One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

by in Interviews, June 8, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go HomeWith the first challenges behind the them, the remaining 11 finalists took to Star Kitchen and were hit with two big surprises this week: teaching Alton how to prepare two of his favorite dishes (Green Bean Casserole and Chicken-Fried Steak) in the Mentor Challenge and having Alex Guarnaschelli follow along their live cooking demos in the Star Challenge.

Overcoming one of these challenges would be enough for anyone, but proving these hopefuls can communicate and cook (especially at the same time) is a requirement of the job.

If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of the episode and reveal who was sent home.

No one can deny it: Luca Della Casa's got the charm factor down. And he can even cook. His culinary heritage impressed the judges in the first episode, but to be considered a Food Network Star, you need to have the ability to look into a camera, and Luca simply didn't do that.Luca Della Casa

Read Luca's exclusive interview below to hear more from him. Learn how he felt about his elimination, as well as what he hopes fans will remember about him.

Do you think that it was fair that the other two gentlemen who you were standing up with didn't finish their dishes?
Luca Della Casa: No, I don't think so. I thought a big part of the challenge was to finish your dish and present it on TV. How one was going to present it was debatable, but you had to have something on the plate to present, so no, I didn't think it was fair.

How would you explain this competition to viewers at home? What is it really like to go through something like this?
LDC: Well, it's really hard because besides what you see, there is all the behind-the-scenes work, which is very intense. This includes very long days. So that is definitely a challenge within the challenge.

What element of the competition were you least expecting, whether it be good or bad?
LDC: I came to this competition feeling confident about my cooking skills. But I didn't know how my presence on camera would translate or my way of communicating through it. So hands down that's been the most-difficult part.

Did you find the Mentor Challenge with Alton or the Star Challenge with Alex harder?
LDC: Oh! The Star Challenge for sure. I was really at ease in the Mentor Challenge with Alton — it didn't feel difficult at all.

Going along with that, who do you find to be the most-intimidating mentor: Alton, Bobby or Giada?
LDC: I came into this competition thinking that Alton was the most-intimidating because it's kind of difficult to read him, especially on TV, but then once I've been around him, he is actually a very easy person. He's very funny, actually. So I would have to say Bobby. He is very serious and doesn't let a lot of things come out.Luca Della Casa

What piece of feedback from them will you remember the most?
LDC: Smile. Simple as that. It's something I do so often, but it didn't come out the way I wanted it.

What do you want fans to remember about you?
LDC: I want fans to remember that I have been a fair contestant and that I came here to make new friends. And that's what I did. There are a lot of good people this season.

Who is the craziest finalist behind the scenes?
LDC: Oh! Reuben and Lenny would compete for that title. They're crazy in front of the camera and behind it, so what you see is actually what you get.

Going forward, who do you see yourself rooting for now in this competition?
LDC: I don't know. To be fair to all of them, I would like each one of them to be successful. But if I had to pick one I would pick Lenny just because he's so different.

What's next for you?
LDC: I don't know. I guess I'll go home, see my family and then take it from there. I've always kept a very open mind for the future. I have a very good job right now, but who knows — new opportunities can come knocking on my door.

Watch Luca battle for a chance at redemption on Star Salvation. Click the play button on the video below to see the first part of Episode 1, then head over to Star headquarters to catch the second part.

Similar Posts

Luca Looks Back on a Wild Ride

Italian-born Luca Della Casa came into the competition with his heritage as a point of view, and while his culinary offerings were strong, he struggle...

Comments (80)

  1. Betsey says:

    Well I think that letting Luca go was a mistake. He completed his meal which was a major part of the test, he also cook well and was able to direct Alex. The other two didn't finish cooking! I think time management is more important and looking at the camera, he can learn that. BAD call Judges! Bring him back.

    You also say it isn't about looks, well it certainly doesn't hurt. Chris is fine but Kenny has to go, talks too much and has too many excuses. Wouldn't watch him if you paid me. There is a difference between expertise and arrogance, his is arrogance.

  2. gail beardsley says:

    Alton and Bobby where probably jealous of Luca! He cooked great food, had a great story, and was fun to watch and listen to. Alton and Bobby have helped so many others learn how to be comfortable in front of the camera why not work on that!

    • guest says:

      Jealous of Luca. Going along with, that, then what sort of food or niche do you think FN might be wanting to fill this year?

  3. Suzy says:

    All I watch is Food Network... So I know what I like... Luca was my favorite... Maybe he can start another network because these judges messed up!

