Fan Post of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, May 30, 2012

What do you get when you combine Hershey’s Kisses, kumquats, pancetta and graham crackers? If you're competing on Food Network Star, the answer is anything and everything. In a Chopped-style battle, finalists on Team Alton found those four mystery ingredients inside their baskets and had just 30 minutes to turn them into Star-quality desserts.

Justin thought completely outside the basket and prepared no-bake cookies that Bob Tuschman called "a total original" and no-nonsense Chopped judge Scott Conant deemed "a winner." However, what he did with those ingredients was perhaps not as impressive as how he did it. His non-traditional cooking techniques — melting the chocolate Kisses with the foil wrappers still on and slapping a towel near his dish to remove excess powdered sugar from his plate — left the judges in awe.

In response to Justin’s mad scientist-like ways, Star viewer Sarah Harris said it best in her message on Food Network’s Facebook page. “Justin is either completely nuts or completely genius,” she posted, echoing the sentiments of the judges and earning our Fan Post of the Week.

Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Star Commentary. 

Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day and tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton#TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.


Similar Posts

A Letter to Lenny, from the Rebel

Dear Lenny, Out of all the seasons of Food Network Star, I can think of only one other winner who has a personality as big as yours. Congratulations a...

Comments (111)

  1. gunnersmom says:

    I have to admit I've never watched a contestant bio or casting before, but I just watched Justin's. That guy seems to be more true to himself than any contestant I've ever watched on NFNS before. His bio says he wants cooking to be fun and unusual. Well, if that's the case, he's batting it out of the park, and most viewers don't even realize it yet. Justin has the potential to blow this thing wide open, and I am hoping he does.

    Justin give a whole new meaning to the term "just for shits and giggles."

    • Kid Croat says:

      You are so right, gunnersmom. I would watch his show, at least for a while. He's talented, natural, and unique. In my opinion, he and Emily would make a great show together. At this point, hope they tie.

    • Violet says:

      Will Justin be relatable to the home cook? Nothing is more frustrating then not be able to obtain ingredients called for in a recipe and I have concerns with him regarding this.

  2. Food Fan says:

    I'm afraid I couldn't disagree more.
    I watched his video, too. He almost never smiles. Why on earth would anyone market themselves so deadpan for a 1st impression job interview? Go watch it. Then compare his videos to other contestants. Maybe you like him best. Maybe someone else appeals to you even more if you check 'em out. (shrug).
    While it most certainly takes "chops" and teaching ability and more, I just dont find myself being "pulled in" by him. Nothing "warm". There are plenty of other cooks, who can cook, that I would rather watch. Then again, perhaps he'll get better. Lots of contenders.
    While I do think all contestants should be genuine, I dont think anyone can hide behind "I'm being true to myself." Imagine if Penny from last year said that. Or Chris the loud-mouth. yeah--they're just thinking outside the box and being who they are. Pffft! Alot of viewers didnt think so.

    • gunnersmom says:

      Well, we definitely have different opinions on Mr. Warner, and the is perfectly okay with me. I wasn't really crazy about him on show #1, and hardly noticed him on #2. Chopped, however was a whole different story. I missed a lot of the beginning on Sunday night, but I did see the presentation red lips made and it truly touched me in some way. So, I took the plunge and watched the whole segment again today. I really paid attention to Conant and Alton's expressions. I have to say it was a sort of FNS awakening. There is something THERE with that kid and I see it in Conant and especially Alton's face.

      Maybe I'll be the only one who thinks this. That's okay. I love a good "moment" and I had one watching that whole cooking show he put on.

      Is it pure gold that the ingredient was Hershey's kisses, yet Mr Warner ended up with a plate that had Nestle's semi sweets as a main ingredient? What cook, really, would melt kisses with the skins on? Who would ever put chocolate in the micro wave for double digit minutes to melt? And blowing that powdered sugar got him a whole passel of attention.

      This kid is "network" gold IMO.

      • Food Fan says:

        "moments", eh?
        I suppose I could watch a re-run of Lucille Ball in a chocolate factory...or skits on Saturday Night Live and get all kinds of "moments". I think I have a playful sense of humor, but i just dont feel quite right about anyone (not just justin) winning by seeing how outrageous we might be. If you, or I, or anyone did what he did in Culinary school (and you can pick the school), how do you think most Chefs or instructor would react?

