by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 8, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 7, 2016
As an Iron Chef, a master of all things brunch and barbecue, and a bona fide pro at holding his own when rivals attempt to beat him, Bobby Flay is at home in the kitchen. So it's no surprise that when he comes face to face with a stove full of pans in the Food Network Star kitchen, he can't but help but get in on the action at the range — even if the food isn't his own.
Take a peek at the photo above from Sunday's brand-new episode. As he and fellow mentor Giada De Laurentiis make their way around the kitchen, Bobby stops to give one competitor's pan a quick toss, just to check in on the status of what's in the works there. For the remaining finalists, Sunday's Week 8 challenges will be among the most-demanding yet — in terms of both culinary and presentation expectations — as the field has narrowed to just five hopefuls.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 6, 2016
In this seventh week of Food Network Star, the competition among the finalists is more intense and the rivalries more poignant than ever. Sunday night's elimination was the first decidedly emotional exit this season — and for more than just the ousted hopeful. In a shocking announcement, Joy was sent home following a fried-chicken flop and a lackluster onstage performance during the tiki party challenge, whereas Ana, her challenge teammate, was spared yet again. While the rest of Ana's remaining rivals were surprised to learn she'd been deemed safe, Ana was simply "grateful," as she said through tears afterward. But she was also keenly aware of the way others were looking at her and her place in the competition, and she was quick to use that to her advantage. "The other finalists, they're shooting daggers at me," she noted. "The reason that they're upset — it's finally dawned on them. I'm real competition. I'm a real threat to them."
Click the play button on the video above to watch as the remaining hopefuls react to Ana's rescue, and see how Ana sets her sights on victory with only three weeks left in the contest.
by Maria Russo in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, July 5, 2016
This marks the halfway point of the Star Salvation competition, which means that the remaining hopefuls are just three weeks away from one person claiming redemption and returning to Food Network Star, and in true Salvation fashion, the contest is only getting more demanding.
Trends were the name of the game in this fourth battle, when Joy joined Monterey and Yaku in blending of-the-moment ingredients and showcasing a complementary technique. To successfully marry seaweed, coconut sugar, rainbow carrots and steel-cut oats, they'd have to reimagine traditional uses for these items — and then sell their dishes to judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Eddie Jackson, of course.
Click the play button on the video above to watch what unfolded and see which finalist was sent home for good. Read more
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Star, Recap, July 4, 2016
From a frozen baking task in the Mentor Challenge to an impromptu tiki party in the Star Challenge, the Food Network Star finalists were pressed for patience, time and entertaining this week. The drama unfolded both in the kitchen and onstage, and it ultimately concluded when Joy, a fan-favorite finalist, was sent home in an emotional elimination, while her teammate Ana was spared yet another week. There were strong performances, plenty of laughs and some tears (and even shouts of "Tiki! Tiki!). And after the cameras stopped rolling, the on-set photographers captured what was going down behind the scenes. Browse the insider snapshots below to see what the finalists and the mentors were up to on set this week, then check out more candid photos from past episodes.
Ready, Set, Freeze
As the finalists stormed the freezers to get their hands on the frozen ingredients up for grabs, a cameraperson was stationed nearby to capture the action.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, July 3, 2016
First things first this week. So all we had to do was spring some frozen ingredients on the Food Network Star contestants to see a whole other side of Damiano’s personality? There was no talk of Italy. No farm stand of fresh fruit that he will bring back to the bakery. There was only a cranky and somewhat compellingly edgy Damiano making a shortbread cookie with (gasp!) frozen egg yolks and (eek!) frozen butter. The cookie looks a little overbaked, and the fruity gelato he makes from ice pops is, according to Bobby Flay, a bit light on flavor. Not one of Damiano's strongest dishes here, but I kind of like this side of him. There is something worth exploring with him when life is not filled with unicorns and Italian gelato dreams.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 1, 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, 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.
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.