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NFNS - Ep 1

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So the first episode is over. And they put the contestants through the following test:

Five teams of two. Each person on a team had to make a single dish, plus collaborate in a team dish. 30 minutes. So one team, three dishes, thirty minutes.

Now let me ask you. If this were done on Top Chef would you say normal or excessive amount of work in too short a period of time? Ok, and now take it down to these compartively lesser skilled contestants on NFNS.

Fair? Or insane?

In case you're wondering, I say insane.

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  1. agreed. too little time to see who was any good - but they don't really care who can cook. they care who can look good on tv.
    it's not necessarily all bad, it's just different.

    1. 30 minutes for 3 items on 9 plates just doesn't seem like enough time. Also, some of the teams made what seemed like elaborate dishes.

      The salmon sandwich looked the tastiest out of all the others.

      1. Who got cut? I missed the last 10 minutes.

        25 Replies
        1. re: stolenchange

          I turned it off about halfway through, just after the teams had been chosen and they were planning their menus. But the foodnetwork.com site indicates Cory (the stand-up comic) was cut -- they have a video exit interview, which isn't working for me. Too bad -- despite flunking the on-camera one-liner, and without seeing any of her food, my impression was that she could do a good job. Likeable but not Disney-sweet.

          1. re: momjamin

            she was surprisingly bad in the explanation part there too. and it seemed her food wasn't good. her weird thing about "trendy" food didn't come off well although i could see her point about using items at home that are currently popular on restaurant menus that people might feel less comfortable with. it was just strange that someone so used to the spotlight froze so completely - she seemed SO nervous.

            1. re: AMFM

              The woman that got the boot reminded me of Lisa on top chef. Always frowning and scowling. At least with Top Chef you can hide her in the kitchen.

              I'm sorry, but nervous or not, she in no way had a personality that I'd tune in to watch.

              It's gonna be amusing to watch what happens to the "Diva from Dallas".

              1. re: meadandale

                "It's gonna be amusing to watch what happens to the "Diva from Dallas"

                Prada and Manolos what a concept ;-D. Maybe she's the one that's really there for the comic relief...

                1. re: meadandale

                  Cory Kahaney had no chance at being funny. You can't compete with someone like the Dallas Diva.

                  Question for you Francophiles...
                  Did the Dallas Diva pronounce "degustation" correctly?
                  The way she said degustation just sounded so phony.

                  1. re: dave_c

                    Sounded phony?!?!? The WHOLE package is about as phony as you can get. She's about as "real" as Lee Press on Nails.

                    Stilettos in a kitchen? Come on...Anyone want to take bets on how many episodes before she trips and falls. No serious chef or foodie would work in a commercial in 3" heels. It's not safe, it's not practical and it's also not healthy for your feet, legs, hips or back.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I just can't watch this show. It's a farce if they actually allow someone in a commercial kitchen like this (although a stage set isn't a "commercial kitchen").

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        It may be a sound stage and not a *real* commercial kitchen, but jeez, what kind of insurance liability is it. God knows I'm all for style, but not at the expense of my own safety and others.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          I completely agree, DD! However, if they want personality, she certainly seemed to be one person with a lot of it!

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            I don't know, did you really think she has personality? Caricature yes, but I'm not really sure how much of her was real and how much was a contrived act.

                            I got a chuckle out of Booby Flay's remark about wanting to hang with that one guy because he seemed like a genuine sort of guy. Do you really want to hang out with Lisa? If she survives more than another week or two maybe she'll be the Amorosa of the NFNS ;-)

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              I didn't watch a whole lot of the show - just in passing. Although I did see her "entrance" in the heels and thought "diva!" - that's what I meant by personality. More fluff, less substance - seems to be perfect for TFN. So it looks like she lived up to the 20-30 seconds I saw of her. And "Omarosa of NFNS" is very descriptive. Maybe I'll watch next weekend. :-)

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Oh, I had the same reaction to her entrance, which I agree had great impact. In fact, I even said, "oh my god, it's a diva" to the person who was watching with me. It was a good entrance, unfortunately, she didn't live up to it. Now, had she been a real heavy weight with some really fine cooking chops this would have been quite a delicious cat fight. Instead we got a Junior Leaguer out of her league. Smug and self righteous gets boring very quickly.

