Food Network Star 2012-Giada Still Gorgeous, Flay Still Nasty, Alton Still Snobby. The contenders are great.

Pic of Day  

So since the last article on the Next Food Network Star- the contenders have had to visit eateries in the New York area and fashion dishes similar to the restaurant and area of their visit. The contenders have also had to prepare a sweet snack with the ingredients in a picnic basket that were a surprise. Finally, the contenders served meals by the runway during New York's "fashion week".

For the restaurant visits, it's intriguing because the Food Network mentors went to areas and eateries that are in line with their own heritage. Giada's team went to Little Italy. Alton's team went to the Jewish lower east side. Flay's team went to Harlem, a place where barbecue is king.

The contenders were charged with preparing a meal based on their visit and describing the result.

Brandy Kissed Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Crumble by Linkie
Alton's team came up with puffed pastrami (Martie) and matzo meatloaf (Emily). Bobby's team concocted some catfish sliders (Michele), and a cheese turnover with a side of espresso caramel (Eric). Giada's team produced a fish serviche (Martita) and a batch of ricotta cannoli(Linkie).

It's difficult to believe that political correctness run amok to the point where reality cooking food shows have contenders tossed for using politically awkward verbiage. But Kara got the boot and she did refer to a cook at a restaurant as "black" which she later awkwardly changed to "African-American". Not saying that's why Kara got the boot but she was the one sent home.

I don't much like the challenge which include a bunch of weird ingredients that have the contenders trying to make something from mismatched foods.

One team's basket, for example, included kumquats, hershey kisses, graham crackers, tomatoes and pancetta. This was Alton's team and while there was no official team winner, judges Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson did mention that in their opinion Alton's team did the best.

I think it a big waste of time to watch someone cooking something with hershey kisses and tomatoes with kumquats. No sane person will likely ever make such a thing and I do enjoy learning from these shows.

The contenders still did yeoman's work with the weirdness and some intriguing results came from the FN kitchen, to include fried popcorn(Josh), some sort of Japanese dish called "tampuda"(Ippy) and cupcakes with fried pancetta (Emily).

Josh, the rock musician cook, finally ran out of time on this series. He's given awful presentations, served oily soup and been up for elimination twice.

Some of the Food Network Star Bloggers suggest Nikki is the one to watch on this series. However Nikki was put up for elimination by Bobby on the picnic basket desert challenge so I'm not sure she'll run away with this thing.

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All of the mentors have had a contender eliminated, leaving each now with a team of four each. It's almost too convenient.

Eric got the boot on the fashion runway challenge of making new dishes from old standbys.

I'd suggest viewers keep an eagle eye on Ippy and Linkie because, first, they deserve a break with those names. But these are the two contenders that I note have received profuse praise from the judges for either their food or their presentation, sometimes both.

It's early yet so these predictions are suggested with a whisper. Both of these contenders are on Giada's team and yes, I do expect her team to win this.

Keep an eye out for Justin on Alton's team as well. Justin won ten thousand bucks on the 6/3/12 fashion runway challenge. He's one to watch.

Food Network Star 2012 Begins; Let's Take a Look At How It Begins

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