Next Food Network Star, Week Seven

The show opens at the house Aarti worried about being on the bottom. Tom, says six people left makes things very intense.

Food Star Kitchens, Giada is standing in front of a table of six Kellogg’s cereals. Breakfast time? Not quite. To assist Giada, in explaining the challenge, out comes Melissa D’Arabian, winner of last season’s competition.

Melissa tells the challengers that her life has changed so much since she’s won NFNS, she’s now a working mom and doesn’t always have the time to shop. This means she has to fashion a meal out of what’s in the pantry and the Camera Challenge today is to make dinner with breakfast.

Aria- Crispix-Hopple Popple Frittata with Crispix Potato Pancakes
Brad-Rice Krispies Rice Crispies Encrusted Tuna with Cucumber Salad
Aarti-All Bran-Quinoa pilaf
Tom-Rice Crispies-Corn Flakes and Pecan Crusted Pork Chops
Serena-Cocoa Krispies-Pork Meatloaf with Cocoa Crispes
Herb-Froot Loops- Froot Loop Encrusted French Toast with Latin Sausage

The challenge is tight-20 minutes to get a dinner on the table and 30 seconds to present to camera.

Herb is first and he makes his story personal and introduces his new concept, Cooking Con Sabor. (I’d watch that). The judges like the food and the presentation

Aarti takes about Quinoa being a protein and was polished, and they loved the texture. Melissa says Aarti is a natural on camera.

Serena starts off by singing and Bob cringes. She doesn’t even name her cereal properly. The presentation is forced and phony.

Aria doesn’t even tell them what Hopple Popple is, the dish is unattractive and the food didn’t taste good.

Tom runs out of time for his presentation, but the food was well received.

Brad had fun with Rice Krispies, but he didn’t have enough time to describe anything other than Hoisin sauce. Melissa says she wanted to go buy Rice Krispies to get the texture he got on his tuna.

Tom was told he was nearly insulting to the audience, Serena that she was insincere and Aria that her presentation and her food were unappetizing. Aarti wins the presentation.

For the second part, Tom finds a note that tells them that they’ll be taking the vans to an undisclosed location. The six are taken to a place that looks like a garage, but it’s an exclusive supper club, Smog Shoppe.

Bobby meets them and they’re told they’ll be cooking for 40 foodies. Aarti is the team leader for the challenge and her concept is that they present “My LA,” with each contestant picking a part of the city to represent.

Aria does Santa Monica and makes a carrot and cardamom soup
Brad does a lamb chop with a white bean ragout to represent downtown
Herb does a flan-but the pans are too short
Serena does Pasta Alla Norma for Beverly Hills
Aarti represents little India and makes a Green Curry Chicken and Naan

Aria comments in the voice over that she wants to make Aarti crack. So, as Aarti is introducing the concept to the people, Aria interrupts her. This is the SAME thing that Dzintra did to her. It doesn’t trip Aarti up, but the look on Susie’s face make it clear that they knew what Aria was doing. Aria says “We’re working as a team, but my food needs to come first.” Aria’s presentation was mediocre, the soup wasn’t carrot-y enough and she was deemed forgettable.

Serena is up next, and she is frazzled. She also is making pasta for the seven weeks in a row. Serena was rushed and overacting. If you play the “I am from Italy” drinking game, then drink up, Shriner!

Tom has Thai Twon and makes a Seared Cod broth with Bok Choy, and he’s over used soy. He knows the dish is horrible, so the presentation is also horrible. Everyone was expecting heat from Thai food.

Brad has downtown, so he does a spiced lamb that’s medium rare. He waits until the last minute to grill, then finish the chops in a convection oven to finish and he finds the Blodgett ovens are not working, so he scrambles to get it done-ultimately putting them back on the grill.

He’s worried that they won’t be done, so Tom suggests cutting them and flashing them on the grill top. His presentation starts cool and easy, but he blanks out and ends with a head scratcher, probably because he was relieved that the food turned out okay.

Aarti’s presentation and food are perfect and she has charmed the 40 people at the table, the people at the table saying that she gave good flavor and good story.

Herb ‘s got a Flan and the pans were too small, plus he was working on everyone else’s stuff that they were inedible. The presentation was wonderful, but the Flan was overcooked.

Evaluation time.

Aarti was told she was relaxed and did a great job. Bob raves about the Green Curry.

Aria was told her soup wasn’t smooth and that she’s falling to the middle. Susie called her out about the interruption and was admonished that she kicked off the event in a bad way. Bobby also criticized what she does.

Brad is told that his food is great, but he doesn’t know his point of view and in talking about himself he finds a potential POV.

Herb is commended for his presence, but his flan was horrible.

Serena is called out that she didn’t knock their socks off and she has not made any progress on any of the points they’ve been addressing the past six weeks.

Tom was told that he came off that he wasn’t taking it seriously. The soup wasn’t good, either. Presentation and food was at the bottom.

The winner for the week is Aarti, with Brad and Aarti winning the supper club challenge. The remaining four are on the chopping block.

Aria has been stuck in neutral, Herb’s new POV is loved and they want to see more, Serena hasn’t delivered anything new or exciting and they’re not ready to give up on Tom.

Herb is safe. Aria is safe.

And Serena…

Goes home.


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