by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 1, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Recipes, June 30, 2016
This Sunday marks the seventh week of the competition for the remaining Food Network Star finalists. With just a few challenges standing between them and potential Stardom, it's high time they celebrate with a party, right? Right. Well, kind of. This week's all-new episode indeed features the competitors at a bash — a tiki extravaganza complete with cocktails and tropical decor — but they won't be celebrating in the crowd of revelers. Instead, they'll be providing the entertainment in the form of culinary demos.
Take a sneak peek at the photo above from the upcoming episode. Guest judge Anne Burrell stops by, and here she's making a grand announcement inside Food Star Kitchen. What do you think she's saying, and what effect will her news have on the competitors? Is she announcing a twist in the challenge? Is she yelling out to her fellow judges, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, June 29, 2016
Though all of the Food Network Star finalists' finished dishes should be camera ready and pleasing to look at, this week's Mentor Challenge put a special emphasis on artful culinary designs. Smiley faces, turkey patties a la turkeys, flowers and fish — they all made appearances on the plate with the help of almost-too-cute-to-eat foods. And best of all, most of the dishes tasted as impressive as they looked. Come the Star Challenge, "the wheel of mythicality" struck and helped influence the competitors' next offerings, and even in spite of some oddball ingredient combos — think kimchi and bread pudding — the results were successful.
We collected the winning recipes from both of the challenges. Check out the mentors' top picks of plates below, then browse more of the best dishes from past episodes.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, June 28, 2016
Let's be honest: There was pretty much no chance that Rhett and Link's Wheel of Mythicality was going to yield such friendly "Will It" combos as peanut butter and jelly or strawberries and cream on Sunday's latest episode of Food Network Star. But the pairings that resulted from a quick spin of this diabolical wheel turned out such shocking and oddball mash-ups that some finalists could hardly handle it. Kimchi and bread pudding, anyone? How about octopus and macaroni and cheese? Those were the combinations that Joy and Tregaye were saddled with, respectively — and they didn't take too kindly to them.
Click the play button on the video above to watch the pairings get dealt one spin at a time, and see how the competitors reacted to receiving these unexpected combinations.
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Star, Recap, June 26, 2016
Just as the remaining Food Network Star finalists worked with their own food wheel this week (remember when the wheel matched bread pudding and kimchi, octopus and macaroni and cheese?), so did the hopefuls on Star Salvation. Host Eddie Jackson unveiled what he called "the wheel of innovation," which meant that the name of the game was transformation, giving new life and reinventing an everyday ingredient. While Yaku and Rob worked with different boxed items, Monterey was saddled with canned liver pâté. It was up to her to turn this less-than-desirable ingredient into something craveable. Her solution: noodles. And the results were anything but what you'd expect.
Click the play button on the video above to see how Monterey handled the pâté, and find out which competitor was sent home for good this week.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, June 26, 2016
The pressure mounts. The finalists dwindle in numbers. The nerves are frayed. Want the truth? I have picked my potential winner. That’s right. And I’m wondering if you’ve picked yours. (Tell me in the comments, if so!) But don’t think it’s so easy to tell whom my money is on for the win.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 24, 2016
With only 11 short weeks to ready finalists before a winner will be chosen, the Food Network Star beast is such that week after week, hopeful competitors will fall, faced with the crushing disappointment of elimination. Here on Star Talk, we'll be bringing you the first exclusive exit interviews with the ousted finalists as they're sent home. Check back here every Sunday night for new one-on-one chats to hear from the just-eliminated competitors, learn their thoughts on the competition, and find out how they feel about the mentors' critiques of their final dishes and presentations. We're about to break down the ins and outs of tonight's new episodes and reveal who went home, so if you've yet to watch the show, read no further until then.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Judges, Videos, June 23, 2016
Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis expect the best from the finalists in terms of on-camera charm and culinary expertise. And the mentors know just how to deliver no-nonsense challenges that test both skills, as they are keenly aware of the traits needed to be successful onscreen and at the stove. Six weeks into the contest, the remaining competitors are halfway to the finish line, so the judges' expectations are getting only higher and more demanding. But that doesn't mean the judges don't know how to have a little fun on set too.
Check out the above photo from Sunday's all-new episode. Along with guest judge Duff Goldman, who's on hand for the Mentor Challenge, the mentors are simply cracking up at the scene unfolding before them. While Bobby leans over in grinning laughter, Giada covers her face and Duff looks on with a smile — all three enjoying themselves and letting loose at the judges' table. What do you think has them in stitches? Who could be making them laugh like that?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, June 22, 2016
It might be time for this year's Food Network Star finalists to pack it up and head home, because we're pretty sure we just found the next faces of Food Network stardom: Nacho Flay and Bella De Laurentiis, cats to Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, respectively.
OK, so maybe these furry felines aren't quite ready to host their own shows, but they're indeed primed for the spotlight. Recently we caught up with them — and their parents — on the set of Food Network Star, and both cats were natural stars on camera. Check out the exclusive video interview above to learn all about Nacho's Instagram fame (he has almost 50,000 followers @NachoFlay), find out what Bella likes to eat for breakfast (hint: you might be having it for dinner tonight) and watch as Nacho takes his place on Bobby's back-turned-perch.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, June 21, 2016
If you've ever taken a road trip, you know that many fast-food dining destinations can leave a lot to be desired. This week, it was up to the Star Salvation finalists to reinvent the everyday road-trip tastes you know and (probably don't) love, transforming them into satisfying fare worthy of a pit stop. The trick? These dishes had to be ideal for the whole family — Mom and Dad in the front seat and the little ones in the back.
Click the play button on the video above to watch the second episode unfold and see how returning hopefuls Aaron and Yaku, plus newcomer Monterey, handled the speed bumps in the battle this week.
Following Jernard's blah performance during his tableside service presentation last week, the Food Network Star finalist was determined to bring his A-game this week. In the Mentor Challenge, he wowed the panel with a clever hack for a martini shaker and managed to drop what judge Bobby Flay called a little signature "Jernard swagger" in the process. "You have to be on tilt from here on out," Bobby told him. "Get uncivilized." Sure enough, come the Star Challenge, Jernard did just that, delivering a presentation at the tailgate in which he not only talked about taking shots with his wife, but also about how he rubs her feet. His strong showing — a de-civilization of the best kind, perhaps — indeed left a mark on the mentors. "You feel happiness pouring out of him, and it draws you in. And that's a gift," Giada De Laurentiis noted.
Relive Jernard's performances in both challenges by clicking the play button on the video above.