        I would never tell you or anyone what they should or shouldn't like.
        All of us have a right to our own preferences. Its OK with me, too.
        When I consider star-quality (in *any* contestant), and teaching ability, somehow I dont think fanning powdered sugar in my house is either network or household gold. But to each his own.

      • Cheryl <> says:

        In answer to melting chocolate in a microwave, "Jacques Torres' " suggests tempering this way. You can google to find articles. "Ina Garten" has shown this method on her show before and I've followed this advice for candy-making many times since. Works beautifully. I haven't since the "kisses trick" before though. In the time constraint I can see doing this, but in everyday cooking (too much of a waste.)

      • Guest says:

        I totally agree with you! I think that Justin has a depth of talent and quirkiness of character to make him a very interesting host on his own show!

    • Docknock says:

      I like Justin, but I agree with the poster that showed a mangled fork among other forks and the caption said, "just because you are original, does not mean that you are useful". Justin will have to prove himself useful to "blow this wide open"

  3. [...] more here: Fan Post of the Week — Star Commentary This entry was posted in Food Network and tagged basket, cast, chopped, completely, don, episode, [...]

  4. Mae says:

    I watch a lot of Food Network and have for the past 10 years - so lots of into stored in my brain. Of course that means I am over lots of the shows still on - over Guy - over Giada - over Rachel - too bad things went to their heads!!! (still like Bobby Flay because he is what he is right from the start) But, I have a questions - why hasn't it been mentioned that Nikki was on the network's show "Private Chefs of Beverly Hills?" or that Michele competed on Chopped!!!? What is the reason to keep these things close to the chest as they would say?? Still like the show and glad that "we" the viewers get a chance again to vote! I did so for the first three years - but then you guys did it and other than Melissa I don't watch any of the other shows! LISTEN TO YOUR VIEWERS!!!!!!

    • Emily says:

      I agree! Why don't they make any comments on Michele, especially when the Chopped judges came onto the show!

    • Kid Croat says:

      Good call, Mae! Guy's restaurants are still great; I've been to a few. His personality has taken a turn for the worse.

    • renee says:

      I was looking for a place to say this. I was hoping to write directly to Bob Tauchman and Susie Vogelson.

      This is the first time since food network star has begun that I am not watching it. I have pretty much stopped watching food network. Up until about two months ago it was on pretty much all day.

      The reason I have stopped occured during Chopped Allstars. The fact that Penny was allowed to be on the foodnetwork after her behavoir on Next Foodnetwork star showed me that the chanel does not live up to the moral standerds I thought it had.

      I choose to stop watching a network that rewards behavoir such as that exhibited by Penny.

    • Docknock says:

      I don't know why it was not mentioned on the bio, but as far as the competition goes, I don't think it matters. These people may have had some exposure, but it still did not get them on their own show yet. The mentors are still needed and are working with people they can relate with and they are trying to see who is ready for the next step. My guess is that many of the auditions were from folks with their 15 minutes under their belt (either from local cable or from FN )

    • Katrinka says:

      FN doesn't listen to its viewers. There will not be an actual vote. They filmed the show months ago, and they've already decided who is the winner. The so-called live finale will have already been filmed. I don't trust anything this network does. Does anyone remember the episode of Anna Marie's in Restaurant Impossible? That was all staged. The man who did the restaurant inspection sent an article to their local newspaper (near Scranton, PA) and said how he had passed the restaurant, and all the disgusting things Robert Irvine supposedly uncovered was all planted. So nothing on this network is to believed as reality. I look at it all as mindless entertainment. That's all.

    • Katrinka says:

      Here's the article about Ann Marie's restaurant and their inspection:

  5. Rueben says:

    I like Justin. I keep voting for him as Fan Favorite yet he keeps sliding down. How is Martita still #1?

    • Vinny says:

      I'm gonna take a stab at it and jsut guess that the votes she's getting, outn umber your 10 daily votes for Justin lol.

      On a serious note, she's from southern California. She's also Latina. Did it not occur to you that she's from one of the larger more populous states? ;-) I bet she's getting a lot of votes in Texas too. As I mentioned in the other blog post, here in Cali, I've seen her poster in several places as well as listened to her on the radio. They had viewin parties at a couple of bars in San Diego and Los Angeles two weekends in a row. That alone I bet got her tons of votes. She's promoting herself. Or Food Network is?....but I doubt that they play favorites when it comes to that.

