see "chef-y" stuff with which to enliven home cooking.

          • Cee Cee says:

            I'm sorry, but with the exception of Annato and Ceviche (who has Ceviche "on hand anyway?" I do have those things. I'm not a pro but I do cook with passion and love to use high quality ingredients.

            Sushi "on hand?" Maybe Nori.......