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The Next Food Network Star, Season 5


jumanggy
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I'm embaressed to say I'm still watching this.  Caught just the last 15 minutes of last nights episode--just enuf to see Debbie lying AGAIN and the judges called her on it too, but yet here she still is in the running.  Is that network just wanting to lose every bit of integrity?  Every year I watch less and less of this channel and actions like this are not helping.

I stopped watching it. Based on what I've seen so far I won't be wasting my time watching "The New Food Network Star" whoever it will be this year. I was interested in Jeffrey's recipes until he served crab salad with store bought potato? chips. Where did FN find these people? Not one of them seems to have cooking know-how or teaching ability. I wish them all well, but I hope they have other ways to earn a living.

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The challenges are often ridiculous on this series, and last night's episode was a great example of it. I realize that they were trying to add some sort of Iron Chef twist to things, but, these people were trying to make something to get on Red Lobster's menu, and they had plans. (not that it's such a great honor, really)

Aside from showing demeanor, what was this really about? Do FN shows start taping on-script about one topic and suddenly lose a bunch of ingredients and the host has to make a new menu up on the spot? Does the network change the star's recipes in the middle of taping? Is this really how Bobby Flay's shows are taped? I suspect that Bobby would explode in a violent fit of anger if someone strolled by his set and took half of the spices for a dish. (I remember how ticked he was that the cameras showed his girlfriend during the Iron Chef rematch in Japan.)

I'll also bet that that the camera operator probably knows how to turn the camera off and wait until more product is sourced before re-starting the tape. And, although they don't care to admit it, they apparently do have an editing crew.

I actually only watch any food network shows occasionally now, because the content has been dumbed down to the point of celebrating ignorance in the kitchen rather than attempting to give any real education of any value. And, most importantly, they have lost sight of the real food network star: FOOD!

The casting call for next season is out there and casting is happening right now. I find it ironic that they say they are seeking chefs and culinary school instructors, when they refuse to provide a venue for substantial content.

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The challenges are often ridiculous on this series, and last night's episode was a great example of it. I realize that they were trying to add some sort of Iron Chef twist to things, but, these people were trying to make something to get on Red Lobster's menu, and they had plans. (not that it's such a great honor, really)

Aside from showing demeanor, what was this really about? Do FN shows start taping on-script about one topic and suddenly lose a bunch of ingredients and the host has to make a new menu up on the spot? Does the network change the star's recipes in the middle of taping? Is this really how Bobby Flay's shows are taped? I suspect that Bobby would explode in a violent fit of anger if someone strolled by his set and took half of the spices for a dish. (I remember how ticked he was that the cameras showed his girlfriend during the Iron Chef rematch in Japan.)

i seriously felt this last night, especially as they kept cutting to the FN execs and flay, who all seemed to be openly laughing at the contestants' struggling to regroup after the rug had been pulled out (yet again). i get that this is a "sink or swim" sort of thing, but really? would you want to portray yourself as so overtly mean-spirited if you were on the panel? also, they hammer on "what's your culinary point of view???" and then they remove any vestige of that pov from the ingredients available to the contestants...and they want them to teach something, too? i don't get it. and why anyone would sign on for this now, after 5 seasons of this, and only mr. fieri to show for it? (oh, i guess the guy from last season has a show---never seen it.)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I enjoyed watching them out of their elements. They wanted to challenge them.

I cannot believe Melissa didn't kill everyone with habaneros. Those things are deadly -- I won't even look at them at the store for fear they will burn my eyes.

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Ugh.. You will need to strap me to a chair and prop my eyes open a la Clockwork Orange to make me watch these people if they get a show...

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Ugh.. You will need to strap me to a chair and prop my eyes open a la Clockwork Orange to make me watch these people if they get a show...

Dan

I think they are better than previous seasons -- last year, there was the woman with short hair, the goofy guy that still got a show, and Big Daddy.

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Ugh.. You will need to strap me to a chair and prop my eyes open a la Clockwork Orange to make me watch these people if they get a show...

Dan

I think they are better than previous seasons -- last year, there was the woman with short hair, the goofy guy that still got a show, and Big Daddy.

They are better this season, and they finally got rid of that liar!!!

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Last night Bobby Flay gave some really poor advice while judging a contestant. In noting that Jeffrey only used about 1/3 of the money allotted for his meal, Bobby said that what he personally would have done was buy about 5 lobsters and use their broth to run fragrance everything, like his risotto. But, not actually serve them. We've seen this on the original Iron Chef, Battle Asparagus -the judges kept complaining that they wanted to eat the lobster. In short, this method does not respect the ingredients and won't get high marks from judges who know what they are doing.

