Twelve people hit up the Food Network for a pilot of their own
show. But who'll beat the heat and who'll get out of the
Recaps by Jason Block, GSNN
CBS EyeToo Productions for
9p Sun, Food
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Lights, Camera, Cook
We are back with another season of the show that gave us Guy Fieri,
Melissa D'Arabian and others is back for another season.
Here are the competitors:
Alicia Sanchez, 33, New York, NY -- Young Adult Culinary Teacher
Chris Nirschel, 28, Hoboken, NJ -- Sous Chef
Howie Drummond, 40, Highlands Ranch, CO-- Radio Host
Jeff Mauro, 32, Chicago, IL -- Chef
Juba Kali, 29, New Orleans, LA-- Research Chef
Justin Balmes,32, Marietta, GA-- Fishmonger/ Butcher
Justin Davis, 31, Minneapolis, MN --Food Blogger
Jyll Everman, 31, Glendora, CA--Caterer
Katy Clark, 34, Long Beach, CA-- Food and Fitness Company Operator
Mary Beth Albright, 38, Washington, DC--Food Writer and Blogger
Orchid Paulmeier, 38, Bluffton, SC-- Restaurant Owner
Penny Davidi, 39, Los Angeles, CA --Restaurant Owner
Susie Jimenez, 31, Carbondale, CO -- Catering Company Owner
Vic "Vegas" Moea , 36, Las Vegas, NV -- Executive Chef
Whitney Chen, 28, Lehigh Valley, PA -- Chef
And the judges are the same: Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman from the
Food Network Executive Department and Bobby Flay and Giada De
Laurentiis moves from the mentoring table to the judges table.
The prize - A Feature in Food Network Magazine, a spot on the NFNS
Book Tour and the shot to become a culinary superstar!
We are in Los Angeles and we are introduced to Chris Nirschek first.
The people are meeting at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Jyll Everman is
next and calls herself a "performer first" and a chef second who owns
her own catering business. Next is Penny Davidi is a restaurateur,
Alicia was a former model and now wants to be a Food Network Star.
Whitney Chen quit her engineering job to become a chef in a five-star
restaurant. Justin Davis is a Food Blogger. Juba Kali is a Private
Chef, Katy Clark has so many points of view she is unclear. Orchid is
intimated by the professional training because she isn't. Justin
Balmes is a fishmonger/butcher who is a perfectionisty. Susie nearly
trips and is a private chef from Aspen. Howie Drummond is a radio host
and is telling people he can't cook. Jeff Mauro is next. Mary Beth
Albright claims to be the "love child of Alton Brown and the Barefoot
Contessa". Vic Moea is an executive Chef from Las Vegas. He is from
The door opens and Bobby and Giada come out. Bobby: If you can't cook,
you can't win. Giada: What sets you apart from everyone else? Bobby
explains this is the city where stars are made. They are looking for
the next star. The first Challenge is right now and it is the first
meal of the day: Breakfast!
CHALLENGE: Wow the judges with a sophisticated breakfast. The
contestants have to show who they are on a plate. They have 45 minutes
at the Food Star Kitchens. Your time starts NOW!
They are driven in their 2011 Buick Enclaves.
We see each chef prep their meals.
The time is over!
But before we get to tasting we get out first camera challenge!
CAMERA CHALLENGE: Each chef will have one minute to present
their breakfast dish and present who they are in front of a camera.
First dish is Vic who didn't finish his dish and is embarrassed to
present it to camera. (He didn't plate his lobster tails.) His dish
was a country fried Lobster with a Garlic Gravy. They are penalizing
him for not plating this. But Bobby likes him and Vic says, "I will
never not plate again." Giada thought he would be intimidating but he
came off warm and inviting.
Next is Alicia with her guanchile and egg stuffed crepe. They really
are put off by her Valley Girl by way of Missouri accent.
We some other presentations which leads into Mary Beth's presentation.
Bobby wasn't connected to her.
Howie Drummond overused the word basic. Bob Tuschman didnt like the
fact he called himself a novice. Bobby was unsure as to why he wanted
this job. Bob Tuschman: "This may be a case where Video killed the
Chris is next. He is embarrassed at missing chicken and his timing,
which showed in his presentation. The consensus while they felt bad
for him, he needed to be an adult and move on and get over it.
Susie is next..Ms. Fogelson was confused why she was running away from
her Mexican Heritage. According to her she had a lot of passion, but
Katy Clark is next. Her presentation was unfocused especially after
the questioning from the judges where she explained she had about 5
different passions, none of which she talked about in the demo. But
they liked the food.
