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Sunday, August 18

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TV Mon Jun 04 2012

"Food Network Star" Goes to Fashion Week

food network star season 8This week on "Food Network Star," the contestants went to Fashion Week. Chicago expat Ted Allen was the guest judge, who introduced everyone to the homely home-favorite dishes they would be giving a "fashion makeover."

Chicago chef Judson Todd Allen got seafood alfredo. He opted to upgrade the seafood, using top quality fish and shrimp in his dish. We didn't get to see much of his preparation process because the focus was on Eric Lee and his rush to rescue his re-imagined fish sticks. But out on the runway, Judson seemed a little subdued and his dish seemed a little weird.. He led off saying that one of his mantras is, "Great cuisine plus exquisite fashion equals love." He brought out a "paella-inspired seafood pasta dish with a cognac cream sauce" topped with lobster wrapped in fried rice noodles.

In their initial impressions after his presentation, the judges were confused -- Bob Tuschman wondered where that mantra came from, since he's never mentioned anything like it before -- and Alton Brown was visibly perturbed. And things didn't get better once they got an up-close look at his dish. Giada De Laurentiis thought there were "too many crunchy things in one bowl," while Ted Allen said, "None of this dish makes sense," and Susie Fogelson felt his words were hollow. Before the commercial break, Judson confided that he knew his dish was the weakest from Team Alton, and expected to be on the bottom again this week.

His teammate Justin won the challenge, taking home $10,000 from Discover Card. His win helped put Team Alton over the top for a win, probably saving Judson from elimination. Instead, Eric and Ippy Aiona, two of the strongest chefs in the kitchen, went to the producers' challenge -- where neither of them cooked. Instead, they were both given the same premade dish -- French toast -- and had to record a one-minute video describing the flavor of the dish from their unique perspective. Both contestants struggled to show their personalities, but Eric was the one to leave despite his obvious strong cooking talent.

Next Sunday, "Next Food Network Star" success story Guy Fieri is the guest judge on a special 90-minute episode in which each team hosts a live TV special. Of course the first episode was two hours and the second was 90 minutes, so extra-long episodes aren't all that special, really. Stay tuned to see if Judson can turn things around.

 
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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...
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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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