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I watched the most recent episode via DVR - I've missed a lot of the inbetween episodes but have vivid memories of Debbie's many stretches of truth - I particularly thought she threw one of the guys under the bus with the dessert thing so I am glad that Debbie is finally off and surprized she lasted that long.

What got to me was Melissa's introduction during her dinner presentation. She spoke well, from the heart and to my mind, sincerely. I would probably watch a show she was in.

The other guy, not so much. He's nice and likeable enough; just not as compelling. Maybe because the last time I watched I heard him say the same thing about his daughter and cooking on Saturdays - for all I know he's told other stories on all the episodes I haven't watched! It's like when you watch a TV show that you are never around to see when the originals air, but you catch the same stupid re-run any time you DO get to watch it!

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I watched the most recent episode via DVR - I've missed a lot of the inbetween episodes but have vivid memories of Debbie's many stretches of truth - I particularly thought she threw one of the guys under the bus with the dessert thing  so I am glad that Debbie is finally off and surprized she lasted that long.

What got to me was Melissa's introduction during her dinner presentation.  She spoke well, from the heart and to my mind, sincerely.  I would probably watch a show she was in.

The other guy, not so much.  He's nice and likeable enough; just not as compelling.  Maybe because the last time I watched I heard him say the same thing about his daughter and cooking on Saturdays - for all I know he's told other stories on all the episodes I haven't watched!  It's like when you watch a TV show that you are never around to see when the originals air, but you catch the same stupid re-run any time you DO get to watch it!

You know, Melissa has something I like. Her story moved me and she seems very real. She must have some cooking chops because Francois Payard loved her pastries.

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I have been cheering for Jeffrey and am glad he made it the final 2. I could not believe how long they kept the less-than-credible Debbie around. She seems to be able to cook but not to own her mistakes and short-comings IMO.

As far as actually being a star: that status has to be earned. In my reworking of the title the winner will be the Next Food Network Host. It will be up to them, then, to show the chops that will make viewers watch them and want to continue watching them. That is what will make them a star IMHO.

I watched part of season 4 and have watched season 5 strictly (ok - so hate me) for the entertainment value.

I watch 2 shows for the actual cooking: Good Eats and Everyday Italian. I don't watch much else on the FN because the most of the shows bore me to tears.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I thought it ironic that Tyler Florence reamed the woman (Jamika?) who suggested boiling the used marinade for a sauce to save money. Two weeks ago I saw Anne Burrell suggest exactly the same thing on Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on FN.

Well, who is probably the higher caliber chef, here? I would vote for Ann for sure.

Edited by KensethFan (log)

--- KensethFan

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I liked Jeffrey's pilot episode best. But, he's not a perky blonde....

Oh well, this competition is pretty pointless. The committee of judges chooses someone to fit their pre-existing mold, it's a formula for blandness.

Judging from several challenges over the years, it's clear that the winners are simply destined to be presenters of material created for them in the FN kitchens. They are not being looked to as a source of unique recipes or techniques. They are simply there to lull the viewer into accepting more non-challenging pap.

Melissa's show Ten Dollar Dinners begins airing on Sunday at 12:30pm. (I notice that she wastes money on plastic bags for her breading station.)

I was surprised to see that Scripps has started another food website called Food2. They are currently featuring Kelsey from Season 4 along with Spike from Top Chef.

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I liked Jeffrey's pilot episode best. But, he's not a perky blonde....

Oh well, this competition is pretty pointless. The committee of judges chooses someone to fit their pre-existing mold, it's a formula for blandness.

Judging from several challenges over the years, it's clear that the winners are simply destined to be presenters of material created for them in the FN kitchens. They are not being looked to as a source of unique recipes or techniques. They are simply there to lull the viewer into accepting more non-challenging pap.

Melissa's show Ten Dollar Dinners begins airing on Sunday at 12:30pm. (I notice that she wastes money on plastic bags for her breading station.)

I was surprised to see that Scripps has started another food website called Food2. They are currently featuring Kelsey from Season 4 along with Spike from Top Chef.

Good grief - Kelsey? Even worse then Food Network 1. Although, I do like Spike!

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Throughout the show this season the judges seemed to make a greater effort to push the "it's all about the food and flavor" speech. I suppose some viewers actually thought that food and flavor would be the main factor that would influence the judges in naming "The Next Food Network Star." And, I suppose, I wanted to think that was true--that food and flavor and cooking ability would trump over looks, brands, smiles, and assumed "Star" power. Yet I knew in my heart that was a hopeless thought, as validated by some of the forgotten "Next Food Network Stars" of the past--maybe they could cook but their brand didn't have staying power. And as we've seen in the past, the best "cook" doesn't always win.

