Food Network Star S9 E5

FNS9banner 555x173 Food Network Star S9 E4

The latest season of Food Network Star is underway 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.  It’s a frickin recap, yo!

Live TV: Food Network Stars often participate in live TV events where they’re required to think on their feet and react to any situation thrown at them. Special guest, Terrence Jenkins, from E! News, will host our finalists as they do live cooking demos — with some curveballs. Then the finalists participate in “4th of July Live,” a one-take interactive show that helps the viewers at home with must-have recipes and tips for summer parties.

Last week Lovely went home.  So far there have been few surprises.  The judges award wins to the people who were clearly the best.  They also eliminate the people who were clearly the worst.  That is refreshing for this show.  Kudos Food Network.

Now for my take on each:

AXON Andres Guillama s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Eliminated week 2.
AXON Chad Rosenthal s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Chad didn’t really handle the curve-ball well.  Not his best moment.  The Star challenge started off a little shaky as well.  Luckily his food was aces.  That might be enough to safe him this week.  Top 3.
AXON Chris Hodgson s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Chris handled the sabotage well but geez dude stop screaming.  Overall a good job.  As was his Star Challenge.  He’s making strides from where he was in the beginning.  Is it too late though?  It doesn’t help when the food isn’t great and his wasn’t.
AXON Damaris Phillips Horizon s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Damaris is adorable even in the face of adversity.  She did well with her sabotage.  Her Star Challenge was a little rough but her energy, as always, was great.  Her drink went over well.
AXON Daniela Perez Reyes s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Eliminated week 1.
AXON Connie Lovely Jackson Horizon s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Eliminated week 4.
AXON Nikki Dinki s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Nikki shut down when the fire alarm went off during her demo.  It happens.  It happened to me.  Her Star Challenge was okay.  Just okay and okay doesn’t cut it on Food Network.  Her food was good.  Top 3.
AXON Danushka Lysek Horizon s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Eliminated week 3.
AXON Rodney Henry s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Rodney excelled when his sabotage hit.  He turned a weakness into a strength and earned the win in the first challenge.  His Star Challenge was not as good nor was his food.  Had he not won the first challenge he might be going home.
AXON Russell Jackson Horizon s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Russell’s handling of the sabotage was excellent.  His Star Challenge was not good but he nailed the commercial throw.  His take on potato salad fell a little flat with the judges.  Bottom 2 finish.
AXON Stacey Poon Kinney s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Stacey handled her curve-ball like a pro.  She was smooth and charming.  Her Star Challenge was a grand slam.  One of the best performances in the history of the show.  Her food wasn’t perfect but the judges seemed to agree it was the best so far.  Will this translate into a win?  Yes!
AXON Viet Pham s4x3 lead Food Network Star S9 E4
Viet totally lost it in the live demo.  That was painful to watch.  Star Challenge started off well but then he hit the wall when a caller asked him his three favorite dips.  His smoked crab dip failed as well.  This could be the end of the road – bottom 2.

The person who will NOT be the next Food Network Star is…
StarBanner Food Network Star S9 E4

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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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