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NFNS 7/17 with spoilers

smartie Jul 17, 2011 07:20 PM

Whoo hoo Penny has gone, and Jeff (I think that was his name). Penny can cook but she sure wasn't likeable.

This season is not especially entertaining for me, the formula is repetitive.

  1. DiningDiva Jul 17, 2011 07:26 PM

    Actually, it's Chris that's gone not Jeff

    1. r
      rasputina Jul 17, 2011 07:30 PM

      No not Jeff, Chris.

      I must say I'm surprised they booted Penny since Jyll did poorly this week. Not that I'm complaining.

      bye bye!

      3 Replies
      1. re: rasputina
        chicgail Jul 17, 2011 09:19 PM

        I'm a terrible person. What comes first to mind is "ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead!"

        1. re: chicgail
          jeanmarieok Jul 18, 2011 06:35 AM

          OMG - I almost posted exactly that, last night, but I thought it might come off as too mean spiritied. But exactly what I was thinking - ding dong the witch is dead!!

          1. re: jeanmarieok
            pdxgastro Jul 18, 2011 11:42 PM

            Me 3! :o)

      2. a
        AMFM Jul 17, 2011 07:41 PM

        i like susie more each week. i don't care if she cries and tells me her family story like they seem to. i just like her food and her way of presenting it. i love mexican food - i might watch. no one else would i watch.

        6 Replies
        1. re: AMFM
          The Dairy Queen Jul 17, 2011 07:46 PM

          Agreed, Susie is getting more and more appealing. I didn't need her touching emotional story though.

          It was about time Chris went home. I don't see how he lasted as long as he did. I really thought they were going to send MB home after the comment that she hasn't wowed them with her food, ever. Usually bad food is the kiss of death. Funny that they think MB's food can be improved but not Penny's likeability. I think MB will be next to go, then Jyll perhaps. She's just not going to be that "genuine" person they are looking for. Even tonight after they told her they wanted to see more of her real self shine through, she just smiled and said "okay." She's just not going to let the facade crack, and I don't blame her by the way.

          Too bad Penny couldn't be salvaged. They always seemed impressed with her cooking.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            beachmouse Jul 18, 2011 07:39 AM

            In the absence of anyone that's the 'complete package' in the bottom group, I guess they figured that it's easier to provide Mary Beth with recipes than to try to somehow get Penny to come across well on camera. So Mary Beth, whose problems are easier to fix, gets another chance.

            1. re: beachmouse
              chowser Jul 18, 2011 08:50 AM

              Exactly. You can't teach personality or it comes off as fake. I've talked to aerobics directors who say they have instructors who know what they're doing, have good material but just don't have it in front of a crowd and they're classes are empty. If they try, it's awkward--this is the same. It's the same as teaching skiing--they would rather teach someone to ski because it's so much harder to teach people to be "up" in front of others. Skills are do-able.

            2. re: The Dairy Queen
              Miss Needle Jul 18, 2011 11:05 AM

              "Usually bad food is the kiss of death."

              I was actually surprised that Penny was booted off. It was obvious that she wasn't going to win, but I thought they were going to keep her around for some drama. Plus, the lady seemed to know how to cook. Maybe they're keeping the other personalities around to test them to see if they will be appropriate for some other FN shows. They seem to love Mary Beth's personality but not her food. They may think she'll be a good fit for one of their zillion traveling food shows they have.

              1. re: Miss Needle
                paulj Jul 18, 2011 11:29 AM

                You make it sound as though there are extensive strategy meetings by FN executives about the show and outcome. I suspect the process is more organic. Yes there are FN executives on the judging panel, but the show is produced by an outside company. The winner will get a show that is produced in house. But the runnerups in previous years have gotten jobs on other shows produced by outside companies.

                I suspect that with many of the FN shows, producers from outside the network conceive the idea, and the pitch it FN planners. If FN likes they will contract for x number of episodes, with only limited control by FN itself. There's always been a kind of give and take between TV network executives and independent producers.

                Out of curiosity I looked up the producer of the new FN show, Extreme Chef. He has produced a number of 'extreme' shows for networks like NBC, but this is his first cooking show.

                1. re: Miss Needle
                  pdxgastro Jul 18, 2011 11:45 PM

                  MB's recipes are bad. You can replace a recipe, you can't replace a personality. (Zing!)

            3. John E. Jul 17, 2011 07:59 PM

              I think FN should have edited out Bobby Flay saying 'Jesus Christ' when Puck took Jill into the kitchen to show her how to cook risotto. I don't blame Flay for saying it on camera, those things happen, but FN showed poor judgement in putting it in.

              They certainly could have eliminated any of the bottom four, or all of them, (then they would have fewer episodes, which defeats the purpose of the program) because none of them had a chance to actually win.

              59 Replies
              1. re: John E.
                The Dairy Queen Jul 17, 2011 08:59 PM

                Completely agree with everything you've said.


                1. re: John E.
                  ipsedixit Jul 17, 2011 09:03 PM

                  I think FN should have edited out Bobby Flay saying 'Jesus Christ' when Puck took Jill into the kitchen to show her how to cook risotto. I don't blame Flay for saying it on camera, those things happen, but FN showed poor judgement in putting it in.

                  Why is that poor judgment?

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    John E. Jul 17, 2011 09:53 PM

                    I believe it showed poor judgement because they have to know that their inclusion of it offebds a likely large percentage of their viewers.

                    I also do not believe Flay needs to be 'humanized'. To me, he is the only judge on this show and the NBC restaurant show that is likeable and has not been annoying at some point like the rest of them.

                    1. re: John E.
                      Shrinkrap Jul 17, 2011 10:15 PM

                      WHAT NBC restaurant show?

                      And I didn't quite know what to make of Puck doing that. Did he really do that to see if she could handle it? Somehow I think it had more to do with him than her. Also, there is no WAY he could have made risotto in less than thirty minutes, right? What was happening to the other contestants food?

                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                        Jenny Ondioline Jul 17, 2011 11:22 PM

                        I don't think he made a new risotto from scratch, I think he just rescued the one he had been served. He could have been done in 5-10 minutes, depending on how much work he had to do.

                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                          Shrinkrap Jul 17, 2011 11:29 PM

                          Ah! I didn't realize you could "rescue" it.

                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                            Jenny Ondioline Jul 17, 2011 11:33 PM

                            My experience with risotto is that it's actually not nearly as finicky as some would make it out to be. It wouldn't be the best risotto anyone had ever tasted, but it'd be worlds above whatever it was that Jyll was serving.

                        2. re: Shrinkrap
                          John E. Jul 18, 2011 07:04 AM

                          America's Next Great Restaurant.

                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                            chicgail Jul 18, 2011 09:30 AM

                            I wondered why he did that as well. What was his point? To let that poor girl know that he knew how to make risotto better than she did? To teach her something? And you're right, it probably threw their timeline right out the window - hence Flay's comment.

                            1. re: chicgail
                              babette feasts Jul 22, 2011 03:21 PM

                              I took it as helpful, as in 'oh this poor young lady thinks this is risotto and it is so wrong I must teach her before she embarrasses herself any further'. He's Wolfgang goddamn Puck, he has no need to prove himself.

                              I didn't think Wolfgang came off as angry or conceited - maybe offended that Jyll was calling that pile of rice risotto - and spoke to her kindly during the lesson. He obviously knew she was mortified, and commented that he respected how she seemed cool and professional while being corrected. Reminded me of a French chef I worked for who would see you doing something not to his liking and immediately show you how to do it right. I'd be sort of embarrassed at first, but in the end would be so glad he stepped in and thank him for it. No cook wants to make bad food! I don't think the judges were putting Jyll down so much for keeping control, just reminding her that it is OK to be human and admit that not every single second of life is perfect.

                              1. re: babette feasts
                                chowser Jul 22, 2011 04:01 PM

                                That's the feeling I got, too. He was mentoring her, not being condescending.

                                1. re: chowser
                                  paulj Jul 23, 2011 08:46 PM

                                  Did the viewers learn anything about making risotto? How was his technique different from hers - other than leaving it soupier (or creamier)?

