Monday, June 29, 2009

The Next Food Network Star - 6.28.09

Bobby met the wannabes for the first challenge, and challenged them to make their best burger. The winner will have their burger at Bobby's Burger Palace in CT. They will have to represent a region of the country, and they have 20 minutes to cook, and 30 seconds to present it to the selection committee.

Melissa gets my vote immediately because she's making a Burlington, VT Burger with cheddar cheese. However, that doesn't look like VT cheddar. It's orange. VT cheddar is not orange. Give me Cabot, give me Grafton!

Katie's turkey burger didn't cook properly and she is nervous about serving it.

Presentation time!

Melissa's presentation of her Burlington Burger (hey, she went to college in VT! Cool) was very good. She nailed her presentation. The committee loved her burger. Lots of lip licking.

Jeffrey's burger with chutney and avocado looked yummy, but they were worried they didn't learn much about him.

Teddy's Pennsylvania Burger looked yummy, and he wasn't over the top, but he wasn't engaging. The committee wasn't thrilled.

Deb's Cal-Asian Burger looked yummy and she is a very good presenter.

Michael's Mulberry St Burger was good looking, but he is so strange to watch. I don't get why they love him.

Jamika's New Orleans Burger looked yummy, but she was over rehearsed again, and sounded like a commercial. Bobby didn't dig her sausage under her burger.

Katie's undercooked San Francisco burger was not presented very well. The ingredients were appreciated, but the rawness = not ok.

The bottom two are Jamika and Katie. Melissa is in the top, but the winner is Michael. It may have tasted great, but I just don't like him on my tv. He's unappealing.

Time for the second challenge! They get to the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum. Guy Fieri enters and tells them that their challenge is to cook their own all American Home Cooking Dish, using ingredients in regional baskets, and it will be served at a homecoming party for soldiers returning from the middle east. The winner will have their recipe in the upcoming issue of USA Weekend.

They have 1.5 hours to prep. They are cooking in shifts of two, because of a tiny kitchen.

Teddy has NY - skin on duck breast, apples, and cream soda. He's making a DLT sandwich.

Jeffrey has Maine - Smoked Sea Salt, blueberries, and lobster. He's not sure what to do with the blueberries, but then decided to make pot pies. He was thwarted by tiny electric burners, and timing. It may or may not work out.

Teddy's presentation included a lot of ums and ums, and flustering moments. Not good. The food seemed to be very good, though.

Jeffrey was embarrassed by his pot pies. They looked kind of nasty. His presentation was quite good, and he told a cute story, but the pot pie was called "disgusting." Oh, that's not good.

Melissa has New Mexico - skirt steak, chilis, and honey. Looks fantastic, but she is not used to working with chilis because her family doesn't like them. She was smart and tasted all the chilis before trying to cook with them.

Katie has Georgia and it didn't mention what her ingredients were, but catfish was one.

Melissa had a great presentation. She did a honey chili skirt steak tostada with a honey mango salsa on top. She had a fantastic presentation and connected because her mom was in the military. The committee loved her food and her presentation.

Jamika had Wisconsin and had cheddar cheese, amber beer and kielbasa. She doesn't like beer but made a casserole.

Katie's presentation was focused on the military aspect, because she has a cousin going to the middle east for another tour. Bobby called her middle of the road.

Jamika had issues with her potatoes and they weren't cooking. She threw her potatoes in the food processor and they turned into goop, but she hopes that it won't matter once it's in the casserole. Her presentation was good, but her food was gluey.

Michael had Hawaii - macadamia, pineapple, and kampachi. Is that a fish?

Debbie had chicken breast, zinfendel, and almonds for California.

And then Michael whacked Debbie in the eye with the corner of his sheet pan. Youch.

Michael's presentation was focused on the love of macadamia nuts. He was engaging, I suppose.

Debbie finished her meal, and was subdued in her presentation, and her food was a little bland. They were disappointed in her.

Time for the evaluations!

Jamika's presentation was called delightful and not over-rehearsed, but her food was a gluey mess.

Katie's food looked healthy without lecturing about it. Her presentation style is still questionable. They did bring up the raw burger, and that is not ok.

Michael's food was good, but he has "not made friends with the camera" yet.

Jeffrey was embarrassed by his food, and it was called suprisingly awful. They said he was flirting up against the edges of blandness. They want more from him.

Melissa's presentation was fabulous and her camera energy is starting to reach the right level, not over the top. They loved her dish. Her dedication to learning the chilis was lauded.

Teddy's sandwich was really good, but his presentation was a mess. He wrote on his hand! Seriously?

Debbie's injury brought her down some, and her food was not a home run, so she did not have her best week.

The winner for the week (and the cover on USA Weekend Magazine) was Melissa. Bravo! She deserved it!

Debbie and Michael were also safe. Teddy's inability to find his own onscreen comfort zone sent him home this week. I think it was his time. If Katie can get it together, I'd watch her show.

Next week, they're on the Rachael Ray show! Fun times.

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