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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, December 9

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TV Wed May 30 2012

"Food Network Star" Gets Chopped

teamalton_foodnetworkstar.jpgThe "Food Network Star" contestants were on the chopping block this week, facing a food basket challenge and the judges from "Chopped." Each team competed against each other to create desserts based on whatever was in the basket, with one contestant from each team heading to the elimination round.

Team Alton was given Hershey's kisses, pancetta, graham crackers and kumquats. Chicago's remaining contestant, Judson Todd Allen, made a pancetta cornbread-graham cracker cake, topped with kumquat-bourbon sauce. One the downside, his cake didn't cook all the way through; on the upside, judges Bob Tuschman praised him for toning down his corporate presenter style.

While there was no team win in this episode, producer Tuschman told Team Alton, "The judges felt that your team excelled this week, kind of beating the other teams."

Fortunately for our Chicago pride, Judson's undercooked cake didn't land him in the bottom. His teammate Martie Duncan was once again unfocused and rambling, delivering an underwhelming "indoor s'mores" and running out of time on her presentation. The combo sent her to the Producer Challenge, where she went up against Nikki Martin and Josh Lyons to stay in the game.

The three bottom contestants were asked to answer a question submitted by a viewer on the Food Network website: If you don't have an outdoor grill, what can you make to get that grilled flavor? Martie redeemed herself with a tequila lime tuna pressed between two grill pans, Nikki used liquid smoke in a flank steak marinade and foil-wrapped wood chips to smoke sauteed peppers, and Josh did a loose meatball with a cucumber sunomono. In the end, Josh's stumbles caught up with him and he was cut.

Judson was out of the spotlight this episode, which was probably a good thing at this stage, allowing him to relax after last week's bottom finish. We'll see what comes next week, when the contestants head to Fashion Week. Judson is a snappy dresser...

Watch the whole episode below:

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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