WATCH: Food Network Stars Dish on Their Favorite Dinner-and-a-Movie Combos

by in Videos, June 27, 2013

This past Sunday, the remaining contestants took a break from Food Star Kitchen and traveled to Cinépolis Theaters in California for a dinner-and-a-movie combo challenge that Bobby, Giada and Alton will never forget (relive the contestants trailers by watching them here). The episode got Star Talk editors thinking: What would be the ultimate combo using an existing movie? Elf and a big plate of spaghetti? Christmas Vacation and not-so-dry turkey?

Star Talk caught up with Food Network stars, including judge Bobby Flay, Star Salvation's Robert Irvine, Geoffrey Zakarian, Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag, Guy Fieri, Jeff Mauro and Anne Burrell, as well as other famous faces, to ask that very question: “What’s your favorite dinner-and-a-movie combo?” Click the play button above to hear what each had to say.

Now tell us: What's your favorite dinner-and-a-movie combo? Share with Star Talk editors in the comments below.

Sunday’s Star Menu: Patriotic Eats and Drinks

by in Community, June 26, 2013

Fruit-Tart FlagAs Sunday afternoons turn to evenings and the hours until the next episode of Food Network Star tick away, how do you settle in to watch the latest premiere? No matter who you're with or where you're watching from, you surely have on hand a spread of eats and drinks to last you through the episode, right? Here at Star Talk, we want to see what you're munching on. Every Wednesday, check back for a themed menu to get you ready for the episode ahead, and on Sunday nights, snap photos of your spread and share them with @FoodNetwork via Twitter and Instagram using #FoodNetworkStar.

Food Network Star will pay tribute to the most American of holidays on Sunday night with a 4th of July Live Star Challenge that tests the finalists' abilities to think — and cook — quickly on live television. With no stops, restarts or scripts allowed, this will indeed be a test of the contestants' star powers, and what better way to showcase your own stars and stripes than with a menu of patriotic eats and drinks to enjoy during the show?

Show us what you're cooking

Hometown Pride: Chris Reps Cleveland with Themed T-Shirts

by in Behind the Scenes, June 25, 2013

Chris HodgsonJust like their culinary points of view, Food Network Star finalists' wardrobes are unique to their individual tastes and styles. You've likely noticed Lovely, the ever-glam personal chef, rocking a red leopard-print blouse and silver-sequined sweater, and "Pie Man" Rodney is always sporting his signature fedora. But have you seen the printed t-shirts Chris has been donning? He's worn several in the last four weeks of the competition, and while they look like everyday graphic tees, they indeed hold meaning to him.

As a chef and restaurant owner in Cleveland, Chris is a figure of his local community, and he's largely responsible for bringing the mobile food culture to Cleveland, having founded Dim and Den Sum, the city's first food truck. He's now the owner of a second food truck, plus a brick-and-mortar hot spot in Cleveland, so it's no surprise that his themed shirts showcase his hometown pride. In episode 2's Burger Bash, he wore a shirt screened with "216," the city's area code. Later in the episode, he modeled a white pull-over with the phrase "Cleveland: It's 'One More' Louder." For the following week's mystery ingredient challenge, he opted for a black-and-white number that read "Clvlnd," a shorthand take on the city.

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Crushing It Like a Can of Pinto Beans — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, June 24, 2013

Chris and Lovely - Food Network StarFrom my experience on Food Network Star, I can tell you with authority that team challenges, and teams in general, are double-edged swords. A good team works harmoniously like gin, quinine and lime. A bad team? Well, read on to see why team-work, sharing and cooperation are things that were drilled into us in kindergarten.

The Planning Process

Team Western: Russell conjures the ghost of Fellini (not to be confused with Leone, the director most associated with the genre) to inspire a Spaghetti Western dish (not to be confused with my Spaghetti Midwestern recipe).

Team Musical: Rodney and Chris suggest that Lovely make a New Orleans beignet for the dessert course, but she doughs nut wanna do it. I'd pay any price to see a riff on Les Miserables, with Chris playing the role of Fantine, Rodney as Jean Valjean and Lovely as Cosette. Sing it with me! “Do you smell the tartlets baaake? Wafting the smells of meat and cake, it's the music of the stars of which Bob Tuschman surely maaakes! When you're speaking from your heaaart, and you are tasting with your tongue, it is a life for whom Food Network stardom will coooome!”

Team Romance: Romantically, the team goes for the KISS strategy (keep it simple, stupid), and makes a menu consisting of a chicken wing, shrimp and grits, and berries with whipped cream. This is why I didn't watch The Notebook.
Keep reading

WATCH: Star Salvation Episode 1, a Second Chance at Stardom

by in Videos, June 23, 2013

For the first time in Star history, one eliminated contestant will have a chance to re-enter the competition in a four-week Web series called Star Salvation, presented by Buitoni. Each Sunday night after every Star episode, Robert Irvine, host of Restaurant: Impossible, will test the finalists in a series of culinary skill challenges that will determine whether they stay or go.

In the first episode, fans will see the infamous Danushka, Andres, Daniela and newly eliminated Lovely return to Food Star Kitchen for a rigorous challenge testing their basic culinary skills that they'll have to complete in just 15 minutes. Who will be one step closer to returning to the competition?

