by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 13, 2014
by Star Talk Editor in Videos, June 11, 2014
Food Network Star is a difficult enough competition without unexpected obstacles in the middle of cooking. But on this Sunday's all-new episode, that's precisely what the finalists are in for when Alton unveils the first-ever Cutthroat Kitchen-themed challenge.
On Alton's evilicious series, the host auctions off notoriously ruthless tests that subject the rivals to hilariously devious ingredient swaps, inferior cooking utensils and just-for-fun time sucks; he has an arsenal of sabotages at the ready, and all it takes is a few high-stakes bids to turn an everyday culinary competition into a diabolical face-off wherein anything can happen.
Take a look at the above sneak-peek photo from Sunday's show. Alton looks on with his signature stare as Christopher appears surprised — for better or worse — about the state of his prep work in front of him. Has Christopher been doomed with an insurmountable sabotage, or is he pleasantly shocked at the finished version of his plate? What kind of challenges do you anticipate Alton unleashing on the contestants?
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 10, 2014
Luca joins Star Salvation this week, along with remaining competitors and fan favorites Martie and Chad. Luca is soon confronted by an issue that he struggled with in Episode 2. "You kind of had a hard time connecting with the viewer and the camera," Geoffrey reminds him before introducing the next test, which is to make a 30-second video demonstrating a single culinary tip.
Luca and Martie will demonstrate a similar tip, but each with their own approach. Chad, however, tackles what he does best. Who will move on and who will say goodbye?
Click play on the video above to watch Part 1 of Star Salvation now (watch Part 2 here), and see if Luca can claim Salvation — or if the fan favorites will continue to move on.
by Justin Warner in Recap, June 9, 2014
Alex Guarnaschelli is no stranger to Food Network Star. We've seen her dish out her opinions on the judging panel of two Chopped-themed episodes during seasons 8 and 9. But this past Sunday, Alex took off her judge's hat and took to the kitchen. During the Star Challenge, the remaining finalists were tasked with taping a 15-minute demo explaining how to make a simple dish with pantry ingredients in a separate prep kitchen. So where's the twist? Iron Chef Guarnaschelli was in Star Kitchen watching their demos in real time, attempting to make the same dish, as Bobby, Giada and Alton looked on.
Star Talk caught up with the Iron Chef right after the show to talk about being in the kitchen versus being a judge, and what Bobby, Giada and Alton are really like.
This is your third time on Food Network Star, and this time they put you into the mix of cooking, and you even said that you feel like you’re a part of the cooking audition yourself!
Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s true. I’ve been through a number of shows and I’ve done a lot of this stuff before, so theoretically this is not my first or even my fifth rodeo, but it feels as nerve-racking and as fresh as the first time. And when you realize that, you catch a glimpse into what the stakes are like for these competitors. I mean, they’re standing in front of a trio of people that have enough producing and camera experience to catapult you all the way to the top. How much can you sort out? How much can you really hear them? How do you separate yourself from the pack? On top of being on camera, they have to cook for Bobby, Giada and Alton. I mean that — that’s some cherry and whipped cream on that sundae right there, right?
by Alton Brown in Judges, June 8, 2014
Last week we saw the first elimination of Season 10. Donna was shown the door, while Emma and Sarah were dragged to the next round, like babies attached to the wedding dress of stardom.
Alton's Teacher Challenge
The gang is split into two: Team Green Bean Casserole and Team Chicken-Fried Steak. The kicker is each finalist must talk Alton through a few steps of the recipe. I anticipated a few hiccups, but what ensues is embarrassment and certifiably awkward moments:
- While Mr. Brown is Hulk-smashing green beans and throwing them into boiling water, Lenny, who sees through Mr. Brown's shenanigans, delivers a smart tip: "If you are going to chuck things in to boiling water, chuck them away from you, so as to scald your competition."
- I would like to adopt Christopher for the holidays and show that man what a can of French's French Fried Onions looks like. Diced and sauteed onions on a green bean casserole is like putting ketchup on a hot dog in New York.