                                  1. re: paulj
                                    chowser Jul 24, 2011 05:06 AM

                                    There really is no teaching about cooking on this show. It would be nice. I don't even know why Jyll's was the way it was--was it undercooked? Whitney said she asked her as she was making it whether she wanted that texture but I don't know what she could be doing wrong while cooking to make it so chunky.

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      inaplasticcup Jul 24, 2011 06:38 AM

                                      From what I could see, when Jyll was stirring her risotto, it was so gloppy and pasty as to practically wrap itself around the spoon. She probably let it cook at too high at heat and absorb too much of the liquid, making the grains lose their integrity.

                                      If Wolfgang Puck fixed her risotto at that point, I imagine it might have turned out more like a thick congee or jook than risotto.

                                      1. re: inaplasticcup
                                        chowser Jul 24, 2011 08:38 AM

                                        So, the question is, how did Wolfgang Puck make risotto from scratch in the time frame, and how much did the other contestant's food suffer? Or, maybe it was editing and he did it after all the tastings? I'm obviously overthinking all this and really don't care about it much.

                                        1. re: chowser
                                          babette feasts Jul 24, 2011 09:14 AM

                                          When Puck got up from the table, he took his plate with him, so I believe he just added a little hot stock to his serving of rice to demonstrate the degree of fluidity he was looking for. That wouldn't have taken much time.

                                          1. re: babette feasts
                                            chowser Jul 24, 2011 09:35 AM

                                            But, once the risotto has been sitting, it's hard to go back and cook it to the right consistency, especially as inaplasticcup said, the risotto had been cooked at too high of a heat to begin with. If it were that easy, we could premake risotto and finish if off and that's always the hard part, imo, of serving risotto at a dinner party.

                                            1. re: chowser
                                              babette feasts Jul 24, 2011 10:45 AM

                                              Restaurants half-cook risotto and finish it to order, you can too as long as you know when to stop and spread it in a thin layer to stop cooking and cool quickly. If you try to hold it warm in a big pot and loosen it up later, you are more likely to get overcooked gluiness.

                                              Jyll said she was more worried about the rice being properly cooked than the fluidity of the finished dish - she made 'an executive decision' to serve it as it was. Wolfgang's amended risotto probably ended up over cooked in terms of the rice texture, I think his point was solely to demonstrate the fluidity he found desirable, that when you shake the plate the rice should move.

                                              1. re: babette feasts
                                                chowser Jul 24, 2011 11:31 AM

                                                Yes, but Jyll didn't spread her risotto out to cool quickly and it sat warm until Puck fixed it. Jyll had said she and her husband liked that texture and that's how she always made it, when Whitney asked her, as she was making it. That's what I don't understand. How can you tell, when it's being made, that the texture is wrong, if it's just a matter of undercooking?

                                                1. re: chowser
                                                  babette feasts Jul 24, 2011 10:58 PM

                                                  How can you tell? Taste it. Over and over. Understand how rice reacts to sitting warm in a pot and account for that. And hopefully you have enough years of experience doing it well to qualify you to have a TV show teaching other people how to do it. If Jyll had the same ideal of fluidity in mind that Wolfgang had, and understood the rice, she could have made it happen.

                                                  And that is exactly why risotto seems so simple but is in fact so hard - achieving both the desired cooked texture of individual grains of rice and the desired consistency/liquidity of the overall dish at the same time, served on a warm plate.

                                2. re: babette feasts
                                  DiningDiva Jul 22, 2011 04:32 PM

                                  Me three. I think anyone would probably very embarassed. But as Babette says, ultimately you can benefit from the instruction. WG didn't seem condesending.

                                  1. re: DiningDiva
                                    AMFM Jul 22, 2011 07:20 PM

                                    i figure usually if you think someone is beyond training you don't bother, so offering advice involves a perception that there is enough skill/talent to be able to improve and that it's worth your time to bother. not often condescending. more so to mock silently behind the back.

                            2. re: John E.
                              joonjoon Jul 17, 2011 10:43 PM

                              Why is that offensive? "Jesus Christ" was exactly my first reaction.

                              1. re: John E.
                                chicgail Jul 18, 2011 03:35 AM

                                Even taking your typo as a typo, and being clear that you were "offebds," your assumption that you are part of a "likely large percentage of their viewers" is pure speculation. People making exclamations like his are frequent daily occurrences in real life.

                                1. re: chicgail
                                  John E. Jul 18, 2011 07:11 AM

                                  Of course they do. I have been known to let loose occasionally. Food Network made a choice to leave it in because they are on cable, broadcast TV has stricter standards. I believe they showed poor business judgement in deciding to leave it in when they knew of the possibility that it offends a large part of their audience. Plus it was unnecessary, the look of astonishment on the FN judges would have conveyed the same reaction, but in a more subtle manner.

                                  1. re: John E.
                                    chicgail Jul 18, 2011 09:27 AM

                                    I see what you're saying. I think they wanted the dramatic impact - which is also why they included it both before and after the commercial.

                                    Why do you think that it offends "a large part of their audience"? I know some people would be offended, but in my circles at least (in a big Midwestern city), few people would even notice. I would guess that if it would be offend some people, that the that would be more prevalent in southern or rural areas. Do you think this show has a big audience there?

                                    1. re: chicgail
                                      John E. Jul 18, 2011 10:10 AM

                                      I guess it depends on your circle. I do not know anything about the regional popularity of FN. i do know that some people are offended when that kind of remark is made. I am not offended by Flay's remark, those things happen. I do however think it is disrespectful of FN to leave it in, especially sinceit really was not necessary.

                                    2. re: John E.
                                      joonjoon Jul 18, 2011 09:57 AM

                                      Can you please explain to me why this is offensive? I do not understand what's offensive about that comment.

                                      1. re: joonjoon
                                        John E. Jul 18, 2011 10:03 AM

                                        Read number three.


                                        1. re: John E.
                                          paulj Jul 18, 2011 10:28 AM

                                          While a common interpretation of the 3rd commandment is that it rules out using God's name in a flippant manner (some extend it to mean no 'swearing' at all), a more common understanding among theologians is that it refers to making a vain oath - swearing by God's name (or the temple in a NT passage), and not keeping that oath.

                                          1. re: paulj
                                            John E. Jul 18, 2011 10:35 AM

                                            I was taught both meanings a long time ago. I mostly look at this situation as a needless sign of disrespect.

                                            1. re: paulj
                                              inaplasticcup Jul 18, 2011 10:42 AM

                                              LOL. I can see this discussion giving way to a spinoff thread:

                                              Does Food Network Promote Blasphemy???

                                              a la


                                              1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                paulj Jul 18, 2011 10:48 AM

                                                I'm also reminded of the brouhaha over a 'drowning puppies' comment on Chopped awhile back. FN edited it out on replays of the episode.

                                2. re: John E.
                                  chicgail Jul 17, 2011 09:20 PM

                                  I thought it humanized him. It humanized the whole judging experience for me.

                                  1. re: chicgail
                                    DGresh Jul 18, 2011 04:04 PM

                                    I agree. It was my internal thought as well (and I'm a church-going Christian)

                                  2. re: John E.
                                    jgg13 Jul 19, 2011 07:14 AM

                                    I thought that was hysterical, and exactly the sort of thing I'd say at that moment.

                                    1. re: jgg13
                                      John E. Jul 19, 2011 07:35 AM

                                      That reaction and those words might have been mine as well had I been there. You too seem to have missed my point.

                                      1. re: John E.
                                        huiray Jul 19, 2011 02:31 PM

                                        I don't think anyone is mistaking the religious undercurrent of your original complaint. Folks are simply dancing around the point, even if you profess that you yourself are not offended - but what does that mean, considering that you raised the point in the first place? That you think religious types that you speak for would be up in arms about it but that you are a tolerant religious type instead?

