This season of Food Network stars promises to bring humor to the table, but not everyone can deliver. Every contest on "The Next Food Network Star" seems extremely confident in their abilities, techniques and even their history in the cooking industry. The first aspect of this show is not only knowing how to cook but also knowing yourself in and out, because more than their food coming through - their personalities have to shine.
Their first challenge involved Alton Brown and some props. He wanted them to highlight their culinary point of view. At the get go, there were a couple people that automatically shined. Adam took a sip out of the prop milk and discovered it was heavy whipping cream. The one, however, that stuck out like a sore thumb was Cory Kahaney. Although she is a comedian, Cory took a long time to come up with her line, which ended up falling all over the place.
After moving into their house, the contestants headed to the Food Network kitchens for a collaboration challenge. They pulled cards with colors on it (green, grey, burgundy, blue, and purple) and split into teams of two. They would be cooking for the biggest Food Network stars (Chef Morimoto, Sandra Lee, the Neelys, Giada Di Laurentiis, Bobby Flay
, and Alton Brown).
The teams had 30 minutes to cook three dishes. Two of them were individual dishes, with the third as their collaboration. Kelsey and Aaron (team green) did an orzo salad with a citrus vinaigrette, a salmon sandwich, and a tomato soup with fresh herbs. Adam and Jennifer (team blue) did a scalloped potato gratin, glazed carrots and meatloaf. Lisa and Kevin (team grey) created an arugala salad, French onion soup and poached salmon. Cory and Jeffery (team burgundy) created honey glazed salmon, deviled eggs, and a parsnip, potato and leek pancake. Finally, Shane and Nipa (team purple) created a prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin, suki bajji (curried potatoes), and a butternut squash soup.
At the judging table, the contestants were told to give a description of their plates to communicate their culinary point of view. Many of the judges pointed out Shane's age, given that he is the youngest contestant at 19 years old. As far as the cooking, some of the contestants had a huge problem with the time. Adam and Jennifer's meatloaf did not cook fully, so they had to cut off the parts that were edible. Lisa's description of her point of view was winded and still not explained very well. Kelsey and Aaron's plates went out and not all the sandwiches had bread. Giada wasn't convinced that Kelsey's personality was real and that she needed to tone it down a bit. Bobby said that he would like to either work with Adam or hang out with him.
Of the many small problems the contestants faced, none stuck out more than Cory and Aaron. Their plates were a mess, and Cory was still having trouble with the pressure and being able to form sentences to explain herself. Many of the judges wanted to know when she was going to bring out her humor.
Kelsey and Aaron had the favorite dishes. The two showed that they were proud of what they produced even if they were short a couple pieces of bread. Lisa baffled the chefs with her explanation and that Kevin's point of view was a little generic. Cory became dark when asked to explain her dish, and Aaron wasn't showing enough of himself or his personality. Nipa's dish didn't have a strong enough curry flavor, and Shane had a little breakdown when he was asked how he felt about his food. His response was that he holds himself to a very high standard, and that a little piece of himself goes out with his food to be judged. In the end, Cory was sent home because she wasn't showing enough of herself.
Story by Kristin M. Koltz
Starpulse contributing writer