Next Food Network Star Week Four
The lucky seven file into the Food Network kitchens to find Bobby, Susie and Bob. If they're in the kitchen, there has to be a challenge, and this week's is to create a burger for Bobby's new restaurant in Connecticut, Bobby's Burger Palace. Each contestant has twenty minutes to make a burger that capture a region of the United States.
Some contestants dive on this with great ideas. Others seemed like same old, same old.
Michael-Mulberry Street Burger-Burger stuffed with Mozzarella, grilled with pancetta on both sides and topped with basil and tomato and served on garlic bread
Melissa-Burlington Burger-Heavy on the Vermont cheddar cheese, and some turkey chili on top. (YUM again)
Jeffrey-California Burger-Hot and Sweet again with roasted chiles and fruit
Katie-San Fran Market Burger-a turkey spinach burger
Debbie-Seoul Burger-Boyagi burger, Korean BBQ burger
Teddy-Pennsylvania Burger-a bunch of fresh veggies and cheese
Jamika-Bayou Burger-Cayenne spiced burger with sliced sausage beneath it
[What would Suzanne Serve? In a nod to the 16 years in Maryland, the Chesapeake Burger. Beef seasoned with copious amounts of Old Bay, cheddar cheese and a remoulade sauce]
All the concepts sounded good, but Michael's sounded like the clear winner right out of the gate. Teddy described his burger and well, it sounded like more BS-he was clutching at straws. Considering his restaurant serves upscale bar food, the fact that he didn't have a clear vision is troubling.
Katie seemed on top of her concept and it was worthy of trying out-too bad she didn't have a hot grill. She tried to cook them in the oven. Note to Katie-that oven had a broiler feature-that would have worked better than baking.
Presentation time-Teddy once again sounds like a smarmy late night tv huckster and the burger was too big, Jamika was channeling Teddy by sounding like a commercial, Melissa made me want to come through the TV for that Burlington Burger, Michael was a bundle of nerves but the food shone through, Jeffrey seemed distracted and his food showed it, Debbie presented well, but the burger didn't bring enough Asian flair for the judge's liking and well, Katie has done the ultimate in faux pas-her burger was raw.
Bottom two are Katie and Jamika, and top two are Melissa and the winner of the challenge Michael. His burger will be featured on Bobby's menu.
At this point, it seems like Melissa found her inner cheerleader, the one saying "Are you going to let those guys say you can't do this? You know you CAN!" Meanwhile, rock steady Jamika and Jeffrey have shown they can stumble, too.
Time for part two. As seen in the previews, they're ushered onto the USS Intrepid. Guy Fieri comes out and announces the challenge-cook a meal for homecoming soldiers and their families, with a basket of goodies from a specific state. The winner of this challenge will get their recipe featured on the cover of USA Today's Weekend magazine.
It's not clear how those seven baskets are assigned, but each contestant has three ingredients that must be incorporated into their dish.
Hawaii-Michael-fish, pineapple and macadamia nuts
Wisconsin-Jamika-cheese, beer and kielbasa
Arizona-Melissa-skirt steak, chili peppers, and honey
Maine-Jeffrey-Lobster, blueberries and ??
California-Debbie-Chicken, almonds and Cabernet Wine
New York-Teddy-Duck, cream soda and something else that isn't what I think of when I think of my home for 21 years!
Katie-Catfish, turnip greens and squash
There was a mishap in the kitchen towards the end of the challenge. Michael grabs a sheet pan and spins around, hitting Debbie on the cheek. One, first rule of kitchens is to say "Behind", which Debbie did not. Two, be glad that wasn't a hot pan coming from the oven that tagged you.
Michael shows his strength is playing off a live crowd, he charmed them and his food was solid.
Jamika stumbled, when her potatoes weren't cooked through, she used the food processor on them. WTF, that's the recipe for GLUE!
Jeffrey had no clue what he was going to do and it showed. He had a lackluster presentation and a lobster pot pie that was not well received.
Debbie's meal was considered bland, and she is seen post accident whining "I'm not sure if I can finish this." It seemed like she was playing it up to an extent.
Katie's food was middle of the road, her presentation was heartfelt-and the audience thought she was the girl next door.
Teddy comes off smarmy once again. It's painful to watch the guy checking the stuff he wrote on his hands(!!) to remember what he's going to say! Dude, this isn't a Chemistry final, it's a cooking competition. You know, the thing you're supposed to ace.
Melissa's light shines when she talks to the crowd. The meal wows the crowd. What's interesting is that she does not normally cook with peppers, so she tasted all the varieties and lined them up by heat to determine how to best use them in her dish.
Elimination time. Not surprising, Melissa wins the challenge and immunity. Girl, I'm glad you threw down the gauntlet. Next, Michael and Debbie are told they're safe. We've got four in the bottom, who are quickly ushered out of the room to allow the judges to deliberate.
Interestingly, when each finalist is critiqued, they hear 'You need to work on' and that's a good indicator that the person is safe. One person didn't get that tell tale instruction, and I posted to Facebook as soon as I heard Teddy's critique, because he didn't hear those five words.
Commercial break and back to the four on the chopping block. Without much tension, Bob said "Teddy, I'm sorry, you are not going on." A quick glance at Katie's stunned expression and out we go.
Next week, look for the run of people screwing up worse than Katie to end...