by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 27, 2014
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 20, 2014
For the first time on Sunday, Food Network Star finalists will trade the camera screen for the stage as they get set to perform in live culinary demonstrations. The hopefuls are now five weeks into the contest, and while some are finally finding their footing with an audience, many are still struggling to command a meaningful presence, as they're running out of time during presentations and stumbling over their words. Because there's no time to hesitate and no opportunities for second takes when it comes to live performances, their first attempts will have to be their best if they want to wow the mentors.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode. As Lenny works his way through his demonstration, he's seemingly caught up in something happening just over in the distance. What do you think could have grabbed his attention? Is this act somehow part of his performance, or has something gone wrong and he's forced to stop midexplanation?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 13, 2014
Food Network Star is all about the finalists' abilities to put their best faces forward, both on camera and in the kitchen. But sometimes, perhaps on account of competition stress, contestant rivalries or simple daydreaming, hopefuls may let down their guards just long enough to show glimmers of their true personalities when off set and relaxed.
In the above sneak-peek photo from Sunday's all-new episode, Emma is seen giving serious side-eye with a nervous-looking smile, while nearby finalists watch what's going down in front of them. Has something offstage caught Emma's eye, or is she trying to enliven the group with a silly expression? What could her face be telling, and do you think other contestants will join her in amusement?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 6, 2014
Food Network Star is a difficult enough competition without unexpected obstacles in the middle of cooking. But on this Sunday's all-new episode, that's precisely what the finalists are in for when Alton unveils the first-ever Cutthroat Kitchen-themed challenge.
On Alton's evilicious series, the host auctions off notoriously ruthless tests that subject the rivals to hilariously devious ingredient swaps, inferior cooking utensils and just-for-fun time sucks; he has an arsenal of sabotages at the ready, and all it takes is a few high-stakes bids to turn an everyday culinary competition into a diabolical face-off wherein anything can happen.
Take a look at the above sneak-peek photo from Sunday's show. Alton looks on with his signature stare as Christopher appears surprised — for better or worse — about the state of his prep work in front of him. Has Christopher been doomed with an insurmountable sabotage, or is he pleasantly shocked at the finished version of his plate? What kind of challenges do you anticipate Alton unleashing on the contestants?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, June 1, 2014
From their fellow rivals' histories to the details of a challenge, much of the Food Network Star competition is a surprise to finalists, although often all it takes is an initial introduction or the how-tos of a specific test to reveal the ins and outs. But what if competitors aren't given all of the information? Then they're in for additional challenges, which is likely just what the mentors had in mind.
On Sunday's all-new episode, the finalists will receive one such hefty surprise when they learn they're instructing their video demos to not just at-home viewers, but also to Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who wows them with an unexpected visit. Given the sneak-peek photo above, however, it appears that the competitors aren't the only ones being surprised. Alex also appears shocked by the contest with a jaw-dropped gaze and frozen-in-place stance. What might have caused her reaction, and which contestants might be capable of eliciting it? What kinds of surprises would you like to see Food Network Star finalists tasked with overcoming?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 30, 2014
Despite Food Network Star finalists' highest hopes for success and their best attempts to at once craft top-quality dishes and present a winning personality on camera, week after week another rival will be sent home, unable to survive in the face of stardom. It's up to judge-mentors Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis to decide who should stay and whose journey has ended, and after every elimination, Star Talk will bring you the first interview with the ousted competitor.
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 premiere and reveal the first finalist sent home.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 29, 2014
We're just days away from the Food Network Star premiere, and while fans have already met the 12 hopefuls in a series of exclusive interviews and their casting videos, this Sunday will mark the first time they go head-to-head in battle. For the next 11 weeks, the rivals will be at the mercy of their mentors, superstars Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, who must decide the latest tests for Star and Mentor Challenges, and determine which competitors aren't worthy of a shot at stardom and must be sent home.
