Food Network Star recap: Words can make you hungry


In this week’s Food Network Star recap, the Food Network hopefuls had to make listeners crave a delicious meal using just their words.

This week’s Food Network Star recap tests these hopefuls in a different way. While the Food Network Star contestants must be able to create dishes and expertly cook them, they need to be able to use words to describe that delicious food. Even though food can be a highly visual medium, words can make you hungry.

Have you ever read a menu and started to crave that particular dish? A smartly described dish can be the difference between a successful dish and one that doesn’t make the cut. In this Food Network Star recap, the hopefuls take on a growing food medium, the podcast.

Joining Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis this week is Top Chef winner and celebrated chef Richard Blais. Blais has a very successful podcast, “Starving for Attention.” This podcast blends food and entertainment in a way that is both entertaining and educational.

Hosts Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Guest Host Richard Blais during the Podcast Challenge, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 14.

For this podcast challenge, the contestants worked in pairs to create a dish that was just one color. These colorful dishes needed to be both creative yet stick to a specific color palate. Can any of these contestants convey how delicious their colorful dish is just with enticing words?

This challenge was an easy one for Adam. Since he has a podcast, the challenge was his to lose. Luckily, is partner, Jess, was equally impressive. The two contestants were able to paint a colorful picture of their dish for the listening audience. While the actual dish may not have been visually impressive, the verbal descriptions were a huge selling point.

For the most part, the podcasts were entertaining and the dishes adhered to the challenge. A few of the podcasts were a little disappointing. Truthfully, the teams that worked well together were able to put together an enjoyable show. Still, these Food Network hopefuls need to step up their game. Being able to explain the whats, whys and hows are part of conveying food authority. A picture doesn’t always convey the whole story.

The team winning the podcast challenge was Adam and Jess. Their reward was the ability to choose their team for the elimination challenge. This type of advantage is huge. No one wants to have a weak link in a team challenge.

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In the main challenge, the two teams had to create a field report on the various restaurants at Los Angeles’ Proud Bird, a food bazaar. These types of food television shows have become a favorite on the Food Network. As food travel increases, viewers love seeing the great local places to have a special meal. Even locals can appreciate a hidden food gem.

While the two teams were talking about the same location and food stalls, each team had a very different approach to the challenge. Although both teams had positive aspects, the team that worked well together had a definite advantage.

The second team (aka the people not chosen by Adam and Jess) felt that they had something to prove. While their segment to segment transitions were strong, personality conflicts got in the way. Rebekah kept taking time away from other teammates. Although everyone wanted her personal segment to be good, it was a team challenge. Unfortunately, Samone had her nerves get the best of her. The long wait allowed her to overthink the segment.

One of the most noticeable stumbles in this group’s segment was Manny’s description at his pizza stall. Pizza crust isn’t buttery or flakey. Even though he only had one take to get the segment completed, this mistake is a big blow to his food authority.

The “dream team” picked by Adam and Jess had big personality and smart commentary. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any transition between segments. It was quite disjointed. Even though the segments were good, it looked like each segment was a separate show.

Overall, the “dream team” had a good show. Unfortunately, Jess needed to make her commentary more concise. Her story didn’t really get to the point, which is disappointing. Also, Adam was a little to informative versus entertaining. The segment ended with a little flat.

Contestants Manny Washington, Rebekah Lingenfelser, Palak Patel, Christian Petroni, Katie Dixon, Samone Lett, Adam Gertler, Jess Tom, Harrison Bader and Amy Pottinger, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 14.

The winning team was the “dream team.” Overall, their show was more watchable. Although there were faults, it was good.

The losing team had some high points. Harrison did really well. He is quite watchable and he conveyed his authority. Even though Rebekah didn’t truly pick a food out of her comfort zone, she had great personality on camera.

But, the other team members all had faults. Amy never ate her food. Manny made a huge mistake with his description. Samone never let her personality come through.

Samone was the hopeful who was sent home this week. She wasn’t able to control her nerves and showcase both her knowledge and personality. Unfortunately, Food Network Star isn’t the time to work on those qualities. She needed to be confident going into the cooking competition.

After this episode, I would watch Christian as a front runner. He seems to have a strong grasp on both the personality and food authority. Also, he has a strong cooking technique and knowledge. These characteristics should have him go far in the competition.

Other potential frontrunners are Harrison and Adam. These two competitors have the on camera persona to take them far. I really hope that one of the women contestants starts to step up their game. A little confidence can go a long way.

Next: Aspiring bakers love Baked in Vermont

What’s up next for Food Network Star? Check back next week for another Food Network Star recap. Do you have a favorite going into next week’s challenge?