"Finale" - June 26
We are now down to our
final four and we immediately are on the set of the CBS
Early Show (synergy as this is produced by CBSEYETOO
Productions) and we see Harry Smith talking to the
contestants before the next challenge:
CHALLENGE #1: You will cook 3 budget minded meals in
5 minutes with Harry Smith in a segment called "Dinner
For Four." The committee will watch and Harry will
Hans does a Watermelon with Hickema Salad, Country Style
Pork Ribs and Nectarines in Lemon Syrup. Bob Tuschman
says he keeps getting better and better. Dan and Steve
say he kept it moving. Harry said "You Rock and Roll"
Gordon Elliott said that Hans has grown the most.
Deborah said she didn't want to after Hans as he was
Deborah did an Avocado Salad, Brussels Sprouts with
Caramelized Onion, Grilled Pork Chops, and Vanilla Ice
Cream with chopped Coconut. Harry asked a question about
how many minutes the pork should be grilled and Deborah
answered, "When they are done." Harry criticized her and
said you have to know the answer to the questions asked.
Susannah was next and before the segment flirted with
Harry a little. She tried not to be nervous. Susie
Fogelson--"she is smooth, but I want her to have fun."
Tischman..."She is smooth, but I am confused to what she
is saying." Susannah felt "all over the place." And she
was criticizing herself in the green room with "coulda,
Dan & Steve go last. They do a crispy quesadilla, ancho
grilled pork and black-eyed vinaigrette, and a granita.
Afterwards, Harry said they felt too rehearsed and it
was "a little pushed."
The committee in the green room say this is the really
Susannah (by Elliott) You were the only one who stuck to
the central theme. But he was lost as a listener and it
was not all there.
Dan & Steve (by Fogelson) You didn't integrate Harry
enough, he wasn't a party favor.
Hans (by Bob) You have grown faster, further than
everyone else here. It was a great time.
Deborah (by Elliott) For the 1st half you were there.
Once the pork chops hit... it was over. You need to be
Susie announces the final three...Hans, Dan & Steve...
Deborah said she was nervous when it went down to her
...and Deborah. Susannah is out.
Susannah leaves and was "very surprised since Deborah
didn't nail the technical at all".
Hans said he was happy, but sad that someone had to go.
The three finalists are down to their final judged
challenge as America will vote for the final two. And
here it is:
CHALLENGE: The Food Network Stylists have given the
finalists 10 items. They are: SALMON, PRAWNS, PAPAYA,
LEEKS, SHITAKE MUSHROOMS, BEETS, SERRANO CHILES,
SPINACH, TOMATOES AND PUFF PASTRY. In an "Iron Chef"
like challenge, they have to make at least 2 dishes in 1
hour using at least 7 of the 10 items. Then they have 5
minutes to demo the dish and the committee will judge
the demo and the final product.
Hans described it as "an adrenaline rush." His goal was
to do more than anyone else. And just like that...the
time is over.
Dan & Steve go first and do a Salmon Wellington and
Shrimp Cocktail. They incorporated anecdotes and
Fogelson called the dishes good.
Hans did dishes with included Papaya Pico de Gallo. He
felt he rushed the demo, and all the stuff he learned
went out the window. Tischman--it was about great food,
not great TV.
Deborah did a Salmon w/Spinach and Shrimp w/Papaya. She
tried to balance the technical w/personality. Fogelson
found the dishes clever.
Evaluation time: Deborah (Bob): Tonight you came out
like a thoroughbred, but when the main course hit...you
lost it. You had a finished dish and I didn't know where
it came from.
Dan & Steve (by Elliott): Your comedy could either be
charming or a turnoff. Tonight it was charming. You had
good info and techniques.
Hans (by Fogelson): You have learned a lot, but
everything you did learn went for naught. You were way
too rushed, and fast.
