Monday, June 22, 2009

The Next Food Network Star - 6.21.09

The show begins with the hopefuls meeting Tyler Florence at a giant grocery store. They have $60 to cook a meal for 12 people. They have to record 30 second tips at stations throughout the store on how to stretch your food budget. The person that does best gets an advantage in the second challenge.

The first person for a tip is Teddy, and he was ridiculously over the top. He needs to work on that. Jeffrey does a much better job, and is comfortable on camera and even included a little story. He's much better than I expected him to be.

Melissa gave a really cool tip about green onions - if you put the whites in water, the green grows back. Who knew? I'll be using that tip.

Michael isn't used to budgeting, and said that his average dinner party costs close to $1000. Wow. Insane.

Debbie did ok with her tip, but not great, and Jamika gave a tip to reuse her marinade as a sauce - to which Tyler said "Is that after you make someone sick?"

Eddie was a little weird. Katie started by saying that organic food might be a good way to save money, but back tracked and saved herself by saying that focusing on grains and beans saves money. Bingo.

Tyler singled out Michael, Jamika, and Teddy for bad tips. He likes Jamika's energy, but not her potentially dangerous tip. He said that Teddy seemed like he was trying to sell him a used car, and Michael seemed to be grasping at straws (and missing). The winner of the challenge is Jeffrey, and I think that's fair.

They head out to the Hamptons to cook their budget meals. They are at Ina Garten's house, and they are making dinner for her, her friends, and the selection committee. There is a twist... teams! Appetizer, entree, and dessert. Each finalist is responsible for one dish, and they will collaborate on the third one.

Jeffrey chose Michael for his partner (that's what he got for his reward)
Teddy is paired with Debbie. Melissa is paired with Eddie. Jamika and Katie are the final team.

They have an hour to cook, and 2 minutes to present. Two teams will cook at a time, to "respect Ina's kitchen."

Teddy and Debbie are in the kitchen with Eddie and Melissa.

Teddy and Debbie's Menu:
- Debbie's: Vegetable Lingune with Asian marinara
- Collaboration: Pan Asian Meatloaf
- Teddy's: Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Eddie and Melissa's Menu:
- Eddie: Sweet Onion, Watermelon feta salad with mint.
- Melissa: Lemon Thyme Chicken with port sauce
- Collaboration: Nutella Quesadilla with Bananas foster.

Teddy and Debbie seemed to be working very well together. Eddie doesn't have confidence in Melissa at all, because she's a home chef, and they are not working super well together. Teddy then pretty much forgot about his dessert. Oops. He came up with something that looked kind of like glop. Eddie was very condescending to Melissa, and that makes me angry. If you have such disdain for the home chef, why do you want to be on the Food Network? It's FOR the home chef.

Time for the first groups to serve!

Eddie and Melissa are up first. Eddie talked about his salad, and Melissa talked about saving money with Clean the Pantry meals. Ina said that Melissa glows in the dark and loves her personality, though some of the guests don't like her. Melissa's chicken is deemed kind of flavorless except for the exterior. Eddie's salad is called "inedible." Oops.

Debbie and Teddy worked well together in the presentation, and Debbie calmed Teddy's insane presentation mode. They were very good. The food is also called unusual and very successful. Until they get to the nearly forgotten dessert... oops.

Now, the second groups get together.

Michael and Jeffrey are trying to fuse their ingredients to make something Mexican/Italian.

Jamika and Katie's international menu:
Jamika - Asian Marinated Salmon
Katie - Whole wheat pasta with vegetables
Collaboration - Fruit salad and grilled pineapple

Michael and Jeffrey's menu:
Collaboration - Roasted tomato and chili soup
Michael - Pesto grilled chicken with broccoli rabe
Jeffrey - Chocolate filled Crepes

Jeffrey added some chili seeds back into the soup, and hoped that it wouldn't be too spicy. Jamika was nervous about her salmon. Michael was nervous and siad that he was like a mad woman in the kitchen.

Jeffrey and Michael's presentation was first. Jeffrey did a much better job than Michael, who struggled. Presentation = most of being on the Food Network, so... the soup had a good texture, but not enough heat for some. The chicken got good marks, though, as did the crepe. They just didn't like Michael's presentation so much.

Jamika and Katie were up next. They did a nice job in presentation. Jamika's salmon was given good marks, and the pasta was also good, but not together. Katie fell to lecturing about her health benefits again, which was an oops.

Time for Evaluations!

Jamika and Katie didn't seem to work together on their menu well, and their concept was called a cop out. Jamika's salmon was called perfectly cooked. They loved her presentation. Katie's pasta was decent, but not memorable. They let her know that she seemed to be lecturing.

Jeffrey's use of chili pepper was called timid, and his reuse of the crepes with the daughter story in both presenations was not great. Michael's food was fantastic, but his presentation was described as "lost."

Eddie and Melissa didn't worked well together, and Bobby didn't appreciate Eddie's attitude towards Melissa. Melissa's chicken looked better than it tasted. Eddie's use of onions in the salad was called out, and then he mentioned that he got the recipe from a Paula Deen cookbook. Um. NOT ok. Be original if you want your own show!

The commitee loved Debbie and Teddy's meal, but hated Teddy's dessert, saying it should have been just not served. Teddy then claimed that the meatloaf was his, though the sauce was Debbie's. Not ok. There goes Teddy throwing someone under the bus again. Integrity is important, and he doesn't seem to get that. Debbie was really taken aback by that attitude, and honestly, so am I.

The winning team is Jeffrey and Michael. I really don't like Michael and don't want him on my tv (I just don't think he's a good presenter!) but he did well cooking this week.

Debbie, Melissa, Katie, and Jamika are safe this week. I can see that.

Who will be eliminated? Teddy or Eddie? Teddy needs to step it up, and not throw people under the bus. Eddie seems to have disdain for the home cook, so I don't know... it's a hard decision. In the end, it's Eddie going home, and I am glad. I don't want someone on my tv who doesn't want to help me be a better home cook. Teddy could be good if he resists the urge to climb over people.

Next week - Guy Fieri, panic, Michael whacking Debbie with a pan (hot?) in the face, and more fun. Can't wait!

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