                                        1. re: huiray
                                          John E. Jul 19, 2011 03:22 PM

                                          I hope I have the fortitude to make this my last post on the subject. First, go back and read my posts. I believe FN made an error in keeping this comment in. This show is not Hell's Kitchen or even Top Chef for that matter. FN frequently make the point that they have young viewers and seem to be proud of that fact. They also could have made the same point by showing the look of astonishment on the judges faces when Puck went to the kitchen. My point is they showed poor business judgement in leaving the comment in because they uneccessarily risked offending their audience. That's all. That's it.

                                          1. re: John E.
                                            LurkerDan Jul 19, 2011 04:35 PM

                                            Of course, perhaps they helped the show as much as they (arguably) hurt it, since a number of people here have found that comment refreshing and humanizing, and I saw a similar thread on a different (non-Chow) forum, where a poster similarly expressed how that comment was great. So maybe it was a good business decision.

                                            After all, has anyone actually indicated that they were offended by it? You've made quite a point of how you were NOT offended by it, but think others would be. But I'm not sure anyone has indicated that they were. So we have a few posts of people who actually liked it, a number of posts by people who didn't care either way, and no posts by anyone offended?

                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                              rasputina Jul 19, 2011 04:55 PM

                                              Because people that are offended have learned not to waste their time by posting it, and thus feeding the drama of the secular crowd. You guys already create enough drama out of nothing on your own without anyone adding to it.

                                              1. re: rasputina
                                                chicgail Jul 19, 2011 05:11 PM

                                                "you guys?" Who are they?

                                                We are all CH posters and, presumably, viewers of the show and certainly share a common humanity.

                                                Or did you mean "the secular crowd" as "you guys?"

                                                If we (whoever "we" are) are "you guys," I guess that places you as NOT like us. Does that mean you consider yourself to be the righteous or the religious or the observant or the non-secular crowd? No drama there. Never.

                                                1. re: rasputina
                                                  Worldwide Diner Jul 20, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                  The "secular crowd"? Just because one's not Christian doesn't mean one's part of the "secular crowd." Or are you implying yours is the only true faith? Time for a crusade?

                                      2. re: John E.
                                        josquared Jul 20, 2011 12:52 PM

                                        My reaction is that if I did Flay's comment bleeped, I would've assumed he said a heckuva' lot worse (unless you're of the mindset that taking the Lord's name in vain is worse than some F-bombs.)

                                        Interestingly, I recently saw a "Kids Week" edition of Jeopardy when one of the younguns gave a very impromptu "Crap!" response after getting a Daily Double question wrong. I don't know if the moment was simply non-exciseable and/or even considered for bleeping it based on Trebek's and the audience's immediate response, but assuming if that were bleeped out, I would've assumed she said a lot worse myself.

                                        1. re: josquared
                                          paulj Jul 20, 2011 05:05 PM

                                          I'm reminded of Tweedley of the Citizens Radio Commitee, on the Stan Freberg Show - CBS Censor epsiode.

                                          "The home is a class room, keep in mind the tiny tots"

                                          1. re: paulj
                                            soupkitten Jul 22, 2011 11:53 PM


                                            musical nunber

                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                              josquared Jul 23, 2011 09:51 AM

                                              Fun stuff - as someone who dabbled in college radio for awhile, I got the big lecture about the FCC, censorship, the proverbial "seven dirty words", what and when you could broadcast certain things, etc. etc.

                                              After hearing that, I just shook my head and exclaimed "*Bleep*, what in the *bleep* is that *bleep*?"

                                              1. re: josquared
                                                paulj Jul 23, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                For a while I participated on a hiking board which had a rather conservative naughty-word censor feature. It would replace the offending word with a mini lecture. It made it hard to write about places like Hells Canyon.

                                                1. re: paulj
                                                  chowser Jul 23, 2011 11:48 AM

                                                  I was on a board where I couldn't post about shitake mushrooms. It took me a minute to figure out why not.

                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                    babette feasts Jul 23, 2011 06:20 PM

                                                    Spellcheck. It's shiitake.

                                                    : )

                                                    1. re: babette feasts
                                                      chowser Jul 24, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                      Oh no, I've been using/writing about them for years and have always spelled it wrong? It's like saying marscapone! Thanks for the correction.

                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                        cmvan Jul 24, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                        That mispronunciation of "mascarpone" has driven me crazy for ages. Especially when "professionals" do it, like Alton Brown and Bobby Flay, just to mention two. At least Alton has corrected himself periodically, but habit comes back on him at times.

                                                        My husband and I joke that "marscapone" isn't a dairy product - it's the "Gangster from the Red Planet"...

                                                        1. re: cmvan
                                                          John E. Jul 24, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                          It also drives me nuts when people say 'sherbert'.

                                                          1. re: cmvan
                                                            paulj Jul 24, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                            Marscapone has it's own long thread.

                                                          2. re: chowser
                                                            paulj Jul 24, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                            Have you (we) been pronouncing it wrong too? It's supposed to be derived from a Japanese word, but the pronunciation I hear on Wiki starts with something closer to the English 'see'. 'shii' has no counterpart in English.

                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                              chowser Jul 24, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                              I Americanize it but don't pronounce it like the censored word, if that makes sense. What is the sound of it? My parents speak Japanese so I'm familiar with the sounds, even if I can't speak it. Maybe it would just be easier to ask them so I can hear it rather than sound it out.

                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                chowser Jul 24, 2011 11:47 AM

                                                                Okay, I found it:


                                                                And, have been far overAmericanizing it, leaving out one syllable. I've never heard it pronounced this way, though. Good thing I've never ordered Gouda cheese with my shiitakes because I'd probably be laughed out of the restaurant.

                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                  paulj Jul 24, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                                  That's rather different from

                                                                  To my untrained ear, the Wiki speaker sounds more Japanese than the dictionary.reference speaker.

                                                                  Why not compromise and call them (Chinese) black mushrooms, like we did before the fresh version was introduced to the US market? :


                                                                  In this 'Cookingwithdog', version, the 'sh' is a weak 'shu', but the 'ii' is one syllable.

                                                                  1. re: chowser
                                                                    huiray Jul 24, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                    I had always understood it to be pronounced as your dictionary reference gives it, but perhaps said a little faster - so if one did not know (or wasn't paying attention) the second "ee" sound might appear to have been swallowed up/disappeared,,,

                                            2. j
                                              joonjoon Jul 17, 2011 10:42 PM

                                              When will food competition contestants learn not to make risotto that doesn't spread on the plate? I can't recount the number of times people got destroyed for putting out gluey risotto.

                                              57 Replies
                                              1. re: joonjoon
                                                Jenny Ondioline Jul 17, 2011 11:13 PM

                                                See, I even *like* my risotto a little on the tight side, but the only difference between me and Flay on this is that I would have said "Jesus Christ..." as soon as that plate was set in front of me. It just looked gnarly.

                                                Can't complain with either of the two folks sent home, but I increasingly don't give a crap who wins, as I probably wouldn't watch any of their shows.

                                                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                                  Worldwide Diner Jul 18, 2011 04:54 AM

                                                  I never cared who wins. I watch to see who messes up and gets embarrassed, the same reason I watch Hell's Kitchen. I can't stand any of the past winners , including Fieri.

                                                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                                    BubblyOne Jul 18, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                    Agreed. I don't think there are any "stars" in this group.

                                                    1. re: BubblyOne
                                                      DiningDiva Jul 18, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                      Have there been "stars" in any group?

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva
                                                        The Dairy Queen Jul 18, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                        I think Guy Fieri counts as a genuine FN star.


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          BubblyOne Jul 18, 2011 10:06 AM

                                                          +1. And I actually don't mind him on Diners.

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            DiningDiva Jul 18, 2011 11:24 AM

                                                            Okay, I agree, Guy is a legitimate FN Star. My opinion of him really changed (for the good) after I saw the Chefography episode about him. But he's the only "star" out of the 7 they've hired. Somehow I don't think that's the worlds best track record :-)

                                                            1. re: DiningDiva
                                                              LurkerDan Jul 18, 2011 12:30 PM

                                                              Obviously, it depends on how one defines "star". They have certainly discovered/created stars if you define star to mean a viable food network personality: Melissa D'Arabian, Aaron McCargo, Adam Gertler, Tom Pizikis to name a few (sorry if I butchered any of these names, and yes, I realize that 2 of the 4 I listed did not win their season).

