by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 3, 2015
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 26, 2015
Come Sunday night, it's all about culinary pairs, both in terms of mashed-up ingredients on the plate and in terms of finalists working together as duos in the kitchen. After a classic ingredient swap in the Mentor Challenge, finalists head out of Food Star Kitchen and to downtown Los Angeles, where they'll meet up with the mentors, plus Anne Burrell, for a collaborative challenge at Patina Restaurant. While Anne's used to searching for the best of the worst on her show Worst Cooks in America, on this weekend's all-new episode of Food Network Star she'll work with Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis to seek out potential glimmers of stardom among the best-of-the-best finalists.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above for the first look at what's to come on Sunday. Jay's getting up close and personal with a fish, which is staring him down as herbs fluff out the side of its gills. What do you think Jay's looking for on the fish, and how do you anticipate him using the seafood?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 19, 2015
Stars, stripes and fireworks — they're all set to be on display this weekend as the finalists leave Food Star Kitchen behind and head outside for a 4th of July cookout. Though of course all of the rivals are seeking individual Stardom, once again they'll be tasked with working closely together as they get grouped into teams on Sunday's brand-new episode. It's up to the teams to not only plate a unified menu but also present it to partygoers and a special guest who's no stranger to cookout fare: Bobby Deen.
Take a look above at the sneak-peek photo from Sunday's episode. What do you think Bobby's up to with those car keys? Is he letting the finalists take a break from challenges and simply test-drive a few vehicles, or will the rivals be forced to navigate their way to the cookout?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 12, 2015
It's the nature of the Food Network Star beast for some finalists to leave the competition as quickly as they entered it. After all, there's only a few short weeks between the premiere and the finale, which means that Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis have but a short window of time to not only mentor the hopefuls' budding Star power but also prime them for their would-be job of Food Network Star.
This Sunday's episode marks the third week of the contest, and while the competition was surely fierce in the beginning, it's even steeper now. The time for nerves and self-constraints has ended; to prove their readiness for Stardom, rivals ought to not hold back from here on out, as the mentors will be watching and expecting only excellence.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 5, 2015
If the premiere was all about first impressions, then this Sunday's Episode 2 is set to show which finalists have the chops to go the distance in this competition and who, perhaps, was simply gifted a bit of beginner's luck last week. Not only will the contestants have to impress judge-mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis in two tougher-than-ever challenges on Sunday, but they'll also come face to face with two other superstars — Melissa d'Arabian and Alex Guarnaschelli — both of whom know all too well what it takes to succeed in a culinary competition.
Melissa's the Season 5 Star winner, so she's uniquely aware of the anxieties and pressures affecting the finalists right now; it's up to her to not only judge them but also offer the finalists been-there-done-that words of wisdom that only a fellow Star rival would understand. Alex, too, knows the best bets for finalists hoping to wow a judge — after all, she is a frequent judge on Chopped and a notoriously no-nonsense one at that.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above to get the first look at Sunday's all-new episode. While Rue, Sita and Jay look somewhat pleased at what's going down before them, Emilia appears downright shocked and Matthew looks on with a blank stare. What do you think they're reacting to?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, August 1, 2014
It's Season 11 of the Food Network Star competition, and Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are in charge, which can mean only one thing. This year's contest is set to be the most demanding yet, with trying challenges week after week, as well as a roster of special guests expecting excellence, plus emotional evaluations and difficult decisions that must be made.
The competition kicks off on Sunday night (at 9|8c), and even in the first episode, Bobby and Giada will be outfitted with their signature high expectations, ready to relay to the finalists just how monumental this job interview is. Take a look at the photo above to get a peek at Sunday's premiere. Judging by Bobby's and Giada's focused glares and Bobby's palms-up shrug, it seems as though someone just in front of them has left them wondering. What do you think could have caused this reaction from the mentors, and who do you think is responsible for it?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 25, 2014
This Sunday marks the 10th week of competition on Food Network Star, and after nearly three months of tests involving timed cooking, camera engagement, live presentations and brand building, the final four rivals have one last opportunity to learn from their mentors. Alton, Bobby and Giada will be on hand as Lenny, Luca, Nicole and Sarah film promos for their would-be shows on Food Network, and it's in these last snippets of the contest that the mentors can impart sage industry advice and good-to-know tips for the future.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's brand-new penultimate episode. Bobby looks as if he's in deep thought midconversation, relaying feedback to a rival during his or her promo taping. What do you think he could be conveying, this late in the competition, and do you think there's still time for the contestants to heed his guidance?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 18, 2014
It was only a few weeks ago that Food Network Star finalists got their first taste of live demonstrations; from the energy of an in-person crowd to the unfamiliar surroundings onstage, nearly everything about the first unscripted setup was uncommon for the hopefuls. Come this Sunday night, contestants will again experience the demands of live performances, but this time they will have to do so on television — alongside superstar Rachael Ray.
The queen of 30-minute meals and a longtime Food Network icon, Rachael is a pro at talking and cooking live, as she hosts her own daytime show, The Rachael Ray Show. She knows well that when it comes to live TV, anything can — and often does — happen, since there's no way to prepare for the unexpected, so she's just the special guest to teach this lesson to the hopefuls. Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode. What do you think has led Rachael to make such an expression and to throw her hands in the air? Was one finalist's presentation entirely unanticipated, or could she be reacting to the day's events as a whole?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 10, 2014
Last week Food Network Star finalists embraced one of the most-faced aspects of Las Vegas — an over-the-top party scene — as they hosted a poolside bash for hotel visitors, and this Sunday they'll indulge in the city's opulent food offerings when they experience one-of-a-kind meals. But to win big in Sin City's culinary scene, competitors will need more than just a bit of good fortune, as luck can change there as quickly as the spin of a roulette wheel.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode. Looking elated, Nicole seems to have landed the jackpot as she stands next to her fellow rivals. Do you think she's cashing in on an advantage, or has a top performance warranted her hearty smile? How will Nicole and the other contestants fare in the face of Las Vegas' fancy food?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 4, 2014
In just a few short weeks, Lenny's proven himself one to make a splash on camera for the good of the competition. Given the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode of Food Network Star, it seems as though he's continuing to live up to that reputation as he's shown mid-fall during a belly flop at the Caesars Palace pool.
What do you think could have prompted Lenny's wave-making demonstration? Is this flop somehow related to Sunday's challenge, and will other finalists join in showing off their pool tricks, with fearless cannonballs, handstands and somersaults on display?
Given their pressure-packed challenges that involve live demonstrations and on-camera pitches, plus plate after plate of POV-focused food, it's no surprise that Food Network Star finalists may find it difficult to impress their mentors. Bobby, Giada and Alton are notorious for holding the hopefuls to exceedingly high standards, and the trio expects not only to enjoy top-quality dishes, but to be entertained while doing so as well. W
While the judges may be not be shy about demonstrating that a competitor has room for improvement, they're quick to applaud finalists' growth and will readily celebrate a job well done with hearty congratulations.
In the sneak-peek photo from this Sunday's brand-new show, it seems like Bobby and Giada are wowed by the scene unfolding before them as they look on with smiles. Do you think they're reacting to one rival's particularly noteworthy performance, and if so, who might be worthy of the mentors' glee? Has something funny caught their attention behind the scenes? What might be going on that's causing such strong laughs?