The Next Food Network Star – Episode 6-2 Review
Though their cooking challenge took place on the Santa Monica Pier, the contestants didn’t have any time for fun and games this week. They were way too busy catering a party for a hundred of Ace of Cakes star Chef Duff Goldman’s closest friends.
Before the party, however, the contestants were put through a “Camera Challenge.” They were tested on something that’s a very big part of being a Food Network Star – talking and cooking at the same time. Giada takes control of this challenge, and I can see the mentor role start to develop when she gives the contestants her notes after the challenge is over.
After that painful experience (at least for most), the contestants are brought into a room with a table full of carnival treats and a Zoltar booth. The contestants are pleasantly surprised when Chef Duff Goldman walks in. He tells them that they’re catering a party for him on the Santa Monica Pier, and they have to make a savory dish inspired from the sweet treat written on the paper they pull out of the Zoltar booth. Not only that, but they have to serve the food to the guests, and play host/hostess at the same time.
Serena Palumbo: She has yet to serve the judges a disappointing dish. While she is definitely tough competition already, the others better watch out when she learns to speak at a normal pace.
Aarti Sequeira: Her warm, welcoming personality and excellent funnel cake-inspired dish made her a crowd favorite in the Santa Monica challenge, which earned her the win. However, her lacking self-confidence could end up costing her the competition.
Herb Mesa: His “cheesy” joke in the Camera Challenge went over well, and the judges loved his smoke salmon “lollipop.” Between this and his challenge win last week, he’s starting off strong.
Dzintra Dzenis: I gave her some slack last week because of her injury. But she didn’t make up for it this week, neither with her food nor her incredibly awkward and off-putting personality during the Santa Monica challenge.
Tom Pizzica: He’s also in big trouble if he doesn’t get his act together next week. The judges hated his overcooked fish and gritty spices. And again, they criticized him for being way too laid-back.
Paul Young: Even though he aced the camera challenge, the Santa Monica challenge was his downfall. The judges weren’t fans of his rude behavior at the party, and his “weird” dish that wasn’t at all inspired by his carnival treat.
Darrell “DAS” Smith: After he didn’t do well last week, Darrell finally lived up to his “cool guy” image at the Santa Monica party. And the judges loved his lemonade-inspired fried chicken.
Aria Kagan: Though a leader last week, Aria stumbled when she had to sacrifice some flavor in her meatballs when she had to quickly replace a tray of them that she left back at the kitchen. However, she still has her bright personality on her side.
Brianna Jenkins: If her candy apple-inspired meatball hadn’t won the judges over, she’d be one of the worst. This so-called “party girl” was guarded and almost rude to the unimpressed party guests.
Brad Sorenson: Even though his food received Chef Wolfgang Puck’s highest compliments last week, he struggled this week when the judges could barely eat his too-smoky pulled pork. He also needs more energy in front of the camera.
Who Went Home
Doreen Fang: Her off-putting facial expressions in the camera challenge, her tough pork, and confusing point of view sent her home. This isn’t too surprising when she was also in trouble last week.