Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Next Food Network Star: 6.14.09

First challenge is bringing food to life, and the guest judge is Ryan D'gastano, food editor for Esquire Magazine. They have to make a menu with food under domes. Everyone has something different, and they are things that are typically in an Esquire Man's pantry.

Katie - Bran Cereal and Rack of Lamb
Debbie - Peanut Butter & Flank Steak
Brett - pickles and ground beef
Michael - Coffee beans and pork chops
Melissa - Marishino Cherries and chicken
Jeffrey - Pistachios and fillet
Jamika - Whiskey and porterhouse steak
Eddie - beer and strip steak
Teddy - Rib Eye and Maple Syrup

And they are doing direct to camera presentations! 1 minute each. Cool. I like when they get right down to it.

Eddie is first, and he is really good on camera. He didn't stumble over words. I think one of his eyes is kind of wonky... but I could overlook that. The judges liked his food.

Melissa is unhappy with her cherry chicken tagine, and did not do a convincing job of presenting. It was called "confusing and boring." Just weird and not good.

Jamika was very comfortable on camera, and I liked the look of her food until she froze and forgot what her food was. She got confused and it was a shame. She was mortified. The judges thought it was probably due to over-rehearsing.

Jeffrey did a really great job describing his food, and was wonderful. The judges loved him. I wish he'd get a hair makeover. Just saying.

Teddy is a little too excited about his food. It looked yummy, but he was too over the top. Bobby Flay wanted to know "Why is he yelling at me?"

Brett looked like he was selling something in an infomercial. It was weird. Is he giving it to me for this one time Low Low price?

Michael's accent bugs me. Cawh-fee. He was short in his presentation, and was completely awkward. He is not camera friendly. The judges liked his food.

Debbie was really wonderful on camera. Her food looked delicious. They didn't think it was very creative.

Katie had to present raw lamb. oopsie. She aso has a wonky eye. She went on and on about the healthfulness of her food, but the lamb was rare rare rare. The judges did not look impressed.

The winner was Eddie. I think he did the best job. Good for him.

The next challenge brought them to the home of Good Housekeeping Magazine. The winner of the challenge is going to get their recipe in Good Housekeeping. Michael, who is NOT an Esquire guy, claims to be ALL about Good Housekeeping.

They each have to cook for a holiday. As the winner of the other challenge, Eddie gets to pull holidays from a stocking and assign them. He decided to go nice for the most part.

Mardis Gras he gave to Debbie, who was very excited.
Michael got Halloween.
Katie got Earth Day.
Brett got April Fool's Day.
Eddie took Valentine's Day.
Teddy got Labor Day.
Melissa got Mother's Day.
Jamika got New Year's Eve.
Jeffrey got the joy of Groundhog Day. lol. oops.

First, they gathered props to decorate their tray, and then got to cooking.

Debbie had a snafu - her rice overcooked and she had to start over. Melissa had a problem getting used to a commercial kitchen. Teddy did a dance. Jamika got annoyed at Teddy and Brett, who were helping Melissa plate, but totally condescending to her at the same time... I commend them for helping out, though.

Time to serve!

Melissa is up first, with her breakfast in bed. She was good in her presentation. Much better than in the previous challenge. Bob said it was just aces. The editor of Good Housekeeping thought that Melissa embodied Good Housekeeping. Cool.

Jeffrey brought Mexican food to Groundhog's Day. He admitted that he had no tie in with the holiday, and the judges found him charming, but wanted a little more connection.

Jamika brought out collard greens and good luck corn bread, and hoped that two side dishes was enough. The judges thought she was true to herself and very good, and loved her food.

Katie brought out her Earth Day meal, and she went on and on and on and rambled. It was too much sharing about the health benefits. She knew she didn't do well, and it was bland. Giada said that the beans gave beans a bad name, and they felt like they were being talked AT instead of TO.

Teddy brought out his Labor Day meal, and he was funny, although a little weird. He made potato salad, crab cakes, and filet mignon. The judges thought he was just acting too much.

Brett told the judges that he didn't think he was going to continue on with the competition. Where did that come from? Oooooooooooohhhhhh - it's April Fool's Day. It was funny. The food had nothing to do with April Fool's Day. The judges wanted more connection... and less shell in their lobster tempura. oops.

Debbie was personable and smiley for Mardis Gras food. It was a Korean potsticker, which is not typical mardis gras food. I wanted to try it.

Michael went a little crazy with the presentation, but the judges thought his food was a bit too overcomplicated.

Eddie shared a bit too much about his Valentine's day meal, calling it his muse. It was odd. There was love on his plate, he said. It was the same meal he made for his girlfriend on their first date. It was weird the way he went into it. He started telling them about how intimate the date was. Ummmmm.... it was very strange. And, his food was not well cooked.

Time for Evaluations.

The judges told Jeffrey that he is a charming con artist, and even though the food had nothing to do with Groundhog's day, it was still yummy.

Debbie's potstickers were a bit too complicated, but the judges loved her storytelling.

Katie was told that her food was not flavorful. She cried and told the judges that they have not had the opportunity to experience her.

Michael's food got good marks, but they thought it was a little too complicated. They love his personality, though.

Eddie's oversharing was called insincere, and the fact that he offended women by saying you need to cook differently for them didn't help.

Jamika was thrilled that her food and her presentation got good marks. And she said that she didn't rehearse, so that was better.

Teddy's food got good marks, but the judges wanted him to not act as much.

Brett doesn't seem to really want to be on tv. He doesn't seem to want it much. And then there was the lobster shell.

Melissa's inexperience in commercial kitchens was kind of a problem. Brett of course threw her under the bus insisting on bringing up the fact that they helped her plate. Teddy refused to throw anyone under the bus. I really don't like Brett. He seems smarmy.

The top three in the Good Housekeeping Challenge are Debbie, Melissa, and Jamika. Jamika picked up the win. Jeffrey, Michael, and Teddy were also safe and were dismissed.

The judges deliberate. They think Brett is likeable. I do not. Bob said that he felt Katie is shoving health food down their throat, and it makes him want to rebel and eat nothing but ice cream and fudge.

In the end, it was Brett going home, and I am thrilled. It was the right decision. He was obnoxious and not good on tv.

As the winner of the challenge, Jamika got to make a Good Housekeeping Recipe for Healthy in a Hurry, and it will be in the July issue. It looked yummy and involved pineapple, so it might be worth checking out.

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