Each week Food Network Star finalists are tasked with putting their personalities on a plate in inspiring, creative and, perhaps most importantly, delicious ways. Most competitors manage to get the job done, but in any particular challenge there's often just a small handful of rivals who succeed in creating a dish so impressive that it's worthy of the win. This week Jernard, Monterey and Yaku teamed up and wowed the panel with their ability to reinvent commonly tossed kitchen scraps, such as carrot tops and broccoli stems, into wow-worthy dishes, and together they earned victory in the Mentor Challenge. Check out their winning recipes below, then click here to browse all the mentors' top picks of plates from Season 12 and Star Salvation so far.
Tag: episode 4
You know those moments on TV that make you wince and curl up into a ball as you watch the action unfold through your fingers over your eyes? That happened not once but twice during this week's episode of Food Network Star. The stakes were high as finalists cooked for VIP hotel guests Jesse Tyler Ferguson, of Modern Family fame, and YouTube's Hannah Hart, and not everyone handled their nerves well.
As Monterey put the finishing touches on her sea bass dish during her tableside presentation, Bobby asked for details of the plate, to which Monterey simply replied, "Be patient." That's the retort to end all retorts, right? It was as uncomfortable as it sounds.
And not long after, Monterey was back in the spotlight, this time helping Ana with her dishes — and gaining an unfortunate nickname in the process. "Nut girl! Are you burning my nuts?" Ana questioned Monterey. Even the mentors couldn't help but laugh. And with Ana's obvious nervous energy added to the mix, the situation turned awkward — quickly.
The Realities of Live TV, Flopped Lobster Lettuce Wraps and the Need for Deep Breaths — Alex’s Star Reportby Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Star, Recap, June 13, 2016
What's more nerve-racking than live TV? On Food Network, I can handily say, not much. You make a mistake, you miss a line, you don't describe your food ... guess what? You don't get a second chance. It's out there forever, and I don't think our Food Network Star finalists are ready for writing their story in indelible ink. Food Network is an ever-changing hotbed of cooking trends and new ingredients. For the initial challenge, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis divide the remaining nine finalists into three groups of three. Ana, Erin and Rob tackle the hot list of new spices and ingredients, while Jernard, Yaku and Monterey are in the "Frugal Is Fashionable" department and cook with a portion of ingredients we Americans might commonly throw away, such as broccoli stems, cauliflower cores and stems. The third team, comprised of Damiano, Joy and Tregaye, has to cook a whole meal on one sheet pan.
The moment of truth?
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.
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 Leah Brickley
The competition moved outdoors this week for a 4th of July cookout. And after the teams unexpectedly had their groceries swapped, we saw which contestants could really think on their feet. We loved that Michelle quickly decided to marinate her chicken, for kebabs, in yogurt — a culinary trick seen in both Mediterranean and Indian cooking. The yogurt imparts flavor and also keeps meat juicy by tenderizing it. Even though Michelle had some grilling issues, her marinating choice was super clever.
Go beyond just yogurt — look at the condiment shelf in your fridge and get inspired for other one-ingredient marinades. Pair any of these condiments with a generous dose of salt and pepper:
Mayonnaise: Because it’s so thick, mayonnaise provides a consistent and generous coating — unlike thinner regular marinades, which tend to separate.
Pesto: Best used on pieces of meat (or fish) that grill up quickly — the oil in pesto can get smoky quickly. Read more
Happy Birthday, America! The Death of a Rib Eye, Lessons in Japanese and the Dials of Doom — Jeff’s Star Reportby Jeff Mauro in Food Network Star, Recap, June 29, 2015
My favorite personal moment from Food Network Star, Season 7 was during the Fourth of July celebration (check out a photo). It was held on a horse farm in the hills of Malibu, and it was hot, windy and packed with a hungry audience. These conditions, coupled with malfunctioning grills and Guy Fieri as a guest judge, led to a very challenging afternoon. The presentation portion was a live demo on a large stage. We had the options to grab props, so naturally, I grabbed a guitar and an American flag that I donned as a cape, a la Apollo Creed from Rocky IV. Needless to say, this was my moment to lay all my cards on the table and get gutsy. I made an excellent pretzel-fried chicken sandwich and gave a highly charged performance, complete with guitar work, singing, knife throwing and stage jumping. It could have backfired, but it was Week 4, and this is a crucial time in the Food Network Star journey. By now you should have your POV on lock and your cooking-under-pressure muscle exercised and definitely be more comfortable on camera. If you do not posses all three of these at this moment, you are potentially doomed.
On that note: Happy birthday, America! It is now time for a proper Fourth of July cookout competition on a bucolic farm in the middle of the Southern California nowhere. It’s time for teams. The finalists use that classic method of team picking: drawing napkins out of a picnic basket. The teams are as follows:
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?
In 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!"
A 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.
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."