Star Judges’ 4th of July Recipes Won’t Disappoint

by in Recipes, July 1, 2014

Star Judges 4th of July Recipes

On last Sunday's episode of Food Network Star, finalists had to come up with their most-inventive takes on some favorite Fourth of July recipes. While some recipes produced smiles from the judges, others failed to impress. Want to wow your guests this holiday weekend? Inspired by the episode, Star Talk has rounded up the best takes on these dishes from Star judges Bobby, Giada and Alton.

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Threat of the Week: The Mentors — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, June 30, 2014

Justin's Rebel Recap, Episode 5Remember that time the Food Network Star hopefuls had to make viral-marketing videos? I bet you are LOL-ing right now. That was last week, and with that episode we saw the elimination of Aryen, who could almost cut the mustard on camera, but had a dull blade in the culinary department.

After that so-bad-it's-good challenge, the gang heads to Knott's Berry Farm. Where there was once a patch of beautiful berries, there are now roller coasters and funnel cakes. With eight left, the once many-sided dice of elimination rolls closer to doom for the gang. Read on to see who got jammed and who was preserved in the Knott's Berry Farm Corral.

Mentor Challenge: The finalists are to cook some real American dishes for the 4th of July.

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It Was Two Votes to One — Alton’s Post-Star Rundown

by in Judges, June 29, 2014

Alton's Post-Star Rundown, Episode 5Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.

As far as I'm concerned, this challenge got down to the nitty-gritty — the real skills required to do the actual job of being a Food Network Star. The finalists had an hour to concoct a crowd-pleasing dish based on a classic summer pairing. Then they had to demo that dish to a crowd of roughly 400 food fans. The food was as up and down as the rides at Knott's Berry Farm. When it came to the demo, two finalists were clearly on the bottom: Reuben and Christopher.

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One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

by in Interviews, June 29, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home"The elite eight," Bobby dubs the finalists as they arrive at Knott's Berry Farm, an all-American amusement park, for their first-ever live demo this week. The finalists are tasked with preparing a typical 4th of July feast (but matching it to their POVs), as well as presenting it to a live audience — 400 people to be exact.

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.

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Caption It: Look Over There

by in Food Network Star, June 27, 2014

Food Network Star, Season 10For the first time on Sunday, Food Network Star finalists will trade the camera screen for the stage as they get set to perform in live culinary demonstrations. The hopefuls are now five weeks into the contest, and while some are finally finding their footing with an audience, many are still struggling to command a meaningful presence, as they're running out of time during presentations and stumbling over their words. Because there's no time to hesitate and no opportunities for second takes when it comes to live performances, their first attempts will have to be their best if they want to wow the mentors.

Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode. As Lenny works his way through his demonstration, he's seemingly caught up in something happening just over in the distance. What do you think could have grabbed his attention? Is this act somehow part of his performance, or has something gone wrong and he's forced to stop midexplanation?

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Shay Carl Gives the Finalists a Tutorial in Viral Videos [Interview]

by in Interviews, June 24, 2014

Shay Carl, Alton Brown and Bobby FlayIn an age where everything seems to be available online, Food Network Stars also have to have a presence on the Web — it's a one-stop shop to talk with fans and share everyday activities, photos and Post-its.

This week's episode of Star challenged the finalists with two different social tasks: Create a behind-the-scenes video on the set of Food Star Kitchen, and film a viral marketing video at YouTube Space LA. No stranger to vlogging and creating viral videos, Shay Carl was brought in to help guide the contestants. Shay certainly had the resume for the job. He is undoubtedly a very popular and successful YouTube personality, with five channels of his own (two of them with more than 1 million subscribers each).

We caught up with Shay on location at YouTube Space LA to chat about his time on Star.

Star Talk: What's the one thing you really wanted to convey to the finalists?
Shay Carl: See, I had to be really careful because the director told me that they have to be responsible for their own videos. So I couldn't come in there and be like, "I think you guys should do this." And I don't want to do that (in case they get sent home and say, "Well that was Shay Carl's idea!" So it was tough because I'm a very opinionated guy. I just wanted to steer them in the path that they were already going down, without influencing their decisions too much. I was just there to give some tips and tricks, and help them with their training wheels. Imagine they're like a little child on a bike and this is their first YouTube round, and we're going down the cul-de-sac and I'm like: "Yup, that's good! You did it! Good job!"

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“There Is Nothing Textbook About Being a Food Network Star.” — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, June 23, 2014

Justin Warner's Rebel Recap, Episode 4A week ago we watched the culinary sabotages of Cutthroat Kitchen get the better of the remaining finalists. Fast-casual Kenny’s wonky breakfast parfait sent him to Star Salvation. On the other side of the spectrum of success, Christopher and Emma were scoring high marks for their Bloody Mary Pasta and ChocoBacoBurrataBomb, respectively. With nine finalists left, tensions are high.

Selfie Challenge
The gang gets hand-held cameras with the assignment of making a video incorporating their POV from their POV. The whole set is opened up to the contestants, and they can shoot what they please. Who will get the most "likes" from Chef Flay? Read on.

Nicole: The Star de la mar channels a surfer bro for the first half of her selfie, calling the kitchen "sick." It was pretty refreshing to see her drop the "professional" shtick for a second, but a typhoon of "polish" wipes her out in the end.

Reuben: A sofrito is a pretty cool thing to know about, but Reuben falls into his old (meaning from birth) habit of speaking with the same clarity as Miami Sound Machine's "Conga."

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It Came Down to a Tiebreaking Decision — Alton’s Post-Star Rundown

by in Judges, June 22, 2014

Alton's Post-Star Rundown, Episode 4Every week, Alton Brown is joining the Star Talk roster to talk about the most-recent elimination and the thoughts behind each difficult decision from the judges' perspective.

When it comes to eliminations,I'd say that eight times of 10, Bobby, Giada and I talk it out and come to a unanimous decision, but not this time. Granted, the challenge was tough on everyone, forcing them to put themselves out there as conceptualists and performers. This also made it very tough for those of us on the Selection Committee.

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One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go Home

by in Interviews, June 22, 2014

One-on-One with the Latest Star Finalist to Go HomeFirst the finalists are asked to "create a social media presence" in the Mentor Challenge by Bobby, then they are met with the toughest challenge of the competition yet. The contestants arrive at YouTube Space LA this week, where they'll have to create a buzz-worthy online marketing video for popular candy. Emma, coming off a win in the Mentor Challenge, gets to pick the three teams: Team PayDay (Aryen, Christopher and Lenny), Team Reese's (Emma, Nicole and Reuben), and Team Mounds and Almond Joy (Sarah, Loreal and Chris).

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.

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Caption It: Smiley Side-Eye

by in Food Network Star, June 20, 2014

Food Network Star, Season 10Food Network Star is all about the finalists' abilities to put their best faces forward, both on camera and in the kitchen. But sometimes, perhaps on account of competition stress, contestant rivalries or simple daydreaming, hopefuls may let down their guards just long enough to show glimmers of their true personalities when off set and relaxed.

In the above sneak-peek photo from Sunday's all-new episode, Emma is seen giving serious side-eye with a nervous-looking smile, while nearby finalists watch what's going down in front of them. Has something offstage caught Emma's eye, or is she trying to enliven the group with a silly expression? What could her face be telling, and do you think other contestants will join her in amusement?

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