by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 19, 2016
by Alex Guarnaschelli in Food Network Star, Recap, July 18, 2016
Remember the unexpected twists that came in Week 4's hotel challenge when VIP guests Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hannah Hart made special meal requests? Or the shock in Week 5 when Robert Irvine stole 10 minutes from the finalists' prep time? Or the curve ball in Week 7 when competitors had to use frozen ingredients for a baking challenge? All of these unforeseen obstacles were ultimately learning moments for the Food Network Star finalists, but that doesn't mean they were any less tricky (or frustrating) to contend with. On Sunday night's new episode, mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis once again gave the contestants a game-changing surprise, but this one was far happier and more welcome than the others.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Interviews, July 17, 2016
“I have the most clearly defined culinary point of view,” boasts Ana in the beginning of this tense episode of Food Network Star. “I don’t know what ‘fun, fusion, fleek’ — that's not a culinary point of view,” she says, throwing shade in Tregaye’s direction. What a way to begin. There’s no denying Tregaye has been a trailblazer these past few weeks. Building momentum with Giada and Bobby is critical, and we are down to a small enough group that mentor support is either obviously there or about to end. We begin the Mentor Challenge by picking dates (and their corresponding national food holidays). Each finalist has to make a dish and do a live streaming event with a surprise guest and questions from viewers in the mix. This is like a seven-ball juggling act!
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 15, 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 Food Network Star, August 7, 2015
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, Judges, August 4, 2015
It was just 10 weeks ago when 12 hopeful finalists took their first steps into the culinary spotlight in Food Star Kitchen, full of dreams and anticipation — and anxiety over what the future held. Now, just one week before the finale, there are only three rivals remaining, and on Sunday, a fourth will join their ranks, as the champion of Star Salvation will return for a second chance to claim the coveted title. It will be up to these four finalists to pitch themselves to the Selection Committee before the panel must select the competitor most worthy of filming a pilot.
Take a peek at the first-look photo above from Sunday's brand-new episode. Rachael Ray will be on hand to guide the hopefuls through the pilot process, and surely no one could better serve as the lead director than her, a Food Network legend and the maker of numerous successful series. What kind of advice do you imagine Rachael is dishing out, and what key points do you think she's stressing to the finalists?
by Jeff Mauro in Food Network Star, Recap, August 3, 2015
The name of the game was live TV on Sunday night's episode of Food Network Star, from a quick demo with Catherine McCord to an ensemble live television special — Summer Live — a la The Kitchen. Katie Lee and Jeff Mauro, both veterans of The Kitchen and no strangers to live productions, stopped by to judge the final four competitors as they tackled their Summer Live segments, offering them advice and been-there knowledge on how to deliver a succinct, engaging presentation. Star Talk caught up with Katie on set to find out more about how she approaches the shared segments on The Kitchen, plus her tips for multitasking in the kitchen, both at the stove with the camera and with her co-hosts. Read on below to hear from Katie, and learn what one live-TV snafu she'll "never forget."
What’s it like to share the spotlight?
Katie Lee: I don’t ever think of it as one person being in the spotlight. We really are a collaborative group, and I think that when one of us looks good, we all look good. So it’s about lifting each other up and having a good time. There are definitely moments where you have to take control, like if you’re doing the demo; then it becomes yours because it’s your recipe, but it’s still about interacting with each other, and with our audience and viewers.
Did it take the five of you long to find your groove when you first started filming The Kitchen?
KL: One of our biggest challenges when we first started was talking over each other, because it’s a natural way to speak. You know, if you’re at a dinner party, everybody’s talking over each other, and it’s just the way that people naturally talk. So, we really had to learn how to let the other person speak and naturally interject without talking over.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 31, 2015
It’s a Dom-free week here on Food Network Star, and his personality and great narration will be missed. His witty every-man narrations were a large part of the previous eight episodes, and I’m curious to see how the episode flows without them.
We are left with the final four, and they are faced with a challenge involving live TV. In walks television’s own Catherine McCord to help guide the guys through the unpredictable wilderness of live television. Per usual, Eddie gets very excited at the site of a real-life woman. Because of this, I am confident Eddie will nail this first challenge.
They get assigned various themes: Eddie gets burgers, Jay gets after-school-snacks, Alex gets a hot date, and Arnold gets to make yet another yummy breakfast.
The 30-minute cooking session begins and the vibe is tense. Everybody is going for the gold here, except Jay, who is keeping it simple and concise, just like an after-school snack should be.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Judges, July 30, 2015
Outdoor cooking, ingredient swaps, audience demos and even improv cooking. The finalists have faced nearly all aspects of Food Network Stardom in the past nine weeks, but on Sunday they're going to contend with perhaps the most-demanding one of all: live television. For the first time, this weekend the guys will come together to work on a live ensemble show, which means that not only will they be unable to enjoy the luxury of cuts and second tapes, but they'll also be sharing the spotlight with their fellow finalists.
Check out a sneak-peek photo above from Sunday's show. Jay, Eddie and Arnold come together over a particular dish, each surveying it intently before digging in. How do you think they're feeling as they endure a live production, and what could be going through their minds?
by Sarah De Heer in Interviews, July 29, 2014
As all of the previously eliminated Food Network Star finalists would likely attest, camera challenges are difficult — so much so that multiple takes may be needed in order to execute just one presentation. But on Sunday's brand-new episode of Food Network Star, the remaining rivals will learn that their past challenges were mere practice for the main event in television: live productions, where there's no such thing as a redo. Unpredictable in time and format, live TV requires personalities to think on their feet, especially when there are multiple hosts of a show on at the same time.
On Sunday the final four hopefuls will come together for their first ensemble-based live challenge, something the five castmates of The Kitchen know well. Two of those co-hosts, Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee, will be on hand Sunday as the cast attempts their first live demos, and we caught up with Jeff recently to find out what he's learned about live TV after six seasons of The Kitchen. "The No. 1 rule," he told us, is "the process of giving and taking, waiting for your moment and giving a moment." He says that finalists ought to do well if they have one key component: confidence. "Make sure whatever you’re cooking is practiced," he recommends, "because then it just becomes, you know, muscle memory." Read on below to hear more from Jeff as he shares "been there, done that" advice with the hopefuls.
What's it like balancing the efforts of an ensemble while claiming a bit of spotlight for yourself?
Jeff Mauro: It like it. I like being able to feed off other people and give and take, [like] the world of … improv and sketch comedy. That's, like, the No. 1 rule: the process of giving and taking, waiting for your moment and giving a moment. So that’s what I love about it. But then again, it’s also nice just to be in the spotlight too.
Rachael Ray hosted the final five, as well as Alton, Bobby and Giada, on her talk show during last week's episode, and tasked the finalists with helping to solve a common problem: dinnertime struggles. After several successes (and also several failures), Star Talk wanted to catch up with the host herself to find out her thoughts on the show.
Star Talk: Rachael, what are your final thoughts on how the final five performed in this episode?
Rachael Ray: I think overall they did really well. I think some of them were a little more comfortable than others, but you know, it's a really tough thing to try to master working in front of a camera and a live studio audience and having the family that you're cooking for literally at the counter. So it was sort of a triple threat. I thought once they each got into it, even those that weren't as comfortable found their rhythm eventually.