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Star Salvation, Episode 5: Which Mystery Ingredient Would You Want to Cook With?

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 29, 2015

In true Star Salvation fashion, the name of the game this week was expect the unexpected, as Jeff Mauro told the finalists to get set for "a culinary curve ball." He and fellow judge Alex Guarnaschelli doled out three mystery bags, each stuffed with a mandatory product that the hopefuls had to demonstrate their mastery over by featuring it in their dishes.

For Dom it was all about his Italian point of view; he worked rosemary lavender into a creamy carbonara sauce. Emilia used her childhood nickname of "squash blossom" to talk about her ingredient — squash blossoms. And Rue, brand new to sorghum, approached her product with gusto and tried it in a chili.

If you had to cook with one of these three mystery ingredients (rosemary lavender, squash blossoms or sorghum), which would you choose? Cast your vote in the poll below, then click the play button on the video above to see how the hopefuls fared in this challenge.

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“Your Numbers Will Thin from Three to Two” — Watch the Latest Round of Star Salvation

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 22, 2015

Just when the Star Salvation hopefuls thought there couldn't be any more surprises in store for them, they learned on Sunday night of one rival's unexpected decision to quit the contest — Michelle wanted to leave early to return to her family — which meant there'd be no fourth rival joining them this week. "Your numbers will thin from three to two," host Jeff Mauro warned the remaining contestants, Rue, Matthew and Emilia, as the three took their places for the ingredient innovation challenge.

The name of the game was all about embracing the flavors of a local ingredient: avocados. It was up to them to shine a light on this beloved produce and use it in new, transformational ways. In the end, one rival's over-the-top risk meant safety from elimination, while another's failure to meet the standards of the challenge caused a teary exit.

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Star Salvation: Double the Challenges, Double the Risk

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 15, 2015

Just as this week marked the halfway point of the Food Network Star competition, so too did it on Star Salvation. This is Week 3 of the six-week journey to redemption, and for the four hopefuls remaining, time is running out until Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro must select a winner to return to the on-air contest. The latest round of Star Salvation focused on the finalists' abilities to embrace the unexpected, as Alex told them, "A Food Network Star must have an educated palate and the ability to adapt in unpredictable situations." In their first-ever two-part challenge, the competitors not only had to sample a mystery sauce to discern its ingredients, but they also had to use those ingredients to concoct a dish all their own.

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For the Love of Food: Star Salvation Rivals Drop from 4 to 3

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 8, 2015

This past Sunday's episode of Food Network Star was all about love — from finalists' most-beloved ingredients to a paired challenge that tasked twosomes with creating harmonious fusion on the plate — and when it came time for Star Salvation after the show, hosts Alex and Jeff took that theme one step further. In Round 2 with only 30 minutes to cook, the remaining four redemption rivals had to create a dish that spoke to the moment they first fell in love with cooking, testing their cooking chops under pressure and also their story-telling abilities.

All four finalists wasted no time in prepping their plates, but ultimately Alex and Jeff said goodbye to one competitor after an unimpressive dessert left them craving more. Think you know who met his or her fate once and for all? Click the play button on the video above to see which rival was eliminated.

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#LookWhoIsBack: Matthew Sets His Sights on Star Salvation

by in Food Network Star, Videos, July 1, 2015

#LookWhoIsBack: Matthew Sets His Sights on Star Salvation

Perhaps one of Food Network Star's most-divisive finalists in the history of the competition, Matthew Grunwald shocked the Selection Committee and fans alike when he strutted into Food Star Kitchen on Day One with not only a difficult-to-grasp POV of social media and hashtags, but also with his tough critiques of his rivals' performances. After only two weeks in the contest, he ultimately met his fate when his sly smirk at evaluation caused his last-minute elimination.

But now, Matthew and the other ousted competitors — Christina, Sita and Rosa — have returned for a second chance at Stardom. They've set their sights on redemption with the help of Star Salvation, a six-week Web-exclusive series hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro, which challenges previously eliminated finalists with culinary and camera tests designed to show who among them is worthy of salvation and the opportunity to return to the Food Network Star competition.

Round 1 of Salvation kicked off on Sunday night following Rosa's departure, with the four hopefuls facing off against each other — and tacos. Click the play button on the video below to see how they fared, and find out who among them was ultimately sent home.

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WATCH: What Were the Judges Thinking? The Network Speaks Out

by in Food Network Star, Videos, June 10, 2015
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The first days in a new setting are all about making (hopefully positive) first impressions, and the Food Network Star competition is no exception. This week the 12 hopeful finalists arrived in Los Angeles for the job opportunity of a lifetime; not only did they have to get to know each other — their rivals vying for the same title — but they were also introduced to mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network executives Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson, as well as the entertainment industry as a whole, represented by People Magazine's JD Heyman.

Star Talk was on set at Triunfo Creek Vineyards as the competitors showed off their 30-second pitch videos to the Selection Committee and presented the panel with first-ever bites of their food. We caught up with Bob and Susie after these initial on-camera and on-the-plate introductions to get their first reactions to this year's crop of talent. Click the play button on the video above to hear what they had to say.

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The Road to Stardom: Watch the Finalists’ Casting Videos

by in Food Network Star, Videos, May 21, 2015

Food Network Star, Season 11 FinalistsOut of countless applicants who vied for a chance at stardom, only 12 worthy contenders were selected to begin the journey of their lives on June 7 (at 9|8c), when they'll report for the ultimate job interview on Food Network Star. Each hopeful comes to the competition with a specialized background; from catering and private chefdom to restaurant experience, they spoke of their culinary backgrounds, their passions both in and out of the kitchen, and their readiness for the prime-time spotlight in all-new casing videos.

Click here to watch these just-released videos to get a glimpse of the contestants and learn all about their personal and professional backgrounds, then check out exclusive interviews with each person for even more fun facts and insider trivia.

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Guess Who’s Back: Luca

by in Videos, July 16, 2014

Luca Della CasaAfter ousting six hopefuls (including two fan favorites) in Star Salvation, Luca proved himself worthy of a second chance. He entered back into the competition as the remaining finalists traveled to Las Vegas, and he even took one of the top two spots for the episode.

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Only One Will Receive Salvation — Watch Now

by in Videos, July 9, 2014


Reuben's the sixth and final eliminated hopeful to attempt redemption on Star Salvation — but he's got to go through Chad and Luca first. After being ousted for his struggles to command on camera, he must pursue this last-ditch effort to rejoin the competition. "I am so fortunate that I'm getting a second chance," Reuben reflects. "I just want to show these people that I am that person you need on the network."

Find out if Reuben makes it all the way. Click the play button on the video above to see the first part of the episode, then head over to Star Salvation headquarters to catch the second part.

Tune in to Food Network this Sunday to see who makes it back to the competition: Sunday, July 13 9|8c.

Can Christopher Oust Chad or Luca? — Watch Star Salvation

by in Videos, July 2, 2014

"I wish I didn't hear the judges say I had the best dish. I knew I was going to be in the bottom. I didn't handle the timing of my demos as well as I should have; looking back, I could have done better," Christopher said in his exit interview. But what he didn't know at that moment was that he was going to receive another chance at the competition in Star Salvation.

In his first attempt at Salvation, Christopher's realistic about his chances at success, given his past struggles. "I'm hoping I get to cook again, because it's the only thing I seem to do well," he says. In Episode 5 of Star Salvation, he joins Chad and Luca, who seem to be leading the competition. Will Christopher be able to change that track record?

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