Juba is next. He blew the presentation. Not good on camera. But they
loved the food.
The winner of the challenge was Orchid. Juba won the best dish. Mary
Beth was singled as "Mediocre, which won't make the grade" by Bobby
Flay. She is pissed at being called Mediocre.
Everyone goes home to the Food Network Mansion by the Hollywood Sign.
We see them playing pool and talking about their points and dreams.
Next day they head to the Farmer's Market to meet Alton Brown!
Camera Challenge #2: The chefs will team up to shoot a promo for
their future show. They will be teamed up to shoot the three parts of
the promo: They get 4 takes at it. If a team member fouls up, they
have to start over again. They also have props. They are directed by
Group 1- Whitney, Marybeth, Justin B
Group 2 -Vic, Howie and Jyll
Group 3 -Susie, Katy and Chris
Group 4 -Orchid, Jeff and Juba
Group 5 - Penny, Justin D and Alicia
Group 1 is first. Justin blows the first take. Justin doesn't like
Whitney. He blows the third take. Last one. He blows it too and
freezes it as well. He feels awful.
Group 3 is next. Take one is blown. Alton doesnt like Katy's props.
Take 3 is overblown. Last take is better.
Group 2 is next. Howie is on Jyll's nerves. Howie blows 1st take easy.
And the 2nd one. Vic blows Jyll's name. Last one. And Alton and Jyll
argue over the use of the teleprompter. You can tell she is reading
the prompter. Alton is not happy with this one. But they move on to...
Group 4 is up. Jeff feels the promo will be doomed by Juba. Take 1 is
blown by Jeff. Take 2 is blown by Juba. Alton doesnt like Juba's hook.
Take 3 blown by Juba again. Take 4 is finished.
Group 5 is last. Alicia and Penny rub each other the wrong way. Take 1
is blown by Alicia and she breaks down to the Alton after the judges
criticism of her accent. Justin blows the 2nd take. Take 3rd is not
great. Last take is done.
Alton tells the groups that this is only part 1 of the Star
Challenge. The teams will remain and have to impress 3 members of the
press: Mario Lopez, from Extra Magazine, Jess Cagel from Entertainment
Weekly and Hal Rubinstein from InStyle Magazine. The teams will
present a four course tasting menu with each member dealing with one
course. The fourth item must be a team dish. And before the dishes are
eaten, the promos are screened.
Time for the teams to shop...the budget is $200 and they have
Time to cook. Two hours to cook! Penny and Alicia are at each other
Vic, Howie and Jyll are doing the following menu:
Calamari Fritti, Potato Gnocchi with Lemon Zest and Marinated Flat
Iron Steak with the group dish being a roasted beet salad.
Penny and Alicia are still arguing over poached pears and can't get
Orchid, Juba and Jeff's menu is:
Pork Skewer with Cole Slaw, Shrimp Boil, Chicken Sliders and the group
dish is Key Lime Pie(or Que Lime Pie?)
And we have time. The pears boil.
Time to impress the press.
Alicia/Penny/Justin D present first. Alton relates the breakdown to
the selection committee and to the press members. Jess says, "If you
can't handle criticism don't be on TV." Mario liked the rib. Penny's
presentation was liked by Mario, but hated by Jess. Susie calls her an
empowered woman. They liked her dish. Justin's energy needs to be
stepped up. Mario is on the fence about him. They liked the group
Next is Marybeth, Whitney and Justin B. Everyone shakes their head at
Justin B. They called Mary Beth's soup competent but her gimmick and
hook didn't shine through. Justin B has potential, but right now he
stinks. Alton said he was thinking ahead instead of thinking about
right now. They all say he can cook. Whitney had the biggest potential
and they liked her food. They liked the group dessert.
Next is Vic, Howie and Jyll. Howie needed help for everything. Near
the end, Vic's Calamari goes boom after colliding with Jyll. Vic
things he is going home. The guests are shocked there are only 2 out
of the 4 dishes on the plate. Bobby chastises the group for wasting
the "shot of a lifetime." Jyll says her promo was weak. Bob hated
their promo. He called Vic's show "Empty Plate" and Mario thought he
had a weird "MMA/Wrestler Vibe" to him. Bob thought Jyll's promo was
bad and more disappointing because she has talent. Howie's Gnocchi was
ripped apart by Giada.