                                Do watch next week, this year's crop of cheftestants is a lot more likable right off the bat than last year.

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  well said. and i agree there are a few more likable ones than before.

                      2. re: DiningDiva

                        <Stilettos in a kitchen? Come on...Anyone want to take bets on how many episodes before she trips and falls. No serious chef or foodie would work in a commercial in 3" heels. It's not safe, it's not practical and it's also not healthy for your feet, legs, hips or back>.

                        and besides that, it is NOT ALLOWED!

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          I agree, but clearly it's *is* allowable at FTV.

                          1. re: DiningDiva

                            man did i want to smack her. so holier than though too. and don't get me wrong, i like my sex in the city as well as my chow and giving back to the community and all but.... come on. :)
                            and only katie holmes looks cute in that hair.

                            1. re: AMFM

                              The have in the commercials some one slipping and falling in the kitchen with dark hair. Odds say it's diva with the heels!

                            2. re: DiningDiva

                              lol! and they say it is all about the food! this has to be to see when (not if) she will go on her duff.

                            3. re: ChefJune

                              "bets on how many episodes before she trips and falls."

                              not sure when it happens, but it does. it's in the general network promo for the show, and i can't wait to witness it in the midst of a challenge.

                              i'm thinking it's karmic retribution for her line last week, "and i did it all in a dress and heels!"

                              ridiculous, especially coming from someone who claims to want to make things more "approachable" for her audience. the core food network demographic is hardly a bunch of divas posing in the kitchen in manolos & designer duds.

                            4. re: DiningDiva

                              Nevermind

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                In the previews for the season they show her falling on her bum while running in the kitchen. Not sure which episode that will be, but it's coming soon!

                              2. re: dave_c

                                Couldn't have been more screwed up of a pronunciation. Also, anyone pick up on the fact that she has no clue what deconstructed means?

                          2. re: momjamin

                            I didn't watch but saw smidges in passing as hit the "up" button on my remote. A stand-up comic was one of the contestants??? So - what credentials as a cook or chef does (or did) she have? Do they actually have anyone who has any cooking chops?

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              They've got a couple CIA grads and restaurant owners, a hospital "executive catering chef," a single-mom self-taught executive chef, people who have a variety of media experience (acting, college-cable cooking shows, radio food contributors). The stand-up comic has some formal food training, but I forget the nature of it.

                              1. re: momjamin

                                That at least seems a bit more promising than in past seasons. Wonder if they vetted everyone's CV this time. ;-)

                        2. Way to short of a time I thought.

                          I liked that they only had 10 contestants and did a fairly good job of introducing them. After just one episode I seem to already have a good feel for them and even remember some of their names. It was pretty predictable however. I was very clear to me that the comic and the make-up girl (Lisa, I think) were on the chopping block.

                          I liked this guy Kevin. He seemed real comfortable in front of the camera and cooked fairly well. I also liked the 19 year old CIA graduate. He lost it in front of Bobby and started crying. I felt bad for him because you could see this really means a lot to him.

                          I also thought it was funny that Giada called one girl's act "over the top." I said what??? Your sitting next to the Neely's and your talking over the top! Get a grip! I like the contest element so I'll watch, but like someone else said, I probably won't watch the winners show - if they get one that is.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: JackieChiles

                            Kevin's a local for you. You can listen to his radio show on 103.7 FM in San Diego.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              Ah, I see. I must have missed that. Not much of a radio guy, except AM talk, but that would explain why he appeared comfortable on air. I noticed they focused on him a lot as well, but that may have been just because he got paired with the Diva from Dallas.