In the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's brand-new episode, Bobby, Giada and Alton are taking in the Food Star Kitchen, surveying their surroundings and perhaps even dreaming up the next round of cook-offs for the finalists. As Giada smiles gleefully, Bobby looks on in wonderment and Alton strikes a classic questioning pose. What do you imagine they're saying to themselves, and what challenges could they be dreaming up for the premiere? Do you think their mentoring styles will match, or will one be notoriously more difficult to impress than the others?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 26, 2014
You've read their first exclusive interviews, watched their earliest casting videos and heard all about their signature dishes, and on Sunday's premiere episode of Food Network Star (at 9|8c), you'll see the Season 10 finalists face off in the job interview of their lives. Now you can help your early favorites claim the top seat in the Food Network Star Fan Poll by voting for them daily.
Check out the Fan Poll here, get to know more about the 12 Star hopefuls and cast your vote up to 10 times per day for the rivals you think have what it takes to outlast the rest.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 21, 2014
You've already met this year's 12 Food Network Star hopefuls, and just this month Star Talk shared the first exclusive interviews with each finalist to showcase their goals for the competition and their thoughts on the mentors. Now, just ahead of Sunday's all-new Season 10 premiere, it's time to reveal a look at the contestants before they were competitors, back when each of them was just beginning the road to stardom.
Each now-finalist created a casting video, and these brief clips reveal their cooking styles, histories in the kitchen and culinary passions — and just maybe you'll catch the first glimmers of a future star. Click here to watch all of their casting videos and learn about their pasts plus go-to cuisines.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 20, 2014
Earlier this month FN Dish introduced each of the Food Network Star finalists, and for the first time, fans learned more about the competitors' culinary points of view (POVs), plus insider details, like their hopes for the contest, thoughts on the mentors and go-to midnight snacks. Much like POVs, cooks' signature dishes often reveal their style in the kitchen — what cuisine type they gravitate toward, which ingredients they're most comfortable with and perhaps even their history in the industry — and for the Season 10 contestants, their most-famed recipe (or the lack thereof) reveals plenty about who they are. Read on below to hear all of the finalists explain their signature plates, then watch their casting videos to learn more about them.
Aryen: I would say miso salmon. A basic soup in Japan is miso soup, so basically miso salmon is a take on that.
Chris: My signature dish is what I love to cook. Since I'm all about presentation, modern cuisine and doing it easy, I have a signature lobster napoleon salad. It basically has some technique of using molecular gastronomy. It's very simple. It tastes delicious, has some flavors that pop. It has texture. It's beautiful to look at, and it's beautiful to eat.
Christopher: My signature dish — it varies to the guest. I don't think there's any one dish I've ever done that completely defines me as a cook. I think there's many chefs out there that would have a hard time with this too. You don't want to paint yourself into a corner. What my signature dish is in the fall or what's selling the most could be completely different by winter and springtime. I really don’t like to repeat. I like to do something, and I like to change it and move on. Maybe it's just because I'm still pushing the envelope and I'm not really resting on the oldies. Constantly doing new stuff. I don’t like to get stagnant.
Donna: My husband loves my meatloaf. It's really hearty. It's high-quality nutrition. … You feel so good when you eat it. It's like a hug for your digestive tract. … I love it with my smashed sweet potatoes with maple butter. I serve the meatloaf with an onion-and-peach ketchup. And then I do kale with golden raisins and toasted almonds. It's a full plate, but the thing that's important about the food that I make, it's very strategic. Everything that I make is for optimum nutrition.
For 12 hopeful Food Network Star finalists, the journey to potential stardom is just beginning, and the world of food television is likely still endlessly exciting and overwhelmingly daunting at once. As they prepare for the ultimate hands-on interview and attempt to score the sought-after job of Food Network host, they'll need all the guidance and constructive critiques they can manage in order to land among Food Network royalty at the end of the summer.
Because no one is able to speak of the ways to succeed in the business quite like those who already are, superstars Guy Fieri, Damaris Phillips, Geoffrey Zakarian, Sunny Anderson and more A-list chefs came together to offer the Star contestants their key pieces of must-know advice. They spoke of expert tips, like the ability to "understand what your point of view is," according to Scott, and offered tales of insider experience that only industry veterans could share. Browse this photo gallery to hear from these icons and more, and learn their ultimate advice just in time for next month's Season 10 premiere.