All Posts By Brandy Shearer

Keeping Up With the New Star

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, August 27, 2010

Aarti Sequeira

You followed her journey through all the Star challenges, marveling as she progressed from early insecurities to a few misses and many hits to a knock-out showing in the series finale.

Now Aarti's the latest and greatest addition to our Food Network Family, and her new show, Aarti Party, is gaining fans at lightning speed.

Keep up with future Aarti happenings over on our FN Dish blog, and follow her Facebook and Twitter updates, too.

Plus, check out videos of her latest recipes in the video section of her show page.

Finally, to all you fans and bloggers who made this such an awesome season, thank you. We couldn't be happier with our new Star, and we hope you love her as much as we do!

Looking for some spice? Share a favorite dish or two you'd love to see Aarti feature on her show.

So How About You — On Star?

by in Food Network Star, August 13, 2010

Next Food Network Star Final Three

You've followed their progress all the way to this Sunday's finale, watching as Herb, Aarti and Tom aced the challenges ... or fell flat. And at some point maybe you thought, "I could do that."

So why don't you give it a shot?

Casting for the 2011 season of The Next Food Network Star is happening now. And after taking in all the action of Season 6, you already know what we look for: great cooking chops, a passion for teaching and a winning personality.

If you're confident you've got the goods, remember this: the final three got started by just throwing their hats in the ring. So come on. Roll the dice and see if you could be the next Star!

 

Now That Brad’s Gone ….

by in Community, Food Network Star, August 4, 2010

Brad Sorenson of The Next Food Network Star

Aside from just wishing he was still around, I've been thinking some about what Brad could have done differently. What might have kept him in the running? His food had some inconsistencies, but he certainly proved himself enough times on the cuisine front. His camera presence, at first so shaky, definitely seemed to be coming around. Should he have taken more risks? Or maybe it was the late discovery of his culinary point of view. Would he have pulled through with just one more episode to see how this newly defined direction (which the judges seemed to like) played out?

So based on what Brad wasn't able to do, who of the "final four" seems to have the best shot at going the distance where he fell short? Who's your money on at this point? Whoever it is, don't forget to vote for them ... just one more week and it's finale time.

The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From Star

by in Food Network Star, August 1, 2010

Next Food Network Star Finalists, Season 6

It'll be over all too soon ... just three more shows until the finale! Seems like a good point to reflect on some of the Star wisdom I've gained in the last seven weeks:
(Can't remember who did or said what? Click the links to see who gets credit.)

1 – Being a Star judge is no cake walk.
2 - Simply saying "I love butter" at the end of a presentation won't win you a camera challenge.
3 – Even in a TV food competition, shushing or interrupting someone is still bad manners.
4 - Wearing crazy oversized sunglasses on camera doesn't buy much in the way of credibility.
5 – Bobby Flay has a serious tie collection.
6 – Singing for the judges only works if you're on a show where that's the thing.
7 – Some foods — like say, beef stroganoff — just need to stay on the not-so-healthy list. (Comfort food should be, umm … comforting.)
8 - Chorizo taquitos aren't the way to go when planning a kids' birthday menu.
9 – The Frank Sinatra house is no place for talk of budget-friendly meals.
10 – Bob Tuschman could make the world’s worst insult sound completely pleasant and courteous.

So how about you? What Star lessons have you learned?

 

Desperate Times: A Weekend With Big Chef, the Paarti Girl … and Eva Longoria Parker

by in Food Network Star, July 29, 2010

Eva Longoria

Now that the Star finalists are down to just five — can you believe it? — I'm finding myself pretty invested in a few of these guys. And I have a theory about who's best equipped at this point to get high marks from this Sunday night's guest judge Eva Longoria Parker!  

First, Aarti. Why? Because she seems so focused on just wanting people to enjoy her food, I can't see her getting star-struck. Second, I'd say Tom. He's just hanging out, having lots of food fun and seems kind of immune to the jitters all around.

So while I'm a huge Brad fan (as many of you know) and think both Aria and Herb have lots going for them, they just seem more susceptible somehow to getting tripped up by nerves, even if their food rocks. Guess we'll see .... What do you think?

A Winner’s Words: Motivation From Melissa

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 24, 2010

Melissa D'Arabian, Next Food Network Star

Been there, done that ... won that — Melissa D'Arabian's back on Star tomorrow night, and I'm eager to hear any advice she may have for the finalists.