Susie announces the first finalist...Dan & Steve. Bob
announces the 2nd...Deborah. Hans is out. He calls it a
And the live voting started on foodnetwork.com and via
text messaging for the next 1/2 hour...you get to vote
on the Next Food Network Star.
And now each finalist gets to shoot their own mini
pilot. And they are in studio A and get some final tips
from the host of "30 Minute Meals" and Food Network star
(and resident hottie) Rachael Ray. Deborah calls her
pilot "Spice of Life". Rachael's best advice..be
yourself--you can't fake that. Sara Moulton gave her the
best advice: "Smile all the time for no reason." She
She tells them about the mission statement of the show.
She relates that 3 and 4 yr old kids do her opening
line, "Hi. I'm Rachael Ray and I cook 30 minute meals."
Rachael thinks that's adorable.
We see the run through of a segment which will be Salami
Scrambles and Pink Summer Cocktails. They also joke
around about the "Big Carry" where they try to get
Rachael to carry the most items without breaking. Dan &
Steve said she gave great information. She also reminds
them to know
where your tools are.
So Dan & Steve go first with their pilot "Soup to Nuts"
and a Lobster Pot Pie. They go through a walk-through,
rehearsal. They felt the crew was surprised how put
together they were. The committee and Rachael were
there, but only for support.
We see their pilot. Then we see Deborah's pilot called
"Spice of Life" which is Fried Chicken with Country
Greens. Gordon gave notes to each team during the split
of each half.
After the pilots are viewed, we go back to Mark who does
an interview with Dan and Steve. They said being a team
is a balance and a help. They grew the most in
multitasking. We go to a profile of the team. Dan grew
up Italian and Steve had an English mother--and each
meal was Meat, Potatoes and Vegetable. Switch to their
catering business, "The Cafe at Hearty Boys" in Chicago.
They try to create food with sensibility. They say it's
hard to be in a relationship and work together, but they
have been doing it for 8 years. They started as a small
business and now have a staff from 40-60. They are
"America's Version of 2 Fat Ladies." Their vision is
going to be to have fun with food and be comfortable
Now it's Deborah's turn. She said she made it this far
because she isn't like anyone else. She learned the most
that personality has to shine through. Deborah grew up
in DC. She started learning cooking at 11 from her mom.
If she wasn't cooking she would be acting. She went to
the California School of Culinary Arts. Being a
celebrity chef she is responsible for everything. She
goes shopping as early as 6AM. She loves showing people
how to cook and that food doesn't have to be
Next we have the finalist reunion.. we have Hans, Eric,
Harmony, Brook, Susannah and Michael come in. We some of
the favorite moments of the first four episodes and a
lot of cutting loose from the contestants. Michael said
his best memory was kissing Paula Deen. Susannah said
her name is now changed to "How's your finger?" Hans
said he had to learn how to "talk faster", which got a
big laugh. Eric said his biggest problem was dealing
with his "friend" the teleprompter. Brook is happy with
seeing his friends again. Harmony hopes that everyone
keeps in touch.
We have the final walk between Dan & Steve and Deborah.
Dan and Steve let Deborah go in first into the kitchens
of Food Network into a LIVE shot of the staff and
finalists applauding the final two. Mark Summers says
its down to 2 finalist from 10,000 entries. Deborah is
nervous. Dan & Steve is looking forward to the results.
Brooke Johnson, the President of Food Network, says the
winner's show will debut in September as part of the "In
The Kitchen" series. And the first meeting is Monday
And as a surprise, Deborah's Parents and Dan and Steve's
mothers show up. And it's time for the final results.
And who better to bring them in on a shiny silver tray
than the king of Food Network...Emeril Lagasse himself!
He opens the envelope...and the winner...judged by
DAN & STEVE!!!!
Confetti falls down and champagne is passed out...hugs
are given...they are shown on the ABC Times Square
billboard as the winner! They say they will do their
best! And with that...The Next Food Network's star is
chosen... and I am out. This is Jason Block...saying
good eats and good luck!