Food Network Star: Please Try This at Home

(This post contains spoilers if you have not watched the episode of season ten of Food Network Star “Please Try This at Home”)

The contestants receive their Mentor Challenge from Alton Brown


She Said: 

It’s always fun to reach the second week of Food Network Star. The challenges start getting harder and definite personalities are starting to develop

I loved both of the challenges this week. In the Mentor Challenge it was so much fun to see the finalists teach a purposefully clumsy and dim Alton Brown. I thought Sarah seemed a little abrupt with her disdain for incorrectly prepared onions. I was very disappointed in Aryen for not giving credit to Lenny for helping her with the problem of the chunky gravy. I appreciate so much that Lenny tried to be helpful, but I guess in this competition he’s going to need to be a little more guarded. She could have at least mentioned that he TOLD her how to fix the problem. I feel like her days may be numbered because she’s not interesting to watch, doesn’t seem to have a lot of culinary knowledge and has only served bland food.


The Star Challenge was awesome. I love watching cooking shows, but sometimes you can’t actually tell what the host is trying to get you to do. I appreciate that on this season of Food Network Star they are trying to make sure that these finalists can actually show teach people. Alex Guarnaschelli was an excellent choice to cook along with the finalists. She was funny and she did a great job of pointing out flaws in their presentations.

Lenny McNab

As for the finalists there was superstar performance, some improvements that encouraged me and some finalists who really disappointed! Lenny McNab did an excellent job with his presentation. I can’t even eat crab and I thought his food looked tasty. He was funny, charming and displayed real abilities in both cooking and teaching. Emma Frisch really showed improvement and cooking knowledge. I would definitely be interested in seeing her show. Loreal Gavin made a tasty brunch salad (oh, how I love brunch) and I think she’ll learn how to pep up her presentations. She’s definitely still a favorite of mine. The biggest disappointments were from Chris Kyler, Luca Della Casa and Kenny Lao. It was a shame that Chris couldn’t get his food on the plates, because it was really creative and looked good. He’s got a good camera presence so I hope he can work on focusing to get his cooking goals accomplished while on camera. Luca didn’t look at the camera and seemed uncomfortable. It’s a little surprising that someone would want to be on Food Network Star and have never been on camera. Kenny was a disaster. He was flustered, disorganized and very unprofessional. Lenny had just as much time as Kenny and managed to make a creative, good dish, while cooking and entertaining the audience. I found Kenny to be very defensive and disrespectful about his failures in the kitchen.


Sadly, the judges sent home Luca. I don’t agree at all. Kenny should have gone home before Luca. I would NEVER watch Kenny.

Well, this season is officially in full swing I’m already annoyed at the judges! I can’t wait for next week’s episode to see if they can win me back. I’m still excited to cheer for Lenny, Loreal and Emma.


Kari Liked: Both challenges were creative and really did test the finalists on cooking and teaching abilities.


Kari Didn’t Like: That Kenny wasn’t eliminated

Loreal Gavin

He Said: 


This episode of Food Network Star was pretty entertaining. The Mentor Challenge was walking Alton through two recipes, with mostly good results. Christopher the professional chef wanted to put diced onions in a green bean casserole, and Kenny had no idea how to make gravy for chicken fried steak, but everyone else did fine. Next up was the Star Challenge where the contestants had fifteen minutes to do a food demonstration with a set of ingredients they hadn’t seen until their fifteen minutes starts. Unbeknownst to them, their dish was being made according to their directions by Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschlli. Her evaluations of how each chef was doing were the highlights of this episode.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli


Kenny did horribly and didn’t complete his dish, and had a meltdown about some burners not working. He then whined to the judges and blamed the equipment for his failure and said he didn’t have enough time. So of course, after horrible performances in both challenges by Kenny, they sent home Luca, who made a great dish, but just wasn’t used to interacting with a camera. You can learn to look at the camera pretty easily. It’s much harder to learn how to actually cook in a time frame and not pontificate too much while you should be cooking. Taking responsibility, despite what the judges say here, is much harder to learn, and just because you rethink your attitude when you have time to mull it over doesn’t mean that you won’t blame other things for bad performance again. I liked Kenny at first, but I’m over him.

Chris Kyler


Chris needs to step it up. I like him, and his flashiness, but he didn’t finish his dish either, and was at risk of going home. Laurel has some great potential but she has to be able to get through a presentation without crying. It’s getting uncomfortable to watch.


RJ Liked: The challenges themselves

RJ Didn’t Like: That Luca went home.


( All images are from

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