Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yay for a New Season: The Next Food Network Star 6.7.09

Meet the chefs.

Jen Isham is the "modern housewife."

Jamika Pessoa is an "island girl," half Jamaican, half Trididadian. Is that even a word?

Katie Cavuto is from Philly, and is a dietician and personal chef.

Brett August is full energy and high powered. He says.

Michael Proetti wants to pizzazz Food Network up.

Eddie Gilbert is a corporate guy turned chef.

Melissa D'Arabian is a stay at home mom to 4 kids.

Teddy Folkman is determined.

Debbie Lee fuses Korean spices with Southern cooking.

Jeffrey Saad has been in kitchens for years and years.

And time for the first challenge. Bob, Suzy, and Bobby Flay greet the wannabes. The first challenge is to cater the Food Network's Birthday Party (16 years), 75 people, including lots of Food Network people, and others. In five hours.

Two teams.

Teddy, Jamika, Brett, Ted, and Melissa are the green team.

Eddie, Michael, Katie, Jeffrey, and Debbie are the red team.

Brett is planning on making - Beef Tenderloin with red wine sauce and butternut Squash soup
Teddy is making an herb and truffle infused potato gratin.
Jamika is planning on a Florribean Shrimp Cocktail with Mango Jicama Slaw
Melissa is making Apple tart with caramel drizzle
Jen is making Green beans with red onions, grape tomatoes, and toasted walnuts

on the other team

Michael is making a five spiced tenderloin with pickled vegetable slaw
Debbie is making a crab cake with Spicy Mayo
Katie is making a beet, pomegranate, orange salad & sauteed chard
Jeffrey is making achiote grilled zucchini with mushroom ragu (and he gets the first culinary term subtitle of the season, achiote is annoto-seed paste used for earthy flavor and color in Mexixan cooking. Thanks, Food Network)
Eddie is making a Jelly Filled Beignet and B.L.A.S.T. Balls - Bacon, lettuce, Avocado, Sprouts, and Tomato.

Two members on each team went shopping, with a $1200 budget. Debbie couldn't find the buttermilk biscuits for te beignets, and her team was also WAY over budget and had to leave a lot behind. Yipes. The other team was over $200 under budget. Better planning, it seems.

One thing left behind was Jeffrey's achiote. He's upset. He also doesn't like Debbie's fallback dessert idea of store bought angel food cake with some sauce dolloped on it was really chef-worthy. I would tend to agree.

As they cook, Bobby Flay entered the kitchen to Tim Gunn it up. (And by that, I mean check out how they are doing, not critique their clothing choices.)

The tarts weren't perfect, because some of the crusts got too warm. It was a team effort to get them in the oven. Hopefully, they are flaky enough. Debbie failed to get dijon mustard, and Katie panicked a little, but the other team gave her some dijon to save her dressing. That was nice.

Time to eat!

Brett was the captain of the green team and announced his food and the team. He was not super comfortable in the presentation. His high energy was not there. Jamika was much better on mic. Teddy was a little of a little and said little about 12 times. Jen was friendly and pleasant. Melissa was very excited about her tartlets and was very pleasant. She was cute.

Bobby loved the tart, and so did Duff. Bob loved Jamika's slaw, but the shrimp was not good. Jen's beans were called unpleasant and unspecial. Teddy's gratin was not cooked enough, and Brett's beef was badly cooked.

Red Team's Turn!

The Angel Food Cake mess is not looking good. It looks like a pile of crap. It was Debbie's idea, and she passed it off to Katie and Jeffrey, and it was not good....

Time for the presentation.

Debbie was comfortable in front of the mic. Katie was also very comfortable, and emphasized her colorful food. Jeffrey was funny and personable. Michael calls his style Global A Go Go. I think he's a bit much. Eddie was a little stiff.

The judges like the flavors of the crab cake, and they liked Michael's flavors. Jeffrey's zucchini also went well. Katie's salad "were from a dietician, and seemed like they were from a dietician." ouch. Eddie's B.L.A.S.T balls were a bit too bacony. And the cake? That was called an embarassment. Ouch. I would agree, though.

Evaluation Time.

It's not all about cooking, it's also about personality.

Debbie was called out for going over budget and then telling everyone that they went under budget. Bob told her that character matters, and they need to be able to trust someone if they are going to make it. Debbie was also called out for the angel food cake, and she called it a group decision. Um. No. At least her crab cake was good, and her presentation style was good.

Michael's dish was a favorite. They liked that he was funny.

Bobby called Katie's salad a throwaway dish. She didn't impress anyone with her dish or her style.

Eddie's B.L.A.S.T balls and stiff persona were not great. Bob said he seemed corporate, and they urged him to loosen up.

Jeffrey was happy that they liked his zucchini, and Bobby liked the way he described the food, saying it made him hungry. That's good when you are on tv.

Time for the Green Team.

Brett's food wasn't cooked well, and his presentation was not great.

Jamika's slaw was very good. Alton called her shrimpt the gate keeper of badness. Not good. Her presentation was good.

Melissa did very well with her tarts, and her presentation was good, but she was told to self edit.

Jen's beans were boring and nothing special, and her presentation was also boring.

Teddy's gratin was called out for not being cooked through, and his presentation seemed confused and fake. Not good.

Who is the winner of the challenge, and who is going home?

The Top 3 are Jeffrey, Michael, and Melissa. The winner of the challenge is Jeffrey. Good for him. He made something wonderful without most of the ingredients he wanted.

Jamika, Teddy, Katie, and Debbie are safe this week.

So, the bottom 3 are Brett, Eddie, and Jen. Brett was the first one safe, so it's between Jen and Eddie. Jen and her green beans were not good enough, and she is out. She is beautiful, but subpar green beans aren't going to make her a Food Network Star.

Looking forward to seeing more. I really don't like Brett - I wouldn't watch a show with him. Debbie rubbed me the wrong way with that Angel Food Cake, but her food looked good... I'm not sure who to root for now. We'll see. Do you have any favorites yet?


Ed said...

What? No Tony Awards? Shame...

Lori said...

I missed it! Oh well, they'll run it over and over again. :)