- Seizing the opportunity, Sarah Zambonis Christopher's mistake and leaves a glistening, slick recipe for Luca.
- Reuben forgets to make a roux. Rouxben. I bet he rues this mistake.
- Aryen has to deal with Rouxben's folly. Lenny talks her through it and she overcomes, but Lenny is bummed she's getting credit for his clever solution.
- Nicole navigates the sometimes-tricky world of breading a country-fried steak. She advises that Alton keep one hand for eggs and another for flour. I kind of wish she didn't because it would be very funny to see Alton with battered clubs for hands.
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, June 8, 2014
Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts that went behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.
Moving into the second episode, Bobby, Giada and I decided to switch the emphasis to communication and teaching skills. For the Mentor Challenge, I revisited a scenario I used to select my team for Season 8 in which the finalists had to walk me through the preparation of a couple of dishes. You'd be surprised how tough it is to get a dish on a plate when all you can use is words. That said, most of the finalists managed to get through it, but when faced with the Star Challenge, three finalists quickly sank to the bottom of the pack.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 6, 2014
With the first challenges behind the them, the remaining 11 finalists took to Star Kitchen and were hit with two big surprises this week: teaching Alton how to prepare two of his favorite dishes (Green Bean Casserole and Chicken-Fried Steak) in the Mentor Challenge and having Alex Guarnaschelli follow along their live cooking demos in the Star Challenge.
Overcoming one of these challenges would be enough for anyone, but proving these hopefuls can communicate and cook (especially at the same time) is a requirement of the job.
If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of the episode and reveal who was sent home.
by Star Talk Editor in Videos, June 4, 2014
From their fellow rivals' histories to the details of a challenge, much of the Food Network Star competition is a surprise to finalists, although often all it takes is an initial introduction or the how-tos of a specific test to reveal the ins and outs. But what if competitors aren't given all of the information? Then they're in for additional challenges, which is likely just what the mentors had in mind.
On Sunday's all-new episode, the finalists will receive one such hefty surprise when they learn they're instructing their video demos to not just at-home viewers, but also to Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who wows them with an unexpected visit. Given the sneak-peek photo above, however, it appears that the competitors aren't the only ones being surprised. Alex also appears shocked by the contest with a jaw-dropped gaze and frozen-in-place stance. What might have caused her reaction, and which contestants might be capable of eliciting it? What kinds of surprises would you like to see Food Network Star finalists tasked with overcoming?
by Star Talk Editor in Behind the Scenes, June 3, 2014
An ousted rival will rejoin the competition after a journey on Star Salvation, an exclusive Web series hosted by Damaris Phillips and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Damaris says it best when she explains, "This season is all about fan favorites." She and fellow Salvation host Geoffrey welcome past competitors — Season 8's Martie Duncan and Season 9's Chad Rosenthal — to battle Donna, the first finalist eliminated from Season 10. For their premiere challenge, they're tasked with presenting themselves and their culinary points of view on pizzas in only 25 minutes.
Click play on the video above to watch Part 1 of Star Salvation now (watch Part 2 here), and see how Donna fares.
by Justin Warner in Recap, June 2, 2014
Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make Food Network Star and go inside the finalists' challenges with weekly memorable moments galleries like the one from the premiere. The photos below didn't make the gallery, but Star Talk fans can get a glimpse of the mentors and Selection Committee when the director yells, "Cut!"
Welcome to the Rebel Recap. I'll give you so many juicy details of what went down in Star Town you will think you are eating an alphabet steak covered with speculation sauce — all washed down with a glass of refreshing bubbly humor. I'd sure love to hear what you think about the plate of prose before you, so make use of that nifty comment button.
Thirty-second pitch tapes: Most of America would do unthinkable things to get 30 seconds of face time with Giada, Alton and Bobby. With their firstborns sold (kidding, you just have to fill out an application or two), our hopefuls have this exact opportunity.
Read on for some highlights ...