Tag: Season 5

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!

Hell’s Kitchen: Ramsay throws a curve

Last night on “Hell’s Kitchen” Lacey started off by going over to the blue team, much to the delight of the girls on the red team. The guys cautiously welcomed her, because they knew Lacey did not like the women she was teamed with and would seek revenge. Then they were all whisked off to an Asian market and told by Ramsay that their challenge for the day would be to cook three different Asian fusion meals–a meat, a seafood and a poultry, for Ramsay and a food journalist from Epicurious.com. Robert and Danny won the first round with a pad thai barbecue chicken, but Paula and L.A. made a tuna tempura that won the second round, and Colleen and Andrea took the final round with their beef dish. Ramsay loved the tuna dish so much that he put it on the menu later that evening.

But first, the red team had the prize of going to this martial arts gym to watch Ramsay and Jean Phillippe dress up in these big, puffy, Sumo outfits and then wrestle. Then the ladies all had their opportunity to do the same and to take their aggressions out on each other. Later on, they went to a Japanese restaurant and drank lots of Sake. The blue team, meanwhile, had to make fortune cookies and dress the restaurant up with origami art. Lacey was very good at making the art and was showing her new teammates that she could be a team player.

At the dinner service, surprisingly, Andrea and Robert were performing horribly. Colleen and J were as well. But when Ramsay called Robert “Bobby” several times, it hit a nerve in the big boy and pissed him off. Later Ramsay called Robert into his office and found out that Robert’s dad had ridiculed him growing up by calling him Bobby, and Ramsay agreed to stop doing it.

And while the dinners were somewhat flying out of the kitchen, there were definitely some things holding up the operation on both teams. Finally, Ramsay shut it down and once again declared no winning team. He told Giovanni and L.A. that they were the “best of the worst” and to nominate one person from their team for elimination. J and Andrea both admitted that they screwed up, and so did Robert. And L.A. wasn’t so sure she wanted to nominate Andrea. But in the end, it was J and Andrea on the chopping block.

Right then is when my TiVo shut off, thanks to “American Idol” running over by about five minutes. So it wasn’t until this morning that I found out who was eliminated by reading Buddy TV’s recap. Thanks Buddy!

Anyway, after J and Andrea stepped forward and stated their case, Ramsay threw a curveball and told them both to get back in line, and he eliminated Colleen instead. Ramsay has been riding Colleen all season, since she teaches a cooking class back home but has never been formally trained herself, and he just couldn’t take it any longer.

So that’s it…..it’s good to know Ramsay is firmly in charge, isn’t it? I thought for sure J would be going home because Andrea really just had a bad night. But results like this certainly make you want to keep watching to see what happens next. See you guys next week!

Hell’s Kitchen: Watch your step, literally

Episode two of Season 5 of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX had an interesting twist last night, a twist of fate that was a real bummer, but more on that in a bit. The show began with the guys busting on Seth and the ladies busting on Lacey. Clearly, these two aspiring chefs are not going to win this thing, and the sooner the rest of the field can be rid of them, the better. At least as far as they are all concerned.

As they often do in the dorms of Hell’s Kitchen, a marching band woke up the contestants at 6am, three hours after they all went to sleep. Yikes. I mean, a freaking marching band? That is cruel beyond words. Anyway, the chefs had to then fish for scallops in big tanks. You probably haven’t seen scallops in their full form, but they come in shells and are utterly disgusting Continue reading »

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