The Next Food Network Star – Star on the Go – summary

the next food network star

Robert Irvine at 3am? Must have been before the falling out with the Food Network. Well, he’s the guest panelist, and tells the teams that the big prize this week is getting featured in “USA Weekend” magazine.

The teams were told to head to specialty shops to answer questions. If you answer the question correctly, you can move on to take your first choice of ingredient. If you don’t answer correctly, you have to do a food prep task. The groups do OK at this, answering most of the questions correctly. One team had to do two food preps, another had to do one, and the last answered all the questions correctly.

After they got all their ingredients, they headed to a train station where they all board a train to cook. They have to prepare a brunch for the selection committee and 30 passengers. Aaron, Adam and Jennifer have Brioche, Ricotta, and Steak. They starts to argue for about runny eggs, whether they should make French toast… things were falling apart. The steaks looked good, but when they finally got food plated, the eggs weren’t looking good. Their presentation goes well, but the eggs were undercooked, and the French toast didn’t go over that well. They did like the steak.

The next team has lamb, blue cheese and baggettes. Nipa takes the lamb (for a lamb kabob), Shane does a salad with the blue cheese, and Lisa does a French toast. They do pretty well, but Lisa needs to a little last minute whipping for the crème freshe. Their presentation goes ok (and Lisa thankfully was much better than last week). The salad is overdressed, the lamb was spicy, but the French toast went over well. The selection committee liked the change Lisa made in her culinary point of view.

Jeffrey, Kelsey and Kevin went last. They had duck, raisin bread, and mozzarella. They make a duck salad, bread pudding, and honey glazed figs with crostini. The last time doesn’t have much oil, they don’t plate the right number of plates (at first), but finish it off. Their presentation is a little over the top, and doesn’t go over all that great with the judges. The bread pudding is tough (and they noticed they didn’t get as much as the other passengers), the salad was OK, and the duck was over cooked. Bobby Flay says he’ll talk to Kevin about his culinary point of view to get him to change it.

They judging starts, and it goes does pretty much as the critiques went as they were eating.

In front of the judges, we see the “walkout” from last week’s preview. Bobby asks Nipa, “Are you enthusiastic about this?” She responds, “I don’t know.” They question her a bit more, complimenting her, and wondering why she isn’t more enthusiastic when they’re enthusiastic about her. Finally Nipa says, “I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore” and walks out, much to the surprise of the judges and the other contestants.

The judges and the contestants talk a bit about this walkoff. Nipa returns and explains why she wants to get on the network. The judges rhetorically ask whether she’s ready or not.

Lisa and Aaron win the big “USA Weekend” story. The judges narrow down the selection between Nipa and Kevin, and inexplicably pick Nipa. They do put her on notice though, explaining if a Food Network “star” walked off a show like that, they’d probably be fired. Nipa apologizes to the group, and Kevin makes his exit.

Overall, I think Lisa made a good transition from the first week. It was an interesting challenge. Looks like Lisa and Aaron are the odds on favorites to win… at least for now.

The Next Food Network Star: Star Quality

Season 4 of “The Next Food Network Star” has begun and it looks like it’ll be a good one. Lots of strong personalities, and even a familiar face. (Cory Kahaney is a comedienne that I’ve seen on TV before).

The first challenge was to create a tag line for the chef’s point of view. Most people did pretty well, but a few really didn’t seem to get their point across. Surprisingly, Cory, who’s been up in front of MANY people before, froze and stumbled a bit. I think that was just nerves, and she’ll end up doing OK on the show.

The other person who didn’t do well was Lisa. I think she knows exactly where she wants to go, it’s just that she made it sound more complicated than it probably was. Alton Brown (who helped the contestants) tried to give a few pointers, but I’m not sure she got it.

The second challenge teamed the contestants in groups of two to create their dishes. For the most part they worked well together (some groups didn’t). They cooked two dishes individually, and one together. This went OK for the most part, but ever group did have something go wrong.

Shane and Nipa’s presentation dish didn’t look good at all, since the pork was raw in the middle. (The food they served was cooked).

Lisa tried to express her culinary point of view again, and it confused people.

Jennifer and Adam’s meatloaf went into the oven very late, and they ended up pulling it out and then frying it on the stove top. Unfortunately, the potatoes were raw. Both contestants made a good impression.

Kelsey and Aaron have a hard time plating, and end up serving incomplete plates.