                                                              If you define "star" more narrowly, such that Guy is the only one, well, how many true "stars" does the food network have anyway? Guy, Bobby, Rachel, Giadda, Paula, Emeril (is he still even on). Those are the only ones I can think of that can get away with just one name. I realize that you may be able to name some more, like Tyler Florence or Sandra Lee or Ina Garten, but my point is just that if you define "star" narrowly, then yeah, Guy is the only one from the show, but that is not so much because the show is a failure at creating or finding talent, but rather that it is very hard to attain that level of stardom, and it's unfair to expect them to do it just by having the NFNS show.

                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                DiningDiva Jul 18, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                                LD, now you're just being pedantic (hmm...never thought I'd use that word in a sentence on CH). The name of the show is Food Network STAR. Not only does it imply, but their advertisements for the show stress that they are looking for a "star".

                                                                The show is about the show, not the people. If they were truly interested in making these people "stars" they wouldn't bury them in a time slot on Sunday morning when half the country is still asleep, in church, at brunch or watching football.

                                                                Scripps media owns FTV, they also own HGTV, which has it's own star vechicle called Design Star. On HGTV, the Design Star winners get a prime time slot for their show and substantial promotion for the show. 3 Design Star winners currently have prime time shows on HGTV, Guy is the only Food Network Star winner currently with a show on during prime time. I wonder why Scripps treats the winners of one show differently than the others.

                                                                I see more of Melissa and Aarti hawking products and services for vendors than I do of their shows. So are they cooking show hosts or glorified product placement shills? Jeffery Siad, who lost to Melissa, is doing great on Unique Eats over on Cooking Channel, I think he actually came out of the experience pretty well. OTOH, they're also shoving Kelsey Nixon down our throats on CC too. She was far to perky and annoying during TNFNS and that hasn't changed much.

                                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                  rasputina Jul 18, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                                  I thought this was 2011? This is what DVRs are for. Do people actually watch live tv anymore? The time a show is on means nothing to me.

                                                                  1. re: rasputina
                                                                    DiningDiva Jul 18, 2011 02:34 PM

                                                                    Yes, but I don't believe anything other than talk shows and the news are really live anymore. Everything is pre-recorded

                                                                    I don't have a DVR, nor do I TIVO and I don't expect that will change anytime soon.

                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                      jmckee Jul 19, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                                      Me either. A friend of mine keeps saying, "But you can be sure to catch EVERY SHOW YOU WANT TO SEE." I don't think I want every time I say "Oh, i'd like to see that" to become reality. Then TV viewing rules me rather than the other way 'round.

                                                                      1. re: jmckee
                                                                        John E. Jul 19, 2011 09:58 AM

                                                                        Years ago I noticed that a VCR actually had the effect of me watching fewer hours of television rather than more. I would tape the show and do something else and then frequently never go back and watch the program. Of course that led to piles of VHS tapes. We have a DVD recorder, but don't really use it as a time shifter. What I would like is a DVR with a hard drive but no subscription service. Toshiba used to make one but then Tivo paid them to stop producing it.

                                                                        1. re: jmckee
                                                                          rasputina Jul 19, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                                          Actually not having a DVR makes your tv viewing a slave to the rules. With a DVR you watch whatever you want, whenever you want.

                                                                          Without a DVR you have to be home to watch a show at whatever time it happens to be airing.

                                                                          1. re: rasputina
                                                                            DiningDiva Jul 19, 2011 02:44 PM

                                                                            Or chose not to watch the show at all.

                                                                            1. re: rasputina
                                                                              babette feasts Jul 21, 2011 08:19 PM

                                                                              Or watch it a few days later on Hulu (or another streaming source).

                                                                          2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                            rasputina Jul 19, 2011 12:50 PM

                                                                            live tv means, watching it while it's airing. It has nothing to do with the old days of live in the studio programming.

                                                                            1. re: rasputina
                                                                              DiningDiva Jul 19, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                              Call me a dinosaur, but live TV means boardcast in real time, i.e. as it happens, not pre-recorded to be shown at a specified time. The Super Bowl is live TV, baseball's All-Star game is live TV, the Academy Awards are live, Food Network Star is recorded months in advance, it is not live TV

                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                John E. Jul 19, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                                                You are correct. When someone recirds a show and watches it at a different time it is known as time shifting. Traditional TV advertisers of course dislike this. The only live TV anymore is news and sports. I seem to remember one of the networks several years ago (it's probably more than ten) made a big deal out of doing a stage play live on network TV, similar to a lot of the live TV done in the 1950s.

                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                  DiningDiva Jul 19, 2011 04:45 PM

                                                                                  Yes, unfortunately, I am old enough to remember when TV was actually live ;-)

                                                                          3. re: rasputina
                                                                            chicgail Jul 18, 2011 03:59 PM

                                                                            I recorded both Melissa and Aarti's shows. Two episodes. Gave them them benefit of the doubt. Couldn't sit though either one.

                                                                            1. re: chicgail
                                                                              jgg13 Jul 19, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                                              I like the idea of Aarti's show but the reality is that I really just don't like modern cooking shows. The whole rachel ray-ification has ruined them for me - all of the crap that the FN judging panel enforces in NFNS for instance ... the storytelling, the human element. I also hate how everyone has gone to the Giadi style of video production.

                                                                              I'll still watch some shows on PBS, but mostly just things like ATK and Cooks Country.

                                                                          4. re: DiningDiva
                                                                            cmvan Jul 18, 2011 02:06 PM

                                                                            Jeffrey's doing United Tastes of America. Unique Eats is hosted by another competition runner-up, LeeAnn Wong (from early Top Chef, and who then became one of the essential production crew for the show).

                                                                            1. re: cmvan
                                                                              DiningDiva Jul 18, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                                              You're right, thanks for the correction. They all look and sound the same it's hard to keep them straight.

                                                                            2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                              LurkerDan Jul 18, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                              Hmmm, I might say that you're the one who is being pedantic, by being overly narrow in your definition of "star". :shrug: I would say that a FN star is one whose face and name we know, and we know a little something about them too. So that when they appear on a show -- either their own or a "challenge" show or special or whatever -- we say to ourselves "Hey, that's Aaron McCargo, Big Daddy". That seems like a star to me, that seems like exactly what they are hoping for, realistically speaking. They manufactured usable talent for their network.

                                                                              Sure, there are grades of stars, you could say Tyler Florence is a star, but he's clearly not as big a star as, say, Bobby Flay. So yeah, sure, they'd love to land another Guy Fieri, and no doubt they *hope* to land another Guy Fieri. And in the meantime, as they try to do that, they get usable, recognizable personalities, ie "food network stars", and a show that is very popular.

                                                                              Truth is, FN's prime time doesn't really have cooking shows, so I'm not sure why you'd expect them to give a prime time slot to a newcomer. They give the winner a time slot, they also give them other kinds of exposure (like slots on "Best Thing I ever Ate", various challenge shows, etc, and no doubt do some form of analysis on how well that person is performing and connecting with audiences. I don't watch Design Star, but interestingly enough, I don't see any winners from that show on prime time on HGTV, at least not around here (because I do watch HGTV). And Guy Fieri is indeed on prime time, but not with the show that "won" him NFNS. That show, Guy's Big Bite, is NOT on prime time (and never was, AFAIK). He earned a prime time slot with DDD presumably because he did well on Guy's Big Bite.

                                                                              Given how few big stars the FN has, it's entirely unrealistic to expect them to find a Guy Fieri every season. So long as the show is popular, and they create usable and recognizable "stars" out of every season, that seems a reasonable expectation.

                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                DiningDiva Jul 18, 2011 06:50 PM

                                                                                Apples and oranges my dear LD.

