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Food Network Star Recap: “In The Line Of Fire”

June 12, 2011 08:11 PM by Megan Thompson

It’s down to 14 finalists on the Food Network Star, but tonight two more chefs are sent home.  Which two contestants no longer have the dream of having their own show on the Food Network?  Keep reading to find out all the details of the show and see if your favorite chef made the cut!

Camera Challenge:

The chefs are presented with a challenge right away and this time – its pizza!  The contestants have one hour to make a pizza that reflects their “culinary style”.  The winner gets their pizza featured in Food Network magazine, the loser goes home immediately! 

Some chefs stand out, while others fail miserably presenting in front of the camera and the judges.  The winner of the challenge is Penny Davidi, the “middle-eastern mama.”  Her presentation is flawless and the judges love the pizza she created.  Penny topped her pizza with feta, mint and caramelized red onions.   

In the bottom three are Juba Kali, Vic Moea and Justin Balmes.  All three men bombed their presentation to the judges.  In the end, Juba Kali is the first chef of the evening sent home. 

Star Challenge:

In the star challenge the chefs have to make restaurant food accessible to the home chef.  The three dishes the chefs have to create are: braised short ribs, abalone, and pork belly.  Each contestant will be making their own version of one of these dishes, they will not be working as a team. 

As winner of the camera challenge, Penny assigns the chefs which dish they will have to cook.  Penny takes the assignment seriously and it’s her goal to knock out Orchid.  Orchid is assigned to the abalone, which Penny feels she will fail at. 

When the chefs walk into the kitchen they find the Neely’s, Anne Burrell and Scott Conant have joined the judges panel.  During this challenge the chefs will have to cook, while answering questions from the large panel of judges.  

Braised Short Ribs:  Mary Beth Albright, Penny Davidi, Susie Jimenez, and Katy Clark are up first cooking their version of braised short ribs.  Mary Beth has great conversation with the judge, while Katy almost burns down the restaurant.  Penny, Susie and Mary Beth all receive praise from the judges, while Katy gets slammed.  Mary Beth is crowned the winner of this group. 

Pork Belly:  Whitney Chen, Jeff Mauro, Jyll Everman, Justin Davis and Alicia Sanchez are next to cook their version of pork belly.  Jeff is sweating so much it’s dripping directly into his food- gross!  Giada has to tell Jeff to wipe the sweat off of his face!  Jyll, Justin and Whitney’s food is well-received by the judges.  The judges all agree that Alicia makes them nervous, because she is so stressed in the kitchen.  Alicia heads to the back room where she breaks down and cries on Mary Beth’s shoulder.  Whitney is the ultimate winner in the pork belly dish.  

Abalone:  Orchid Paulmeier, Justin Balmes, Vic Moea and Chris Nirschel are up last and are cooking their version of abalone.  Vic and Justin both get mediocre review from the judges.  The judges harp on Chris for being a “show-off” in the kitchen, but not knowing the basics.  And Penny succeeds in making Orchid look bad – the judges are not impressed with her choice of canned oysters.  Justin’s food is the best of the group, but his personality is lacking. 

Evaluation and Elimination:

During evaluation Penny does admit to the judges of her plan to bring down Orchid.  Alicia is once again critiqued for being too frenzied in the kitchen.  The judges all agree on who succeeded and who failed in the challenge.    

The Top Chefs:  Whitney, Mary Beth, Justin

The Bottom Chefs:  Alicia, Katy, Chris

Ultimately, the judges decide that Katy Clark is the chef that must go tonight.  The judges feel she is confident, but maybe her personality lacks some depth.  Katy leaves with a smile on her face and a positive attitude.    

Tune in next week to see who is eliminated next.   Comment below and let us know if you think the judges made the right decision tonight. 

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Photo Credit: Food Network

Topics: Food Network Reality TV Shows, The Next Food Network Star |

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