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Jun 28, 2009 08:38 PM

Next Food Network Star..ep 4 "spoilers"

First of all...I thought everyone who works in a kitchen knows to say "behind you" when you come up behind someone who has their back to you. It was the Korean chicks fault that she got smacked.

I am real tired of the bug-eyed, big-mouthed vegetarian. I think this explains why she can't cook meat. She must be a vegetarian.

Crappy ass kitchen they had to work in...bad stove. Unbelievable.

Not sad to see Teddy go.

The perky blonde will probably win...she seems like the typical food network star.

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  1. Debbie milked the accident for all it was worth. I'm sure that it hurt. But for all her trauma and pain there did not seem to be any mark what so ever.

    20 Replies
    1. re: Withnail42

      Oh, you noticed that too? Back in the day I was knocked with a hot sheet pan much like she was. I still have the (albeit faint) scar to prove it. Maybe she's either a fast healer, had a great makeup job to conceal it, or maybe it wasn't as bad as she made it out to be :shrugs:

      1. re: Withnail42

        Now I saw a bruise on her cheek during evaluations. I agree about the kitchen and saying behind you. There sure were some terrible dishes out there. I thought for the most part that I could have come up with some kind of meal with the ingredients given. I too would have had a problem with the blueberries and lobster.

        1. re: kprange

          seriously - that lobster/blueberry combo was like somethin you'd see on chopped - altho apparently the rules didn't say you had to use them together!
          I liked the idea of Tamika's dish, don't know how it would have turned out w/o the stove issues.
          Glad Teddy is gone - he had some serious integrity issues!

          1. re: jujuthomas

            The rules didn't say you had to use them together? Then he should have made lobster rolls and served the blueberries in a smoothie or fruit salad on the side. The idea of lobster pot pie with blueberries in it was not a good one. If I had had to put those ingredients in one dish I would have tried a lobster salad with blueberries and other fruits in it, maybe with a nice citrus vinaigrette.

            1. re: NYCkaren

              I'm just guessing there, based on what the other contestants made.. your idea sounds MUCH tastier! I think he panicked.

              1. re: jujuthomas

                I agree - his just didn't sound good at all. I also have another question. Did he chop those lobsters up while they were still living?

                1. re: kprange

                  It looked like they were still live. They had the rubber bands on the claws and they definitely were not cooked (lobster shell turns red after cooking). I was surprised that he'd do that, and that they'd show it. But he must have been in a big rush.

              2. re: NYCkaren

                Well, they were told that they had to use all the ingredients in one 'all-american dish', so a fruit salad on the side may not have gone over so well with the judges.

                It seemed to me that the balance of the challenge was way off. Lobster, smoked salt and blueberries are something that require a lot more skill to combine successfully than kielbasa, cheddar, and beer (Jamika's basket). Melissa's basket also featured several things that could go together in any number of ways. They have to conceive the dish in like 10 minutes, and execute it in what looked like a pretty crappy kitchen. And Jeffrey started with live animals that needed to be dispatched, butchered, and cleaned, while Jamika (for example) started with kielbasa that was most likely already cooked, and Melissa started with skirt steaks that were ready to go.

                Having had a while to think about it, a lobster ceviche may have worked, or maybe a 'surf and turf' with the lobster on one side and some kind of red meat and blueberry preparation on the other?

                1. re: Buckethead

                  I agree that Melissa and Jamika had a way easier task than Jeffrey. I would have felt bad if he'd gone home last night. But I do give Melissa credit for knowing she wasn't that familiar with the peppers and taking the time to taste all of them before she started cooking with them.

                  1. re: NYCkaren

                    The look on her face was priceless! You could tell she really didn't like them much. :)

                    1. re: jujuthomas

                      I would have had the same look - peppers aren't my favorite either.

                      1. re: kprange

                        Whether you like or dislike hot peppers, pretty much anyone who munches a raw scotch bonnet (which I think I remember seeing) is going to make the same face. There was an Iron Chef America 'Battle Chili' a while back, Morimoto doesn't use peppers and was unfamiliar with them so he did the same thing Melissa did: tasted each of them. His expressions were priceless.

