by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 22, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 15, 2016
Sunday's new episode marks the penultimate week in the Food Network Star, Season 12 competition. After nearly two months of camera challenges, culinary face-offs, unexpected twists and a roster of special guests, only one challenge stands between the remaining rivals and the opportunity to film pilots for their would-be shows on Food Network. The current top three — Damiano, Jernard and Tregaye — and the to-be-announced winner of Star Salvation have all put in the work to land among the final-four hopefuls. And mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis have worked just as hard to find those with the brightest glimmers of Star power. After all, when the judges met the competitors just 10 weeks ago, most weren't ready for the spotlight and indeed needed to be taught critical know-how.
Before you tune in on Sunday at 9|8c to find out which hopefuls will go on to shoot pilots, we're challenging you, Star fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this high-five moment in the comments below.
Tune in to Food Network Star on Sunday at 9|8c.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 8, 2016
What started as a competition of 13 eager hopefuls has narrowed to just the final-four contestants. Ana, Damiano, Jernard and Tregaye have proved to be the strongest of the bunch — but they're not finished yet. As they look ahead to their next Food Network Star challenges, they'll be faced with their most-demanding tasks yet, and it will be up to them to prove they have the chops to rise to the occasion.
Take a sneak peek at the above photo from Sunday's new episode. With no time to waste, the hopefuls are set to sprint through the kitchen to get started on their latest challenge. After all, in true Food Network Star fashion, prep time is almost always tight, so running is surely in order. What do you think they're racing toward, and who is the speediest of the bunch?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 1, 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, June 24, 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, June 17, 2016
Food Network Star mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis expect the best from the finalists in terms of on-camera charm and culinary expertise. And the mentors know just how to deliver no-nonsense challenges that test both skills, as they are keenly aware of the traits needed to be successful onscreen and at the stove. Six weeks into the contest, the remaining competitors are halfway to the finish line, so the judges' expectations are getting only higher and more demanding. But that doesn't mean the judges don't know how to have a little fun on set too.
Check out the above photo from Sunday's all-new episode. Along with guest judge Duff Goldman, who's on hand for the Mentor Challenge, the mentors are simply cracking up at the scene unfolding before them. While Bobby leans over in grinning laughter, Giada covers her face and Duff looks on with a smile — all three enjoying themselves and letting loose at the judges' table. What do you think has them in stitches? Who could be making them laugh like that?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 10, 2016
Sure, the challenges on Food Network Star are a lot for any finalist to endure — they are downright difficult, actually — from the no-time-to-waste cooking blocks to the all-eyes-on-you presentations. But what's perhaps even more nerve-racking for the competitors is the time when the judges deliberate. During those few minutes, the finalists' fate hangs in the balance: Will they be spared one more week and advance to compete again, or will their journey end in a crushing elimination? Only time will tell, and it's that period of the unknown that we bet causes more anxiety than any one-minute video ever could.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, June 3, 2016
If Food Network Star finalists think their mentors, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, have particular requests when it comes to their presentations and offerings on the plate, just wait until this weekend when two special guests drop by unannounced. Hannah Hart, of YouTube's My Drunk Kitchen fame, and Modern Family sensation Jesse Tyler Ferguson show up and give the competitors game-changing calls just when they're least expected. If the rivals want to succeed, they'll have to think quickly and learn to embrace the unexpected amid contest pressure.
by Maria Russo in Community, Food Network Star, May 27, 2016
On the set of Food Network Star, the hours are long and the days are many. So when there's a break in filming and the mentors are left simply hanging out between takes, they do what anyone would likely do in their position: pose for the photographer and snap some candid shots, of course.
Take a peek at the photo above. It was taken behind the scenes of Sunday's all-new episode, in which finalists work in teams to film promos for a would-be Food Network show. While both mentors are smiling for the photographer, Bobby Flay has taken to doing a little dance. Or perhaps he's striking a pose. Or showing off his slick shoes. To be honest, we're not exactly sure what he's up to, but there's no doubt he and Giada De Laurentiis appear to be having fun.
by Maria Russo in Community, Food Network Star, May 20, 2016
It was only last week that the Food Network Star finalists, in the competition for all of a few minutes, received the first of many surprises when Martita, a former finalist and the winner of Comeback Kitchen, joined the cast. And this week they're about to receive yet another unexpected shock: a double elimination. But before two hopefuls will say goodbye, the contestants will endure their first team challenge and enjoy a mash-up rap battle at the hands of the mash-up master himself, Rev Run.
While the Food Network Star competition is 11 weeks long, finalists have but one single opportunity to make a positive first impression on Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. Recently both mentors told us the importance of these initial meetings, as Giada explained: "That first day, that first impression, we keep going back to. And sometimes it saves you and pushes you through." Bobby said, "I don’t think you ever forget the first impression of somebody," though he was quick to note that there's room to grow later if need be. "I’m very open in terms of making people evolve," he added.