by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 23, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 22, 2016
Martita, 39 (San Diego), showcased her talent on Season 8 of Food Network Star. She began working in her family’s restaurant business at a young age, with her mom’s authentic Mexican home cooking inspiring her culinary passion. Martita's parents moved to the United States two years before she was born, and she credits them with her work ethic and perseverance. Martita attended a few semesters of culinary school, but most of her skills are self-taught. She loves to entertain and cooks with loads of Mexican flavor!
Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.
Martita Jara: I cook with the flavors of Mexico with a California twist.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 22, 2016
With only 11 short weeks to ready finalists before a winner will be chosen, the Food Network Star beast is such that week after week, hopeful competitors will fall, faced with the crushing disappointment of elimination. Here on Star Talk, we'll be bringing you the first exclusive exit interviews with the ousted finalists as they're sent home. Check back here every Sunday night for new one-on-one chats to hear from the just-eliminated competitors, learn their thoughts on the competition, and find out how they feel about the mentors' critiques of their final dishes and presentations. We're about to break down the ins and outs of tonight's new episodes and reveal who went home, so if you've yet to watch the show, read no further until then.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, May 18, 2016
Comeback. Accomplished. After an intense three-week journey on Comeback Kitchen, one previously ousted Food Network Star finalist claimed the crown tonight and secured a spot in the cast of Food Network Star, Season 12. With that coveted opportunity in hand, this person is set to begin yet another journey, this time to potential Stardom. We're about to chat with the winner, so if you haven't watched the episode, don't read any further yet.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 10, 2016
Picture this: Multiple cameras are mere inches from your face. You're learning your way around an unfamiliar kitchen. Your dreams are riding on the success of your next move. Oh, and two of the biggest names of the food world are watching your every move. Nervous yet? So are many Food Network Star finalists as they endure these everyday competition pressures. But it turns out even Bobby Flay, an Iron Chef and one of the two mentors overseeing the finalists this year, feels those anxieties when he's working.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, May 9, 2016
In just a few short weeks, the spotlight will shine on Food Star Kitchen, and this year's cast of Food Network Star hopefuls will have to wow mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis not just on camera but also on the plate. From day one the finalists will be expected to demonstrate their culinary points of view and no-doubts-about-it cooking chops with inspired dishes. But before the contest begins, Star Talk is catching up with them to see what goes on in their own kitchens, away from the competition and when challenges aren't at play. Read on below to find out what they're making for dinner on an average night at home.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, May 5, 2016
When Food Network Star kicks off on May 22 (at 9|8c), mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will have one job before them: Find Food Network's next famous face. It's up to them to guide the rivals through 11 weeks of competition, challenge them to grow and improve, and ultimately decide who among them has the bright light of Star power — just like the mentors have. Recently Star Talk chatted with Bobby and Giada, who looked ahead to what's in store for the finalists this season and reflected on their own roads to stardom — and how they've claimed the spotlight as their own.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, May 4, 2016
The countdown is on to the premiere of Food Network Star, when this year's eager hopefuls will begin the job interview of their lives. They've been working toward this moment their entire careers — their entire lives, really — and what happens after Sunday, May 22 is up to them. When their Star journey begins, they'll have Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis to guide them through the challenges and offer constructive criticism and been-there-done-that feedback that could ultimately shape their success in the competition, should they heed Bobby's and Giada's critiques. But until then, they have only their training and instincts to rely on, and much of that stems from the mentors they've followed along the way.
Recently Star Talk checked in with all of the finalists, and they told us all about the professional or personal mentors they've enjoyed working with and growing alongside. Read on below to hear whom each credits with instilling in them a foundation for learning in the kitchen.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, May 3, 2016
Recently Star Talk brought you a one-on-one interview with Tyler Florence, and today the focus shifts to the other half of the Comeback Kitchen mentor duo, Valerie Bertinelli. Together these Food Network chefs will not only guide the returning rivals through three weeks of no-nonsense challenges, but they'll also decide who is most prepared to secure the sole spot in the cast of Food Network Star, Season 12.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, April 26, 2016
The countdown. Is. On. There are just days left until the premiere of Comeback Kitchen (on Sunday at 8|7c), when seven Food Network Star alumni return to the starting line for the redo of a lifetime. Recently Star Talk caught up with Tyler Florence, one of the two judge-mentors who will ultimately decide which hopeful rival will earn that coveted second chance at Stardom. Tyler has nearly two decades of experience on Food Network, so he knows just what it takes to succeed in the job these hopefuls are fighting for. Read on below to find out what he thinks the finalists ought to do to grow in this contest, and hear his been-there-done-that advice to the returning rivals. Plus, hear from Valerie in an exclusive interview to get her take as well.
Comeback Kitchen has never been done before, and there’s so much at stake. What are you most excited about in being part of this new series?
Tyler Florence: I always pull for the underdog — somebody who has all the heart and soul and potential in the world, and occasionally they miss it by a point or two when they [don't] win. It's really nice to see a whole very enthusiastic group of people that have already been through it once, and Valerie and I have a ball, hanging out together. She’s got a very unique perspective on television, with a career as long as she’s been doing [this]. … It is just amazing to get a chance to actually coach a very talented group of people and really polish them up so they are prepared for this next competition.
Just yesterday we brought you the first exclusive interview with Bobby Flay, one half of the mentoring duo that will make up the judges' panel on Food Network Star, Season 12. Today it's all about Giada De Laurentiis, who will join Bobby in both guiding the finalists through the competition and ultimately sending them home week by week.
Read on below to hear from Giada about what she sees as similarities among the past winners of the show and how she's come to master the craft of Stardom. Plus, find out how the first impressions finalists leave on her and Bobby have lasting consequences for the hopefuls.