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S14.E05 Take This Title and Run With It

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With the field narrowed to six finalists, the group goes Hollywood for their first challenge as they whip up dishes inspired by characters from "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation." Fran Drescher, who voices Eunice in the movie, guest stars.

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Bye Jess. I would never watch her on television, something about a “food novelist” telling me how to cook totally turns me off.

Christian.... get someone to help you with your fashion choices. 

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And Amy dodges the axe again...   And seriously,  who thinks of rice when they hear poet gooey?

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This is exactly when I thought Jess would leave. Shame I liked her, not enough to read a a book but I would have checked out whatever lame thing they saddle the winner of this nonsense with. 

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Am I the only person who did not recognize Fran Drescher? The voice, yes....the face, no. She actually looks good just not like she used to! I would have been at a loss trying to do the first round...never saw any of the movies and I can pretty certainly say, I won't ever, even if my grandchildren do.

I like Christian and Manny best, but that is not really saying much! No one is all that exciting!

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So happy for Palek, and so not sorry to see Jess the Poseur go.  While Palek has had a tendency to be a bit subdued in her presentations, she's always struck me as completely genuine, exactly the opposite of what I felt watching Jess all season long.  I never thought Jess was going to be the big winner here; every time she was on camera, I found myself thinking in the voice of Holden Caulfield: what a phony!

 

To begin with: a food novelist?  Really??  I mean, we can all think of literary plots that grew out of interaction with food, such as Like Water for Chocolate, or Proust and that madeleine, or (heaven help us) Minny in The Help and that "terrible awful" pie.  But these are one-offs for writers.  I'm sure that neither Laura Esquivel, Marcel Proust nor Kathryn Stockett would have labeled themselves "food novelists," at least in part because the label is absurdly limiting.  And pretentious?  Gawd, yes!

 

I love samosas, and Palek's left me craving them like mad, from the first description to that epic crunch.  Hearing the crunch gave me the closest experience I've ever had watching FNS to actually being there tasting them.  I knew just what the sensory experience would be like, what they would smell like, taste like...  Mouth watering food porn.

 

I thought Fran Drescher was graceful and lovely.  Shame on me for always expecting her to be a ditz, and then always being surprised at what a thoughtful, smart lady she is.  I know, it's because of the "voice" and the characters she's best known for playing, but just the same...  She should be sitting in the judge's seat instead of LBH.

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The Hotel Transylvania thing was so crazy stupid that I had to FFwd through it.

I still don’t get Amy choosing cheat eats intentionally to make a healthy version.

Edited by biakbiak
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I was happy to see Jess go.  I haven't liked her and her too bright lipstick all along.  Now if they'd just get rid of Amy and Katie.........................

I felt sorry for Palak.  They complained about her use of spices so she toned them down then they criticized her for not using more of them.  She's a lady and handled it well but I'll bet she was ready to swear.

I really like Manny.  I suspect that his problem, besides being nervous, is that he's quite bright and his mind is going so fast that his mouth can't keep up.  I like Christian too but I think Manny is the only one I might watch if they actually gave him a show.

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3 hours ago, cooksdelight said:

Christian.... get someone to help you with your fashion choices. 

NO kidding!  he always looks like he's getting ready for a long weekend of sitting on the couch watching TV.  Kind of an Oscar Madison look. 

 

3 hours ago, toodywoody said:

Rice as Ooey Gooey, no chicks just no. 

Yes.   Ooey-Gooey , though I HATE that name, means to me, the experience of a food being chewy and stretchy.  Like when you bite a piece of pizza, and the mozzarella stretches between the food and your mouth.  So you go choose either savory (cheese)  or sweet (caramel).   I would think of  either cheese enchiladas with mole, or some buttery cookie where there's a caramel candy hidden inside the cookie.  NOT rice! 

 

Just now, biakbiak said:

The Hotel Transylvania thing was so crazy stupid that I had to FFwd through it.

Yes, I haven't watched any of those movies, so I would have no idea of the characters.   I assume they were shown the movie before the competition, since they all knew who was who.  But the concept of making food for a cartoon character in a kid's movie?  Boring! 