  4. Robert says:

    I feel that REUBEN should have been among the ones considered for sending home and especially because he was speaking much too fast and his food cooking skills failed miserably. As for Luca, it's unfortunate that the judges sent him home but maybe if he thought about camera skills and worked on them BEFOREHAND, MAYBE he would have advanced to the next week. But let's give the judges some credit - they acknowledged Kenny's desire to straighten up and fly right - he saved himself from elimination because of that. We only get to see whom the judges select for the bottom 3 and they have a difficult job to make as to WHO to send home.

    • Brad says:

      So all someone has to do is admit they did a bad job and all is forgiven? Kenny doesn't even know how to do a decent gravy.

      • Shannon says:

        Right? What novice cook does not know you can not add a thickening agent to hot liquid without terrible lumps forming.

        • Robert says:

          Good point, Shannon, but let's face it - Kenny got saved by the bell and in my humble opinion, he'd better take that to mean he's getting only 1 more chance But that doesn't change my feelings about REUBEN and HIS performance having been an EMBARRASSMENT to watch this week. Hopefully, both he and Kenny will take to heart just how far behind they are in this competition and do something about it for the better soon. But for now, I've given them the WEAKEST LINK vote.

  5. DisgruntledFNFan says:

    FN got this wrong... again... Why do you keep the whiny little guy who can't cook, can't even make gravy, throws a tantrum, but, you let go of the guy who's biggest issue is he didn't stare into the camera?? Crap show.

  6. minka says:

    Interesting that we have all this talk about looks yet Giada has her knockers about to fall out of her top at judging. Can we change that look please???? You don't see Alton, Bobby or any of the other men on Food Network with their chests, or Schlongs hanging out of the top of their clothes. Apparently blatantly sexually suggestive clothing is not a requirement for the men. She has a cute figure for sure but she doesn't need to look like a cheap hooker to show it. SERIOUSLY TACKY!!!!!

    • Bob says:

      The boob may be a bit much but she does not look like a hooker. Just because a women show some skin don;t make her a slut or hooker. I am sure if a guy was topless we wouldn't call him a hooker or slut so why the name calling just because she a female and show some skin. I think she look classic and sophisticated but she should cover up a bit since it is a kid friendly network.

    • Buffy says:

      I like her dresses. Her dresses have been covering her chest area. Are you talking about her regular show?
      I am hoping to find similar dresses. I am guessing someone has personally tailored the dresses for her.

  7. Coco says:

    Okay, only week 2 and I'm out. The last 2 years the Food Network Star winner has gone nowhere. The network doesn't want the fans to pick. Their elimination of Lucca over 2 contestants who are unappealing and didn't finish the dish, and one who can't cook at all tells me they already know who,they want to win and wanted Lucca out fast, because the female fans would have loved him and voted for him. What a dumb stupid and corrupt decision. Give the guy a week to learn to make eye contact losers. I'm sick of the show after the last 2 years but thought I'd give it a shot. The whole network is a joke...the same people ad nauseous. Clearly the "network" nerds who are hiring hosts don't know what they are doing. Well, sigh, goodbye Lucca, hopefully another,cooking channel will have the brains to pick you up. I would watch you any day!

    • Toklas says:

      You are sooooo spot-on here, Coco.....Sandwich Doofus Jeff is embarrassing....Aarti is off the radar. Have you even tried to watch whats-her-name-last-years-winner? I watched for a moment yesterday, and she made "fried chicken-chicken salad"....OMG! chopped up-leftover fried chicken tossed w/ a heaping amount of mayo!!It was sooo GROSS!! FN is searching DESPERATELY for the next Guy Fierri...and he has worn out his welcome, as far as I'm concerned...DDD and now GGG..Game show host is about all that he IS good at, since his cooking and recipes SUCK! Give me Anthony Bourdain anyway....

      • Stephanie says:

        Sandwich Jeff is trying to hard to be funny. The public must have been crazy to vote for Justin and dishes most people won't bother to cook. He was as expressionless as Danushka. Fieri reminds me of Wolfman Jack.

      • mrpemstar says:

        Last season FN, I liked Vick Vegas. Why didn't they try him?

        • Kelli says:

          Too intense monster-size tattoos and his cooking was unreliable. Up one week, down the next.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Such a stupid, bone-headed move Food Network. Luca is the only reason I tuned in to watch the competition this year. Seasons past have been so bland and boring...gee, keep the two without a plate of food to taste or the hot, good looking chef who an cook?! Duh! No wonder your ratings stink and we are jumping ship.

  9. Cindy says:

    Unless Luca comes back via the Star Salvation, I won't be watching the rest either. The other two on the bottom were way less interesting to watch even when they did look at the camera.

  10. [...] on the show is “a challenge within a challenge.” For a Q&A with Della Casa, click here. Be Sociable, Share! [...]