by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, July 16, 2017
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 7, 2016
The nature of the Food Network Star beast is such that no matter how much mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis have to teach the finalists, their time is limited, which means they're forced to make quick decisions about who has the greatest potential for success. Week after week finalists will fall in a series of eliminations, and following each gut-wrenching exit, we here at Star Talk will bring you insider interviews with the fallen hopefuls. If you haven't watched the latest episode, don't read any further until you do, because we're about to break down the show and talk to the person sent home.
by Maria Russo in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, July 5, 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 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 Community, Food Network Star, July 21, 2015
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 Jeff Mauro in Food Network Star, Recap, July 20, 2015
Competing on Food Network Star brings opportunities of a lifetime, like competing on a national stage, the biggest and most-inspiring one there is, and being mentored by industry legends Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis — and that's not even counting what happens after winning. But with the contest comes sacrifices, like having to leave home and be away from family for an extended period of time, which is precisely what Michelle Karam couldn't handle, as she explained to the Selection Committee of her decision to walk away from this once-in-forever chance and quit the competition with just weeks remaining. She shocked her fellow finalists and the judges with her unexpected decision, and in her one-on-one exit interview with Star Talk, she explained of her husband and children, "They trump everyone and anything else." Michelle added: "I’ve never once during this entire competition had anyone else in my mind. Every second. Every minute. Every day. They are my life." She also apologized to her fellow finalists: "I didn’t know I wasn’t going to be able to go on any further until I got to that point. Truly. I left the day if not the moment I figured out I could no longer go on."
Fans, after watching the dramatic exit unfold on Sunday night, what did you think of Michelle's decision to quit? Are you proud that she put her family before all else, or are you disappointed and thinking that she gave up on a dream? Are you simply shocked and unsure of what to make of the news? Tell us in the poll below. For a look at how the unprecedented actions played out on Sunday, click the play button above.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 17, 2015
We begin this episode with a quick (yet tasty) amuse-bouche of heavy foreshadowing, served by the only remaining female finalist, Michelle. According to my brain muscle, she might be going home today.
That being said, we begin the day with a round of brunch confessions. Guess what? Dom likes meatballs and girls for brunch, Eddie likes steak and grits for brunch, and International Man of Mystery, Alex, is addicted to that classic brunch dish of chipped beef on toast. Brunch, brunch, brunch, crunch. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ brunch? It’s the most relaxing of all weekend breakfast-lunch hybrid meals. It’s the only time of the week when it is A-OK to drink unlimited Cold Duck mimosas with your friends and loved ones. It truly is the only meal of the week where you can eat pancakes and lamb shanks — SIMULTANEOUSLY. Most of all, it’s the only time you can legally get drunk during breakfast. Brunch is the best! Right? Wrong, at least for the finalists, because now they have only 20 minutes to piece together a quality brunch dish — to go!
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, Judges, July 16, 2015
The timed challenges, the unexpected twists, the life-changing prize that will be awarded in just a few weeks — these factors and surely others contribute to the high-pressure, higher-stakes atmosphere of Food Network Star, for both the finalists competing and the judges mentoring the hopefuls. But that doesn't mean the group doesn't know how to let loose and laugh every once in a while.
Take a look at the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's new episode. It appears that Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis are all about the LOL, as is guest judge Richard Blais, who'll be on hand for the food truck challenge this week. What do you think they're cracking up about, and who's responsible for causing this kind of belly-chuckling hilarity?
Just as the Food Network Star finalists ought to put their best dishes forward in an Italian-food challenge for Giada De Laurentiis, on Sunday they surely better bring the best of their brunch game in the Mentor Challenge, as Bobby Flay knows just what to look for in this beloved morning meal. From savory selects like scrambled eggs with ham and herbs to rich, sweet plates like cinnamon-laced pancakes with cherries, Bobby — the host of Brunch @ Bobby's and a longtime lover of brunch — is no stranger to creating craveworthy brunch dishes. So he'll expect to see finalists' most-impressive offerings come Sunday, especially since time is running out before a new Star will be crowned.
Ahead of Sunday's brand-new episode and the upcoming brunch challenge, Star Talk caught up with Bobby to find out what it takes to turn out a quality brunch plate. "Brunch takes a lot of attention to detail," he told us. "And that’s the key to brunch. It’s a casual eating event, but it takes a lot of attention to detail." He also noted that part of the essence of brunch is "all in the details," as the meal often depends on multiple components. "Cooking the eggs perfectly, making sure you have a lot of muffins and scones and things like that."