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Finally, anybody who calls themselves a "food novelist" (I still don't know what that is, does she write romance novels about broccoli?) deserves to get eliminated.

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Well, whatever magic Jess found last week disappeared just as quickly. Perhaps judging is just her wheelhouse, and everything else is...not. I didn't necessarily like her, but I also never thought nearly as negatively of her as it seems many people here do, which was enough to put her among my favorites on this turkey of a season.

Which leads to the fact that the magic that left Jess left the show as well. After the reasonably good episode last week, this week was just flat out boring. When your show repeatedly aims for "train wreck" and misses the "train" part, this is the product. The Hotel Transylvania movies...exist, and I guess they're harmless, but I don't need them invading my space, and none of the resulting presentations were memorable. Then, in the forced-theme challenge, nobody seemed to really get it, least of all the person who picked the themes. Amy escaped because Jess was even worse at grasping the concept. And did Food Network really need MORE Alex Guarnaschelli? Because I am beyond tired of her now and am almost to the point of wanting to turn off my TV when I see her.

Go Christian, I guess?

Edited by dewelar · Reason: Add a bit
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And her eyebrows.  She went full blown since she knew she was leaving.  Her lips always looked greasy to me and very unappetizing for a food show.

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Palek is coachable.  She has her ups and downs but no less than Bobby etc when they first came on TV.

Christian can also be edited into a decent network stooge.  His hair was also tragic tonight.  It’s like they took a dull razor and clipped his wispy baldness into an uneven regrowth pattern.  What was going on tonight in hair and makeup??

I don’t like the blonde chicks voice.  

Fruit soup?  Yikes.  I make that on any given day with some protein powder in my vitamix.  

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What a snoozefest.  You guys have already nailed the salient points.

The most gratifying part of this ep came during the commercial break when they were promoting the return of Great Food Truck Race later this month.

The low point was that weird judging table that looked like runway 29er at Oakland International Airport.

Can we have a double elimination next week please?  Katie and Amy.  The producers owe us.

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I wonder if the final two (or three) have their pilots"directed" by Guy Fieri,who will tell them"Whomever wins,i'll see you at the judges table on the new season of Triple G this fall"...

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3 hours ago, spiderpig said:

Can we have a double elimination next week please?

I want to shoot this show and put us all out of our misery.

Is it wrong of me to say that none of these people are attractive enough to be on TV?

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5 hours ago, J-Man said:

What the hell happened with Jess's hair in the elimination scene?

And she should have been eliminated for that red dress alone.

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So - the Ooey Gooey pair didn't do Ooey Gooey, the Stacked Snacks pair didn't do stacked (I know Palak said you could stack the samosas and she plated them leaning on each other...but I don't count it), and only one of the Cheat Eats pair did a Cheat Eat.  Successful challenge right there.

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So the only real drama the next two weeks is whether Katie or Amy goes first.  Please let it be Amy if only to spare us her shocked gasp when she's not booted yet again.  

There's apparently a series of movies on the Sappy Channel (Hallmark) where the crimes invariably involve food/restaurants and some hunky chef helps the detective out. I assume Jess is supposed to be doing something along those lines in books. 

If they're going for someone to be The Next Food Network Judge then I think Christian's got this.  He's judged already and I'm sure would fit in as one of Guys cronies.  If they're going to give someone an actual show Palak might take it. 

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1 hour ago, Maverick said:

There's apparently a series of movies on the Sappy Channel (Hallmark) where the crimes invariably involve food/restaurants and some hunky chef helps the detective out. I assume Jess is supposed to be doing something along those lines in books.

There are loads of "cozy mysteries" that involve food--and have recipes in the back of the books. Ditto with a lot of chick lit, set in cupcake/cake/tea shops. I doubt that's what Jess is doing, but it is a thing.

I actually understood what Amy was going for with her concept of "Cheat Eat," though it wasn't really what people would necessarily think of first. (Oddly, it WAS what my boyfriend first thought of, and I had to explain Manny's version). I'm not necessarily rooting for Amy, but I'm annoyed that Bobby seemed to willfully not buy into the concept. He managed to explain it in a few words a couple times, so he clearly understood what she was going for.

