Fan Post of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, June 20, 2012

In cooking for this week’s Star Challenge, Team Bobby’s Michele Ragussis was not exactly happy as a clam. She decided to create New England clam chowder as part of her team’s American-inspired seafood spread, and was banking on picking up a few bags of chopped clams — those that have already been cleaned, shucked and diced. However, as Star luck would have it, the market only had fresh clams in stock, forcing Michele to accept the trouble and time of prepping them herself.

On top of that, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian stopped by with a mid-challenge secret-ingredient surprise, and asked that one finalist from each team work chicken livers into his or her dish. Michele took one for Team Bobby and accepted that task, choosing to adorn her chowder with a chicken liver toast. A bit overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done, Michele said, “I get stuck with chicken livers and I still have to shuck my own clams, so it’s just gonna take me forever.”

Though time-consuming and perhaps even downright annoying to use in a two-hour challenge, the fresh clams may have been Michele’s chowder’s best feature. The judges appreciated the natural flavors of the shellfish and complimented her use of such fresh ingredients. In fact, Susie Fogelson called the dish “one of the best chowders I’ve had.” She praised its texture and taste, saying, “I love the use of the clams. I love the creaminess of it. It’s got tremendous flavor.”

Star viewer Michelle Dee earned our Fan Post of the Week with her comment on Food Network’s Facebook page. She predicted that the fresh clams were indeed the best clams for Michele to use, even remembering that judges prefer fresh ingredients above all else. After all, no one wants to relive Orchid Paulmeier’s canned-oyster fiasco from last season of Star.

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

Who’s your favorite finalist still in the running? 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.

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Comments (145)

  1. retiredvermonter says:

    I felt that the interruption of several minutes by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian was absurd and unfair to ALL of the contestants!

    At least one was trying to make rice, and to expect her to simply stop (as they all were told to do) was simply stupid! That was unrealistic and sheer nonsense.

    If you want these people to show what they can do as chefs and presenters, don't do dumb things like that -- please.

  2. Reuben says:

    Michelle Dee is absolutely correct! Using a canned ingredient is almost certainly the "kiss of death" from the judges. Remember Orchid Paulmeier from last seaso who used smoked canned oysters instead of fresh oysters. It was the beginning of the end for her. So, I am glad Michele did use fresh clams even though she had to shuck and clean them. I also loved that Chef Geoffrey Zakarian made an appearance and brought the special ingredient of chicken livers. Love Chef Zakarian. Classy!

    • laura says:

      people said Zakarian was uncalled for I thought it made the show better

    • Elizabeth Emery says:

      I was disappointed that the recipe for her chowder with the liver crouton was not featured in the recipe section. Like everyone else in my family, I love homemade clam chowder and I also love chicken livers, so I would love to have had her recipe to share with them around the Holidays while decorating the Christmas tree.

  3. Athena says:

    Go away, spammer!

  4. Nadia says:

    I'm not liking this new format. It is WAY to predictable to know who is going home. All teams will be even at the end of three weeks. The first 3 weeks, one person of the opposite gender of their mentor went home. The next three weeks one person of the same gender of their mentor went home.

    I bet the next three people going home are------Nicki, Yvan, and Martie.

  5. cjcal says:

    I like Michelle Dee's post. She's right. And I have to laugh, too, maybe Team Bobby contestant Michele R. somehow foresaw the clams were kharma and that's why she did the chicken liver toast. And it all worked out soooo well!

    I hope Michele R's fresh & local POV is strong enough to put her into the final finalists. Until the clam chowder thing, I had forgotten her POV, and it's a big deal. Otherwise she has all the winning attributes.

    • kathy says:

      I'm pulling foe michele also. Love the fact that she likes doing seafood. she has what it takes to be a star and i hope everyone can see this. I think she would be alot like guy. Fun to watch and interesting at the same time.

    • Dieselle says:

      Fresh ingredients are key. For sure the food gods were watching over Michele Ragussis. I would love the recipe for her clam chowder!

  6. extex says:

    Ok, I'm sorry to say but Martita bugs THE c-r-a-p out of me. Does anyone else notice her accent get a little thicker in front of the judges? She is so full of herself I can't stand it. I don't see her winning since the food network already has a Mexican food show with Marcela. I don't like the new format of this show at all, quite honestly its hard to watch.

    • Brenda says:

      Just like Giada's gets thicker at times main reason I never watch her show and of course the fake never ending smile.

    • GinaCT says:

      I agree about the accent. I don't know why she has so many votes. She doesn't seem like a team player.

      • Food Fan says:

        I dont know why Justin has so many votes, either. People say they like his POV. Really? Would you--serve fish-skeletons to people? Would you eat them? I wouldnt.

        • Marsha says:

          What is his POV?

          • Food Fan says:

            I dont even know. (I guess that tells me it isnt all that "memorable.")
            Other people, have simply posted, that *they* like it.
            Whatever he -says- it is....what we see him actually wild stuff. ..i.,
            Some say its outside the box the box and creative.
            I will even agree with that. I just think its toooo much and "out-there".
            Bu we're all here for our opinions.....

          • JLF says:

            He calls himself "the rebel with a culinary cause". To me that translates to "weird for the sake of weird", as in fried fish bones and checkerboard stroganoff. Unique, but I'd never do it.

          • kathi says:

            point of view

          • Wayne says:

            Justins POV being rebel with a culinary cause means he rebels against the traditional way of cooking dishes and preparing food. Such as meatloaf and mash pot might be the same but it will look different on your plate..tastewise I don't know because I can't taste it...but he explains it in his video. He fixed food that way in the restaurant he co-owns thus his pov is not new just for the show....its who he is---like it or not...its not something he made up to get a tv show.