Jeffrey and Cory seemed pretty nervous and the food didn’t go over that well. The judges were surprised Cory was that nervous.

At judging, Kelsey and Aaron did very well. The judges told the rest some of them they had problems with their food, or with the presentation of themselves. (Some had both). You could really tell that some of them were very confident, and others were still extremely nervous. Some of the people that seemed confident really shouldn’t have been, because their food didn’t go over all that well.

In the elimination, Kelsey, Aaron, Jennifer, Adam, Jeffrey were safe and left the room.

Cory, Nipa, Shane, Lisa were put up on the block. They immediately told Nipa and Shane they were safe for now, leaving Lisa and Cory.

Cory went home. I think this is a real shame, since she didn’t really have a good chance to show off her personality or ability.

In the previews, it looks like Nipa walks off the set during judging…. I bet THAT will go over well with the judges.

Alton Brown on Food Network for Three More Years

Alton Brown
Alton Brown, host of “Good Eats” and “Iron Chef America”, has signed on to Food Network for three more years. He’ll be hosting more episodes of both shows.

I’m glad that’s happening. He’s one of the man reasons I’m cooking a lot more than I used to.

I met Alton at a book signing a couple of years ago, and he couldn’t have been nicer. When we were standing in line waiting for our books to be signed, the wife of one of the guys in front of us asked, “Are you engineers?” We told her we all were engineers. She asked, “What is it about Alton Brown and engineers? All these guys are engineers, and they love Alton!”

Probably just in the way he explains stuff, and keeps it all fun.

(Via Slashfood).

The Next Iron Chef Finale

Michael Symon
The winner of “The Next Iron Chef” is Michael Symon

How did it end? In Kitchen Stadium, of course. What was the secret ingredient? Swordfish. After they finished cooking, “The Chairman” announced that the regular judges wouldn’t be judging; the Iron Chefs would!

Michael Symon served:

Marinated Swordfish – The judges liked the cocktail served with the dish, and thought it was a good start.
Olive Oil Poached Swordfish – They liked the look, but not everyone agreed on the seasoning.
Swordfish Ravioli – Chef Cora loved the broth, but didn’t like the gritty texture.
Spice Roasted Swordfish – All three judges loved the dish.
Crispy Swordfish – Chef Cora thought this dish was bland, but Chef Morimoto liked it.
Braised Swordfish Collar with Grilled Swordfish – They liked this, and Chef Cora declared this Iron Chef quality.

John Besh served:

Cold Smoked Swordfish – Bobby Flay liked it, Chef Cora called it exceptional.
Swordfish Crunchy Roll – Bobby thought the lobster overpowered the dish, and Chef Morimoto agreed.
Swordfish Brandade Agnolotti – Chef Cora called the dish a success.
“Breaded” Swordfish – Chef Flay said that it needed something extra, and Chef Cora said that it needed more spice.
Blackened Swordfish and Shrimp – Chef Cora said that the shrimp was unneeded, and Chef Flay agreed.
Swordfish Piccata – Chef Flay liked the idea of using the fish like a piece of meat. Chef Morimoto thought the bacon and mushroom were a bit strong, but liked the dish.
Swordfish Cream in Brik Pastry – Chef Morimoto asked for dessert, and Chef Besh came up with it. Morimoto applauded the effort, but Flay and Cora couldn’t tell there was swordfish in it.

All of the judges and the Iron Chefs did a panel afterwards and discussed the candidates. They wrote names on ballets, and Alton brought them back to The Chairman, who announced that Chef Michael Symon was the winner.

The Next Food Network Star Semi-Final

This should probably go over on the food blog I started recently Kitchen Duck, but it this news is about a TV show, so I’m putting it here.

I just wanted to write a word about what happened on The Next Food Network Star tonight: wow!

Ok…maybe a few words.

I had Amy pegged as the person to beat on the show, and was very surprised to see that they let her go.  Why?  I have no idea.  The only thing I can think of is that they liked the personalities that Jag and Rory showed.

The second bomb to drop was that the message the Food Network put on the screen that some of the facts of Jag’s military service were wrong (he didn’t go to Afganistan) and that he really didn’t graduate culinary school.  They brought him in, and he explained what happened and then resigned from the competition.   Never saw that coming.

So, it’s down to two people:  Amy and Rory.

You can vote until July 17th for who you want to see at The Next Food Network Star.