    • Vinny says:

      Oh, almost forgot. You must have not been watching or not have read...Ippy was last week's winner in the Fan votes. ;-)

  6. button4 says:

    I have watched this show for many years.....and I must say I do not like the format. As an adult I find Mr. Brown disrespectuful to the chefs he is mentoring. I have lost total respect for him. And Giada yuck.....I agree with over her....if only she could get over herself. I will have to find new programs to watch because this show has brought out the true colors of Mr. Brown and Giada. Thankfully Bobby Flay is on ....he keeps the show going. He is respectuful to the chefs and is a mentor.

    • Vinny says:

      You have to admit, Giada is nice to look at :-)

    • Frank Demeo says:

      Dude, are you high????

      Look at these pics of her and tell me she is not SMOKIN HOT

      I know you didn't just use the work "yuck" to describe her. WTH!!

    • Leisfrie says:

      Interesting and sad that the true character of Giada is exposed. I am shocked at her meanness!

    • Bernie says:

      I agree...I DON'T like this format. It seems to be more about the mentors and the how the contestants can fit into their mold. It also is revealing a side of the mentors that is not flattering. I really liked all three of them, not I think it was only their TV persona and not the real person; they are revealing their true natures in this show. The emphasis doesn't seem to be on the talent as a chef and is more about how they will appear on camera. The mentors are failing here as well. I am just not enjoying it as much as in other seasons. I'm VERY DISAPPOINTED in the results from June 3rd's show. Neither contestant should have been placed up for elimination. There were others who were less skilled and talented.

  7. Sheron says:

    Is it just me or is this new season 12 a competition among Bobby, Giada and Alton being rude and nasty to each other? Not to mention, equally rude and nasty to the competitors. To me, it takes away from the competition. One would think Food Network would require respect among the professionals.....

    • smei says:

      I must agree with the above button4 post!! Alton Brown should be removed from ANY panel of judges. He is abrasive, short tempered, ANGRY and offensive in his attitude to the contestants and to us, the viewing public!!!! After tonights episode I will no longer be viewing this show and The Food Network should take note for their advertisers sake! Where are all of the other wonderful Food Network chefs that would certainly behave and act more civilly to the contestants????? Advertisers again should take note..My time is better served watching another channel. I have been an enthusiastic viewer of "Next Food Network Star" up to this point.

      • Jerilee says:

        Bobby and Giada are good friends. By her own admission they joke around a lot even playing tricks on each other. Yes Alton was short with Martie, if he hadn't pulled on her reins she wouldn't have finished her dish!!! The judges even had a giggle over it. None of the mentors have shown any rudness to the judges. If you have watched any of AB's shows you would see that same personality.

      • FanFare57 says:

        I don't find Alton particularly more offensive than he usually is. He is the epitome of pomposity. I never cared for him before and he hasn't changed my opinion here.

      • Katrinka says:

        Alton is the only one who's articulate and intelligent. The curmudgeonly exterior is just a facade.

    • JLF says:

      I haven't seen Bobby being rude or nasty to anyone. Giada and Alton have taken some shots at each other, but it seems mostly to to be kidding. AB showed his angry edge with Marti, but I haven't seen it against the coaches or judges.

  8. Tigergal says:

    I'm female, so "smokin' hot" applies to Jeffrey Saad, Tyler Florence and John Besh (whom the FN let get away in place of the HIDEOUS Michael Symon!), my problem with Giada is that she is obviously FAKE! Nobody smiles like that naturally, I have doubts about her "cooking chops" (did you catch her on ICA?), and the way she oohs and aahs about cream, cheese and desserts is so transparent! No one with her shape and size indulges in the foods she cooks.
    I don't know what happened to Alton. He used to be so funny and creative, although he took easy dishes and made them complex! He got skinny and started taking himself too seriously. I hate to think that the guy on NFNS is the real Alton, giving UGA a bad name!

    • JLF says:

      Whether you like Michael Symon's looks or not, the man can cook. I think he's the Best of the Iron Chefs.

      • Tigergal says:

        Better than Bobby????

