June 15, 2009 03:25 AM by Cindy Adams
Tonight’s The Next Food Network Star was full of sophisticated manly cooking, festive holidays, and drama galore! The contestants havd a big Esquire challenge that forced the women to think like men, and then they had to figure out what dish they could cook that would represent a holiday. April Fool’s Day anyone?
After Jen was eliminated last week for her uninspired green bean dish, the 9 remaining contestants were asked to cook for the “Esquire Man.” in this weeks The Next Food Network Starreward challenge. Essentially, each was given two ingredients that an Esquire magazine reader could cook and eat. The winner’s recipe would be featured in the publication.
The ingredients were given to each contestant as follows:
Katie – Cereal and lamb chops
Debbie – Peanut butter and flank steak
Brett – Pickles and ground beef
Michael – Coffee beans and pork chops
Melissa – Maraschino cherries and chicken thighs
Jeffrey – Pistachios and filet
Jamika – Whiskey and porterhouse
Eddie – Beer and strip steak
Teddy – Maple syrup and rib eye.
After the contestants cooked their ingredients and added their own special touches, the second part of challenge was to perform a 1-minute presentation of their dish to the camera. Jamika started strong, but had a “brain freeze” in the middle of her presentation, while Melissa, the mom, was boring and confusing saying the Esquire Man’s food could be eaten by babies! Not a good move. Jeffrey was smooth as usual, and Teddy delivered his presentation by yelling. Brett was hilarious and over the top with his delivery, trying to be an aggressive man’s man. The judges really liked Debbie, who they said did a great job and Eddie delivered the best presentation, winning the entire challenge.
The Next Food Network Star elimination challenge this weektook place at Good Housekeeping headquarters. The challenge was to create a simple holiday dish that represents a particular holiday. The winner’s recipe would be featured in Good Housekeeping magazine. Because Eddie won the first challenge, he got to choose which holiday each contestant received.
The holidays and dishes were as follows:
Katie – Earth Day and roasted shrimp w/cannellini beans and grilled radicchio
Debbie – Mardi gras and Cajun mandu w/country rice and black beans
Brett – April fool’s Day and pan seared filet mignon and lobster tempura
Michael – Halloween and wonton wrapped tuna w/butternut squash salad
Melissa – Mother’s day and oven scrambled eggs and orange coconut French toast spicy
Jeffrey – Ground hog day and lobster and chorizo stuffed avocados
Jamika – New Years day and collard greens w/sweet corn bread
Eddie – Valentine’s Day and seared ahi tuna w/orange ginger sake glaze
Teddy – Labor Day and surf and turf with a marinated filet and shrimp lump crab cake
Just before time ran out, Teddy and Brett offered to help Melissa plate her food. Teddy said Melissa was chaotic and Brett stated she was not trained in the culinary world like they were.
Each contestant presented their dishes to the judges, Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, and Good Housekeeping executives. They liked Melissa’s breakfast, but did not like Katie who made her dish sound too healthy and unappealing. Brett was great by acting like he was quitting the show and then yelling out “April Fools!” The judges didn’t think Brett represented the holiday he was given in his dish. Eddie had to be silenced by Bobby Flay because he started giving the judges too much information about his girlfriend and the first time he cooked this romantic dish for her. Awkward!
During the elimination ceremony, resentment was brewing between Melissa and the two contestants who helped her plate, Teddy and Brett. The judges were complementing her on her egg dish, while Teddy and Brett were making awkward faces. This did not go unnoticed by Giada who said, “Do you want to say something Brett?”
Brett said, “No, no. I’m just listening. But in the culinary world you do have to produce your dish and put it out.” Judge Bob asked Melissa, “Are you able to make the dishes on your own,?’
She answered, “It was great because Teddy and Brett helped me put the eggs into the actual ramekins so that then I could plate the other pieces.” Brett blurted out, “You know what I think, that teddy and I helping you really saved you.” Melissa said, “I’m really sorry. I don’t think that the plates would have been any different had they not done it.”
The judges asked Teddy his thoughts on the situation and he said, “I’m not here to throw anybody under the bus, so I don’t have anything to say.” Bob asked Melissa if she had any doubts that it was her cooking, recipe, and knowledge that went into the dish and she replied, “I don’t think that 60 seconds of taking a spoon and putting it into a ramekin is part ownership of a dish.” She was clearly shaken and felt like she was being attacked by Brett and Teddy for no reason.
Melissa, Debbie, and Jamika were told they did the best, but at the end of the day, Jamika won the challenge. The judges said she had the ability to whisk them away and bring them into her world. The bottom three contestants were Katie, Eddie, and Brett, with Brett finally being eliminated.
Don’t miss next week’s episode when it looks like a contestant’s honesty comes into question,
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Photo credit: Food Network