        • FunSized says:

          I personally have voted for Justin on the fan votes because he is diffrent from anything else on the food network and has a unique approach to food. Even though it may look weird, I can't recall a time when the judges did not like his food. I think it gives people inspiration and encourages to try new things in the kitchen instead of sticking with the same-old same-old. There is no one like Justin and I hope he is in the finale just because of his innovative ideas and fun-loving personality.

    • Liz says:

      Yes, I hope she doesn't end up winning based on fan voting. I would never watch her show. The runner up from last year with "Spice it Up" was a lot more appealing.

    • Mila says:

      If you know how to say something correctly then say it correctly. If you're of the Latin descent, it's natural to roll your R's and pronounce a double L like a Y, especially when teaching and presenting food or something of a specific culture.

      • NotaFan says:

        It is natural for them to roll their R's, but there is a difference in naturally rolling them and completely overstating them.

    • Winston says:

      Accents and mannerisms only tell a tale of where you're from. I like people that keep it real. like the little Mambai slum dog millionaire, that stole our hearts, like Jenny From the Block (lol). I think Martita's attitude and accent seems true to where she's from and her cultural background. Now, if you don't like Mexicans, that's a whole other story, Extent (lol). For all the contestants, I give you All sorts of KUDOS. I can't imagine being under all that pressure, all the while trying to express your POV and keep an enjoyable camera presence, creativity, and composure. No one "Bugs" me but I deffinitely am falling in love with Justin, Ippy, and Martita!

    • Not a Hater! Lova! says:

      Hey HEY! You all sound like 15 year old Haters! go make like a tree and leave (leaf) LOL!

    • laura says:


    • djm505 says:

      I agree totally with you extex! Martita has ego problem. I have a feeling she's gonna win, Hope not, I've put a hex on I use to like Giada, she seem's kinda pushy and cheerleader like. Oh well, I only hope the BEST cook wins because of merit.

    • Jgreenwald says:

      I don't think we need another Latino chef, there are already 3 or 4, I am not sure on that. And yes, her accent gets heavier and heavier as her cleavage gets lower and lower.

    • Lori says:

      AGREED! I cannot stand Martita's phony accent either. It's so annoying! I'm hoping she is the next to go and right after her, Nikki needs to go. I could never watch a show with either of them starring in it. Neither one has a personality that's inviting and their POVs are not even interesting. They'd never hold my attention. They need to go.

  7. ofelia odon says:

    I like very much your program. I am from Venezuela, South America and I want to vote por Ivan Lemoine, but I tried in the morning, afternoon and nigh and at this hour 11:30 pm my vote hadnt been counted. I want to know if your making fun of the fans????

    • Athena says:

      I'm sure they're not making fun of us. The votes are displayed by percentage of total votes. While I'm sure your votes are helpful to Yvan's total amount, we only get to see the percentages of the total votes that go to each contestant. I don't like it either, but it's not an attempt to trick us.

  8. andreasvcookedhere says:

    Bobby's team are getting to be hateful! Wipe the floor with her??? Grill marks on Linki??? That's how they hope to win (even if it does seem to be the only way, I admit)? Michelle has revealed herself to be pedestrian (calling Alton's team "weirdos"??? she's not even smart enough to see brilliance when it's in front of her - a perfect example of how conventional she, and her tats are), jealous, ridiculously cocky. Nothing inventive about anything she's made, or said. I have seen Michelle on other Food Net shows and thought I liked her but not now. Not just nothing extraordinary about her, but she's not even a nice person. Awful. I would not watch any show with Michelle or Nikki in it. Justin is clearly a star - he's an original and supersmart, the real thing, real brilliance. I hope he wins but I'm thrilled to pieces that someone like that can get this far on national tv. Hooray for Team Alton, clearly the winners whether they win the contest or not. I'd watch any of them. My admiration and affection for Alton has grown by thousandths after this contest! Still can't believe how awful Bobby's team has turned out to be. Linki does beat Nikki in every important way there is.

    • Lila says:

      True dat sister! Justin for the win!

    • Ginabelle84 says:

      Didn't know the show was about being "supersmart". I Thought the show was about cooking skills and star potential. I went to school with Michele. I hung out with her sister. You have the wrong idea. She was sweet, upbeat, funny and well liked. I'm totally rooting for her.

      • beachinfrizzy says:

        I can see Michele having a lot of friends of all types - not just one clique - and being fun to hang out with. And for the people who didn't like her, I don't think that bothered her a whole lot! You can't please everybody!

        • kathy says:

          I agree with you. I love michele. She has all my votes and she could be the next star like guy. She is down to earth and a what you see is what you get type gal. You "GO GIRL, and win this contest for all us behind you. " I am with you all the way. Keep those seafood dishes coming. We already have enough grillin recipes. Gags me!

    • laura says:

      I agree Niki beats Linki but there is a patter it's not going to change

  9. AlohaTuTu says:

    If Nicki is wanting to show more warmth, a comment such as "the grill next door is going to have to put some grill marks on Linkie's butt" won't cut it. Instead, she merely confirmed that her "hard shell" comes not for being a "strong woman" but is compensating for a lot of pain and bitterness. She seems to carry a grudge and will run over anyone in her way. She's not the "grill" I'd want next door!

    • kathy says:

      Nicki bugs me to. Hope she goes home soon. She is boring and comes off as bitchy.

    • Liz says:

      I really can't see her making it to the end and hopefully gets eliminated soon. I can't see her having a following with a show.

    • Deanna says:

      If she wants to have a softer image, she has to lose those eyebrows, heavy blush, and horrific lipstick. Her face is hard, so it's hard, even when she's trying to be softer for me to buy it.

  10. Juli says:

    For the life of me, I don't know what Bobby sees in Nikki. Not that it matters to me, my heart belong to Ippy!