                          2. cory also botched the promo where they had to explain their cooking philosophy in a sentence or 2; no excuse since she is suppsoed to be quick on her feet and comfortable performing as a stand up comic
                            Lisa from Dallas should be the next to go; she's was pretty weird and doesn't seem to relate well to the judges or other cheftestants

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: amykragan

                              I was really rooting for Cory even though she did poorly. I would have liked to see her succeed. Wonder why she was so nervous or intimidated. Good potential (host-wise) we never even had a chance to see. Oh well.

                              1. re: Icantread

                                I was really bummed Cory went. I understood why she went, and I agree with the choice, but I've seen her standup before, and she is really funny. I don't know what happened. You know if you're going to be on NFNS, you prepare your "culinary point of view", signature dishes, etc., over and over again and come in prepared. Maybe since she's been on TV before she felt like she didn't have to and then it smacked her in the face? I don't know. But I'm bummed.

                                I'd like to see the diva girl and the spice girl go, and soon. Both too cocky for their own good.

                                And I like the mom. I get why people think glazed carrots were too easy, but baby carrots are a staple in my kids' diets, and I think that's why she did it; it really is "on message", so to speak.

                                1. re: dagwood

                                  But would you watch a television show in which they made glazed carrots and the like?

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    I don't watch much on FN anymore, but to answer your question (sort of), I do think there is a place on the network for somebody cooking meals that would appeal to both adults and kids, and if glazed carrots with dill were part of that meal, that would make sense to me. Would I watch a half hour show where all they made were glazed carrots? no.

                                    I also think the notion of taking something kids will usually eat (baby carrots) and giving them a slight twist (glaze & dill) introduces kids to new flavors through foods that are already familiar to them, which is a good way to go about it, I think. I think that is what she was trying to do, but I don't think she conveyed it well.

                                    1. re: dagwood

                                      ina garten makes a lot of foods like that and i love her. she just executes them very well.

                                  2. re: dagwood

                                    I'd like to see the Dallas Diva stay a little longer. Her, unintentional, entertainment value is priceless. I wonder if that makes me a bad person for enjoying her presence... same with the American Idol reject episodes.

                                    The spice girl can go... she's so clueless that she's thinking things are rosey. That quote about bliss comes to mind.

                                2. re: amykragan

                                  I'm with Alton. I still don't know what Dallas Diva was trying to say her philosophy of cooking style is. Something bizaare about it having to do with community service or something.

                                  Maybe she's a felon <EG> the way she kept saying "community service".

                                  1. re: HarryK

                                    It made no sense for what she was supposed to be saying. She's trying to throw everything at you incoherently when it's not her place. Community outreach may be a part of her show (not a bad idea). But is FN going to do a show on how to cook for community service?

                                3. Is it just me or did the Neelys also seem nervous to give any real feedback to the contestants?

                                  15 Replies
                                  1. re: spkspk

                                    The Neelys seemed nervous, yes. But maybe because they're the new kids on the block. They probably felt they were in some major company there too!

                                    Thing is, didn't all the regular "stars" there seem to scowl and look all evil? I know it was probably very stupid editing and probably really wasn't like that but to me every time a team came out and the camera swung to the table of judges they all looked freaking hostile, didn't they? Anyone else see/think that? Weird!!

                                    1. re: HarryK

                                      The judges did all seem very unhappy to be there, especially Giada. She's always so upbeat, so it was noticeable that she was kind of grumpy. And I did find it funny that she singled out the tiny bubbly girl as being "too much". Competition perhaps?
                                      Beyond that, Lisa the diva was just bizarre...I mean who would come into a kitchen dressed like that to cook? And her "philosophy" made no sense at all.
                                      As for Cory who got the boot, she was terrible. She kept saying that her comedy had to be a part of her cooking, but that the judges didn't want it to be. They never said that at all. They said her comedy should be a part of her philosophy, but that it never came through. She seemed morose and depressed for the most part and froze both times she got in front of the camera!
                                      Nipa's "confidence' is going to be the end of her. Even after Bobby Flay told her to reign it in, she walked upstairs and said she knew she wouldn't be going because she's the "spice girl".
                                      And lastly, while I liked the personality of the "executive chef mom", she couldn't come up with something more interesting than glazed carrots? That was her signature dish? Oy!