Click the play button above to watch the first episode and find out who will advance to next week's episode of Star Salvation.

Hear more from Justin's perspective

Photo Tour: On the Set of Food Network Star

by in Behind the Scenes, June 22, 2013

The Food Network Star Set, Season 9 Episode 3 brought the contestants back to the set of Star, but this time they were tasked to cook in Food Star Kitchen. Cooking in a kitchen that isn't your own can be a tough mission. Where are the gadgets? What's in the pantry? Take a tour of the Food Network Star set below, set in sunny California at The Culver Studios in Culver City.

Click here to browse the entire gallery of photos from the Set of Food Network Star

Click here to go on a tour of the set

Caption It: Face Plant

by in Community, June 21, 2013

Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby FlayIt's no secret that the finalists face a mountain of pressures week after week, cooking against the clock in all-or-nothing challenges, strutting their stuff for a crew of cameras and enduring hours-long evaluations that ultimately determine their futures. But what about the mentors, Alton, Bobby and Giada? They, too, grapple with a series of Star stresses, as it is, after all, up to them to narrow down the crop of contestants before you, the fans, choose your next star. The burden is on them to find each competitor's strengths and weaknesses, and give them the tools they need to show off the former and improve the latter, all while maintaining the distance and fairness of a judge. Alton, Bobby and Giada handle the job differently depending on the day, but for each of them, when the work becomes particularly trying, sometimes all that's left to do is laugh.

Take a look at the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode: Alton, Giada and Bobby have gathered at evaluation, and it seems that for Giada, the moment is simply too much to bear. She's face-first on the table while Alton offers a well-meaning giggle and Bobby displays a look of apparent confusion. Do you think they've just endured a particularly difficult elimination, or have they taken a brief break from deliberation to relax among friends?

Write your best captions

VOTE: Who’s Your Favorite Star Judge?

by in Judges, June 20, 2013

Alton, Giada and Bobby - Food Network Star, Season 9This season, Alton, Bobby and Giada are playing two roles: mentors and judges. When they're not sharing their expert advice with the remaining contestants during challenges, they're making the tough decisions — who stays and who goes each week. While they work together as a team to make these verdicts, each judge has his and her own personality and point of view that will help shape these decisions.

During Season 8 of Star, viewers saw even more of their characters come out as Alton, Giada and Bobby had to compete against each other for the first time. Both Bobby and Alton have admitted that while Giada is sweet, she loves to win and is a serious competitor. Bobby certainly has the cooking chops, and as Chad said earlier this season, "Alton knows just a little bit more about everything than you do." So that leads Star Talk to ask fans this question: Who's your favorite Star judge? Vote in the poll.

Vote now

Sunday’s Star Menu: Hot, Buttered Popcorn for the Movies

by in Community, June 19, 2013

Theater-Style Buttered PopcornAs Sunday afternoons turn to evenings and the hours until the next episode of Food Network Star tick away, how do you settle in to watch the latest premiere? No matter who you're with or where you're watching from, you surely have on hand a spread of eats and drinks to last you through the episode, right? Here at Star Talk, we want to see what you're munching on. Every Wednesday, check back for a themed menu to get you ready for the episode ahead, and on Sunday nights, snap photos of your spread and share them with @FoodNetwork via Twitter and Instagram using #FoodNetworkStar.

On Sunday, the remaining finalists will leave the comfort of the Star Kitchen and get their first tastes of Hollywood by starring in big-screen movies shown at a luxury cinema. For the first time, they'll work in teams to create trailers that promote themed menus. Even though they're at the theater, the Selection Committee may expect more from the finalists than fresh-popped popcorn. But for fans watching the episode unfold from the couch at home, a bucket of the hot, buttered stuff is the ultimate snack when it comes to movie-paired munchies.

Try Food Network Magazine's Theater-Style Buttered Popcorn to re-create the concession stand classic. The key to this recipe is clarifying the butter — accomplished by melting it and letting it rest until it separates into three layers — as it will offer a decadent flavor without making the popcorn soggy.

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One-on-One With Guest Judge Alex Guarnaschelli

by in Interviews, June 18, 2013

Alex Guarnaschelli on Food Network Star Season 9No one may know the pressures of reality cooking competitions better than Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. She's a force in Kitchen Stadium and arguably one of the most-straightforward Chopped judges at the table. Beyond competitions, she's a chef who has been wowing patrons for years at her restaurants. Simply said: Alex knows her stuff and can probably describe it better than anyone else.

This past Sunday, Alex joined Alton and Bobby at the judges' table for a special Chopped-themed episode of Star. Star Talk recently caught up with Alex and asked her about her time on the show, including her reaction on Danushka's infamous "bored" comment.

Your face was priceless when Danushka revealed her "boredom" during the challenge. What was your initial reaction to hearing that? Was that a Chopped first for you?
AG: Standing on the middle of the subway at rush hour, waking up late for a final exam or frying an egg for the queen of England would be less stressful than that kitchen. I think boredom is a curious reaction. I also think if you know you're bored, and cooking is such a demanding profession, it might not be a good fit.

Keep reading Alex's interview

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