                        1. re: Buckethead

                          Ok, who cooked with a pepper last year on the show? someone did and didn't try the pepper - whoever it was admitted to not having cooked with whatever peppers they were given before.

                          1. re: kprange

                            Didn't Aaron use chipotle but didn't know what it was?

                            1. re: jules1026

                              I think that is what happened....and he has his own show. Go figure!

                              1. re: kprange

                                And didn't he make 'coke in the van' too?

                  2. re: Buckethead

                    Ceviche isn't exactly a Maine type of food.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      I agree that Jeffrey had a more difficult basket than the other competitors. I've had lobster with mango before and thought it was quite delicious. Perhaps some butter poached lobster with blueberry sauce?

                    2. re: NYCkaren

                      He freaked out and couldn't think how to use the fruit in combination with the lobster... you're right - blueberries are lovely in a simple green salad and it's a perfect accompaniement for lobster.

                2. re: Withnail42

                  I don't doubt that Debbie got cracked in the cheek, but given her earlier questionable integrity (not taking responsibility for two really bad desserts -- the angel food cake and the instant pudding), I'm not surprised she played it for all it was worth.

                  I'm not impressed with her. There are only three "finalists" that I would consider:
                  Melissa (the perky blond) who I give real credit to as a "home cook."
                  Jamika who seems to be very articulate and has created some nice looking dishes
                  Michael if he can gather himself in front of a camera.

                  I thought Jeffrey was a contender, but he seems to be a one-note pony: sweet, spicy California style and can't find his own voice. Still possible, but I doubt it.

                3. I wasn't surprised re Teddy either (I was figuring it was either him or the guy who made the lobster monstrosity). There are some people who are simply wonderful cooks who just don't belong in the media for numerous reasons...he's one of them.

                  1. Melly wrote: "The perky blonde will probably win...she seems like the typical food network star."

                    I agree. But if you consider each of them in turn, I can't imagine watching any of the others in a weekly show of their own. Certainly not "the bug-eyed, big-mouthed vegetarian." We already saw how (un)succesful that kind of person would be when the "gourmet next door" won. How long did her show last, three episodes.

                    And how about the big gay guy with the hat? FN already has Guy Fieri. How 'bout Kamika? No way, Sunny Anderson already has that gig. The Korean girl? I don't know -- she's a nice enough person but she seems to have a limited repretoire. She also has a few extra pounds, but that didn't stop Paula Deen, Alex Guarnaschelli, or Ina Garten. Finally, Jeffrey. He's a good cook, but doesn't seem to have any charisma.

                    So, like Melly, I think Mama Melissa will win.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: lscanlon

                      I agree - melissa is my front runner as well. I think she really started to pull it together last night.

                      Oh. Bobby Flay said in the Eval last night "you are the last 7 people on the planet to have this opportunity"... is there not going to be a season 5? Does anyone know?

                      1. re: lscanlon

                        Not to be picky, but its "Jamika," not "Kamika." And Amy's show "The Gourmet Next Door" actually lasted a full season. When they went to re-up her, she declined, having moved herself and her family to France.

                        I like Jamika's personality - have ever since they started running those Culinary School at the Art institute commercials a while back. Just not sure how she'd fare in the network's rotation.

                        Jeffrey? Seems nice enough, but too "teacher-like" and not enough passion about the food.

                        Melissa could very well replace the niche Sarah Moulton once covered. I like her, like her style. Hopefully it wouldn't become a "Mommy cooks" type of show.

                        Everyone else, including Debbie, who I initially liked, I'm "meh" about.

                        1. re: rocks67

                          I like Jamika very much. Aside from half of the Neelys, I don't believe there is another female African American host on FN, so that works in her favor. But FN also could use an Asian host, and I think Debbie has a decent shot. She's lively and fun.