Orchid Jeff and Juba are next. Juba takes over Jeff's introduction of
the Key Lime Pie which failed. Mario thought Juba's presentation was a
joke. They loved the shrimp, but hate his presentation. Mario liked
Jeff's Energy and Sandwich. Bobby and Bob HATED the sandwich,
especially after he presents himself as the King Of Sandwiches. They
loved Orchid and her food. and the pie.
FInally its Susie Katy and Chris. Susie and Chris argue about the
spicy puree. Katy hates her promo. They hate Chris's Promo. Mario
thought Chris was a work in progress and the committee felt he was
trying too hard. They liked his squash dish. They like Susie and her
dish because she is being herself and authentic. They liked the group
dish and the puree. They liked Katy's dish but she needs to be more
comfortable on camera.
Howie and Jyll argue about what happened in the kitchen.
Jeff, Orchid and Juba are first. They liked the cohesiveness of the
promo. Bob didnt get the joke of "Que" Lime Pie, but after Jeff
explained it, he got it. He didn't get it via Juba's explanation. It
was Susie's favorite dish. Jeff made the Ricotta Stuffed Chicken
Sliders and while Giada liked his sandwich, the ciabatta bread was a
bad choice. Susie finds his name of "Between Two Buns" as juvenile.
Bob says he has some growing to do. The committee liked his shrimp
dish but hated his on camera performance. They hope he can get it by
the fourth take. Orchid's pork skewers and slaw dish was great and she
aced the press challenge. This is the winning team! They are all safe
and leave the evaluation room! They are stoked.
The rest are not safe.
Next is Susie, Katy and Chris. They explain the beer situation and
Bobby explains that you have to sacrifice for people who you work for.
They loved Chris's pumpkin soup. They loved his energy, but it came
off as "crazy, frat clown" to Bob. Katy's smores were delicious. Bob
challenges her to focus on camera and not be all over the place.
Susie's ceviche was very good and they were impressed with her promo.
Marybeth, Whitney and Justin B are up. Everyone liked their group
chocolate and fruit dish. Marybeth's onion soup is up. Giada liked it.
Bob says she is clear, concise and confident....but he sees a food
WRITER, not a food STAR. She tears up about the "mediocrity", and
Bobby says she has potential. Susie like Justin look and cooking, but
she needs a crowbar to get the personality. Bob sees his knowledge and
passion, but he needs to stop over thinking everything. Bobby likes
his braised lamb shank. They know he can cook, just bring out who
Justin is. Whitney's Carrot Salad was pretty to look at and delicious.
Susie liked her camera presence. These 6 are safe as well.
Vic, Howie and Jyll and Penny, Justin D and Alicia are the bottom two
Penny, Justin D and Alicia. Penny felt disharmony. Alicia didn't take
full responsibility for the group dish, but should have because
everyone liked it. Penny's dish was liked by Giada. Susie thought
Penny's use of the word "Sexy" demeans it into something "trashy". She
explains her concept of "Stilettos in the Kitchen" isn't just about 6"
heels but more. Susie wants her to see the warmer softer side and
bring that out. They like Justin's look, but his look and food was
right down the middle according to Bob. Alicia's ribs were loved, but
they need for Alicia to find confidence and grow a skin. She needs to
be tougher and not breakdown.
Susie to Vic, Howie and Jyll - What Happened? Jyll explained the Howie/Jyll
fiasco and Howie didn't take responsibility for it. Giada didn't like
the Gnocchi. They like Jyll's Balsamic Vinagrette. Vic explains his
collision but they are judging on food chops. Bob says that he was
snarling and rough on camera. He takes responsibility. Jyll's promo
was awful to Bob and Jyll and Howie argue about the amount of takes
and the use of the teleprompter.
Who goes home? Alicia, Justin D, Penny are safe. Vic, Howie and Jyll
are the bottom three.
The committee deliberates. Jyll has potential and star quality
according to Bob, but Bobby and Giada don't like her food yet. Bobby
thought if Vic had food on his plate he would be ok. Giada doesn't
like him on camera. Bob liked him in the committee, but not in the
food. They like Howie's personality but Bobby didn't like his lack of
respect for the team or his lack of talent, which he admitted himself.
Bobby: "Which is better, bad food or no food?"
Jyll is safe. Down to Vic and Howie. Going home is....HOWIE. Vic is
safe. Jyll says, "Lesson Learned."
14 are left. Who will be the Next Food Network Star?
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