by Sarah De Heer in Food Network Star, June 8, 2013
by Maria Russo in Community, June 7, 2013
The first episode of Star encompasses so much information: fans meet the finalists, they're introduced to the finalists' POVs, which may or may not change throughout the season, and, most-intriguing, fans get a good grip on individual personalities. Which Star contestant will have the most spirit? Which one will act as the mom of the group? And which will cause the most trouble?
With a lineup of finalists who have competed on Chopped, Iron Chef America and Extreme Chef, just to name a few, the competition is more cutthroat than ever, and with that brings natural rivalries. In the first episode, two pairs of rivalries were quickly established: Danushka vs. Lovely and Russell vs. Viet.
Viewers spoke their minds about the 12 new hopefuls on Twitter by using hashtag #FoodNetworkStar throughout the premiere, as well as the Fan Feed.
Now Star Talk wants to know: What are your early season rivalry predictions? Do you think they'll be game-changers? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Come back to Star Talk later in the season to see if you were right.
Click here for a sneak peek at Episode 2
by Maria Russo in Community, June 6, 2013
With only 11 weeks of competition between their premiere performances and the finale, Food Network Star hopefuls have the narrowest of windows to leave a lasting impression on the Selection Committee. It's up to them to find their culinary hooks quickly, sharpen their kitchen skills and ultimately convince the mentors of their staying power on the network. With Daniela's early departure last week, the contestants learned that most will not enjoy the time they need to prove their progress, and come Sunday, their star potential will be tested in a new way during live demonstrations at a Burger Bash-inspired event.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from this weekend's episode: Alton's delivering what appears to be a not-so-gentle remark to the competitors during evaluation. Do you think he's speaking to the entire group, or is he singling out one finalist who's especially struggling? After just two weeks of competition, should the mentors demand progress, or should they understand the time it takes to learn and improve? How long is too long to wait for a finalist to demonstrate growth, on the plate, on camera and on stage?
Write your best caption
by Star Talk Editor in Behind the Scenes, June 5, 2013
If this season's Food Network Star contestants want to take home the ultimate title in a few months, they'll need more than just fancy knife skills and a winning smile; hopefuls must dress the part of a star as well, showing off their individuality and signature style with clothes and accessories both on camera and off.
Last week, fans met the finalists for the first time, and even after just one episode, it's clear that each of the competitors lets his or her personality shine through their wardrobe in the form of bold prints, bright colors, soft fabrics and flirty footwear. Former rock 'n' roller Rodney sported a feathered top hat, while Viet donned dark-rimmed specs and a sleek sport coat and Russell embraced a casual, comfortable collection of T-shirts and sweaters. The ladies, too, modeled an array of pieces, including a red-and-black leopard-print blouse worn by Lovely, a fringed vest on Daniela and sky-high ankle boots on Stacey.
Vote for the most-fashionable finalist
by Maria Russo in Community, June 5, 2013
Each episode of Star takes hours to tape, so it's no surprise that not every moment and reaction is captured in the 60 minutes fans get to see on air. Every week, Star Talk will give readers an insider's look at what goes down on the set of Food Network Star — from the judges to the contestants to the environments in which they cook and present.
Click here to browse the entire gallery of photos from Episode 1 now
Click here for behind the scenes photos
by Sarah De Heer in Behind the Scenes, June 4, 2013
As 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.
The finalists will be given their meatiest challenge to date on Sunday: host a Burger Bash for 100 hungry guests and present their best between-bun creation to a live audience. As they're tackling the heat of the grill and the demands of cooking for a crowd, host your own scaled-down version of the bash at home. Follow Tyler Florence's lead and set up a Burger Bar (pictured above), featuring a spread of juicy, tender patties, plus an array of toppings and condiments. After taking the burgers off the grill with the deliciously gooey melted cheese on top, arrange them on a platter alongside the fixings, and let everyone build their ultimate burger. Whether you're entertaining partygoers or simply trying to cater to a few picky eaters, inviting guests to assemble their meal to their liking ensures they will get the burger they're craving — no extraneous toppings to pick off or eat around.
Show us what you're cooking
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 3, 2013
The newest season of Star kicked off this past Sunday night, and along with 12 new contestants, there are a couple of new features added to the show that may be unfamiliar to fans. This handy little guide should help navigate you through the next 10 weeks of competition.
Challenges: This season there are two different challenges that can occur in each episode. If an episode includes a Mentor Challenge, that means Alton, Bobby and/or Giada will help guide the finalists through that day's events. The mentors will share their advice and raise any possible concerns they may have. After the Mentor Challenge, finalists will be faced with a Star Challenge. This can consist of cooking demonstrations or presenting to a focus group.