As someone who knows what it takes to hang tough in this competition, she's the perfect person to help these guys stay motivated. And her direct, no-nonsense approach may be just what they need at this point in the race. Here, listen to her share a key belief she feels is essential for scoring a win.

An added bonus: Melissa's joining us for an encore appearance in tomorrow night's Star chat. Catch up with her at 9pm/8c! (Can't make it? Post your questions for Melissa here.)

P.S.: For any of you who may be wondering just how good her Ten Dollar Dinners really are (or if ten bucks will really get it done), I'm here to tell you that my experiences with her recipes, eight so far, have been excellent. Last week, I made her Lemony Shrimp Scampi Pasta and it was just fantastic. A light, summer-perfect dish that only cost ten dollars. (All right, $10.47, but that still counts.)

Charmed, I’m Sure

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 22, 2010

Brad Sorenson, Next Food Network Star Finalist

Does it seem to you like this season of Star is just flying by? It's actually hard for me to believe it’s been six weeks since I was watching these guys for the first time. To give myself a reality check, I think about just how much has happened: finalists who seemed incredible in the premiere have gone home; others I was sure wouldn’t last past Week Three are flying high. I have to say that for me, Brad has been the biggest surprise by far. Like Susie speculated in Week Two, I initially felt that he was just too nice. She questioned whether his upbringing might get in the way, and I thought, definitely. Doesn't Southern decorum mean manners and courtesy come first?  And while those certainly aren’t negatives, Star competition can be pretty tough and ruthless.

So despite his many charms – the kind demeanor, the super-sweet smile, the hat (not to mention his mad cooking skills) – I refused to get my hopes up. The guy had two more weeks, tops. I wasn’t about to buy in. Well, I guess he showed me. Instead of letting those qualities get in his way, he's made them part of what he’s about when it comes to his food ... and when it comes to the Brad you see on camera. Amazing, but I really didn't think it would happen. Did you?

4 Questions for Adam G

by in Community, Food Network Star, July 11, 2010

Adam Gertler, our special guest in tonight's Star chat, will have (I’m sure) some enlightening takes on how this competition's playing out. Things are starting to get wilder, and he was, after all, in the finalists' shoes himself not too long ago. But … I also have some other, non-Star questions I think might be fun to run by him, too:

1) What are three foods you'd pick now if you ever did another "Freaky" special on cuisine?

2) Would you be willing to do a karaoke performance we could post here?

3) Besides a bra, have you ever attempted to make any other item of clothing with chocolate?

4) Do you need an assistant host for Kid in a Candy Store? (Please?)

Got Your Own Questions for Him? Join Us at 9p/8c

I Think Paula Will Just Know

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, July 10, 2010

So as many of you are already aware, Paula Deen is the special guest judge on tomorrow’s episode of The Next Food Network Star. What do you think she'll be able to bring to the table for the finalists?

I'm actually a pretty avid Paula fan: I, too, adore Southern cooking and, I too, think it might not be worth hanging around if the world somehow ran out of butter. Add to that the time I had the good fortune to actually meet her in an airport. She soooo did not disappoint: on-the-spot clever, jokingly self-deprecating -- believe me, I could go on. In short: I’m ALL ABOUT seeing her hang out with the Star cast.

And yet … most of my anticipation has nothing to do with how downright fun and engaging I think she is. Here's the thing. Whether you're watching her on TV or being briefly (though very graciously) accommodated by her in an airport, you sense that this is a woman with crazy-sharp instincts when it comes to sizing people up. I got the sense she could tell me my ultimate life goal with nothing else to go on besides my description of the in-flight meal. (Yes, this was awhile back when you could still get those.) So tomorrow, I'll be keeping a sharp eye out for any subtle Paula "indicators." (Of course, the finalists' food will be a factor -- this is not a lady to hold back when it comes to stating what she likes and what she doesn't, I mean come on). But ... Is she looking a bit longer at Brad? Taking a moment to squeeze Aria’s hand? Smiling more when she’s around Serena? Hmmmm ….

Still Got That Chill

by in Behind the Scenes, June 23, 2010

It's pretty clear by now that Brianna knows what she's doing when it comes to cuisine. So far she hasn't had a single dish come out less than great — no mean feat under typical challenge conditions, you know? But when will she start to thaw? Despite recent urging from the judges to start warming up to her guests, her demeanor is still detached, even arrogant. So how did she wind up with a win this week? Listen to Bob's take on her victory ... and see if you think she would have won without the "luck" factor he mentions ....

See What You Think