‘Food Network Star,’ Season 7, Episode 1: TV Recap

Let the culinary cliches begin.

It’s time for another season of "Food Network Star," that gastronomic equivalent of "American Idol" and staple of summertime cable viewing. Season seven launched tonight with a lineup of 15 wannabe Bobby Flays and Rachael Rays, a tasting menu’s worth of tantalizing dishes ("Grown-up S’mores," anyone?) and, yes, more than a few of those culinary clichés: To quote Mr. Flay, "It’s time to turn up the heat." (And to quote him again, "Meat isn’t the only thing that’s going to be roasted here today.")

What’s new: For starters, the name of the show has been mercifully abbreviated from "The Next Food Network Star," to simply "Food Network Star" – a clear acknowledgement that the series needs little in the way of introduction. But the big news is that it’s also got a new judge: Giada De Laurentiis. She brings a cheery vibe to the proceedings and a fair bit of culinary savvy. But she’s not quite yet skilled at the art of leaving a contestant wondering if they’re safe for another week or not – with her facial expressions, she telegraphed the answer before she actually said it. Read More...



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