Next Food Network Star 6 EP 3 – Review

Dzintra Dzenis on WannabeTVchef.comSorry I’m late this week.  I was spending Father’s Day with my Dad.  Priorities.

I have this theory.  There are certain contestants that shows like NFNS cast simply so the audience has no problem with them being eliminated.  Sure, they may be likable but they really don’t stand a chance; they’re “ratings fodder.”  That’s where Doreen and Alexis fell.  Both very likable but neither seemed ready for the big show.  Then there are some that the execs are confidant will be around to the end.  That would be Aria, Aarti and Herb.  Some, if things go right, could also make the finals like Brad, DAS and Serena.  Folks who, though talented, have a tougher row to hoe than the favorites.  The next person eliminated should also fall into the “ratings fodder’ category, my guess it will be Dzintra.

Herb continues to make the rounds with his live-webcast-watching-parties visiting a different Atlanta restaurant each week as long as he is on the show.  This week he live-casted from Cameron Thompson’s Two Urban Licks in Virginia-Highland and he was joined by fellow NFNS contestant and Atalanta resident, Brianna.  It’s a neat experience, you should check it out prior to each episode.

The big challenge was hosted by Guy Fieri (winner of NFNS 2) and the task was to cater a dinner for Grammy winner Colbie Caillat.

My thoughts:

Dzintra Dzenis – Has survived the first two weeks solely because Alexis and Doreen were even worse.  She is just so whiny and so full of excuses.  When she was paired with Aria, I felt sorry for Aria.  My guess is, she’s gone by episode’s end.  She has cringe factor about her.
Doreen Fang – went home week 2.
Alexis Hernandez – went home week 1.
Brianna Jenkins – She can cook but her personality is at best dull and at worst abrasive.  This week was no different, her personality just grates at people.  Who’s going to watch that?  Brianna accidentally stepped on Serena’s foot, possibly breaking it.  Serena didn’t say, “Behind,” as is customary in a professional kitchen.  It’s how accidents are avoided.  At the same time you never step away from a workstation without looking first to see if someone is cutting through behind you which Brianna did.  Therefore the incident, though mostly Serena’s fault could have been avoided had Brianna been aware of her surroundings.  So it didn’t go over well when Brianna said she didn’t feel bad about hurting Serena.  The only thing keeping her on the show is all of the “ratings fooder” this season.
Aria Kagan – The human roller coaster.  Blew the doors off the judges week one.  Tanked pretty hard week 2.  Very warm, very friendly and solid in the kitchen.  Dzintra’s chaos had Aria on the edge of getting kicked even though she had a good week.  But she was safe.
Herb Mesa – No way he isn’t the favorite at this point.  Herb was not happy with his performance in the first challenge.  However, his work with fellow Atlantaian Brianna was top notched.  Their food was very good and Brianna’s cold personality just made Herb’s infectious personality shine all the more.  Tuschman called them his “Dream Team.”
Serena Palumbo – The queen of hyperspeed.  Sereana didn’t know that kitchen etiquette says you never walk behind someone without letting them know you there.  Serena found out why when Brianna stepped back from her work station.  Serena fought through the pain of what might have actually be a broken foot.  Maybe it was the foot that allowed her to let Paul bring her down to his level.
Tom Pizzica – I wonder if he hasn’t already given up.  Not on the show, on life in general.  Tom seemed to enjoy himself this episode which is an improvement but his lackadaisical style allowed him to screw up his food which was unfair to his partner DAS.
Aarti Sequeira – If she can just pull it together in the confidence department she’s a serious challenger.  Her confidence was better and her food was solid.  She’s still in there.
Darrell “DAS” Smith – Finally had a good challenge last week.  The charm and the cook met and it was the hip, young host Food Network would like to bring in the younger crowd.  DAS continues to learn to balance “cool” with cooking.  He gets better each week.
Brad Sorenson – Still the best pure cook in the competition but last week had a good presentation and his food failed.  Better personality again this week.  But again it seems to have effected his food a little.  On one dish he made a bad choice of cut for dish and it ended up tough.  He just needs to be himself.
Paul Young – Easily at the top of everyone’s “gotta go” list.  He’ll be staying around for a while.  Why?  Because he has nothing to offer but being someone who people hate.  His personality is very abrasive and his cooking is even worse.  There is no reason for Paul to have ever been invited to this show except that they wanted someone for people to hate.  He comes across as the type of person who blames everything that goes wrong in his life on other people.


“In it to Win it” Quotes – 0.

Number of people crying – 2.

Number of WTF moments – 4.

Who should win based on what we’ve seen so far: Herb

Who will win based on what we’ve seen in the past: Aarti

Winner(s) Team: Brianna & Herb.

Updated “gotta go” list: Brianna, Paul, Dzintra, Serena.

The finalist who will be going home is . . .

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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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2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
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2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
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2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
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2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
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2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
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