by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, May 3, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Recipes, May 2, 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.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, April 28, 2016
When Food Network Star premieres on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c, this year's cast of hopefuls will quickly learn that when it comes to succeeding at Stardom, there's no such thing as "good enough." Both on the camera and on the plate, they'll be expected to demonstrate mastery and confidence — just as their mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis do on-air and in their dishes. This all-star duo knows just what it takes to not only wow an audience on TV but also to combine flavors, highlight the simplicity of fresh ingredients and teach others how to do the same with their go-to recipes.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, April 26, 2016
In just a few short weeks, eager Comeback Kitchen finalists will enter the hallowed arena that is Food Star Kitchen — again. These seven hopefuls have competed on Food Network Star before but were eliminated before they reached full Star power. Now, though, with one season behind them and plenty of been-there-done-that learnings in their back pockets, these returning rivals are ready to demonstrate their growth and show off their readiness for a second chance at Stardom.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, April 25, 2016
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.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, April 15, 2016
Food Network Star, Season 12 kicks off in less than a month (tune in to the premiere on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c), and just as the 12 finalists are anxiously awaiting the job interview of a lifetime, mentor-judges Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are preparing for their roles as the deciding factors in whose culinary dreams will be made true or ultimately ended. Their expert takes on both this contest and the job of a Food Network Star make them uniquely prepared for the 11-week journey they're undertaking with the finalists and for the challenges they're set to dole out.
Recently Star Talk caught up with Bobby to chat about how he balances his dual role of mentor-judge and the value he places on first impressions. Read on below to hear about his mentoring strategy and find out if his own participation in competitions like Beat Bobby Flay affects the way he judges. Plus, see what he thinks about the elusive Star power, and get his take on the job of a Food Network Star.
by Maria Russo in Interviews, Judges, April 15, 2016
They. Are. Back. Seven previously ousted finalists from past seasons of Food Network Star have returned to the hallowed Food Star Kitchen for their second chance at stardom, and this time, with an entire season of competition behind them, they're more primed for success than ever.
Just as they were expected to combine stellar culinary chops with a knack for on-camera charm when they battled on Food Network Star the first time, so too will they have to demonstrate a mastery of these Star basics when they face off on Comeback Kitchen. Mentor-judges Tyler Florence and Valerie Bertinelli will have only the highest expectations for this crop of hopefuls, as they have just three short weeks to find a worthy contender among the cast — someone who can join the ranks of Food Network Star, Season 12 finalists and ultimately the race for the prize of Star.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, April 15, 2016
There are fierce competitions, sure. And then there's Food Network Star, the ultimate in culinary showdowns, a battle so great that it has the potential to redefine a person's life forever. There's perhaps no contest with greater stakes than Food Network Star — except, perhaps, Comeback Kitchen, as this prequel series gives just one person the chance to be among those lucky finalists in the running for glory on Food Network Star. Television veterans Tyler Florence and Valerie Bertinelli will be on hand this May to judge the hopefuls on the first-ever installment of Comeback Kitchen. It's up to them not just to pick a winner of the three-week series, but to find the one person among the cast of seven returning Star alumnae that has the culinary chops and on-camera charisma to be a formidable Star candidate once again. High stakes — not just for the contestants, right?
It was only recently that Star Talk broke the news that an unprecedented 12th season of Food Network Star is set to unfold this summer. For the first time ever, a prequel competition — Comeback Kitchen — will bring together seven past Star contestants for a no-holds-barred battle. The winner of this three-week tournament will join the dozen first-time Food Network Star finalists in the premiere episode on Sunday, May 22 at 9|8c. But before the new season kicks off, we're introducing all 12 of the hopeful rivals in exclusive, one-on-one interviews. Keep checking back every day to meet a new member of the cast. Today we'd like you to meet Yaku Moton-Spruill.
Standing at 6 feet 9 inches, Yaku, 33 (San Francisco), was pretty much guaranteed to have the basketball world’s attention from an early age. But even while playing professionally in Europe, he couldn’t shake the fact that nothing made him as happy as cooking did. Born in Inkster, Mich., Yaku learned the art of the hustle, selling chicken dinners out of his dorm room in college to make money. Yaku draws his food philosophy from his Southern and Caribbean heritage, and he specializes in Latin American, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food that's shareable.
Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.
Yaku Moton-Spruill: Food is love. Love is food.