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This is Jess’s book, Food Whore, given the fact that she doesn’t mention being a “food novelist” on her blog but rather describes herself as a novelist and a food blogger I bet that the producers came up with “food novelist” and made her use it.

Edited by biakbiak
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So we have Amy, in the first round, using PRE MADE FROZEN PIE CRUST, she mixes some fruit and sugar in a bowl, aaaaannnnnddd...SHE WINS! Seriously????? 

It takes less than 5 minutes to whip up pie dough in the processor....chill it while you're mixing the filling....then bake. 

Doubt that either Giada or Bobby could taste that it was premade dough. 

Sigh....please bring back the French Chef reruns in all their glory....please......

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First off, I'm glad they didn't have to make the six of them watch the whole movie like it was a prize on "Big Brother".  Having to sit through that would've been agonizing for me because I LOATHE Adam Sandler with the fire of a thousand burning suns.  But I enjoy Fran Drescher so that almost evens it out.

Jess...WAH WAH WAH I didn't get Blobby so I'm going to wrap mango slivers around pineapple, which will fall apart in this soup and no one will tell it's mummy-themed.  Should've been booted right then.  Gorgeous earrings at your sendoff, but your cleavage in that low cut dress would NEVER hold a candle to Giada's tatas.  Giada could show cleavage in a burqa.  Sorry we'll never hear those stories you never bothered to tell.

When did Manny become Martita with his Miami heritage?  Still can't with mush-mouth Manny.  Makes Aaron McCargo sound like Henry Higgins.  And FRESH cayenne?  Seriously?

Palak is coming off like the American-sounding Aarti, which to me isn't a bad thing.  That samosa looked and sounded so delicious.

Ooey...gooey...NOT sticky!  Rice is sticky, it can be crispy, but it is never gooey.  I was just surprised to hear about Katie taking her daughter for sushi.  They let Japanese people into Mississippi? /s/

So help me, I like snarky Amy, but not needy Amy.  And I liked bitchy Giada last week.  Which means Katie will win, because perky and cheery are my antithesis.

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Why was I offended that both Jess and Katie totally ignored the "ooey gooey" show title?  I just think Giada and Bobby should have had the choice to put both of them in the bottom for totally skirting the challenge.

If the producers are not going to ping contestants for not following the brief, they need to not have cutsey little themes.  Rebecca would've gone home much faster.  

Between the ooey gooey fail and Jess's fruit soup for a Mummy, only a few tried to fit into the given guidelines.for these challenges.  I guess they're trying to create spin masters rather than the chefs.

Palak's crunch was everything.  Still crunchy after sitting while waiting for judging.  Yummy.

Fran Drescher looked good.  It's strange to see her with not-huge hair and normal makeup after her years as The Nanny.  I thought she made some good points too.

I finally figured Katie.  I would bet she was a pagent gal earlier in life.  Her huge smile at the beginning when they all walked out just shouted Ms. Mississippi Pagent.  Not that that's bad, it just finally clicked in my head.

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I have not seen Hotel Transylvania. Is the mom even a monster? What should Katie have done that was “inspired by” this character? These challenges are so stupid. 

I still think Amy is the preordained winner. 

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I've never seen a Hotel Transylvania movie, but I correctly guessed steak tar tar for one of the dishes to be prepared (I also thought Lime Jello for "Blobby", so I guess I now know my limitations when it comes to food!).

I preferred when this show had the contestants prepare food and demonstrate in front of a live audience--a live audience equipped with those "Dials of Doom" so we got to see who was connecting with TFN viewers.  Those dials would freak out many of the contestants, which gave me no end of enjoyment. LOL  I also miss Bob and Suzie at the judges table.

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I haven’t seen the HT movies but, from reading reviews, I think the character Katie picked is a vampire.

I have no desire to ever eat steak tartare.

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14 hours ago, TomCorps said:

I thought Fran Drescher was graceful and lovely.

I did also!  I've only seen her in the occasional episode of The Nanny, so that's really all I had to go on.  She was wonderful here, and I found myself thinking "Wow, I like Fran Drescher!"  

