Caption It: Challenge Unveiled

by in Food Network Star, June 1, 2012

Last week, the finalists faced Chopped baskets filled with wacky ingredients like grape soda and black lava salt. What awaits under silver domes in this Sunday's Fashion Week challenge? Here, Malcolm gets his first glimpse of what could be in store. Is this Team Bobby contender bummed out or pleasantly surprised by what he sees?

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Star fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this challenge-revealing moment in the comments below.

Poll: Who Went Home Too Soon?

by in Food Network Star, May 31, 2012

No Star hopeful wants to make an early exit from the competition, but unfortunately, someone always has to be the first, second or third to go. Cristie Schoen, Kara Sigle and Josh Lyons — eliminated in episodes one, two and three, respectively — didn't have many opportunities to show Bob and Susie their best stuff. Their mentors only had limited time to coach them and help them improve. With more time to learn and grow, could Cristie, Kara or Josh have been a serious contender?

That leads to our poll of the week: In your opinion, which of these three early eliminations happened too soon? Let us know which eliminated finalist you'd bring back to the competition.

Who's your favorite finalist still in the running? Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.

Fan Post of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, May 30, 2012

What do you get when you combine Hershey’s Kisses, kumquats, pancetta and graham crackers? If you're competing on Food Network Star, the answer is anything and everything. In a Chopped-style battle, finalists on Team Alton found those four mystery ingredients inside their baskets and had just 30 minutes to turn them into Star-quality desserts.

Justin thought completely outside the basket and prepared no-bake cookies that Bob Tuschman called "a total original" and no-nonsense Chopped judge Scott Conant deemed "a winner." However, what he did with those ingredients was perhaps not as impressive as how he did it. His non-traditional cooking techniques — melting the chocolate Kisses with the foil wrappers still on and slapping a towel near his dish to remove excess powdered sugar from his plate — left the judges in awe.

In response to Justin’s mad scientist-like ways, Star viewer Sarah Harris said it best in her message on Food Network’s Facebook page. “Justin is either completely nuts or completely genius,” she posted, echoing the sentiments of the judges and earning our Fan Post of the Week.

Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Star Commentary. 

Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day and tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton#TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.

 

Team Giada: Down to Four

by in Food Network Star, May 29, 2012

Team Giada held strong in the first two episodes. Week one, Josh Lyons made it successfully through the pitch room, and then the team took home a win in week two's food tour challenge. Giada still had all five of her finalists going into week three — but not for long.

After ending up in the bottom of the Chopped desserts challenge, Josh faced the Producers' Challenge once again, and this time Giada's pitch-room plea wasn't enough to save him from elimination. Bob and Susie thought that as the front man of a rock band, Josh would be more comfortable in the spotlight, but he continued to stumble over his presentations. "I think he's talented," said Giada. "I just don't know that he was ready for this."

Hear more from Giada, Susie and Josh in his exclusive exit interview. Do you think it was Josh's time to go? Read more

Team Alton Cracks the Top Three: Your Week Two Picks Revealed

by in Food Network Star, May 29, 2012

Our week two Fan Vote tally is in, and Team Giada's Martita Jara and Ippy Aiona continue to duke it out for first place. Martita regained her preseason lead this week with 24% of your votes, while Ippy stayed strong at 21%. But this week, Team Giada's sweep of the top three was broken as Team Alton's Emily Ellyn claimed third place with 11% of the vote.

Will Team Alton keep gaining momentum after their "unofficial" win in the Chopped desserts challenge?

The in-season Fan Vote resets each week, so make sure to cast your vote for your favorite finalist up to 10 times per day.

Check out the complete list of Week Two Fan Vote results:

Read more

Aarti’s After Party: Go Bold or Go Home

by in Food Network Star, May 27, 2012

Aarti Sequeira won Food Network Star season 6 and expanded her popular blog into a cooking show, Aarti Party (catch it on Food Network, Sundays at 7:30am/6:30c). As a Star veteran watching from her couch at home, Aarti shares her insider’s take on what went down each week.

When I asked you guys what you thought of this new format a couple of weeks ago, some of you opined that it allowed the “weaker” contestants to hide behind the “stronger” ones. Well, this was the week for you.

