Last night's season premiere of The Next Food Network Star went almost directly into the kitchen without passing go, and without wasting time on drawn-out introduction packages for this season's competitors. That's just fine by me, especially since the brief 'Åhellos'Â were spent in that enviably awesome Hollywood Hills villa where our 12 contestants get to live.
Host Bobby Flay welcomed the show's new mentor Giada De Laurentiis (clad in a sensational purple dress), then told the dozen hopefuls they needed to fill in the 'Åultimate culinary blank canvas'Â by preparing chicken and potatoes in just 45 minutes, then filming a 15-second spot explaining what their dishes said about them. The episode's elimination challenge followed a similar cook-and-film template, as the chefs were asked to film 15-second promo spots for their dream series, then prepare part of a six-course 'ÅCalifornia cuisine'Â meal for the judges and tart-tongued guest Wolfgang Puck. (Sample critique of half-cooked beignets from soon-to-be-eliminated Alexis: 'ÅMy wife would divorce me if I gave her that to eat!'Â) Based on these initial outings, I'm going to break down my three early favorites, and the three contestants I'm rooting against:
To Read More Click Here.