14 hours ago, cooksdelight said:

Christian.... get someone to help you with your fashion choices. 

I can never remember his name, because he reminds me so much of Toby from This Is Us.  

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I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm not unhappy to see Jess go, although it does surprise me to see all the shade on her this week as opposed to all the defense she got last week when I agreed that she was full of herself and bashed her affected pronunciation of "piquant".

These cooks are not great with the ideas.  Christian should have done eggplant stacks with cheese for stacked food, although at least his dish was good.  What Amy was thinking by putting herself up against Manny is beyond me, and then she does a taco for a guilty pleasure?  She can pretty much do anything and survive.  And him with the chili, where's the tie in to the firehouse?  Seriously, he couldn't think of that?  And everyone has already mentioned the ridiculousness of rice for "ooey gooey".  C'mon cooks, we expect better!

Edited by Yeah No

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53 minutes ago, Gregg247 said:

I preferred when this show had the contestants prepare food and demonstrate in front of a live audience--a live audience equipped with those "Dials of Doom" so we got to see who was connecting with TFN viewers.

That’s what’s wrong with the show now. It’s up to Bobby and Giada to pick a winner, not the viewers or people who really care about seeing someone who knows what they are doing educate their audience about a recipe or whatever. 

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1 hour ago, LittleIggy said:

I have no desire to ever eat steak tartare.

I don’t even understand steak tartare. I thought it was dangerous to eat raw meat and raw egg (!) One of the judges said it tasted like raw beef with no seasoning ?

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I think the ooey gooey twins were thinking of mango with sticky rice - but arborio rice & sushi rice, while stickier than long-grained rice, do not adequately sub for sticky rice. Still a stretch, but both were out of their element on this one.  I can't stand Katie but Jess really blew the pilot, so, so be it.

Thanks to the person who mentioned Jess's book and that she describes herself as a novelist and food blogger, rather than as a "food novelist," in real life.  The novel actually looks like it would be fun! Perhaps if they just let her call herself a writer and food enthusiast or something, it'd start to click - I'm hoping they can fix that in some way over on Star Salvation. 

A minority opinion, apparently:  I still like Amy and think she cooks tasty-looking food pretty consistently.  It's no wonder to me that she chose cheat eats despite planning to do a spin on it - the other two options were horrible.  Stacked snacks, and ooey gooey?  Really?  It's no wonder the only shows on Food Network that are watchable are game shows.

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11 hours ago, HappyDancex2 said:

Palek is coachable.  She has her ups and downs but no less than Bobby etc when they first came on TV.

I don't think there's any way Palek is going to win because they already have Aarti Sequeira, & I don't see the FN having 2 Indian winners.

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13 hours ago, biakbiak said:

The Hotel Transylvania thing was so crazy stupid that I had to FFwd through it.

You and me both.  I despise such blatant product placement.  

13 hours ago, backformore said:

Yes, I haven't watched any of those movies, so I would have no idea of the characters.   I assume they were shown the movie before the competition, since they all knew who was who.  But the concept of making food for a cartoon character in a kid's movie?  Boring! 

Not only hadn't watched, hadn't heard of them.  I assume they were given a script where they were told to ooh and aah about how much they love these movies.

8 hours ago, cooksdelight said:

Is it wrong of me to say that none of these people are attractive enough to be on TV?

I think Palak looks very polished.  But hey, this is the network that features Guy Fieri.  What's attractive got to do with it??

4 hours ago, bioprof said:

Sigh....please bring back the French Chef reruns in all their glory....please......

I have them on DVD....  :)

4 hours ago, Destiny74 said:

Why was I offended that both Jess and Katie totally ignored the "ooey gooey" show title?  I just think Giada and Bobby should have had the choice to put both of them in the bottom for totally skirting the challenge.

Well, to me, the whole challenge is ridiculous.  They're constantly after them to present their culinary POV, and they keep shoehorning them into challenges where they have to make something that's outside what they normally do.  And then Bobby and LBH will bitch that they don't know who they are.