Finalists: This year the mentors are tasking 12 hopefuls with weekly challenges in the ultimate multi-month interview for the chance to earn their dream television job. The contestants bring with them a mix of backgrounds, including culinary school, restaurant management, private chef and food blogging.
by Justin Warner in Recap, June 3, 2013
Eleven episodes, 12 contestants, countless challenges and only one ultimate dream come true. Every Sunday, Bobby, Giada and Alton will take on the difficult task of eliminating one finalist in the quest to help guide fans to vote for Food Network's next sensation. And this is no easy task. Check back here every week to read Star Talk's exclusive exit interview with the latest Star hopeful to leave Star Kitchen.
If you missed the show and recorded it, don't read any further — Star Talk is about to chat with the first finalist to go home.
SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 31, 2013
It’s an 11-week, live-action job interview. It starts with 12 or so fine foodie folks who compete to be the newest member of the Food Network family. In each episode, one or more of the applicants is shown the exit, and at the end, America will vote to determine who will get the chance of a lifetime: their very own show on Food Network. I survived this process, won my dream job and am living larger than a plate of disco fries on Triple D.
Welcome to the Rebel Recap, where I’ll be recapitating the heck out of what went down last night on Food Network Star. It'll be as though you and I are long-time bros: Neither of us remembers how we got home, but here we are on the couch, shooting the breeze. Grab a slice of cold pizza and let me know what you think in the comments.
This season's teamless format should prove to be very interesting. It should encourage a lot more competition out of the gate. Being mentored by all three superstars could be a double-edged sword. If the finalists are able to take the best powers from all three mentors, the end result could be the Captain Planet of Food Network. On the other hand, having to interpret three very different styles of mentoring could lead to confusion and mania. Personally, I'm glad I was with Mr. Brown exclusively. Even if it's just a customer at my restaurant taking a picture of me, I think about what Alton would have to say about my on-camera presence.
Let's start with GAB (Giada, Alton and Bobby) walking in and explaining what’s at stake and the fact that someone will be sent packing every time they meet. Chad divulges his fear of Mr. Brown, who “knows just a little bit more about everything than you do.” This is entirely true, and I speak from experience.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, May 31, 2013
Three of Food Network's longest-standing chefs, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, are no strangers to the demands of stardom, now having years of experience multitasking in front of the camera and cooking. But before they were industry professionals, Alton, Bobby and Giada, too, once had to learn the ins and outs of what this job entails, much like Star finalists will in the early weeks on set. As Star Talk gets ready to kick off an all-new ninth season of Food Network Star, we'll be taking a look back at each judge-mentor's earliest days on the network, revisiting their earliest shows and exploring how they turned their passion for food into a full-time job.
Although he's now the host of Bobby's Barbecue Addiction and Barbecue with Bobby Flay, this New York City chef's range in the industry reaches far beyond outdoor grilling. A longtime Iron Chef, Bobby has been competing on the Chairman's elite team of culinary masters since Iron Chef America's inception in 2005, although he partook in several face-offs with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, an Iron Chef in Japan, before he, too, joined the ranks of Kitchen Stadium stateside.
For the last two weeks, Star Talk has introduced you to Star-a-Day in preparation for Sunday's brand-new Food Network Star, Season 9 premiere at 9pm/8c. Starting this weekend, these hopefuls will begin an 11-week journey for the chance to earn their own show on Food Network, but with returning judge-mentors Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis at the helm, you can be sure that their journey to stardom won't be an easy one. You've met each of the contestants, watched their casting videos and now have a taste for their culinary viewpoints in the kitchen. Judging by just what you've seen and know about them so far, who do you think will be able to achieve that coveted combination of top-notch kitchen know-how, on-camera charm and relatability to the home cook?
Before you tune in on Sunday night, Star Talk is challenging you, Star fans, to make your pre-premiere predictions for who will be one of the front-running finalists this season. Do you think Daniela's international point of view will make her relatable to a larger audience, or will Danushka's no-nonsense attitude make her especially effective? Has Nikki's camera experience given her what she needs to succeed? As a group, do Stacey, Viet, Russell, Rodney, Chad and Chris have an advantage as restaurant owners? Are you inspired by Andres' story of weight loss? Do you have a gut instinct that Lovely's performance will be too lovely to resist, or are you simply drawn to Damaris' Southern charisma?