Articles for Food Network Star Season 7

Welcome to the first recap of this season of Food Network Star! We‘ve got 15 FNS hopefuls. If you‘re unfamiliar with them, check out my breakdown of each contestant.This season promises lots of celebrities, plenty of appearances by Food Network royalty like Alton Brown and Ina Garten and more yelling, screaming and meltdowns than ever before. Is this the season that our Food Network Star contestants stop playing nice and bring out the claws?  Read more »
Welcome to week two of Food Network Star! Last week, tensions rose between Penny and Alicia, Vic submitted two empty plates to the judges, and inexperienced Howie was sent home after he cost his team the challenge (and tried to pass the blame). Based on the poll last week, most everyone agreed with the judges, with 92% of voters echoing the sentiment that Howie needed to get booted.If you missed last week‘s episode, you can check out my recap. And don‘t forget to read up on the contestants! Without further or do, let‘s dive into this week‘s 90-minute episode of Food Network Star. Read more »
This past Sunday night, technique-driven (but awkward in front of the camera) Juba Kali was eliminated from Food Network Star immediately following the Camera Challenge. One challenge later, and fit chef Katy Clark was given the boot.If you missed the double elimination, check out my recap from Sunday.Katy and Juba discussed the show, their eliminations and all that crazy kitchen drama with us during a conference call Monday. Read on and see what they had to say! Read more »
Welcome to week three of this summer‘s season of Food Network Star! With only two episodes behind us, we‘ve already come a long way. Frontrunners have already materialized in Jeff, Orchid and Whitney. We have our villain: the mischievous, calculating Penny. We‘ve had double-eliminations, crazy challenges (last week‘s recipe re-imagining was awesome) and celebrity chefs aplenty. What will tonight‘s episode bring? Will we see another double-elimination? Will Penny‘s machinations get the best of her? Will Alicia get through a challenge without crying?Stick around, food fans, and we‘ll find out -- together.And if you missed last week, be sure and check out my recap, and our interview with Juba and Katy!  Read more »
Poor Alicia Sanchez had a rough time on this season of Food Network Star, didn‘t she? Her nerves were constantly getting the best of her, and she cried during or immediately after almost every challenge. And let‘s not forget the tension between her and fellow contestant Penny Davidi. Last night, Alicia succumbed to the pressure, and was eliminated from the competition. Her cupcakes just didn‘t cut it, and her increasingly frazzled nerves weren‘t helping matters either.Alicia talked to me today about her three-episode stint on FNS, and she even managed to get in a pretty nice dig at Penny! Read more »
You‘re reading this on BuddyTV, which means you‘re probably familiar with all the things we do on this site: bring you the latest in the world of television, from which House star is appearing on The Good Wife to who got the shocking boot on last night‘s So You Think You Can Dance. Yeah, I think you‘re quite familiar with that. So, let‘s see how much you learned this week, shall we? Read more »
It‘s week four of Food Network Star and the stakes have never been higher for this season‘s contestants. We‘ve said goodbye to Howie, Juba, Katy and Alicia so far, and any slip-ups are duly noted by judges Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis, Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson. Who will be our fifth elimination? Will Penny continue her scheming, dramatic ways, and will they get the best of her? Will Jeff once again don a sweat band to keep from sweating in his food? How many times will I forget that Susie is a contestant? All of these questions and more will be answered in this week‘s episode of Food Network Star.Read on, food fans. Read more »
Over the course of this season‘s Food Network Star, Justin Balmes always struck me as a very cool-headed, technique-driven chef -- somebody who clearly had an enormous amount of talent and drive, but who faltered in front of the camera almost every time. Although his elimination was inevitable, I was also somewhat sad to see him go, as I felt we hadn‘t yet seen everything he had to offer. I got to ask Justin Balmes a few questions yesterday about his time on Food Network Star, and he happily obliged. He talked about his admiration for Iron Chef Michael Symon, his dislike of drama and his really neat concept for a Food Network show. Read on! Read more »
WARNING: This article contains possible spoilers for Food Network Star. I stress possible because I don‘t think this "leaked information" has any real bearing whatsoever. But still, if you would rather not have the possible winner of Food Network Star revealed to you, then I would click away from this page right now. I‘m serious. Go away. Are they gone? OK, good. Let‘s talk spoilers. Read more »
