Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Next Food Network Star 7.26.09

It's down to the final 3!

Emeril greets them for their next challenge. I really dislike Emeril. I do, however, love Julia Child. Emeril tells them about the upcoming movie - Julie & Julia (which looks awesome). In honor of the movie, they will be creating their own culinary passion on a plate - $1000, 3 hours to cook, 3 course, 20 people to cook for, a sous chef provided for them. They will be presenting their food for the dinner guests, and they will be demoing some part of their cooking.

And, the final 3 get an advance screening of the movie. Oh, I want to see it!

Melissa's three course meal is inspired by her own time in Paris, and it sounds delicious.

Debbie has her Korean-inspired menu all set, and seems to have decided to call her potential show "Seoul to Soul." That's cute.

Jeffrey was nervous about going over budget, and ended up only spending $317... he wasn't sure if he had bought enough, or if he had messed up somewhere along the way...

Their dinner guests include culinary superstars (many of them from Top Chef: Masters, etc...)

As expected, their sous chefs are previously eliminated contestants. Michael is Debbie's sous chef, Katie is with Jeffrey, and Jamika is helping Melissa.

Melissa's Menu: 1st course - Ratatouille & Potato Torte 2nd course - Brick Herb Chicken w/ Orzo 3rd cours - Cheese Trio, Salad, and chocolate orange Pochette.

Debbie's Menu: 1st course - Chili-Rubbed Prawns & Savory Corn Salad 2nd course - Korean Short Ribs & Crispy Grit Cake 3rd course - Asian Pear Eggroll w/ Rum Butterscoth.
(And, I'm sorry, did Michael just ask Debbie if she wants all of her garlic peeled? Maybe he knows of some use for garlic that I don't know of, but skins pretty much stay out of my cooking when it comes to garlic... just saying.)

Jeffrey's Menu: 1st course - Seared Scallop w/ Green Chili Chutney. 2nd Course - Seafood Risotto. 3rd Course - Chocolate Mousse w/Biscotti.

Problems abound - Michael is nervous about the way Debbie does her short ribs. Jeffrey is making risotto and has to be careful it doesn't seize up. Melissa's got one pan of ridiculously salty orzo, and also a non-baked torte... she had to switch her courses up a bit to give the torte more time. Orzo was switched to the first course.

Melissa is up first for her presentation. She did a really good presentation, all about why she loves to cook, and why she thinks she should be the winner of the show. I want her to win, because I just love her. It was straight to the heart and warm and Bobby Flay called her poetic. She had a really great memory device for remembering how to make good ratatouille. For her demo portion, she showed how to do her brick chicken with fresh herbs. She did a decent job on her demo. When she had her critique, people loved the potato torte, but some of her chicken was overdone. Her desserts got very good reviews, though some people just wanted more of her pastry. I think she did a good job overall.

Debbie's turn! She had a giant smile plastered on her face, which seemed a little fake, but her story was ok. Some of the diners wanted some more Korean flavor. Her second course (the ribs) also got some complaints from some diners. She is doing the demo on her dessert. Something about her style seems disingenuous to me. Her demo on how to fold a proper eggroll was cool. I might use that tip. I think her dessert went over best, but some diners complained that her dough was not cooked through. Oops.

Finally, it's Jeffrey. He undercooked his risotto on purpose to account for probable sitting time. Hope that doesn't come back to bite him. His presentation of his first course was really lovely, and he did his cooking demo right off, and it was a really great demo. Bobby Flay said that it was as clear at communication as you can get. His risotto didn't go over as well. As he said, "it was like a sea of unhappy faces." One of the diners said the risotto was the worst risotto he'd ever had. It was called a disrespect to Italy. Bobby Flay was stunned at how little Jeffrey spent out of the budget. Will his dessert recover it for him? It went over very well. I really want to try making biscotti, personally..

The diners seemed to really like Melissa's food (yay!) and Debbie, also. Jeffrey's demo was perfection, but his risotto was so bad, I don't know if he can recover from that.

At the judge's table, the final 3 got their critiques, and then got their chance to talk about why they deserve to have their own show. I want Melissa's show on my television. Just saying.

Luckily, she is the first one in the final 2! Yippee! Deservedly (looking at the whole show), Jeffrey will join her there. Debbie is out, and while she was ok, something about her rubbed me the wrong way.

SO - it's down to the Working Mom's Friend and the Worldly Trained Professional. I know who I want, but I think that either of them would be good.

Next week - it's their pilot presentations!


Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I missed tonight's show and hate waiting for the rerun. I'm wanting Melissa to win too.

BIG DADDY said...

They would be foolish not to select Melissa. She IS the food networks core audience. I don't know that I'd want to watch Jeffrey's show repeatedly... I might tune in to see what he's doing, and if it was interesting I'd watch for a few minutes. However Melissa's show would potentially be something I'd go out of my way to watch. Making dinner for kids quick and on a budget, but not boring as beans and weenies? Now that's stuff I'd tune in's just closer to what's going on in my home...