Food Network Star S9 E2

Food Network Star 9

The latest season of Food Network Star has premiered and the latest round of wannabe TV chefs have begun their quest.  We’ve seen first impressions and heard what the judges think but what the world really wants to know is what I think.  Let’s do this.

If you haven’t seen tonight’s episode STOP!  Watch it HERE first and then come back.

Burger Bash:  I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like burgers.  I don’t trust them.  A burger bash is right up my alley whether it be judging or competing.  The top 3 contained two familiar places in Chad and Stacey who were joined by Russell just one week after he avoided elimination by the hair of his chiny chin chin.  The bottom 3 featured one familiar face, Danushka who was joined by Andres and Nikki who kind of pulled an anti-Russell going from first to worst.

Hey!  Check this out, click on the banner below and you can download my anthology of Food Network Star interviews for FREE.  This deal is for Monday and Tuesday only.

Now for my take on each:

Andres Guillama
Andres had a good first week.  His focus to teach guys how to cook did not go over well.  His presentation was kind of clunky.  His POV is schizophrenic.  His burger was not well received.
Chad Rosenthal
Chad was solid out of the box. No sophomore jinx for Chad as he pulled off another top 3 performance.  His Memphis burger went over extremely well.
Chris Hodgson
Chris’ performance last week was quite disappointing.  This week he continued to struggle.  He ran out of time on his presentation.  Not good.  His burger on the other hand was good.  Not amazing but pretty good. His downfall is presentation.
Damaris Phillips
Damaris was an enigma.  She has a bizarre type of charm.  She really should try to do as the committee says.  For some reason people did not gravitate to the pimento cheese burger.  That’s crazy.  They’re awesome.
Daniela Perez-Reyes
Eliminated week 1.
Lovely Jackson
A good showing last week for Levely.  Her presentation was fun and interesting if a little forced.  She’s likable.  Her food was not okay.
Nikki Dinki
Nikki hit a home run in week one.  She was really put behind the eight ball in this challenge being that she’s the “veggie with a side of meat” girl.  Her presentation seemed fine but did not go over well.  Her burger wasn’t good.
Danushka Lysek
Danushka had a rough start but survived elimination.  This week was more of the same.  It is clear that the Network brought Danushka in to be the person everyone loves to hate.  She isn’t disappointing.  Being hated is what is keeping her on the show.  Hate = ratings.
Rodney Henry
Rodney had a very good first week.  Pie Burger?  Man can he talk fast.  He needs to reign in the tempo when speaking.  So did the pie burger work?
Russel Jackson
Russell bombed last week.  Not so this week.  Russell had the most amazing turn around this week with a performance that landed him a top 3 finish.  He had the best burger of the day.
Stacey Poon-Kinney
Stacey was really, really amazing in the premiere.  Tonight she proved that she is a big time contender.  Great energy and food.  She’s outstanding and so was her food.
Viet Pham
Viet had a very good first week.  I love the idea of the bahn mi burger.  Very inventive.  A great job!  It was top 3 caliber.  His burger was pretty darned good too.

The person who will NOT be the next Food Network Star is…
Food Network Star: The Wannabe TV Chef Interviews

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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