Food Network Star recap: Who has told her last story?


In this week’s Food Network Star recap, one finalist has told her last story. Did the right finalist get sent home or did everyone lack a clear concept?

For one finalist, this week’s Food Network Star recap was her last story. Did the judges make the right choice this week or should another finalist have gone home? As the competition gets closer to the finale, only one person will claim the prize. Which finalist do you think has the chance of becoming the next Food Network Star?

As a Food Network personality, these talented chefs need to combine their point of view with trending topics. For example, creating a recipe based on a new movie is becoming quite popular. In this week’s first challenge, the finalists had to create a recipe based on a character from Hotel Transylvania 3.

When it comes to these types of challenges, the finalists need to be creative yet not force a pre-conceived idea into the challenge. Of course, the finalists should have a few go to recipes in their back pocket. But, if that recipe doesn’t work for this challenge, the finalists should think of something else.

Jess only wanted one character. When she didn’t get that character, she still forced her recipe to fit the new character. Her soup might have been tasty, but it had nothing to do with her character. It was a huge mis-step.

(Left to Right) Guest Judge Fran Drescher with Hosts Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 14. photo provided by Food Network

Somewhat surprising was Amy’s performance. Even with her previous experience, Amy has been struggling with her presentations. In this movie-themed challenge, Amy was relatable and very watchable.

More importantly, Amy’s tip and recipe collaboration was spot on. The idea of infusing blood orange into whipped cream was smart and worked well for her character. Amy won this challenge and got an advantage for the second challenge.

This first challenge is a great idea for home cooks, especially families. Sometimes kids aren’t willing to explore new foods or flavors. Creating a themed dish based on a favorite movie or character can get them to explore more flavors. A kid might want to try a blood orange whipped cream but not a bowl of blood oranges. How food is presented does make a difference.

For the main challenge, the finalists had a head to head challenge. In this challenge, each person created a proof of concept video based on a particular theme. Amy, as the previous challenge winner, was able to choose her theme and assign the titles to the other finalists.

The three themes for the proof of concept videos are ooey gooey, stackable snacks and cheat days. Truthfully, the cheat days concept was probably the easiest one of the three topics. Who can’t think of a indulgent recipe for a cheat day?

Amy choose cheat days for herself. Also, she was rather strategic in choosing the other finalists’ topics. It was smart to keep Christian away from ooey gooey. Also, she did try to pair stronger competitors against each other. Overall, she choose wisely, but did these choices help to secure her spot in the next round?

(Left to Right) Contestants Jess Tom and Katie Dixon with Hosts Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis alongside Guest Judges Loni Love and Alex Guarnaschelli during the “Take This Title and Run With It” Challenge, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 14. photo provided by Food Network

Looking at this challenge, the finalists need to show growth. As the finale approaches, everyone should be getting better and stronger. While these topics might not be the finalists’ favorite choices, they need to be able to adapt. Every Food Network personality should be able to find a way of adapting her point of view into a cheat day.

This challenge saw one favorite stumble. So far this season, Christian has excelled. He is a strong chef as well as a watchable personality. With the topic of stackable snacks, he was a little flustered. While he found a dish that worked, he wasn’t up to his normal standards.

First, the artichoke dish sounded really delicious, especially with the lemon mayonnaise. But, Christian didn’t seem confident in this dish or presentation. With a video that was too laid back, he didn’t have the normal spark that people want to see. Sure that food might taste great, but the home viewer doesn’t have taste-o-vision. Christian’s performance was disappointing.

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Palak had the most improved performance. Actually, the best part of her presentation was the audible crunch from the samosa. Who didn’t want to try one of those stackable snacks when you heard that crunch? Overall, her story was captivating, too.

When it comes to Palak, I want to see more energy. While some of her dishes sound yummy, her personality can be a little bland. I want more zing. If her food is going to be spicy and bold, her personality needs to match.

For me, the bottom two videos were Jess and Amy. I am still shocked that Amy is in this competition. Her cooking talents are impressive. Every challenge shows that she can out cook almost anyone. Unfortunately, her on-camera persona isn’t consistent.

In the cheat eats segment, Amy choose to go less guilty and more healthy. The approach was creative but she didn’t drive the concept home. When people want to cheat, they want the food to be a calorie bomb. Sure, the idea of cheat every day is curious, but Amy didn’t sell it well.

Jess’s video presentation was disappointing on both the food and the presentation components. First, ooey gooey should be sticky, sweet or even just messy. While she was trying to bring international sauces and flavors into this presentation, her food choices didn’t really apply to the topic. Her sauce didn’t quite live up to the ooey gooey level that it needed to be.

Contestants (Left to Right) Katie Dixon and Jess Tom during the Hotel Transylvania 3 Challenge, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 14. photo provided by Food Network

Also, the choice of coconut rice for this topic was a little strange. I never thought that rice should be gooey. Doesn’t that description mean that the rice is overcooked? I think that Jess should have picked a different recipe to showcase this topic.

More importantly, Jess’s video presentation lacked the descriptive qualities that viewers expect from the food novelist. As a person so talented with words, this video seemed to lack the eloquent words that fans wanted to hear from her. Her words needed to paint a food picture. In this challenge, her words seemed to fail her.

Unfortunately, Jess told her last story on this week’s Food Network Star recap. After doing so well on last week’s judging episode, it was disappointing to see Jess stumble. Hopefully, fans will get to read more from her in the future.

Looking at the remaining finalists, I’m still betting on Christian making the final. As for the other finalists, I think that Manny has a shot, as long as he doesn’t stumble on his words. Also, there is some reason that Amy is still around, but I’m not sure why. Still, my money is on Christian.

Next: Great Food Truck Race heads to the Wild West

Who do you think has a chance to win it all on this season of Food Network Star? Check back next week for another Food Network Star recap.