by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 20, 2014
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 18, 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 Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 17, 2014
This week the Star Salvation finalists must put signature spins on childhood snacks before presenting them to the judges (in just 25 minutes). Here's the kicker: In addition to regular judges Geoffrey and Damaris, Star Salvation added one child who knows all about food competitions. Brandon Scawthorn, the winner of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, is no stranger to the network, and he's an ace at Web series, hosting his own, called Cooking in the Fast Lane. This challenge was an easy task for him: "For me growing up, crepes was one of my favorites," Brandon says of his go-to snack.
Star Talk caught up with Brandon on the set of Star Salvation to talk about his experience. Read below for his interview and click play on the video below to watch his episode.
Star Talk: What was it like being a part of Star Salvation?
Brandon Scawthorn: This is so exciting. First I won Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, now I'm here as a judge — it's just amazing.
by Justin Warner in Recap, June 16, 2014
Sabotage. Evilicious. Cutthroat. All of these words describe Food Network's popular show Cutthroat Kitchen, where host Alton Brown auctions off one crazy antic after another every Sunday night. In the most-recent episode of Food Network Star, however, Alton's world of mini kitchens and missing ingredients was dished out to the remaining finalists. Bobby was on hand to taste the final plates, and so was Cutthroat Kitchen judge Jet Tila. In pure Cutthroat style, the judges had no prior knowledge of the sabotages that led the competitors' final dishes.
Star Talk caught up with Jet on the set of Star in between heats to break down the difference of the competitions and talk about Alton's evil side. Read on for the interview.
No one knows how to judge a Cutthroat Kitchen-style challenge like you. How did the two competitions differ?
Jet Tile: The worlds have collided on this episode. They differ in that we're judging them specifically on food on Cutthroat Kitchen, and here, I've got to see to their delivery and personality, which is a really refreshing change for me. It's a lot of fun, but it's very different.
by Alton Brown in Judges, June 15, 2014
Last week the camera shy Luca was sent to battle it out in Star Salvation. Kenny and Chris were up the creek without a plated dish — and they were assuredly nervous about the next challenge. Will Lenny hold tight to his reins or ride off in to the sunset? Read on, Star fans.
If you haven't seen this show, stop reading right now and click one of the many banners to the left or right that will take you to the hottest (and most-evilicious) program on Food Network. Watch it now.
I'm so glad CTK wasn't invented during my season of Star. The concept is terrifying to me. Not only am I a bad gambler, but I'm also a bit OCD. Sure, I can make some creative dishes, but not having the right tool, protein or appendage for the job would irk the heck out of me. The claws will come out, but when the claws come out, they sometimes get stuck on curtains or shag carpet.
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 15, 2014
Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.
It's no surprise that this is my favorite episode this season — it's Food Network Star, Cutthroat style! The evilicious game play conjured new weaknesses and strengths from the finalists, and when the smoke cleared from both heats, Emma and Christopher were clearly at the top of the heap while Chris, Loreal and Kenny were sucking wind and hoping for survival. Each had serious issues on the plate and in their presentations, but it was clear to Bobby and I that the time for Kenny to go had come.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 13, 2014
Star has seen many themed challenges over the seasons, including takes on Chopped, Burger Bash and even Thanksgiving Live. But for the first time in Star history, finalists faced off in a round of Cutthroat Kitchen-inspired competition. Alton brought all of his antics and even Cutthroat judge Jet Tila made a special appearance.
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.
by Star Talk Editor in Videos, June 11, 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 Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 10, 2014
Luca joins Star Salvation this week, along with remaining competitors and fan favorites Martie and Chad. Luca is soon confronted by an issue that he struggled with in Episode 2. "You kind of had a hard time connecting with the viewer and the camera," Geoffrey reminds him before introducing the next test, which is to make a 30-second video demonstrating a single culinary tip.
Luca and Martie will demonstrate a similar tip, but each with their own approach. Chad, however, tackles what he does best. Who will move on and who will say goodbye?
Click play on the video above to watch Part 1 of Star Salvation now (watch Part 2 here), and see if Luca can claim Salvation — or if the fan favorites will continue to move on.
by Justin Warner in Recap, June 9, 2014
Alex Guarnaschelli is no stranger to Food Network Star. We've seen her dish out her opinions on the judging panel of two Chopped-themed episodes during seasons 8 and 9. But this past Sunday, Alex took off her judge's hat and took to the kitchen. During the Star Challenge, the remaining finalists were tasked with taping a 15-minute demo explaining how to make a simple dish with pantry ingredients in a separate prep kitchen. So where's the twist? Iron Chef Guarnaschelli was in Star Kitchen watching their demos in real time, attempting to make the same dish, as Bobby, Giada and Alton looked on.
Star Talk caught up with the Iron Chef right after the show to talk about being in the kitchen versus being a judge, and what Bobby, Giada and Alton are really like.
This is your third time on Food Network Star, and this time they put you into the mix of cooking, and you even said that you feel like you’re a part of the cooking audition yourself!
Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s true. I’ve been through a number of shows and I’ve done a lot of this stuff before, so theoretically this is not my first or even my fifth rodeo, but it feels as nerve-racking and as fresh as the first time. And when you realize that, you catch a glimpse into what the stakes are like for these competitors. I mean, they’re standing in front of a trio of people that have enough producing and camera experience to catapult you all the way to the top. How much can you sort out? How much can you really hear them? How do you separate yourself from the pack? On top of being on camera, they have to cook for Bobby, Giada and Alton. I mean that — that’s some cherry and whipped cream on that sundae right there, right?
Last week we saw the first elimination of Season 10. Donna was shown the door, while Emma and Sarah were dragged to the next round, like babies attached to the wedding dress of stardom.
Alton's Teacher Challenge
The gang is split into two: Team Green Bean Casserole and Team Chicken-Fried Steak. The kicker is each finalist must talk Alton through a few steps of the recipe. I anticipated a few hiccups, but what ensues is embarrassment and certifiably awkward moments:
- While Mr. Brown is Hulk-smashing green beans and throwing them into boiling water, Lenny, who sees through Mr. Brown's shenanigans, delivers a smart tip: "If you are going to chuck things in to boiling water, chuck them away from you, so as to scald your competition."
- I would like to adopt Christopher for the holidays and show that man what a can of French's French Fried Onions looks like. Diced and sauteed onions on a green bean casserole is like putting ketchup on a hot dog in New York.
- Seizing the opportunity, Sarah Zambonis Christopher's mistake and leaves a glistening, slick recipe for Luca.
- Reuben forgets to make a roux. Rouxben. I bet he rues this mistake.
- Aryen has to deal with Rouxben's folly. Lenny talks her through it and she overcomes, but Lenny is bummed she's getting credit for his clever solution.
- Nicole navigates the sometimes-tricky world of breading a country-fried steak. She advises that Alton keep one hand for eggs and another for flour. I kind of wish she didn't because it would be very funny to see Alton with battered clubs for hands.