by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Recipes, July 14, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 12, 2016
After the Week 8 challenges kicked off with a task to reinvent regional specialties, the Food Network Star mentors put the spotlight on guilty pleasures — those decadent, indulgent, over-the-top dishes that are almost too wonderfully sweet, salty and buttery to be real. From a pork-focused appetizer to starter courses of seafood and pasta, then a beefy entree and a cookie dessert, mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, plus guest judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Trisha Yearwood, were in for five courses of comforting fare.
We rounded up the best recipes from both challenges so you can make them at home. Learn how to make Tregaye's take on traditional loco moco, featuring a fried egg on top, or indulge your Italian cravings with Damiano's succulent tagliolini pasta with sea urchin. Check out the winning dishes below, then learn how to make all of the mentors' favorite dishes from past episodes.
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Star, Recipes, July 11, 2016
For baker Erin, the task of prepping the dessert course in this week's Guilty Pleasures-themed dinner had the potential to be a slam dunk, home run, hole in one for her. She set out to make a chocolate chip cookie-focused plate, rounded out with chocolate ganache and mousse. She was confident in her choices and pleased with the way her dessert came together, and she believed in its decadence. "What's so over the top about this dessert is chocolate," she explained. Her fellow Food Network Star finalists, however, weren't convinced — but they didn't tell her that. "This doesn't say decadence, guilty pleasure to me," Ana later noted.
Sure enough, when Erin presented her dish, she pitched it as "very, very decadent," but that's not how the judges found the finished offering to be. "When I think about a rich chocolate dessert, I'm thinking, like, so rich in chocolate that, like, you can feel, like, the pimples coming out on your face. That was not the case there at all," Bobby told Erin at evaluations, and she was immediately dumbfounded at the feedback. "I sell thousands of those cookies. Thousands of them. And I make that ganache almost every day, and it was extremely rich," she quipped back at him in an emotionally wrought scene that left the other finalists and the mentors in shock.
Click the play button on the video above to watch what unfolded, and see more of Erin's reaction to Bobby's critique. Read more
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, July 10, 2016
"Ana's demeanor is kind of relaxed and calm, and we have plenty of people who are stars on the network who have sort of that same level," Bobby Flay has said of Ana. Hmmm. While Ana may be calm, things are heating up between her and Tregaye. While I am never surprised at the frayed nerves, undercooked chickens or overbaked cookies, the tension between finalists here is running shockingly high!
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 8, 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 Food Network Kitchen in Food Network Star, Recipes, July 29, 2015
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 Jeff Mauro in Food Network Star, Recap, July 27, 2015
By Leah Brickley
This week, the five remaining Food Network Star contestants needed to nail their food POVs during the Mentor Challenge. Some struggled with the concept of their food brand (we’re talking to you, Dom), while others knew exactly who they were (Hi, Arnold!). Did anyone else notice how diverse the food was? Our final five took us on a journey around the globe with Middle Eastern (Alex), Italian (Dom), Caribbean (Eddie), Cajun (Jay) and Thai (Arnold) inspired dishes. So taking a cue from the finalists, here are some fun facts about ingredients common to each cuisine, but perhaps unfamiliar to some fans:
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 24, 2015
After Michelle's intentional exit last week, we are left with a complete and all-American five-man sausage fest. Mmmmmm.
We quickly learn about the ever-growing importance of culinary membership clubs from Bobby and Giada. The boys each have 30 minutes to prepare a dish that a home cook can prepare from a package of fresh ingredients, and each rival's dish must be indicative of his personal brand. Per usual, Dom doesn’t know squat from Shinola about his brand.
Jay is making blackened fish and grits; Dom is sticking to his Staten Island roots by making chicken Milanese. And Arnold wants to literally put himself (Arnold Myint) inside the box and jump out of it, surprising the recipient with champagne towers and Mylar balloons. Alex just re-quoted my four-year-old quotes about sandwiches. That being said, he is bringing a very intriguing kofte burger. It’s amateur hour by Eddie’s station, as he is overcrowding his pan with shrimp.
Time to present. Alex is up first and he needs a good day. Even with that pressure, my fellow sandwich man preformed beautifully. His burger, tasty. Jay’s cadence is off at first, but he finds his zydeco rhythm once he starts talking about his food, which Bobby and Giada loved. Arnold’s brand is still not clear to the judges, nor is his food. Dom is calm for a change and he clearly didn’t overthink his presentation this time. He had a fluid and charming on-camera portion and wowed the judges with his signature breadcrumb mixture. May I suggest marketing this product as “Dom Dust”? You’re welcome, Dom; I just want 25 percent off the top. An agreement is in the mail.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, July 23, 2015
To some, burgers may be just that family-friendly, crowd-pleasing cookout classic, but to Bobby Flay, burgers are a beast unto their own. As the owner of more than a dozen successful Bobby's Burger Palace restaurants and a past Burger Bash champ, he knows just what to look for in a successful burger — and what to avoid.
Check out the sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's brand-new episode of Food Network Star. Before he and Giada De Laurentiis take a bite of the burger before them, Bobby studies a half of it, taking into account the apparent ingredient layers, color and texture inside. Given his serious-looking stare and all-business demeanor here, what do you imagine he's thinking about this burger? Do you predict that he and Giada will be impressed by it?
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 18, 2014
It was only two years ago that Damaris Phillips was likely feeling many of the same emotions and anxieties that are plaguing Alex, Arnold, Dom, Eddie and Jay today. After championing through the remaining weeks of Season 9, she earned the coveted title of Food Network Star, and now, with multiple seasons of her own show, Southern at Heart, under her belt, she's returning to Food Star Kitchen this week to mentor this year's crop of hopefuls. Just in time for brand-building challenges and all-important camera tests, Damaris will be on hand to guide the finalists as they inch one step closer to potentially joining the ranks of Damaris and the other past winners.
Star Talk caught up with Damaris to find out what it's like for her to be returning to set not as a rival, but as a peer among Bobby and Giada. Find out what she had to say, and learn how her own experiences in the competition will affect her judging this weekend.
What's it like working with Bobby and Giada as a peer and not as a competition hopeful?
Damaris Phillips: It feels great. It feels so much better to be on the other side. Competition is awful. ... The part that I like about mentoring [is that] I feel like I actually have advice to give, which makes me feel really proud that in two years I’ve gone from literally being a hot mess to having advice that I think would help, and I mean that feels great, and I think a lot of it has to do with Bobby and Giada and their mentoring.
The Season 11 set is the exact same one you competed on two years ago, isn't it?
DP: The exact same set! Every time I go on, it is anxiety.
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?