Monday, May 14, 2012

"Food Network Star"- EIGHTH SEASON PREMIERE

This season begins w/ three teams of five, one for each mentor. Ultimately, for the first time since Amy Finley's winning season, you will decide who becomes "The Next FNS" & will have their show produced by their mentor.

TEAMS:
BOBBY FLAY: Malcolm Mitchell (a private chef from Washington, D.C., Kara Sigle (a catering company owner from Chicago), Michele Ragussis (an executive chef from Brooklyn, NY), Eric Lee (an executive chef from Petaluma, CA who quit his winery job that he had for the past 10.5 years to be on this program) & Nikki Martin (a restaurant consultant from West Hollywood, CA)
GIADA DE LAURENTIIS: Philip "Ippy" Aiona (an executive chef from Kamuela, HI), Yvan Lemoine (a chef from Maspeth, NY & originally from Venezuela), Linkie Marais (a cake artist/baker from North Attleborough, MA & originally from Cape Town, South Africa), Josh Lyons (a sushi chef from Jupiter, FL) & Martita Jara (a food consultant from San Diego)
ALTON BROWN: Cristie Schoen (a movie caterer from New Orleans who grew up in Biloxi, MS), Martie Duncan (an entrepreneur from Birmingham, AL), Judson Allen (a chef from Chicago who weighed as much as 350 lbs. back when he was in college), Emily Ellyn (a hospitality instructor from Orlando) & Justin Warner (a restaurant owner/chef from Brooklyn)

First Star Challenge: Each team had $5K & 24 hours to build their own restaurant (also, six hrs. were put on the clock to cook). They also needed to do a live two-minute presentation to the guests & food network.
Guest Judge: Robert Irvine (who got married to multi-time & current women's wrestling champion Gail Kim last weekend)

Half shopped at Whole Foods Market, while the other half went to Restaurant Depot.

MENUS:

the tasting space:
Michele: Steamed muzzels w/ chorizo- TOP DISH
Nikki: Bed of Wild Rocket w/ roasted corn tossed in an orange blossom vinaigrette
Malcolm: Shrimp & grits w/ a tomato-based sauce & lobster stock
Eric: Free-form mushroom lasagna
Kara: Carmelato cookie w/ whipped cream

Do South:
Cristie: Black bean & cabbage puree- DUD (it was described more of as a dip instead of a soup)
Martie: Deviled eggs w/ giant green beans under them- DUD (not enough flavors)
Justin: Kail salad w/ red pepper, parsnip & Marilyn Croutons
Judson: Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Etouffee- TOP DISH
Emily: Bourbon Peanut Butter Pie

BLU (California-inspired):
Josh: Fried Nori dumpling soup w/ a Dashi base- DUD (oily & poorly executed)
Ippy: Warm mushroom salad w/ pistachio vinaigrette & pickled radish- TOP DISH OF THIS EPISODE
Yvan: Snack-sized meatballs w/ toasted pine nuts, shallots, fennel & goat cheese
Martita: Poblano Chilean Rice w/ a pan-seared & oven-roasted salmon filet- DUD (rice was too conservative)
Linkie: California Key Lime Pie

WINNERS- tts
BOTTOM TWO- Josh & Cristie

FIRST PRODUCERS' CHALLENGE: Make a half-hour Mother's Day brunch & a one-minute presentation. As of this season, those up for cancellation/elimination must enter the all-new Pitch Room.

Josh: Frittata w/ oregano
Cristie: Browned Scottish egg "omelet" w/ turkey- FIRST CANCELLED THIS SEASON

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