                                                                                There are Food Network personalities that have achieved some degree of fame and notariety in the food community because they are, or have been, on the network. Emeril, Bobby Flay, Morimoto all come to mind. And then there are the contestants that are on the reality show called Food Network Star (aka The Next Food Network Star). They aren't stars yet, may possibly not become stars but will achieve their 15 minutes of fame on a food related reality show. Aaron McCargo Jr. comes to mind. FTV has said they always hope to find another Guy Fieri but they know that's not realistic.

                                                                                HGTV almost always launches their new winner with an hour long special in prime time. In my neck of the woods up until a couple weeks ago we've had 3 winners on nearly back to back from 9 pm - 10:30 pm and a runner up just started Room Crashers. Frankly, I'm addicted to House Hunters International.

                                                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                  jgg13 Jul 19, 2011 07:22 AM

                                                                                  It's worth noting that all three of the people you mentioned had a huge head start. Who knows, maybe in 15 years Big Daddy will be as famous as Bobby Flay.

                                                                          5. re: DiningDiva
                                                                            The Dairy Queen Jul 18, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                            No, it is not a good track record. But I read on wikipedia awhile back that one of the NFNS finales (two seasons ago, I think) had more viewers than ANY OTHER FN show. It's clear to me that this series is NOW intended to be entertainment (although, it may not have started out that way.) And if they find another Guy Fieri, then that's just icing on the cake... That's why they've named all of the challenges and given each its own graphic, etc. If you look at the very early NFNS episodes, they didn't have "Star Challenge" etc. I think they added all of that "packaging" once they realized the NFNS series itself was a profitable show.

                                                                            Now, why they changed it from NFNS to just FNS I don't know.


                                                                        2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                          John E. Jul 18, 2011 09:28 AM

                                                                          There has only been one, Guy Fieri. His ratings and commercial success make him a star.

                                                                    2. re: joonjoon
                                                                      Shrinkrap Jul 17, 2011 11:17 PM

                                                                      That's what I said! Just don't make risotto!

                                                                      1. re: joonjoon
                                                                        inaplasticcup Jul 18, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                                        From what I've seen of Jill (Jyll?), I don't think she had enough experience with risotto to know how it would have been prepared by chefs the likes of Puck or Flay or, if she did, that she would have the foresight to plan for the fact that risotto goes from slightly soupy to gluey in minutes if the ambient temp is cool enough.

                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                          joonjoon Jul 18, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                          The real problem seems to be that she was under the impression that risotto is supposed to be gloppy like that. She specifically commented that that's the way she and her husband like risotto. She also lamented that she wished someone had told her she was doing it wrong. So it's not an issue of temperature or the risotto tightening up, she intended her risotto to be that way.

                                                                          1. re: joonjoon
                                                                            inaplasticcup Jul 18, 2011 08:38 AM

                                                                            Judging from the judges' comments, her food generally seems to lack any complexity or sophistication. If *Midwestern* is her schtick, then I think she should play it up unapologetically and deliver consistently good middle American food, rather than try to tread into trickier culinary waters, if she's to have a chance of sticking around.

                                                                          2. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                            DGresh Jul 18, 2011 04:05 PM

                                                                            What I diidn't get was Giada and the other gal (don't remember her name) saying that Jyll didn't show enough heart or whatever. What was she supposed to do, cry? I mean, she clearly was upset but tried to hold it together.

                                                                            1. re: DGresh
                                                                              LurkerDan Jul 18, 2011 04:23 PM

                                                                              I agree, I think she was in a no-win situation there, crying wouldn't have helped her cause, and I'm not sure what other emotion she could have shown. In all likelihood, had she not taken that event "professionally", they would have scolded her for not being professional.

                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                AMFM Jul 18, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                                                giada is hard to please and is contradictory with her criticisms all the time. and i'm certain my comments have nothing to do with the fact that she annoys me more than just about anyone on the planet. ;)

                                                                                1. re: AMFM
                                                                                  chicgail Jul 18, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                                  I have a feeling that Giada, big smile and all, is a terror on the set if she doesn't get what she wants.

                                                                                2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                  WNYamateur Jul 19, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                                                  I think see got screwed over terribly - I was afraid it'd lead to her elimination. She kept up her poise and professionalism through a very difficult situation, only to get called out for not being "authentic".

                                                                                  1. re: WNYamateur
                                                                                    jgg13 Jul 19, 2011 07:23 AM

                                                                                    IMO it's just anothe rcase of the judging being fickle and IMO done more for effect than any basis in reality. If she had cried, they'd have called her out for not being strong enough.

                                                                                3. re: DGresh
                                                                                  NellyNel Jul 28, 2011 07:42 AM

                                                                                  I am late to this party; just saw the episode last night (DVR!)

                                                                                  I actually thought Jyll was RUDE

                                                                                  Yes, she was embarrassed, and trying to hold it together, but she was short, and IMO, obnoxious in her statements to the judges. I can't remember exactly what she said now, but her annoyance was very transparent to me.
                                                                                  I was surprised that Puck thought she handled the situation well, and that the judges thought she was being "fake" - to me it was obvious she was pissed.

                                                                                  Jyll reminds me too much of Melissa from 2 years back...she will be next to go.

                                                                                  I didn't think Penny was so unlikeable as everyone else - I'm kind of sorry to see her go.
                                                                                  Chris - not so much - i couldnt stand him!

                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                    inaplasticcup Jul 28, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                    I kind of agree. She definitely wasn't humble about it.

                                                                              2. re: joonjoon
                                                                                jmckee Jul 18, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                                                There's more than one way to texture a risotto. Some are looser than others.

                                                                                1. re: jmckee
                                                                                  joonjoon Jul 18, 2011 09:55 AM

                                                                                  Not if you want to win a food competition.

                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon
                                                                                    jmckee Jul 18, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                                                    Again, simply not true. Some are firmer, some are more fluid. Risotto alla Milanese will have a different result than, say, a seafood risotto or a mushroom risotto. Any number of good Italian cookbooks will address this.

                                                                                    1. re: jmckee
                                                                                      joonjoon Jul 18, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                                      Have you ever seen a food competition contestant be rewarded for putting out firm/gloppy risotto? I have not.

                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon
                                                                                        jmckee Jul 19, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                                        I said NOTHING about "gloppy" -- I said some risotto is more fluid. Further, competition is dependent on judging. I'm curious as to how, say, Lynne Rosetto Kasper, Mary Ann Esposito, Lidia Bastianich, or others would interpret the appropriateness of a texture in risotto. (As opposed to the Austrian Puck.)

                                                                                        Clearly, you have a much narrower view of this than I do, so we'd better stop now.

                                                                                        1. re: jmckee
                                                                                          joonjoon Jul 19, 2011 09:57 AM

                                                                                          You responded to my initial post, where I said:
                                                                                          "When will food competition contestants learn not to make risotto that doesn't spread on the plate? I can't recount the number of times people got destroyed for putting out gluey risotto."

                                                                                          My point was, and still is, that you can't win a contest if your risotto doesn't spread. You disagreed with me. I challenge you to find me an instance where a stiff risotto won a competition.

                                                                                          I'm not talking about MY idea of risotto, my view of risotto isn't what's narrow. It's tv cooking competitions'. I'm merely observing it. I watch a lot of cooking tv and this happens all the time, where someone thinks they can make risotto, and then get destroyed by the judges because it's not loose enough.

                                                                                          1. re: joonjoon
                                                                                            LurkerDan Jul 19, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                            I have surely seen that happen on Top Chef at least a couple of times. Didn't Tre get sent home this past season for risotto that was too stiff?

                                                                                            1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                              soupkitten Jul 19, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                                              wp's other points were that the risotto was improperly plated (cold plate vs very warm bowl). the folks on the cooking shows always seem to want to present risotto in a stiff dollop w garnishes and non-integral sauces(!). when i saw jyll preparing her plates w a dark sauce i thought "uh-oh for her."

