Tag: Michael Symon

The Next Food Network Star: tipped off?

During this week’s episode of “The Next Food Network Star,” we may have been tipped off about who would be eliminated this week before they were eliminated. But more on that later.

The Final Four made it to New York City, where they would be duking it out for real to see who would have their own show on Food Network. The finalists? Aarti, Aria, Tom and Herb. And this week they would be battling Iron Chef-style. Alton Brown was waiting for them, as well as Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Michael Symon and Masaharu Morimoto. They would be competing in groups of two, making three dishes each based on the secret ingredient. When they weren’t competing they would be floor commentators ala Kevin Brasch.

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The Next Iron Chef is crowned

Last night’s finale of “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network featured a battle in Kitchen Stadium akin to the real Iron Chef show…and that’s really how it should have been. It was also very close between chefs Garces and Mehta…and while each has a distinct cooking style, the judges had the difficult choice of crowning one of them the season’s champ, one to join the ranks of Flay, Batali, Cora, Morimoto, and Symon on the popular show.

The chairman began as he does every Iron Chef show..by disclosing the secret ingredient–ribs and racks…both pork and beef. Their task was to use that ingredient to create five dishes that represented America as a melting pot of cultures. It was also a daunting task because of the time usually required to break down rib meat, as they would have just 60 minutes.

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The Next Iron Chef: how much can you gross us out?

Last night was the premiere of “The Next Iron Chef” on Food Network, the second such season that last year produced Cleveland’s Michael Symon and made fringe and now budding stars of Aron Sanchez and Chris Constantino. And just like last year, this season boasts ten very worth chefs. Here is the field:

Jehangir Mehta from New York City
Nate Appleman from San Francisco
Amanada Freitag from New York City (you may know her as an occasional judge on “Chopped”)
Seamus Mullen from New York City
Holly Smith from Seattle
Jose Garces from Philadelphia
Dominique Crenn from San Francisco
Roberto Trevino from San Juan
Eric Greenspan from Los Angeles
Brad Farmerie from New York City

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The Next Food Network Star: and then there were three…

Is it just me or is this season of “The Next Food Network Star” flying? We are now down to the final three contestants, which means that in a couple of weeks we will have our new champion. I also have that same feeling I had last year…that is, that there is no clear-cut, Guy Fieri-like favorite. In fact, I think the network struck gold with Fieri and may never find anyone like him in this venue again. But that’s okay, because the producers and execs have to know that anyway.

So last night’s episode continued in Miami where the final four of Melissa, Jeffrey, Debbie and Jamika were greeted by Iron Chef Michael Symon at their hotel, the Eden Roc. Symon assigned them their first challenge of the day, a live cooking demo on a Miami network TV morning show. But what Symon didn’t tell them was that each of the chefs would be sabotaged in one way or another during their demo.

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The Next Food Network Star new season debuts Sunday June 7

Yes, it’s really been a year since Aaron McCargo, Jr. won Season 4 of “The Next Food Network Star,” one of the network’s most popular and talked about shows. Since then, McCargo has his own show, and Season 2 champ Guy Fieri is about as ubiquitous on TV as Peyton Manning or Oprah. So, you see, The Food Network takes this show very seriously, and well they should. Not only is it vital for them to keep finding new talent, but we are able to enjoy the process as ten finalists battle it out with tough challenges and nerve wracking on-camera experiences.

Season 5, which kicks off this Sunday June 7 at 9:00 pm ET/PT and 8:00 pm CST, features finalists Brett August (Washington Heights, N.Y.), Katie Cavuto (Philadelphia, Pa.), Melissa d’Arabian (Keller, Texas), Teddy Folkman (Alexandria, Va.), Eddie Gilbert (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Jen Isham (Orlando, Fla.), Debbie Lee (West Hollywood, Calif.), Jamika Pessoa (Atlanta, Ga.), Michael Proietti (New York, N.Y.) and Jeffrey Saad (Los Angeles, Calif.).

The challenges promise to be even tougher this time around according to a press release, and we had the chance to ask judge and long-time network personality, restauranteur and Iron Chef Bobby Flay how he felt about the challenges.

“I do think sometimes the challenges are hard, but that’s what this is about,” he said. “If everyone was perfect in every challenge, there would be nothing to watch. You want to see how they do under pressure and how they handle it.”

In addition, since Flay is the lone chef on the judging panel along with Food Network execs Bob Tuschman (Senior Vice President, Programming and Production) and Susie Fogelson (Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy); he admits that he is looking more for that special culinary talent first and foremost, while the other two may have different priorities.

“Since I’m the chef on the panel, I’m always protecting the food,” he said. “It’s three things–they need to be able to cook with authority, they need to be able to be a good teacher and inspire, and then if they have those two things they need to be entertaining. All three of those things are the recipe for success.”

In addition to Flay, there are several network personalities that will help with the challenges and with guidance to the ten finalists. Those include Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, Guy Fieri, Ina Garten, Emeril Lagasse, Gina and Pat Neely, Masaharu Morimoto, Ted Allen, Tyler Florence, Michael Symon McCargo, Jr.

We’ll be blogging the entire season right here starting this Monday, so tune in and then read us right here and let us know what you think!

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