by Justin Warner in Recap, July 1, 2013
by Sarah De Heer in Videos, June 30, 2013
Food Network Star isn't just a job interview, it's a learning process. It's akin to studying for a Ph.D. in public speaking or training for the culinary version of Battle Royale. With every learning process there are markers for self-evaluation. In Food Network Star U, they are called "midterms" and they're designed to thin the pack once the stragglers have been picked off. Simultaneously, the midterms provide a glimpse into the very harsh reality that none of the competitors "have it in the bag," regardless of what is said in the comments below.
Test #1: Giada in Prank-a-dise
Remember last year when I had to do a "live" demo with a "charismatic co-host"? The fish bones? The awkward start? It was easily one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. How could it be worse? Well, Giada summons one Terrence Jenkins — co-anchor of E! News — aka the smoothest dude in the game — this time around.
by Sarah De Heer in Recipes, June 29, 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. Last Sunday, host Robert Irvine tasked Danushka, Andres, Daniela and Lovely with a series of culinary skill challenges that resulted in a double elimination.
Going into the second episode of Salvation, remaining contestants Danushka and Lovely are joined by newly eliminated Viet, who is pretty sure he can outcook his opponents. This week they'll be tasked with making something tasty out of failed foods like overcooked pork chops, mushy veggies and burnt nuts. Who will be one step closer to returning to the competition?
Click the play button above to watch the second episode and find out who will advance to next week's episode of Star Salvation.
More from Star Salvation
by Maria Russo in Community, June 28, 2013
Each week viewers watch contestants put out dish after dish, many successful, others not so much. Those that do get high praises from the judges and focus group members are drool-worthy. Did you know you can make them at home? Get the recipes for the most memorable meals featured on Food Network Star, like Nikki's Potato, Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup (pictured above) from Episode 1.
Find out how to make these Star-worthy dishes at home.
Get the recipes and vote for your favorite
by Sarah De Heer in Videos, June 27, 2013
Each episode of Food Network Star runs for about 42 minutes total — not including commercial time, of course — but to produce that short amount of television, finalists, mentors, camerapeople and behind-the-scenes crew devote three whole days to filming a single show. Shooting often starts early in the morning and doesn't wrap until late in the evening, and while the process is indeed efficient and organized, the cast is surely left with downtime, both on the set and behind the scenes. It's up to them to fill that time on their own: Should they try to anticipate future challenges, hash out go-to recipe ideas, reflect on the competition in their journals or chat with contestants?
Given the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode, it looks as if Russell and Nikki have taken the moments before filming begins to simply goof around with each other, donning silly faces, lighthearted expressions and bunny ears. Do you think they've become slaphappy by their long days on set, or are they using the play time to de-stress from the competition? Will they be able to regain focus and professionalism before the next challenge begins?
Write your best captions
by Maria Russo in Community, June 26, 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.
by Maria Russo in Behind the Scenes, June 25, 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.
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
by Justin Warner in Recap, June 24, 2013
Just 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.
by Sarah De Heer in Videos, June 23, 2013
From 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.
by Star Talk Editor in Behind the Scenes, June 22, 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
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