                                                                                              1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                jgg13 Jul 19, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                                                                risotto is one of those things that contestants of these shows should never make. There are some things where the moment it comes out of their mouth I just want to say, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and risotto is one of them. Sure they tend to be lauded if they do well, but 9/10 they don't do well.

                                                                                                1. re: jgg13
                                                                                                  LurkerDan Jul 19, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                                                  even when they do it well they get screwed. Didn't a chef on TC Masters get sent home for making good risotto, but it wasn't "special" enough?

                                                                                                  That said, maybe I'm not foodie enough, but I have never really "gotten" risotto. Always just seems like soupy rice to me, and not satisfying as a main course.

                                                                                                  1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                    jgg13 Jul 19, 2011 01:44 PM

                                                                                                    I don't remember that one in particular but I don't watch a ton of TCM - although that's a perfect example of what I mean. It's like when they volunteer to do desserts, or when they do fried food when it's clear that it'll have to sit for a while. Those things almost *never* go well and people routinely get some home for doing them ... it's stupid.

                                                                                                    1. re: jgg13
                                                                                                      Shrinkrap Jul 19, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                                                                      I believe it was Trey. And I believe he had WON for risotto during "his" season. My husband would say it's like being the fourth guy on a Start Trek Mission. The guy that never makes it back to the ship.

                                                                                                      1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                        LurkerDan Jul 19, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                                        The guy in the red shirt. When they send a team to the planet, the guy in the red shirt is definitely dying down there.

                                                                                                    2. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                      AMFM Jul 19, 2011 05:58 PM

                                                                                                      there was a chef on top chef masters i think- one i didn't know very well. trey was top chef all stars, but it may have happened to him too. agreed... don't do risotto on a cooking competition!

                                                                                                      1. re: AMFM
                                                                                                        Joanie Jul 20, 2011 04:53 AM

                                                                                                        Wasn't it the guy from the Oxford MS restaurant who wore a bandana (John something I think), seemed cool and should not have left that early? I remember cuz I knew I was going to his place a few weeks later (but only had dessert, no risotto).

                                                                                                        1. re: Joanie
                                                                                                          LurkerDan Jul 20, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                                                                          That's it Joanie. Tre on All Stars got sent home because his risotto was bad, but the guy on Masters got sent home even though his risotto was good, it just wasn't transcendent or something.

                                                                                  2. Joanie Jul 18, 2011 04:13 AM

                                                                                    Isn't the formula repetitive on all these shows?

                                                                                    I was surprised Penny was sent home. She seemed better on camera this week and her food beats almost everyone, but she's inherently not the chipper sweet person they want on TV.

                                                                                    I thought the whole Wolfgang thing was a little much, felt bad for her. Surprised to hear Bobby say JC but didn't twice much about it (except when they repeated it after commercial). And I thought their cooking conditions were kind of unfair, no shopping and that ridiculously tiny kitchen for 6 courses. Did Mary Beth turn up Chris's oven?

                                                                                    Whitney sure improved. Did she have any reasoning at all in picking the order of people?

                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Joanie
                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Jul 18, 2011 04:41 AM

                                                                                      I felt bad for Jyll, too. It must have been really humiliating for her and I thought she handled it well, although, I was surprised when she was crying later and said something like, "If I was doing it so wrong, why didn't someone tell me?" Did she really expect her fellow contestants to tell her she was doing it wrong?

                                                                                      I'm guessing it was MB who turned up the oven. If they were going to share an oven, why did it never occur to them to discuss the temp? I thought that was odd, that they both just assumed they could cook at whatever temp they needed.


                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                        Worldwide Diner Jul 18, 2011 04:56 AM

                                                                                        Whitney did tell Jyll but Jyll ignored her. MB is just as bitchy is Penny, she just disguises it better.

                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                                                                          Shrinkrap Jul 18, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                                                          Whitney said something like "are you SURE that's the we you want it" I and I think that's when Jyll said "that's the way my family likes it!"

                                                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                          chowser Jul 18, 2011 05:46 AM

                                                                                          I think it's funny that she's a food writer and has no idea how risotto should be. I think she's the one who turned up the oven, too. I'm surprised they didn't talk about it first and that she never thought to cook up her squash on the stove. But, Chris's cakes should have been in and out of the oven first, to cool. And, adding maple syrup to butternut squash would make a very sweet soup.

                                                                                          The biggest amazement is that Chris lasted this long. Has he ever done anything good? Has he ever shown maturity? He just talked about the feedback and how he was going to do it but never did. I found it hard to distinguish Whitney from Rachel Ray in next week's previews. It'll be interesting to see them together. They even have similar styles.

                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                            chicgail Jul 18, 2011 06:53 AM

                                                                                            I thought Jyll was the All-American Wisconsin girl and Mary Beth was the food writer. It was Mary Beth who shared an oven with Chris, but Jyll who made the risotto.

                                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                                              rasputina Jul 18, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                                              Jyll isn't the food writer, Mary Beth is.

                                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                                chowser Jul 18, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                                                                Thanks, you two. I had a brain blip.

                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                  cmvan Jul 18, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                                                  If I remember correctly, the oven incident happened while MB and Penny were at Target. Maybe MB had asked someone to set the temp while she was gone so that it would be up to temp when she got back. And that person didn't stop to think about Chris's cakes being in there, since everything was so hectic. Not necessarily a matter of sabotage as Chris insisted and wouldn't let go of. (First, this group of competitors really doesn't seem the sabotage type; plus they probably all knew he'd do plenty to sabotage himself with dessert...)

                                                                                                  I did find Penny's exit to be interesting, since the editors had previously made it clear how little she cared for and distrusted her fellow competitors, and how snarky she'd behaved...until the judges called her out on it, and she camouflaged her real feelings to appear "more likeable".

                                                                                                  As for Marybeth's soup, erring now on overseasoning was as egregious as underseasoning. Cayenne was not a great choice since, as Flay pointed out, all it brought to the soup was heat, not flavor. If their pantry had it, I would have used either chipotle powder, or better, chipotle en adobo (but just the sauce - that's the way I like to do it), but just enough to give it a little heat, some smokiness, and a contrast to the sweetness.

                                                                                                  1. re: cmvan
                                                                                                    jmckee Jul 18, 2011 10:42 AM

                                                                                                    I kind of thought cayenne was an odd choice when she went for it. I don't remember what she said she was trying to accomplish, but I thought one of the adjectives she used and cayenne were not in harmony.....

                                                                                                  2. re: chowser
                                                                                                    Shrinkrap Jul 18, 2011 01:48 PM

                                                                                                    Cooking on the stove aren't have the same flavor as roasted. That didn't kelp her in the flavor department,

                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                      chowser Jul 18, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                                                                      Not the same but if she wanted soup and there was only a small oven, that was a logistic they should have worked out beforehand rather than fooling around w/ the temperature like they did.

                                                                                              2. w
                                                                                                Westy Jul 18, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                                                                Sorry. I don't get this channel anymore. How can 2 people be booted? It sounds like both Chris AND Penny are gone?

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Westy
                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen Jul 18, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                                                                  Yes, it was a double boot this week.


                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                    Westy Jul 18, 2011 09:32 AM

                                                                                                    Wow. did they boot Penny just based on attitude?

                                                                                                    1. re: Westy
                                                                                                      chowser Jul 18, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                                                                      Because she wasn't friendly, warm and approachable, or do well on TV shots--more important to Food Network than cooking skills.

                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                        jmckee Jul 18, 2011 10:43 AM

                                                                                                        Well, you can't taste the food on TV. So part of what makes a good cooking show is the personality, the way the person comes across on TV.

                                                                                                        1. re: jmckee
                                                                                                          chowser Jul 18, 2011 11:48 AM

                                                                                                          I think it's all about how the person comes across on TV. They have researchers and chefs on staff who could come up w/ good recipes and teach the person the skills needed for that recipe. As long as the person had a decent understanding of it, the rest is unimportant. That's why I think it's funny that they consider what their dish tastes like--in the end, the staff will tweak it to suit the audience anyway.

                                                                                                  2. re: Westy
                                                                                                    Joanie Jul 18, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                                                                    There are double eliminations on these kinds of shows all the time, not that weird.