Well, we‘ve been with this season‘s batch of Food Network Star contestants now for more than a month. And it seems so much longer, doesn‘t it? At this point, it‘s a bit of a chore to slog through these 90-minute episodes, when it‘s so clear who won‘t be winning the competition. It‘s like, why waste time? Maybe starting out with 15 finalists is too many. Maybe 90 minutes is too long. Maybe Jyll is too vapid, Penny is too dramatic, Susie is too forgettable and Chris is too annoying. Whatever it is, this season has officially hit a wall, and has started to drag on and on. And on.But I‘m legitimately excited about the frontrunners this season. Orchid, Whitney and Jeff, in particular, really appeal to me as people and chefs. And if seeing them as chefs on Food Network means trudging through an entire season of nonsense, well ... I hope it‘s worth it.Now, on with the recap! Read more »
It‘s astonishing how much my mood has shifted over the course of just a few weeks of Food Network Star. I began season 7 optimistic, if a little hesitant. But this season has been draining, and we‘ve all felt it. All it takes is one glance at the comments on our Facebook insider page to gauge the overall mood. Viewers are angry and frustrated, with many even swearing off the show until Penny Davidi leaves. Clearly, the novelty of Penny‘s scheming, dramatic ways has worn off. And now we‘re just sick of her.Am I looking forward to Food Network Star tonight? Honestly, no. We‘ve got the same stupid food truck challenge we see every damn season. We‘ve got Penny pitching more fits. And we‘ve got Tyler Florence, a man I just cannot stand to even look at, due to his overwhelming douchiness. Don‘t get me wrong, I still enjoy watching contestants like Orchid Paulmeier, Whitney Chen and Jeff Mauro. But their appeal is just completely overshadowed by the bad stuff. It really is a shame, because there are some awesome people on the show this season.We‘ve already been promised more drama tonight. Maybe the judges will finally take note of Penny‘s antics, and maybe she‘ll finally slip-up in a big way. Or maybe this charade will continue into the final weeks of the summer, and we‘ll be forced to deal with Penny Davidi until we just can‘t stand it anymore.You all can turn off the TV. Unfortunately, I don‘t have the luxury. Suffer with me, won‘t you? Read more »
From the very first episode of Food Network Star, Orchid Paulmeier had it all. She was charismatic, fun and a good cook to boot. She told funny anecdotes, was comfortable in front of the camera and quickly set herself apart from her fellow contestants. Many fans thought Orchid would win it all. Unfortunately, Food Network Star has an annoying habit of dooming its early frontrunners. The judges expect more of them, and they start out so far on top that there‘s nowhere to go but down. We‘ve seen it before, and history is doomed to repeat itself.This frontrunner syndrome greatly affected Orchid Paulmeier, and on Sunday, she said goodbye in a surprise elimination that elicited gasps from her fellow finalists and screams of rage in living rooms across America. If you missed it, check out my recap.I was able to talk to Orchid yesterday, and she discussed this frontrunner syndrome, and how this won‘t be the last we‘re seeing of her. Read more »
It‘s Restaurant Week in New York this week, which means anybody in the Big Apple has the chance to sample the city‘s best food spots for less. Cue my New Yorker friend, telling me about all these wonderful places in the Tribeca district, running the gamut from French cuisine to Indian cuisine, from steaks to pizza (New York-style, natch)... and cue me, the guy who can‘t be there for the occasion. Read more »
Last week, we lost a real contender in Orchid Paulmeier. But life, and Food Network Star, continues. I‘m actually looking forward to tonight‘s episode. Again, it‘s only an hour. And we have a double elimination! Will Penny go home tonight? Will Mary Beth make a penis joke in front of Wolfgang Puck? Let‘s find out together.Join me, won‘t you?  Read more »
It‘s a new day, Food Network Star fans. Penny Davidi and Chris Nirschel were both sent packing last week in a double-elimination that restored my faith in Food Network Star, the Food Network and food, competition and TV in general. I feel renewed and reinvigorated, ready to tackle tonight‘s episode. So bring it on, Food Network. Hit me with your best shot. I can take it. I survived Penny Davidi. I can survive anything.Except maybe Rachael Ray. Is there anyone more grating on this planet? Maybe Sandra Lee. But Rachael Ray is a very, very close second. Luckily, we have Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself, to brighten our day and save the episode. I wonder if she‘ll bring her husband Jeffrey. Or maybe some good mustard. So stay tuned as our finalists head to New York in pursuit of their dreams. Remaining still: Jeff Mauro, Jyll Everman, Mary Beth Albright, Susie Jimenez, Vic "Vegas" Moea and Whitney Chen. Read more »
