by Maria Russo in Community, Food Network Star, July 21, 2015
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?
by Star Talk Editor in Behind the Scenes, July 15, 2014
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."
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, July 13, 2014
It takes dozens of crew members to pull off a production as large as Food Network Star, no matter if the show is being filmed in a studio or on location. This week the show traveled to Las Vegas. Unlike when taping in Food Star Kitchen, the production team had to deal with outside elements, like the weather (which turned out to be pretty windy during Episode 7).
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 10, 2014
Just as the finalists were getting used to Food Star Kitchen, the competition moved from Los Angeles to the bright lights of Las Vegas this week. But that wasn't the only road bump the remaining finalists hit. Within the first few moments of the show, they learned that while they were competing, eliminated finalists from the first six episodes were vying for a second chance on Star Salvation. With this news, they watched a fan-favorite return: Luca. "I'm not going to be an easy contestant to go against," he promised. For Episode 7 he kept that promise and took the top spot along with belly-flopping Lenny. Three finalists weren't so lucky: Chris, Emma and Sarah.
If you haven't yet watched the episode, don't read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of the episode — and reveal who was sent home.
by Justin Warner in Recap, July 15, 2013
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?
by Maria Russo in Community, July 12, 2013
With half of the hopefuls left, the crew returns to the Food Star Kitchen and sees Bobby Flay in chef whites, cranking out what looks like the best food I've seen on Food Network Star all season. I guess that's why he’s Bobby Flay and the other six people in the room aren't — yet.
Wonderful, incredible, delicious, sexy: These words don't provide any actual description of what's going on in one's mouth. I adore this challenge.
- Rodney, the recovering rocker, has made it quite clear to us that he speaks in the parlance of his former profession. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, but the actual taste of a "boss," a "killer" or "dynamite" isn't very appealing. Poor Rodney got the cartoon music played on him. That happened to me on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle when I compared pancakes to modernist sculpture. I deserved it.
Come evaluation, the Food Star Kitchen turns into a scary place week after week. As finalists stand wide-eyed awaiting judgment, three successful chefs and stars stare back them, ready to dole out several notebooks' worth of critiques about their food and performances. Sometimes the scene ends with tears and an emotional goodbye, but other times the atmosphere is far less tense — perhaps even happy — be it on account of one contestant's superstar presentation or particularly camera-worthy meal.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's all-new episode: Giada and Alton look out to the remaining finalists during evaluation and smile, while Giada points two fingers at them, doing so in a seemingly positive way. Do you think the mentors look particularly pleased because the group as a whole was successful this week, or did one competitor deliver an especially knockout performance? What kind of feedback do you imagine the judges are giving here?
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