For the first time, instead of competing as teams, it was every man for him (or her) self. And judging by the contestants’ performance this week, this paradigm shift did a number on them. Until now, these folks were teammates, brothers-in-arms if you will, cheering each other across the finish line, consoling one another when a fellow soldier didn’t think he or she could make it. In a blink of any eye, the brothers-in-arms were forced to opposite sides of the battlefield.

No wonder so many faltered. I was shocked at the ripple of insecurity toppling many of the Goliaths in this pack: Martita’s characteristic fieriness diminished to a very polite flicker. Emily’s Zooey Deschanel-like quirkiness lacked pop. And Martie? Oh how my heart broke for her, as we watched her insecurities threaten to drown her Southern charm.

Read more

Caption It: Goofing Around

by in Food Network Star, May 25, 2012

This Sunday's new episode of Star is an intense one. Just when they're getting comfy in their teams, the finalists must compete against their own teammates in Chopped-style dessert battles. When the wacky mystery baskets are revealed, the finalists aren't the only ones who are stressed — their mentors are competitive, too! But no matter how heated the competition, with fun personalities like Alton, Giada and Bobby, there's always time for a lighthearted moment like this one. Alton's goofing around on the judges' panel has Giada in stitches.

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c, we’re challenging you, Star fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this silly moment in the comments below.

 

Star Poll: Pick Your Dish

by in Food Network Star, May 24, 2012

For the bus tour challenge, Team Giada ended up right in their mentor's comfort zone: Arthur Avenue, the Bronx's answer to Little Italy. Maybe this added a little pressure — as Team Giada, they couldn't mess up Italian food! They stepped it up, made some tasty food and won the challenge.

Three dishes really stood out for the judges. Martita's Italian-Inspired Ceviche (pictured above) won raves; Susie Fogelson said it was one of the best ceviches she's ever tasted. Read more

Fan Tweet of the Week — Star Commentary

by in Food Network Star, May 23, 2012

Last Sunday’s episode of Star brought the finalists out of the kitchen and onto the streets of New York City, tasked with creating and presenting in their own way a dish or product specific to their team’s neighborhood. While Team Giada found Italian comfort in the Bronx’s Little Italy on Arthur Avenue and Team Bobby discovered the soul food-heavy cuisine of Harlem, Team Alton headed downtown to explore the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a once predominantly Jewish neighborhood specializing in Eastern European cooking.

Judson was left to spearhead the presentation of pickles after his teammates chose pastrami sandwiches, bialys and matzo. How would he feature this salty-sour specialty that's usually eaten as a snack, a side, a burger topping or a condiment in a creative, unique dish that the judges would relish? "I'm not really feeling it," Judson admitted.

Many fans live-Tweeted with questions and comments about Judson’s potentially sour situation, which leads us to our Fan Tweet of the Week (pictured above) from @AlexisSykut.

Join the #Star conversation on Twitter and Facebook and your comments may be featured in our weekly roundup of Star Commentary. 

Don’t forget to cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day and tune in to this Sunday’s episode at 9pm/8c to see who from #TeamAlton#TeamBobby or #TeamGiada goes home next.

 

Team Bobby’s First Farewell

by in Food Network Star, May 22, 2012

Team Bobby was riding high after taking home the first win of the season, only to come crashing back to reality in Episode Two. On their food tour of Harlem, caterer and fitness guru Kara Sigle hoped a strong presentation would distract from her lifeless chicken and waffles. Unfortunately, she stumbled, lost focus and completely forgot to tell the crowd — and the judges — about her dish at all. She wasn't surprised to end up in the Producers' Challenge, going head-to-head against Judson to create the ultimate potato dish and make it memorable.

When Bob and Susie decided that Team Alton's Judson was the better gamble to keep around another week, he was the one who shed tears. Kara left the competition with her head held high and still hopes to see Team Bobby come out on top. "They become your family immediately," she said of her team. "I think they’re going to go all the way. That’s the final four right there."

Hear more from Bobby, Susie and Kara in her exclusive exit interview. Do you think she deserved to go home so soon? Read more

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