Jyll Everman was almost never seen without a smile during her tenure on this season of Food Network Star. While some called her fake or inauthentic, others defended her resolve and cheery personality. Despite wowing the judges on several occasions, and after narrowly escaping elimination last week, Jyll was sent home on Sunday‘s episode. While the judges may have found her constant cheerfulness a bit too much, Jyll Everman was pleasant enough with me when I chatted with her about this season of Food Network Star. She discussed Penny (of course) and why her original concept for a Food Network show didn‘t fit the bill.  Read more »
Last week on Food Network Star, our final six contestants headed to New York, where they appeared on The Rachael Ray Show and baked cupcakes for Ina Garten. In the end, Jyll Everman was eliminated, leaving us with a final five consisting of Jeff Mauro, Mary Beth Albright, Susie Jimenez, Vic "Vegas" Moea and Whitney Chen.If you missed it, don‘t sweat it. I recap this show every week, remember?Oh, and we got to interview Jyll Everman too.Tonight, our final five will have their souls and dreams dashed be roasted by a panel of comedians. What‘s the deal with the roast? What are they gaining by doing this? I suppose something can be said for developing a thick skin if you‘re working in the entertainment business. But I really don‘t get the point. After tonight, we will have our final four, and end of season 7 of Food Network Star will be that much closer. Read more »
Like Orchid Paulmeier, Whitney Chen emerged early on in Food Network Star season 7 as a viable winner. She was calm, collected, confident and, most importantly, a damn good chef. Whitney continually proved herself to be a capable culinary expert, but the judges kept telling her to open up. Week after week, Whitney found herself in the bottom. And this past Sunday, she was eliminated after making it to the top five.I got the chance to ask Whitney some questions about this season. It sounds like this won‘t be the last we‘re seeing of Whitney Chen.  Read more »
Last week on Food Network Star, our top five finalists were roasted by a panel of comedians, and we said goodbye to Whitney Chen. Now our final four head to Kitchen Stadium to duke it out in front of Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Alton Brown and the usual stable of FNS judges.Our final four are: Jeff Mauro, Mary Beth Albright, Susie Jimenez and Vic Moea.Don‘t miss our recap from last week, or our interview with Whitney Chen! Read more »
As a writer and editor myself, I found myself liking Food Network Star finalist Mary Beth Albright more and more as the season went on. Articulate, intelligent and confident, Mary Beth wowed the judges with her knowledge and flat-out passion for food and food culture. And while her dishes were often overshadowed by some of her more experience competition, Mary Beth made it all the way to the final four, proving that food writers might just know what they‘re talking about. I got the chance to ask Mary Beth a few questions about this season of Food Network Star, including the one we‘re all thinking: Why the hell was she ALWAYS paired with Penny Davidi during challenges? Read more »
Well, here we are. It‘s been a long, bumpy, perilous (Penny-less?) road. But this is the last episode of Food Network Star season 7. In an hour, we‘re going to have our next celebrity chef. Who will it be? Momma‘s boy Vic Moea? Latin-inspired Susie Jimenez? Or sandwich king Jeff Mauro? You all probably know who I‘d like to see win it all (hint: he‘s not bald or a woman). But we do have a pretty powerful trio for our final three -- probably the best final three in Food Network Star history, and I mean that, I seriously do. I‘ve been watching this show since Guy Fieri won and seized control of the network in a violent, greasy coup (creating a dystopian, post-apocalyptic society I like to call Fieriworld), and I don‘t think I‘ve been drawn to anyone like I‘m drawn to Jeff. He‘s real, he‘s funny, he‘s laid-back -- and he makes great food. Who is everyone else rooting for? And if it‘s not Jeff, what the heck is wrong with you?By the way, did anyone watch the reunion show? Because I totally did (and by totally did I mean I had it on in the background while I wasted time on the internet). It‘s the first time they‘ve done a reunion show, and it was ... eh, it was OK. Mary Beth sure was snippy, wasn‘t she?But hey, enough of my yapping. Let‘s boogie! Read more »
To paraphrase SpongeBob SquarePants, "another week, another seven nickels!" And sure, while last week saw a bunch of finales -- and this week, too -- there was still a lot going on our televisions. Life at the Big Brother house continued while werewolves killed each other on Teen Wolf. Twelve talents got another shot on America‘s Got Talent, while Emma (or Sutton, who?) got into some new trouble on The Lying Game. You get the idea. Read more »