        • JLF says:

          They are neck and neck for me on the cooking. I give just a little edge to Symon for a slightly more entertaining personality. (Please don't anyone interpret that as thinking Bobby is sullen or grumpy or any other negative description. I just mean that he is more quiet,)

      • Tigergal says:

        I agree, Symon is a superior TV chef, and he was the most fair, professional, and humane judge on "Next Iron Chef." I just can't stand that silly, maniacal laugh.

        • FanFare57 says:

          Symon's close friend Anthony Bourdain referred to it as, "that crazy ass laugh". I have to agree. It's almost maniacal and belongs in a campy horror movie. I happen to love old fashioned campy thrillers. So, MS's kooky laugh cracks me up, too. He may look like Uncle Fester - but he's a seriously solid chef with mad skills in the kitchen.

    • Jerilee says:

      I think Michael Symon is"smokin" hot, so does my daughter. My husband says if he wa female (or gay) he'd go for MS. The man can cook!!! He may not be the best looking man on earth, but he has what it takes. Looks aren't everything!

    • FanFare57 says:

      There was story about chefs who remain slender while eating their own creations. Giada's (& other slim chefs) stated that their secret is to taste everything in moderation. She doesn't gorge while eating. That's a good lesson for everyone, don't you think?

  9. Frank Demeo says:

    I think you need to relax. I don't particularly like Alton but, he is hardly lucifer incarnate. Sure he was mean to Martie....but he was RIGHT. She was rambling on about her age. She was making herself look bad. It is part of his job to point out her flaws. And how exactly is he not being "civil" to you or the viewers as a whole? I mean, he can be dry and his humor pretty dark/dull but again, hardly makes a normal person want to stop watching the show completely.

    • smei says:

      If I wanted to watch "ANGRY" (Alton Brown) I would certainly choose a scripted show on vampires, not what should be an entertaining and educational format. These judges should be mentors for their professions and be supportive, enthusiastic and encouraging to their teams..Not egomaniacal buffoons! And yes, your are absolutely correct in your assesment of Brown being dry,dark and dull!! This is certainly not entertaining any longer. Good night Frank!

    • FanFare57 says:

      Actually, watching someone who is dry, dark and dull IS enough reason to NOT watch him (or like him.) He's also arrogant and cold and unappealing.

  10. Sandy says:

    Funny how others seem to have gotten more offended at Alton's statement than the person (Marti) to whom his statement was directed to....

    • Food Fan says:

      You have a point. Martie did need to focus!
      That said, i wish all of us would also "move on" with the whole martie thing. for TWO reasons:
      1. It wouldnt surprise me if the powers-that-be had a lil' talk with Alton. I'm wondering if we're now gonna see a "kinder, gentler Alton" in future shows. Time will tell. ...and...
      2. Alton did make his point, to Martie. She took the criticism very well. Alton made her take that "oath" about her age, and I think she's "got it" now. So should all of us.(or at least I wish now that we all would. but...who am i? just a guy with his opinion like all of us).... If Martie KEEPS harping on it, then we can gripe. But I think everyone got the message loud n clear.
      I'm wondering how Alton is gonna react now on the rest of the episodes.
      Will someone on one of the other teams freak-out their mentor? It'll be interesting to watch.

      • Jerilee says:

        I think Alton will be the same Alton. Why woul he change? If you watch any of Alton's shows, and paid attention, you would see, it's what he is. I like him.

        • Food Fan says:

          Maybe he wont change. Someone said in another post on here they thought he was talked to about it. Maybe he was, maybe he wasnt.
          I dont disagree with you. I can see this all being consistent with his personality. And yes, he did have a reason for what he did. But it did seem as if it surprised (maybe even startled) the chopped judges. Didn't Alton himself apologize by saying: "sorry" to the chopped judges? Anyway, I think Martie got the message from all this.

    • FanFare57 says:

      How was Marti "offensive"? She didn't scream or insult anyone. She didn't lose her cool while being chastised like a tardy child with a milk mustache by her (ahem) "mentor"...

    • Docknock says:

      The Alton on "Good Eats" is a character that is a part of Alton as is the Alton on ICA. I suspect this is the Alton that the Good Eats people see behind the scenes and is the Director/producer/"lets get things done people" Alton. I also think that this competition means more to Alton than the others because if he wins, it vindicates his previous criticisms of Food Network Programming.

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        "Character"? Funny how the contestants are constantly told to 'be yourself' and 'be genuine', then.