Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Next Food Network Star - 7.12.09

The five remaining finalists thought that they would be heading to the airport to simply head to Miami. Little did they suspect, they are up for a challenge!

They have to work in one of 5 high quality restaurants in the airport, and make a dish that is consistent with the cuisine there.

Jeffrey get AeroNuova, the Italian restaurant.

Michael gets La Vie, a French restaurant.

Melissa gets Piquillo, a tapas restaurant.

Jamika gets Deep Blue, a sushi restaurant.

Debbie gets Five Steak, an American modern restaurant.

Whoever wins gets their dish put on the menu of their restaurant!

They only have 30 minutes.

Things get a bit tough when the airport regulations have things like knives tethered to cutting boards, and Michael needs an oyster shucker, with no oyster shucker to be had, so he changed plans.

Jamika's dish is a Seared Red Tuna salad with an orange miso vinaigrette. She starts talking about intestinal distress during her presentation, and that was a bit much. Ted Allen called it TMI. They didn't think her dish was very original.

Debbie's Pacific Spinach Salad is steak free for the steak house. The judges were confused and Susie didn't like that Debbie said that only women want to watch waistlines.

Jeffrey made poached egg bruschetta, and his presentation was really fabulous. They seemed to like his food.

Melissa made chicken with chorizo and potatoes, and showed up some cool Spanish skills. She also gave some great presentation with some really cool new stuff about herself. The judges loved her presentation and her dish.

Michael made a clam and shrimp with hollandaise or something. He was kind of boring in his presentation, and the judges had troubles with his actual dish. Not good.

Michael came out on the bottom with his dish. Jeffrey came out on top. Melissa would have to have been close to winning, too.

And, off to Miami they go!

They get to the Eden Rock hotel, and their suite is something else. They are sent immediately to the lobby. They have to cook for a cocktail party as a team at a nightclub. They have 2 hours, and each person needs to come up with at least 2 hors deuvres, and a signature cocktail.

As winner, Jeffrey gets to assign tasks to people. They got to menu planning, and Melissa was the only one to realize that they needed to at least have one vegetarian choice. They had $1500 total at Whole Foods. When they got to the club kitchen, they had 2 hours to prep and cook. They are making a Chili Spiced Margarita. Except their simple syrup is not coming to a boil well. Scary. Everyone was running around like chickens with heads cut off.

Jeffrey was playing host, Michael was at the bar, and the women were in the back plating and getting food out.

Jeffrey's appetizers were - Cuban bite - pork with prosciutto, with an orange, bean sauce. His second was lump crab meat, spicey tomatillo sauce, and peppers. Ted didn't like the store bought chips, and his food kind of fell flat.

Jamika's got a jerk chicken skewer and mango cilantro shrimp with a sweet pineapple slaw. She handed the food over and ran. The judges felt like they were a little ignored and thought her jerk chicken should have been spicier.

Debbie was only plating her own dish and Melissa felt that wasn't quite fair.

Michael was his usual obnoxious self at the bar.

Melissa's dishes are a Miami salmon shooter, a chipotle chicken bite, and a veggie asada. The judges liked that she was likeable. They thought her food lacked a little finesse.

The chili margarita was not spicy enough for the judges. People were hungry and the food wasn't going out quickly enough. Debbie was sitting on her own dishes and not expediting like she was supposed to.

Bobby Flay went back into the kitchen to find out what was happening back there. Michael went back into the kitchen to do some food, and brought his dishes out to the judges.

Michael's dishes are margarita salmon and a chili lime shrimp. He was working the crowd. I don't want him on my tv. The judges thought his food was not flavorable enough.

Debbie's the last one out. She served a spicy passionfruit chicken on daikon, and ribeye with korean flavors. The judges thought she had the best dishes of the night.

Selection committee time!

The biggest problem with the party was getting the food out.

Jeffrey was chastised for seeming to hold back in his flavors.

Michael was a bit too big in personality for a lot of people (and me, too). Bob said that if his salmon was marinated, it was a surprise to the salmon. His decision to have freshly fried shrimp was also questioned.

Jamika needed to not let the stress show.

Melissa's vegetable dish was the tastiest of her three. They worried that she spread herself too thin, but she explained that she decided to do the third dish so there would be a vegetarian option, and they loved that point.

Debbie was really not a good expediter. Debbie claimed she was being selfless, and Melissa brought up the fact that she was doing a lot more plating than anyone else. Bob did the math and realized that Melissa was telling the truth. Apparently, expediting a kitchen means expediting her own food to Debbie.

While the judges deliberated, Jeffrey got very angry at the fact that people couldn't get their cooking done ahead of time.

The judges are loving Melissa, are nervous that Michael hates the camera, and think that Debbie didn't act as a team player, calling her behavior shameful. I kind of agree.

Jamika is safe this week, as is Melissa. Jeffrey joins them. The bottom two are Debbie and Michael. In the end, it was Michael going home. I think that was a good decision. I find him utterly obnoxious, and Debbie gets another chance.

At this point, I think that Jeffrey or Melissa is probably going to win it. I am rooting for Melissa. How about you?

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