                                      1. re: sibeats

                                        While glazed carrots aren't the "it" dish for me, they fit in very well with her cooking style - and I think the judges liked that.

                                        1. re: kprange

                                          No doubt, but if you were up there to impress those judges with your signature dish, wouldn't you have chosen something a little more challenging than glazed carrots? Seems a little oversimplified, even for a potential FN show.

                                          1. re: sibeats

                                            agreed. as hung likely would have said last year on top chef, even a monkey could make glazed carrots.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              she could have at least bought proper size carrots and cut and peel them---

                                            2. re: sibeats

                                              I know that preparing 9 plates in 30 minutes would force me to make simple dishes - especially for the first challenge. I know I would not have chosen glazed carrots as my kids hate carrots. I probably would have made a pesto - very simple and my son's favorite food.

                                          2. re: sibeats

                                            Nipa is intolerably cocky. I would blame the editors for making her look like that but she is the one that repeatedly say it.

                                            She needed to be smacked at the end when she said she "knew they wouldnt kick off the spice girl". Cant wait to see her get the boot- do you think she could really have a show people would watch?

                                            1. re: yankeefan

                                              i'm with bobby flay...her overconfidence is really unappealing. and i'm not quite sure where it comes from considering that they didn't even like her dish, and the "spice girl's" food apparently lacked spice.

                                            2. re: sibeats

                                              "The judges did all seem very unhappy to be there, especially Giada. She's always so upbeat..."

                                              you must not have seen giada judge last season's military challenge. she was a total b**ch.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                I remember Giada in the last show - she didn't like the girl with heels - you know the one who made the jerk chicken with no jerk.

                                              2. re: sibeats

                                                "The judges did all seem very unhappy to be there, especially Giada. She's always so upbeat, so it was noticeable that she was kind of grumpy."

                                                The filming was in February, wasn't she about 8 1/2 months pregnant at that time?

                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                  If the timing is right that sure as hell would explain at least her attitude!

                                                2. re: sibeats

                                                  I feel Giada's off camera personality is a bit serious. She was a guest judge last season and she came off pretty stern and sometimes catty in her remarks about people.

                                                3. re: HarryK

                                                  I would have been hostile too with a group like that. Hoping they shape up.

                                              3. So far Kevin's my favorite. He has experience as a restaurant chef and I think he's totally hilarious. But I think his theme of romance in the kitchen might not stick through the series, the judges' might tire of it I predict. So he needs to refine it or refocus it I think to be successful.

                                                I thought the 30 minute challenge was a bit crazy to make three dishes. I felt it was a Top Chef quickfire challenge TIMES THREE!

                                                It's weird too that Bobby Flay is supposed to be the new host of the show but he didn't really seem to have much to do, it was almost like he was still a guest judge.

                                                http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: singleguychef

                                                  Hey singleguychef .. very interesting ... you compared it to three quick fires ... I instead compared it to an Iron Chef competition and figures the Iron Chefs had it a lot easier!

                                                  http://www.tvchefsblog.com/tv-show-re...

                                                  "Totally nuts — especially when you compare that to what a seasoned Iron Chef goes through, namely: five dishes in 60 minutes with the help of two sous chefs all used to the kitchen. That’s right an Iron Chef has a much much easier time with having to complete 2.5 dishes within 30 minutes having a total of three people, not two, of whom both are skilled, experienced helpers who the head chef knows well. Oh and don’t forget the probably twenty years of culinary experience behind just the main chef, probably collectively with the two sous chefs it would be over forty years experienc …."

                                                  1. re: HarryK

                                                    That's an interesting comparison too. And BTW, I totally agree with you about the "lack of Flay." Yeah, he's like the main guy in the promotion photos but he did the same thing he did last year as a guest judge, which is just eat and comment and help make the final cuts. But when is he going to "host"?