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Next Food Network Star Nipa Walks Out!

June 08, 2008 09:54 PM by Lisa Stauber

Robert Irvine of Dinner Impossible rousts the crew at 3 A.M., and he’s got a mission in mind. He’s sending them into the wilds of New York in teams of three, searching out items and answering trivia questions. The winner will get nationwide exposure in USA Weekend magazine as well as get a leg up on the competition for this upcoming week.

The First Challenge
The first challenge is actually getting ready in the morning. “It is an ugly scene in that bathroom,” Adam says. Apparently the carriage house was not designed with the conveniences for ten adults! Nipa takes her time getting ready, though, holding her team up. Kelsey’s team answers the first question wrong, and has to earn an ingredient by doing food prep. “The questions are very, very hard!” Kevin says. The next team answers their question correctly and so does Nipa’s team, passing Kelsey and crew who are busy baking up some baguettes.

Adam, Aaron, and Jennifer fly through their third question but the other two teams have to complete more food prep, this time butchering three chickens. Finally the teams have completed the trivia part of the challenge, and now they’re taking a train ride. They must cook, plate and serve brunch to thirty passengers, and the judges.

The Cooking Challenge
Adam’s team gets to go first, since they finished the first part of the challenge ahead of the others. Aaron tries to give Adam some advice about serving runny eggs to a crowd, but Adam decides to do his own thing Adam has issues with Jennifer’s French toast, but she just wants to be left alone Aaron’s ready to quit, what happened to teamwork? The eggs are raw and Susie actually spits it out. Bobby declares Jennifer’s French toast bland, but everyone loves the steak. Looks like Aaron pulled it together!

Nipa, Lisa, and Shane don’t fare much better. Lisa’s already annoyed at Nipa’s choice of lamb for their meat, wondering how they are going to pair that with a baguette and blue cheese. Nipa’s making lamb kebobs, Shane decides on a fig and blue cheese salad, and Lisa’s making more French toast. The presentation goes well, and Lisa finally gets her culinary point of view down to one intelligible sentence. The lamb is a little too spicy, the salad is overdressed, and they love the French toast.

Kevin, Kelsey and Jeffrey have to make mozzarella, duck, and brioche to plate up. “I think the crostini is sexy,” Kevin says, trying to make his cheese toast fit in with his romantic point of view. Kevin poses an extra challenge for his teammates, as he left the jug of olive oil on the platform. Kelsey and Jeffrey have to try to make it work – then Kevin “forgets” to lay out ten plates so they can be filled with food. With teammates like that, who needs enemies? The presentation is awkward, and Bobby Flay seems annoyed by Kevin. The judges don’t care for Jeffrey’s soulful bread pudding, and they think Kevin’s figs were way too sweet.

The Evaluation
Nipa’s having second thoughts about becoming a Food Network star. “Maybe I don’t want this,” she says.

Marketing guru Susie Fogelson, Programming VP Bob Tuschman, and chefs Robert Irvine and Bobby Flay get right down to business in the evaluation room.

Susie loved Aaron’s main dish. “The steak rocked!” she says. The judges note that Kelsey’s duck was a little overcooked, but flavorful. Bob wonders what Kevin’s romantic twist was. “Um, just using figs and honey,” Kevin says. “It’s just not resonating with us,” Bob tells him. The judges move onto the next team, and they love Lisa’s dish. Bobby tells Shane to slow down his presentation. The judges tell Nipa that her dish needed salt, and she just stands around looking at them. “Let me ask you,” Bobby says, “Are you enthusiastic about this?” Nipa doesn’t have an answer, but starts to cry instead.

She decides to walk out, leaving everyone stunned. The girls take up for her, with Lisa and Jennifer scrambling to excuse and defend her answer. Nipa returns with an apology and an explanation, “Can you handle the pressure?” Susie asks her.

Moving Forward
Lisa and Aaron won the article in USA weekend, and are safe for today. Kelsey, Jennifer, and Adam will be moving forward and get a pass upstairs.

“We need to start narrowing it down,” Bobby warns, and then gives Jeffrey a pass. Shane’s moving forward as well, leaving Kevin and Nipa on the line.

The Elimination
Nipa, despite her drama, gets to move forward and Kevin is sent away. The judges just never got his “Live well, Love well” point of view and he didn’t have the culinary chops.

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Photos courtesy Food Network.

Topics: The Next Food Network Star |

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