                          Melissa is growing on me, and as long as I had confidence that her cooking was as professional as the others, I might watch. I liked Jeffrey initially but agree that his Zen persona is getting a little stale. I wouldn't watch a show by any of the others.

                        2. re: lscanlon

                          Jamika has some pounds on her too...she is pretty large but dresses for it. It hasn't hurt Paula Deen or Mario...although I guess he has shed a bunch! Paula has gained quite a few since she's been on-air.

                        3. I'm just watching the epi now and my thoughts are:
                          -Debbie's accident was her fault by walking behind someone who is pulling a hot pan out of the oven. She needed to be more aware, speak up when walking behind anyone in the kitchen and not blame the incident for a poorly-conceived dish. Also, I get that she's Korean and that makes her different, but using it is cheap. You either have the chops or you don't.
                          Teddy-he tried, but he's not relatable and his presence didn't come across.
                          Melissa-he personality and cooking are spot on and I think she's the one to beat right now.
                          Jeff- I just don't know if I'd tune in to see him-can't quite put my finger on it.
                          Jamika- I cringed when she put the potatoes in the blender. A couple pulses, OK. Blending them into glue-yikes! I thought the dish was poorly conceived as well as executed. It was way, way too simple and she didn't appear to even try to honor the ingredients and make them shine. A casserole? Sure, it's comforting, and you can throw cheese on shit and make it taste good. Her presentation and persona are great, however Melissa outcooks her.
                          Katie-I actually think she redeemed herself quite well after the raw turkey burger incident. I would have tried to make sliders to cook them quicker-amateur mistake and I just can't see her as someone I'd learn from. Not at all.
                          Brooklyn Dude Michael-I think TFN missed the boat by not giving last season's runner up to Guy (black man, large, very funny and sweet) a show. That guy had "it" and was/is great on camera-a far better choice to fill the gay niche.

                          1. Oh I so agree with you on the "healthy" cooking lady. I'm surprised she has lasted this long. At the end I think it will come down to Melissa and Jeff, with Melissa winning. What I'd like to see next time is a Food Network Star where all the 2nd place folks return, like Jag, the black gay guy, etc. I think that would be very interesting. Even though Jag dressed up his resume, it didn't hurt Irvine much :)

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Proud2BWLVRebel

                              The thing about TNFNS is that the cooking is secondary to how the "star" interacts with the camera and their perceived audience. Michael is a terrific cook and a funny endearing personality but he freezes on camera. I think Jeffrey could be a good laid back host, like Michael Chiarello (sp?) Jamika is not a wonderful cook and she should have been thinking about how her white on white dish would look on a magazine cover. That said, her personality is engaging and her face draws me in. If Melissa does win she will need to learn some more culinary tricks and stop talking about what her kids like.

                              1. re: lucyis

                                A little bit about Melissa's kids would be OK but she'd need to find the right balance. I wasn't interested in the time she didn't go grocery shopping because she'd splurged on Easter dresses for the girls. Yawn. But I think she has potential.

                                1. re: NYCkaren

                                  Frankly I'm sick of all the little stories (which the judges tell them they need) they tell to show their "connection" to the food. Did anyone really believe Michael's goofy macadamia nut story? That they always ate peanuts because that's what you ate if you lived in the Bronx/Brooklyn/wherever and one day their dad brought home macadamia nuts and their heads almost exploded in joy.
                                  If you put a gun to my head I couldn't come up with a macadamia nut story. Although I do have a cashew story.

                                  1. re: dmjordan

                                    I could've come up with a better Hawaiian Nut story for Michael but it would have only been for a chosen few. :)

                                2. re: lucyis

                                  I don't think Michael has a funny endearing personality. I think his personality is too big and is just too much - it, to me, eclipses the food and I find myself wondering what type of city slang is going to come out of his mouth. .

                                3. re: Proud2BWLVRebel

                                  Up 'til now I have to say that the "right" people have been eliminated. I think healthy-lady is almost certainly next.

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    If you listen closely, the judges are signaling who goes the following week by their comments. Based on that, I think Healthy Chef is next.