Who will it be? Jeffrey or Melissa? Can't wait to see!
Before the final challenge, the final 2 get some time with their families.
Jeffrey's got a really sweet family. His daughter likes to make crepes with him. His son likes to spread nutella on the crepes and then loses interest. Jeffrey is a martial artist, too, and they get to travel a lot.
Melissa has some seriously adoreable daughters. She has a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and 1 1/2 year old twins. Wow. If she can find time to cook with that kind of busy life, I'm there to watch her show. Seriously. She likes to cook with her friends to give them fun tips. She volunteers on the economic development board for her city.
Back in NYC, the final two returned to the Food Network studios. Alton Brown greeted them and let them know that they are going to be making pilots for their shows. They will be supplied with a director (Alton Brown himself).
Jeffrey pitches Cooking Without Borders and Alton isn't sure about his title - likes Ingredient Smuggler instead. That's fun.
Melissa isn't sure about titles and Alton suggested something incorporating A Survival Guide. I like it.
They get a Food Network Magazine photo shoot and interview. They both look like they had fun and did well.
After their hectic day of planning, the two finalists adjourned to a nice dinner together. Nice.
Melissa is first to film her pilot, and her kitchen is fun and inviting. She is making a lemon onion chicken dish, and it looks delicious. She's going with Kitchen Survival Guide. I like it. Alton gave her some nice tips, and she got really nervous right off the bat, and wasn't feeling at the top of her game. Alton told her just to be herself, and she came into her own then. Just from the clips we saw, it looked awesome. I wish she hadn't had her mouth full when she was talking at the end. Good luck to her.
Jeffrey is making a Harissa Steak sandwich with sundried tomato, garlic, and mint mayonaisse, I think, and went as The Ingredient Smuggler. He was totally focussed in the first take on the cooking and didn't look at the camera at all and didn't smile. Alton stopped him and had him re-take. He seemed to lose it a bit, but recovered by the final take.
Time for the showing of the pilots - live audience and selection committee in attendance. The former contestants joined them, too. Let's have some clips of the season before we get down to it. Brett has nicknames for people. Katie has some odd dance moves. Melissa likes to talk about lactation (I can understand that). Eddie likes to talk a lot about nothing. Jeffrey winks. Now - who wins?
Not so fast! More clips from the townhouse! Michael and Katie are bff. Eddie and Teddy couldn't even tell each other apart. Melissa and Jeffrey bonded over parenthood.
Finally - time for the pilots.
Melissa's is up first. She's like Rachael Ray before Rachael Ray got big on herself. I want to go make Melissa's 4-step chicken now. It's a great technique, and really versatile. She came across as natural and appealing. The potato gratins in the muffin pans were a little bit of genius. Yup. Hope she wins. Bob called her poised and professional and Susie said that she was learning the whole time. Bobby wants to steal her potato gratin idea and thinks her dish would be good in anyone's kitchen. So do I.
Jeffrey is the Ingredient Smuggler. He seemed to be talking with his hands a bit much, and was doing the nervous rocking on his feet which I found distracting. I like the concept of his show, because I love interesting ingredients. I think that Melissa's show is more my style, though. He does describe food superbly, though. Bob said that he get hungry watching Jeffrey cook. Susie wants to try Harissa. Bobby loved the show.
I think I might end up getting frustrated with Jeffrey's show if he was using some super fun ingredient that I couldn't find in my area. The finalists got to talk themselves up a bit before the selection committee made their decision. The committee had a really hard time deciding because both of them are so strong. They said it was the hardest decision in the five years of the show. They brought in the president of Food Network, Brooke Johnson, and announced that the winner is...
Yay! I think I have a new favorite show on the Food Network! Her premiere show will air next week. I hope that she doesn't fizzle out like Amy Finley did. I want Melissa on my tv for years to come.
Are you happy with the results? Do you think they will get Jeffrey on the network, too?