The Showdown is on again!
Just like last season, four home chefs
are going to take their best dishes into the Food Network kitchens where
one of them will be crowned worthy enough to be called champion. And
with that title comes a spot on the menu at TGI Friday's for a dish
inspired by their creations and a check for $25,000.
Just like last year, these four are the
cream of over 10,000 recipes submitted to Food Network.
Just like last year, the judges will
split the competition into two rounds, a signature round and a speed
Just like last year, the judges will
judge the dishes based upon taste, creativity, appearance, and ease.
Unlike last year, though, Guy Fieri, who
hosted alongside Marc Summers, is flying solo. Interesting. That said,
let culinary combat commence!
Diana Davis, a healthy cook from Sherman
Oaks, CA. She believes healthy people need to indulge and get into
comfort as well. For her, cooking is part of a healthier lifestyle. She
used to be 70 pounds heavier, but thanks to a newfound love of food
instead of eating, she has embraced a healthier lifestyle.
Signature: Le Soupe du Cinq Mai, a soup
inspired by both the French defeat at Cinco de Mayo, and by a fusion of
French Onion Soup and Tortilla Soup.
Rick Massa, a former SWAT team leader
turned cook from Simi Valley, CA. He personally believes that if you
don't love bacon, then something is wrong with you. He served in LAPD
for 35 years, having been shot at multiple times. He can cope with the
pressure because that's what he was brought up to do. Comfort food is
warm, easy to put together, and inciting of good feelings.
Signature: Cheese Lovers Five Cheese
Mac'n'Cheese, a kicked-up macaroni with five cheeses, whole milk, heavy
cream, and lots of... that's right, bacon.
Emily Hobbs, a 23-year-old from Ozark,
MO, who is trying to raise money to go to culinary school. She says
she's shy and quiet, but not so when it comes to cooking. She grew up on
Southern-style food and family dishes, having come up in a small town.
She is saving her money waiting tables.
Signature: Baked Butternut Four Cheese
Farfalle with Sage. Emily says that the dish is about texture first and
foremost. Creamy pasta... crunchy topping.
And finally, Michaela Rosenthal, a
seasoned competitor from Woodland Hills, CA. She says soup is the
ultimate comfort food. She's competed in over a dozen cookoffs. She
started when she grew up in Montana. She's easily inspired by the finest
Signature: Cream of Parsnip Soup with
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. The bite of jalapeno provides a contrast to the
sweet and silky flavor of the soup.
As a reminder, recipes for all of
tonight's creations will be available on FoodNetwork.com/URS in case you
want to whip it up yourself.
Each chef will have 90 minutes to create
their signature dish, which will be submitted to the judges (director of
the Food Network test kitchens Katherine Alford, owner of Mia Dona
Michael Psilakis, and editor-in-chief of Family Circle Linda Fears) for
tasting and judgment. They'll judge on a 100-point scale...
- 50 on taste
- 25 on creativity
- 20 on appearance
- 5 on ease
The recipe that scores the highest
overall wins his or her chef $25,000.
One thing about these recipes... if you
ARE going to work them yourself, get a lot of cheese. Preferably fontina
Okay, time's up. At the end of the
Diana's Le Soupe du Cinq Mai: Katherine
says the soup has a lot of moxie and is very smart. Chef Psilakis calls
Rick's Five Cheese Mac'n'Cheese:
Katherine was really surprised as the flavors come together
successfully. Chef Psilakis likes the smoky bacon flavor. Linda wants to
make it for her family tonight.
Emily's Four Cheese Butternut Farfalle:
Linda says that the sage is a little overwhelming. Katherine doesn't
taste the squash. Chef Psilakis thinks that it's incredible that Emily
put something like that together. Emily... thinks that the chef is hot.
Michaela's Cream of Parsnip Soup:
Katherine likes the texture of the soup. Linda says the heat of the
jalapeno warms inside and out. Chef Psilakis says that it was a smart
The results of the scoring...
That gives Rick the advantage going into
round 2, the Speed Round. It's the same battle, except now you're
working with a third of the time. You have to come up with a Comfort
Food recipe in 30 minutes.
Here's what the cooks have to offer...
Diana: Mini Pumpkin Corn Quesadillas with
Brazilian Avocado Butter
Rick: Heirloom Grilled Cheese & Chunky Tomato Bacon Soup
Emily: Pumpernickel Pastrami Panini with Rosemary-Ale Jus
Michaela: Apple-Date Fritters with Lemon Curd Cream & Candied Ginger
Crisis in the kitchens as Diana's pan is
too hot, Michaela's fritters are raw in the middle, Emily's way too
strung out to concentrate, and Rick's main focus is making the time
limit, which is hard with TWO complex recipes going on at once.
And... that's time. All eyes are on the
pastrami to win it all... maybe. Let's go to the panel.
Diana's Mini Pumpkin Corn Quesadillas:
Katherine says the polenta needs to be more of a contrast. Linda likes
the avocado butter. Chef Psilakis wanted to see a little more aromatics.
Rick's Heirloom Grilled Cheese: Linda
thought about two comfort foods and loves them both. Katherine doesn't
feel the bacon. Chef Psilakis equates this to his mother's grilled
cheese. Not better, because... well... Greek mother watching.
Emily's Pumpernickel Pastrami Panini:
A long pause... Katherine offers to share this sandwich with Guy. "Rockin'.
The dip totally makes it." She thinks it's really great sandwich. The
one problem: not enough pastrami. Linda disagrees, saying the pastrami's
perfect. Chef Psilakis likes the whole better than the sum of its parts.
Michaela's Apple-Date Fritters: Everybody
likes something fried. Linda notes that one side is more fried than the
other. Katherine called it a perfect Sunday breakfast, but
confectioner's sugar would've suited it better. Chef Psilakis calls the
candied ginger "rock star". She should be proud of herself.
That gives Rick Massa tonight's crown and
$25,000. And a dish based on his mac'n'cheese will be on the menu at
your local TGI Friday's soon, only their version will be made with penne
pasta instead of macaroni.
Next week, four new cooks and eight new
amazing recipes. Don't watch hungry.