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Food Network Star - 8/4

I didn't see a thread on this so I'm starting one.

Down to three finalists.

Luca may be fairly nice to look at, but his formula is now to say - for every challenge - "it reminds me of what my grandmother used to make when I was a boy in Torino." I don't buy it. I think it's a schtick and it is getting tiresome.

I agree with others' view on Lenny and the terror in his eyes when he faces the camera. Plus I don't care about cooking like a cowboy. Sorry.

The other contestant - the coastal girl - at least doesn't annoy me. Her food looks pretty good, but she's not all that interesting.

I think we can sum this whole season up with one word. "Meh."

I couldn't care less who "wins".

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  1. Lenny will win and get a show that will suck. Jersey girl will get a show on that other food channel. Luca will get old and fat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sal_acid

      Sadly, I do think of future fatness whenever I see Luca. I hope it doesn't happen, but...

    2. What makes me think that Nicole will win is when do a promo, it sucks and then they tell you what your show should be about...

      And since when does steaming clams turn it into bbq? Nicole was embarrassingly bad.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cwdonald

        She was doing a riff on cajun barbecued shrimp using clams instead as she said in the promo. In Louisiana it's called barbecued shrimp but it's not actually bbq. Don't ask me why. It's awesome though. It's a bunch of spices with butter poured over head on unshelled shrimp and then they are baked. You serve them with bread to sop up the sauce. yummy I used to live there and I've made it.

      2. Considering there has only been one "star" in however many seasons, I don't see much from these 3 that would change that.

        I'm betting Lenny will win, just because he's an over-the-top caricature and perfect for FN.

        1. I'm picking Luca for the win. I think Lenny and Nicole will be seen again in the future.

          1. I love Luca, but his pilot was annoying - here, let me go and taste the elaborate pasta dish that you're never going to get to try (and no I'm not going to tell you ANYTHING at all about it, it's just eye candy and an advertisment for the fancy restaurant that makes it) then I'm going to go away and make another entirely unrelated dish.

            I like Lenny a lot but he needs a live audience to play to... put him in front of the camera without one and he loses the plot. He was trying way too hard.

            And the 'coastal cuisine' schtick is boring, especially when they insisted that she had to make it 'relevant' by sticking to the US coast. World cuisine is much more exciting...

            6 Replies
            1. re: Kajikit

              The extent of Luca's cooking in the pilot is to puree garlic butter and anchovies together, (they talk nothing about how to cook the branzino... ). One step up from how to boil water.

              I actually got their point aobut Nicole having no credibility for world cuisines. Either you need to have extensively travelled, or not be of white anglo saxon descent. Jersey Girl is not going to pull off teaching me about chilis from Malaysia. There is enought you can do from Main through the gulf coast, not to mention the west coast that there really could be something there. The term coastal cuisine sounds like it was made by an ad executive.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  While I agree about not wanting Nicole to present herself as a 'global cuisine authority' - Rachel Ray used to use numerous 'global flavors' without ever pretending to be an expert.

                  In the 30 Minute Meals framework, it was often framed in the context of "I love X Global food, but out where we live in the country - we don't have those options - but this dish uses X flavors" etc etc. Basically, she'd frame it as being inspired by a Thai restaurant in NYC vs going to Thailand. Ina Garten will also comment on flavors of (insert usually a Western European country) without ever posing as an expert.

                  While it may be a fine line to walk of embracing global influences within an "American" cooking perspective, I think that's far more honest. One of the (many) problems that I think FNS has is that it requires everything to be tied to a deeply personal story. But, "my favorite take away spot a block from my house is a wonderful Thai/Persian/Russian/Peruvian restaurant - this dish is inspired by that" is just fine as a story to me. Particularly if your POV is something like seafood. Just don't feel a need to pretend that your deeply personal story involves living in Tehran.

                  1. re: cresyd

                    Food Network has had their fair share of non experts adapting "global flavors" including Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence.

                    1. re: rasputina

                      To make gross assumptions about the FN viewer - I do think that there's an interest in trying 'new' things, but it's within safe boundaries.

                      All items can be got from a grocery store (maybe the 'nice' one, but not a specialty store), and it's something along the lines of Mexican Burger, Greek Pizza, or a commonly heard dish like "my version of pad thai".

                2. re: Kajikit

                  I agree-- he said "this reminds me of a dish from my home town" and his dish had exactly zero in common with the dish that was shown.