                                                                                                    1. re: Westy
                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Jul 18, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                                      The food network has some pretty good videos on their site...


                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                      jujuthomas Jul 18, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                                                                      i really did not enjoy watching Penny, and would not watch her show. I would however go eat in her restaurant if she opened one!
                                                                                                      Chris - ugh - he absolutely needs to grow up. I really did not enjoy the frat boy schtick. I hope he really does take the judges' advice to go work the line for a while.
                                                                                                      That episode with Jyll and Wolfgang was almost painful to watch. I don't blame Bobby for his expletive, I thought and said just about the same thing. that risotto looked horrible, but how humiliating for Jyll!

                                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                                        cmvan Jul 18, 2011 10:54 AM

                                                                                                        Just watched Penny's exit interview. She certainly comes off better than in competition.


                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: cmvan
                                                                                                          chicgail Jul 18, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                                                                          Too bad she didn't present herself this way on the rest of the show. Most of the time she behaved like she was on the Apprentice (which apparently she also was a finalist for) or Survivor and it just didn't work.

                                                                                                          1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                            inaplasticcup Jul 18, 2011 01:08 PM

                                                                                                            She probably would have lasted longer on the Apprentice. They like the paw fights on that show... *meow*

                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                          Claudette Jul 18, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                                                                          I've quit watching because I don't want any of them to win. Reading these threads is much more entertaining, makes me laugh, and doesn't take up as much of my time.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Claudette
                                                                                                            rasputina Jul 18, 2011 01:46 PM

                                                                                                            This is a horrible group, it's the first season I've watched where I don't care who wins. And I do always give the winners show a chance at least. Well except Aaron McCargo, I couldn't believe he won, boring.

                                                                                                          2. chowser Jul 18, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                                                                            I'm still trying to figure out what advantage Whitney got from winning? She was able to choose what she cooked but the rest of it was pretty irrelevant. Shopping went to those who wanted it. Were they going to send someone home for poor table design? Not with Target as a ad placement. It had to look good.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                                                                              zfalcon Jul 18, 2011 05:57 PM

                                                                                                              The advantage is that she got to choose what order (and sort of what type of course) everyone got. So, not only could she choose what she wanted to make (meat course), she could stick someone with a course that they may not be able to execute well (dessert/salad/cheese/etc).

                                                                                                              1. re: zfalcon
                                                                                                                Joanie Jul 19, 2011 03:55 AM

                                                                                                                But it didn't seem like Whitney gave the order much thought. She wanted meat but other than that, it seemed super random.

                                                                                                            2. pdxgastro Jul 18, 2011 11:54 PM

                                                                                                              Jyll is a hot mess. First with the Mexican food fail at the outdoor event and now with the risotto. Corn- seriously? I hope she learned something from Wolfie.

                                                                                                              1. monavano Jul 20, 2011 09:32 AM

                                                                                                                Jyll's rice was just a disaster. My goodness, she was stirring and stirring that glop around and at no point did it look good. She just truly has never made a good risotto and it was quite obvious. That said, Puck was just so out of line and his behavior shocked me. I'd be happy to learn from him, but he absolutely humiliated Jyll. I simply can not imagine walking back into that kitchen with Puck in tow, remaking the dish I just served him. I give Jyll all the credit in the world for holding it together and putting forth a goof face. That was just uncalled for.
                                                                                                                Penny just didn't go up the learning curve for her taped appearances. What a shame. She can cook!
                                                                                                                MB-- spaghetti and meatballs? I don't think she's got cooking chops. Not at all. And cayenne adds heat, nothing else. You have to use it very carefully to just get a smidge of heat on the tongue.
                                                                                                                The Mexican food looked awesome, and I hope Susan makes it in the top 3.

                                                                                                                27 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                  John E. Jul 20, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                  I think it might not be uncommon for chefs to be bullies in the kitchen. Puck has been a guest judge on Top Chef several times and every time has made an insult to one or more of the contestants in order to get a laugh. I'm sure he treats his employees the same way. I'm guessing that Michael Chiarillo might not be an easy chef to work for either. Of course for every bully-type chef there might be a Hubert Keller or Rick Bayless who, although likely very demanding, seem like they would be less insulting and condescending.

                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                    monavano Jul 20, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                    Good points. I think that it being on TV is what makes it cringe-worthy. I think Jyll got a pass for taking it on the chin, so to speak!

                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                      John E. Jul 20, 2011 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                      I agree. While I don't think Jill should her own FN show I think she handled that situation in the best way possible. I wonder how long the lesson actually lasted.

                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                        monavano Jul 20, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                        It didn't seem like Puck made another risotto from scratch. I think he just wanted to show her the method.

                                                                                                                      2. re: monavano
                                                                                                                        kprange Jul 20, 2011 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                        I think she was saved because Puck liked her attitude. He was impressed by how she handled herself. Had they kicked her off, I think they would have offended him and his contribution to the show

                                                                                                                        1. re: kprange
                                                                                                                          Shrinkrap Jul 20, 2011 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                          "and his contribution to the show"

                                                                                                                          Which is? Seriously; Credibility? His name? /His skill? Laughs?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                            kprange Jul 20, 2011 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                            The use of his name, his comments, his time

                                                                                                                            1. re: kprange
                                                                                                                              Shrinkrap Jul 20, 2011 06:52 PM


                                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                kprange Jul 20, 2011 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                He has more credibility than I do. You may not like him, but there are obviously people out there who do. I see that every time I go to the grocery store and see his products for sale on the shelves.

                                                                                                                                1. re: kprange
                                                                                                                                  Shrinkrap Jul 20, 2011 08:15 PM

                                                                                                                                  I never thought I did or didn't like him before, but I'm having trouble wrapping my head around "the risotto incident.". What do you think that was about?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                    monavano Jul 21, 2011 05:23 AM

                                                                                                                                    Not sure exactly what Puck's impetus was to take the bull by the horns with Jyll, but now that I think about it a little more, he did her a favor. And FN a favor.
                                                                                                                                    Here's a young woman who wants to get her own cooking show and teach people how to cook, and she had absolutely no clue that she makes risotto wrong. I get that it's the way she's always eaten it, but if you deign to call yourself enough of an expert to have a cooking show, at least know basic methods such as risotto making.
                                                                                                                                    That ball of glop was beyond ruined and Jyll didn't know enough to NOT serve it, or at least realize that it seized up and start again.
                                                                                                                                    Or at least add some hot stock just before serving in a last ditch attempt to rescue the risotto.
                                                                                                                                    The scenario/editing made her look like a dilettante.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                      soupkitten Jul 21, 2011 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                      am i the only one who thinks jyll may be mortified *now* but years down the road, she will have a great story about how wolfgang puck taught her how to make a risotto? i mean, if yo-yo ma walked into a high school orchestra and yanked one cellist out of the section, and gave her/him a few pointers, the highschooler may be initially embarrassed, especially if the incident was televised--but how priceless is the one-on-one with the master?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                        chowser Jul 21, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                        Definitely. And, she's probably going to be thankful that someone set her straight on what a risotto is supposed to be like, especially since she has a catering business. It would be far more embarrassing to continue thinking risotto should be that firm and learning the truth years from now. She has a good story to tell and if anyone corrects her now, she can say, "Well, Wolfgang Puck showed it to me this way," And, his risotto looked good.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                          monavano Jul 21, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                          Yes, in the end, it was better for Puck to intervene rather than slam her effort in the judging. Puck certainly left a life-long impression.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen Jul 21, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                            So true. I watched the judge videos on Food Network and in her video Susie (the judge, isn't that her name? Suddenly I'm doubting myself) basically said that Jyll's incredible grace and composure under those very humiliating circumstances is what saved her. I thought that was interesting given that it seems like Susie was saying nearly the exact opposite at the judging table. Damn editing.

                                                                                                                                            Nevertheless, I felt bad for Jyll in the moment, but it might turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to her. Plus, it kept her going one more week despite very bad food.

