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Food Network Star Recap: “Dueling Desserts”

June 19, 2011 08:17 PM by Megan Thompson

It’s all about desserts on tonight’s episode of Food Network Star. The 12 remaining contestants are challenged and mentored by Food Network stars, Duff Goldman and Robert Irvine. Keep reading to find out which chefs were successful and which chef was ultimately eliminated by desserts!

Camera Challenge

Giada De Laurentiis announces the camera challenge, which will be making “chocolate into dinner.” Each contestant steps up to the Hershey’s vending machine and a chocolate candy is randomly released.  Contestants are given various chocolates: Hershey kisses, peanut butter cups, candy bars and peppermint patties – which now must be incorporated into a savory dinner dish!

Justin’s pork chop with chocolate caramel kisses is a success; while Vic’s chocolate coated asparagus makes the judges cringe.  Jyll is the ultimate winner of the camera challenge with her Almond Joy coated shrimp.  

Star Challenge

Enter Duff Goldman and Robert Irvine to announce the star challenge which will be all about desserts.  The contestants will be separated into teams of two and each team must create a display of over-the-top desserts.  Each person must cook a dessert and there also must be two team dishes.  Alicia is excited about the challenge because she went to pastry school. 

As winner of the challenge Jyll gets to pick her team, which she does very quickly. Jyll chooses to work with Duff and all the girls, that is all the girls minus Penny. How does Penny feel?  Penny feels being left off the girl team is “the best thing that has ever happened to me.” 

The two teams are:

Team Duff Goldman:  Alicia Sanchez, Jyll Everman, Mary Beth Albright, Orchid Paulmeier, Whitney Chen and Susie Jimenez.

Team Robert Irvine:  Chris Nirschel, Jeff Mauro, Justin Balmes, Justin Davis, Penny Davidi and Vic Moea.  

With two hours to cook the contestants get to work! Team Robert is loud and chaotic, while team Duff seems to be more zen in the kitchen.  Duff stops in to check on his team, he approves of all the dishes and is excited to see the end result.  Robert checks on his team and is immediately dissatisfied with the mess that consumes the kitchen.  Justin steps up to be the leader of the team and is tasked to clean up the kitchen.  As the time ticks away, so does the girls’ confidence.  Susie forgets to buy oil to fry her churros, Mary Beth burns cookies and Alicia begins her usual meltdown.  On team Irvine, Chris continues to struggle and drops an entire tray of pies. 

Presentation Time

The contestants now must feed the 150 guests entering the ballroom.  The guests are not shy about their negative feelings towards these desserts.  One guest explains she threw away the cupcake and another person says she spit hers out.  A woman comments that the food is not up to par with what a food network star should cook.  The proof the food is not winning over the guests – there is a garbage can full of half-eaten cupcakes!  Most of the negative comments are about team Duff’s desserts. 


What do the judges think?   

On team Duff, the girls didn’t put up a good fight in this dessert challenge. Jyll, Orchid, and Whitney succeed with their desserts. Alicia, Mary Beth and Susie fail to please with their cooking. Jyll is put on the spot for not stepping up and being a leader on the team. Orchid, one again, is given high remarks for her charm and personality.  Susie is well-liked by the judges, even though her dessert failed.  As almost on cue, Alicia begins to cry as the judges’ critique her food and personality.   

On team Irvine, the popcorn made by Justin B. is a hit with all the judges.  If Justin’s personality would just “pop” too – he would be the contestant to beat.  Vic’s cream puff, Justin D’s corn and basil pudding and Penny’s saffron and coconut rice are huge hits with the judges.  The judges are not pleased with Chris’ pie or his attitude in this challenge.  Overall, team Irvine put team Duff to shame in this dessert competition! 


Team Duff is on the chopping block tonight.  Alicia, Mary Beth and Susie are in the bottom three and face elimination.  The judges deliberate among themselves about these three contestants.  In the end, the judges decide it is time for Alicia to go home.  The judges questioned Alicia’s skill-set in the kitchen.  Alicia should have shined in the dessert challenge, yet she failed to do so.     

Did the judges make the right decision?  Let us know your thoughts on Alicia’s elimination, leave a comment below.  Tune in next week to see the chefs cook for Courtney Cox and the cast of Cougar Town.        

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Photo Credit: Food Network

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

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3 Responses to “Food Network Star Recap: “Dueling Desserts””

  1. Jane Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Alicia Sanchez needed to have been eliminated from week 1. She is by far the worst contestant this show has ever seen.

  2. Alice Says:
    June 20th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Penny has GOT to be the snottiest contestant ever, and Chris is a total jerk! Can’t wait for those two to leave!

  3. Kathy Says:
    June 21st, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Glad to see Alicia go. My nickname for her was crybaby girl. Chris needs to be the next to go.


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