by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, July 15, 2016
by Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Recipes, July 14, 2016
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, Videos, July 13, 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 Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 12, 2016
The penultimate battle of Star Salvation kicked off not with a taste of food but with a whiff of it. Returning hopefuls Monterey and Yaku welcomed newcomer Erin, and all three sniffed some seemingly simple picks, such as fennel pollen and kumquats, but they were stumped on more than a few. And in true Star Salvation fashion, the challenge didn't stop there. The finalists were also tasked with preparing a dish that brought together nearly all of the ingredients they smelled — a whopping five seemingly dissimilar items that had to be fused into a dish. While Erin and Monterey had the same idea of combining ginger and kumquats in a sauce, Yaku put herbs and spices to work for a salmon-based dish. Ultimately, though, after what mentor Alex Guarnaschelli deemed "neck and neck" showings, one hopeful was sent home from the competition for good this week.
Click the play button on the video above to see whose Salvation journey ended, and find out which two finalists advanced to next week's finale.
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 Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 7, 2016
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 Maria Russo in Food Network Star, Videos, July 6, 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 Maria Russo in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Star, July 5, 2016
This marks the halfway point of the Star Salvation competition, which means that the remaining hopefuls are just three weeks away from one person claiming redemption and returning to Food Network Star, and in true Salvation fashion, the contest is only getting more demanding.
Trends were the name of the game in this fourth battle, when Joy joined Monterey and Yaku in blending of-the-moment ingredients and showcasing a complementary technique. To successfully marry seaweed, coconut sugar, rainbow carrots and steel-cut oats, they'd have to reimagine traditional uses for these items — and then sell their dishes to judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Eddie Jackson, of course.
Click the play button on the video above to watch what unfolded and see which finalist was sent home for good. Read more
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.