                                                                                                                                            I think the reason they left Bobby Flay's Jesus Christ in is so that we, the audience, know that the judges were shocked by Puck's behavior, too.


                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                              pine time Jul 22, 2011 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                              Funny, I saw a repeat, and Bobby's JC was edited out. Anyone else see that?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                paulj Jul 22, 2011 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                That happened with a controversial comment on a Chopped episode.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                  huiray Jul 22, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Pity they chickened out.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                    Shrinkrap Jul 22, 2011 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Apparently it got attention elsewhere too!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                      Joanie Jul 22, 2011 09:54 AM


                                                                                                                                            2. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                              kprange Jul 21, 2011 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                              I think the risotto looked so bad, he felt there was nothing else to do. Monavano is right, if you feel you have enough knowledge to have a cooking show, then you should know how to cook the basics.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                                                                                                                                inaplasticcup Jul 21, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                I smell a new Puck show on Cooking Channel that needs some publicity maybe...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                                                                                                                  chowser Jul 21, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I'd love to see a show where people write in about someone who thinks he/she makes a dish well but doesn't and have Puck show up to teach that person how to do it right. Like What Not to Wear, maybe How Not to Cook? The first person I'd write in is someone I know who cooks onions and green peppers, adds a couple of cans of diced tomatoes and a handful of little shrimp and calls it gumbo.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                    Shrinkrap Jul 20, 2011 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                    Ah! To get a laugh! i was WONDERING about his motivation.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                    Worldwide Diner Jul 20, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                    Maybe people should boycott Puck's restaurant?

                                                                                                                                    I'm just kidding. Usually when someone does something offensive, a bunch of people start saying they'll never go to that person's restaurant.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                                                                                                      debbiel Jul 20, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                      Am I the only one who thinks that perhaps that was all somehow planned--if not specifically for the risotto, that Puck should decide to go back to the kitchen to teach a lesson to one of the contestants who brought out something subpar? I can just imagine that being part of the "reality" television direction and production.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel
                                                                                                                                        monavano Jul 20, 2011 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                        If it was planned, Flay didn't know anything about it. In fact, all of the judges looked mortified.

                                                                                                                                    2. monavano Jul 20, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                      Weighing in on Flay's JC comment, I too was surprised that FN didn't bleep it out. It could be offensive and not to get into the biblical meaning and commandments, it just would have been a prudent thing to do.
                                                                                                                                      I'm no prude, and I say JC all the time (really trying to quit).
                                                                                                                                      It was spontaneous, I'll give FN that! If the other judges didn't say it, I'm sure they were thinking it.

                                                                                                                                      1. josquared Jul 20, 2011 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                        Not much has really changed for me. As far as the show's contestants, I'd be willing:

                                                                                                                                        To eat in a restaurant with Justin B. or Penny as chefs. As TV hosts, though, they're duds - I liken it to prominent athletes in sports who absolutely bomb as presenters or commentators.

                                                                                                                                        To read and/or hear food described by Marybeth, perhaps even in a TV show format. As far as sampling her cooking wares - no way.

                                                                                                                                        I really have no use to try the food/watch a TV show by Jeff, Whitney, Jyll or anyone of the other eliminated candidates not mentioned prior.

                                                                                                                                        Only people that I would try their food out in a restaurant and at least give their TV show a view or two - Susie and Vic.

                                                                                                                                        As far as that surefire star factor from this bunch, I don't really see it from any of them.

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: josquared
                                                                                                                                          LurkerDan Jul 20, 2011 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                          I wish I could go back in time and watch Fieri's season. I remember watching an episode or two, and certainly don't recall him jumping out at me then, but I wasn't paying much attention nor watching much FN back then. My guess, however, is that my memory isn't wrong, and he wasn't head and shoulders above the competition or an obvious star. I think it's very hard to judge them at this point as to whether they'll become "stars" (however you want to define that term).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LurkerDan
                                                                                                                                            josquared Jul 20, 2011 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                            You bring up a good point, and it did get me thinking of what could be an interesting topic - what current FN stalwarts would do well at a format like NFNS (i.e. be shoe-ins for at least a Top 3 finish) and which ones would bomb out early?

                                                                                                                                            Obviously, a lot of projection is needed to guesstimate rougher-hewn versions of folks like Flay, Deen, Giada, etc. - what you see now are more or less finished products polished up from a long career in the culinary and media fields.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: josquared
                                                                                                                                              monavano Jul 20, 2011 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                              Giada was terrible when she started (as seen on her Chefography) which makes it so hard to hear her critique the contestants.
                                                                                                                                              She has nothing on Guy though.... he was a bit obnoxious.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: josquared
                                                                                                                                            John E. Jul 20, 2011 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                                            So far, the food that I would enjoy eating and learning how to make is Susie's. She appears to have enough personality to do a show, unlike some of the other contestants. (By the way, when I mentioned editing Flay's comment, I did not intend for there to be a 'bleep'. It could have been edited in such a way where a bleep would not be needed).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                              The Dairy Queen Jul 21, 2011 04:01 AM

                                                                                                                                              Funnily enough, there was a teaser preview of that Puck moment "let me show you" where Bobby's comment was not aired. So, we all knew the Puck moment was coming, but Bobby's response was a surprise. The beauty of editing.


                                                                                                                                          3. s
                                                                                                                                            smartie Jul 20, 2011 08:49 PM

                                                                                                                                            I presume that all of us here are able to cook reasonably well, so explain to me how this program and all the other cooking competitions make the contestants cook something and then have to wait for quite some time until all their food gets to the judges.Surely the food goes cold, or sits for too long congealing or overcooking/over-resting or wilting under the lights?

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                              DGresh Jul 21, 2011 03:46 AM

                                                                                                                                              I could be wrong but at times I've gotten the impression that they don't all finish at the same time (they have their cooking times staggered). I think for the purposes of "drama" they try to obscure this, but every so often it shows through.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                                                                smartie Jul 21, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                I've noticed on programs like Chopped where they all finish at the same time in 20 minutes or whatever that still somebody's ice cream seems to melt a bit. I guess things are edited but even so not all dishes can be eaten immediately.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                  paulj Jul 21, 2011 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                  The judging on chopped feels more like a 'real time' thing. There's still editing, since we don't see anyone placing the plates in front of the judges.

                                                                                                                                            2. BubblyOne Jul 22, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                              Did anyone watch RR today with the final 6? If there is a God, the judges will decide to eliminate Rachael!

                                                                                                                                              Her twist on American food was wrapping a hot dog in a tortilla with canned refried beans. I almost gagged.

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                                                                                huiray Jul 22, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                "...wrapping a hot dog in a tortilla with canned refried beans..."
                                                                                                                                                REALLY? Wow, just wow.
                                                                                                                                                (No, I didn't watch that. No, I don't watch RR. Ick.)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                                                  BubblyOne Jul 22, 2011 09:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Some of the finalists were better than others, but with a large staff that's the best RR could come up with? I could go into my pantry right now (this is after a few cocktails) and look like Julia Child compared to that. Just nasty.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                                                                                    AMFM Jul 23, 2011 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                    that's disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                                                                                  DiningDiva Jul 23, 2011 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Too bad, TJ dogs are really great. Take an all-american hot dog, wrap it in all-american bacon, grill or griddle and top with cheese, jalapenos, salsa, all-american mayo and serve it in a standard issue Bimbo (think Mexican Wonder Bread) hot dog bun and you've got a divine re-invention of an American classic. No need for canned refried beans anf the tortilla. Thay's just wrong on so many levels

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                                                                                                    BubblyOne Jul 24, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Ha, since Bimbo has bought pretty much every major bakery brand- Oroweat, Thomas', Francisco, Entenmanns's, etc. no problem finding the buns:)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BubblyOne
                                                                                                                                                      DiningDiva Jul 24, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Isn't that the truth!!

                                                                                                                                                3. Shrinkrap Jul 23, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                  "Great Balls on Tires" on "Eat Street" today. The 2011 "Rotisserie Rumble" episode. Sound familiar?

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