I'm a skeptic by nature, and my initial sense is that the kitschy graphics and cloppy music of "Ten Dollar Dinners" will only be the latest in a line of assembly-line Food Network shows. The theme of cooking a dinner on the cheap might be slightly different than "Meals in 30 Minutes," or "Semi-Homemade," but is it really something unique, something totally new that we haven't seen or already view on the Food Network? Seems like the tired, same basic formula to me.

Then again, what do I know? I'm not within the main advertising demographic of Food Network viewers. My favorite show on Food Network is "My Life in Food," an obscure show that most people probably haven't even heard of.

I hope Melissa will find success on Food Network. What a great opportunity for her and I recognize her for what was obviously an arduous, stressful competition. Good luck Melissa. Please prove this skeptic wrong.

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I was glad, of the final two, that Melissa won. I don't know what it is about Jeffery, but he just irked me all. season. long. I also think Melissa improved SO much throughout the whole season. I would've preferred Jamika, personally, but they did the typical FN thing where they keep people with more "personality" but several missteps on and toss someone who has a single bad week.

My mom and I also have a problem with the challenges. There's no way that any of these situations would come up unless they did totally live shows. The one where they were on the morning show was probably the closest to reality. But I guess that there wouldn't be much of a competition if every week were just scripted, strictly controlled shoots.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I'm soooo tired of listening to the judges and Food Network people keep hammering the contestants for their "Point of View". As evidenced by the past winners and runners up and the shows they've gotten, the contestant's POV is completely immaterial. Aaron McCargo certainly didn't do a show about institutional food, even though he was formerly a hospital cafeteria chef. My buddy Adam Gertler knows BBQ and smoking technique, yet that had nothing to do with "Will Work for Food", which I thought was a fun show but had absolutely nothing to do with any point of view he demonstrated during the show, or his areas of expertise in cooking. It's all marketing and what the producers at Food Network decide will be the next big thing. Why not just be honest about that and stop the crap about POV??? I'm not watching anymore because of this crap...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Right! My POV is that NFNS is a dumb show that serves the purposes of FN.

As far as I can see, NFNS exists to fill airtime and to hype the next questionable "star" that they plan to launch. In a practical sense, the shows serve as a sort of internship for aspiring TV chefs, who, by then end, have perhaps acquired a TV style and have become adept at cooking for the camera while spouting inanities in a pleasing way.

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Sooo...did anyone watch the new show?

I did. It's a little bit of an odd, "Gourmet Cooking For Under $10" show. Surprising number of references to her life in France, for a network that in the past has looked down on that type of stuff. She made an interesting potato/bacon/gruyere/cream gratin encased in pastry that looked delicious but had a zillion calories, plus salad and an applesauce granita. Also threw out a lot of tips that I think most people would find useful.

She seemed very nervous.

I would call it an OK start.

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Sooo...did anyone watch the new show?

I did. It's a little bit of an odd, "Gourmet Cooking For Under $10" show. Surprising number of references to her life in France, for a network that in the past has looked down on that type of stuff. She made an interesting potato/bacon/gruyere/cream gratin encased in pastry that looked delicious but had a zillion calories, plus salad and an applesauce granita. Also threw out a lot of tips that I think most people would find useful.

She seemed very nervous.

I would call it an OK start.

I thought it was ok - the tart looked good, but since when is her culinary pov under $10? I thought she was about the terrific home cook who could balance the kids and the great cooking.

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Sooo...did anyone watch the new show?

I did. It's a little bit of an odd, "Gourmet Cooking For Under $10" show. Surprising number of references to her life in France, for a network that in the past has looked down on that type of stuff. She made an interesting potato/bacon/gruyere/cream gratin encased in pastry that looked delicious but had a zillion calories, plus salad and an applesauce granita. Also threw out a lot of tips that I think most people would find useful.

She seemed very nervous.

I would call it an OK start.

I didn't see it, but you've mentioned something that got me to thinking about a previous "star". Wasn't there a winner two years ago named Amy Findley (sp), who did a couple of shows with a "my time in France and cooking French easy," sort of loose theme. Whatever happened to her?

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I didn't see it, but you've mentioned something that got me to thinking about a previous "star". Wasn't there a winner two years ago named Amy Findley (sp), who did a couple of shows with a "my time in France and cooking French easy," sort of loose theme. Whatever happened to her?

Yes. She was the contestant the the judges criticized for playing up her time in France thinking it would come across as snooty and would alienate viewers. The story was that she decided to quit after doing her six episode stint. She's no longer with the network.

Edited by rickster (log)
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