37 minutes ago, GaT said:

I don't think there's any way Palek is going to win because they already have Aarti Sequeira, & I don't see the FN having 2 Indian winners.

Aarti's win was a long time ago and she's almost invisible on the network.  AFAIC, the reason she failed isn't because she's not good at Indian cooking--she seemed to be quite good at it.  For me, it was her constant giggling that made me hit the delete button.  Palak has a very different personality.  And it's not like they're actually getting a show any more, where you might think two shows featuring Indian cooking would be too much (although they've had more than one Italian show, barbecue show, baking show, etc.).  Aarti doesn't have a show, and Palak isn't getting a show, so what does it matter?

Edited by meowmommy · Reason: And if I never hear ooey gooey again, it will be too soon.
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13 minutes ago, meowmommy said:

I think Palak looks very polished.  But hey, this is the network that features Guy Fieri.  What's attractive got to do with it??

I meant not attractive in the way of someone I’d sit and watch present food and recipes, not their personal looks, per se. I don’t watch Guy much because he comes across as yelling all the time.

For instance... Manny, looks like he’s about to have a heart attack with the fast talking

Palak, always has her head slightly bowed, as if she’s not confident in what she’s doing.

That sort of thing.

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I wish Manny had gotten to be on Guy's "Big Project" show where he mentored contestants and picked someone to have a show. I don't see a lot of mentoring on this show and I think he could benefit from more constructive criticism.

Agreed the movie tie-in challenge was moronic.  I thought it was odd that they had Fran Drescher as a judge and most (or all?) of her comments were on the food, rather than things like how to come off on camera.

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9 minutes ago, jcbrown said:

I don't see a lot of mentoring on this show and I think he could benefit from more constructive criticism.

It is kind of a joke that they still refer to Bobby and LBH as mentors when there is zero mentoring going on.  I guess it's a carryover from that season when Bobby and LBH and Alton were coaching their teams, and Kermit and Medusa were judging, and miraculously every team had at least one player left at the finale.

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Speaking of mentoring, remember that season where the judges were Bob, Suzie, and Bobby, and they had Giada as the contestants' mentor?  That season, they focused on the group living arrangements of the contestants ala Big Brother, and Giada would show up at the apartment where everyone was staying (many, many sets of bunk beds!) and help out by giving advice as to how to present on camera as well as how to deal with some of the living-in-close-quarters-and-sharing-a-bathroom issues.  I found that much more entertaining than the most recent few seasons.

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10 hours ago, cooksdelight said:

I want to shoot this show and put us all out of our misery.

 

I'll stand back to back with someone if it will help.

1 hour ago, jcbrown said:

 

Agreed the movie tie-in challenge was moronic.  I thought it was odd that they had Fran Drescher as a judge and most (or all?) of her comments were on the food, rather than things like how to come off on camera.

Totally!  She's never had steak tartare obviously so why is she even judging the food?  I prefer a quail yolk myself LOL.  I've often wondered if the meat in the food network fridge is good enough for tartare.  I only eat it at places where the chef is passionate about it and obsessed at sourcing the meat.   Kind of like sashimi. 

Watching LBH opening her mouth to put half a tines worth of bread pudding on the edge of her lower teeth ridge was horrifying.  

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Okay, I confess that I have seen Hotel Transylvania I and II (don't judge...okay, you can judge me...).  I found them fun.  However, I thought the tie-in was very weak.  Especially when one contestant makes fruit soup.  Maybe they should have given them more time. 

Not sorry to see Jess go.  Couldn't believe she tried to make someone feel guilty for taking the character she wanted (Blobby).  I think she felt entitled to a degree about winning this show.  I like Manny and could see him going around to various firehouses as someone previously mentioned.  My father was a firefighter and a really good cook.  Other firefighters would take the night watch when dad was assigned to it and trade so that he would cook.  Firefighters being good cooks really is a thing.

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1 hour ago, meowmommy said:

Well, to me, the whole challenge is ridiculous.  They're constantly after them to present their culinary POV, and they keep shoehorning them into challenges where they have to make something that's outside what they normally do.  And then Bobby and LBH will bitch that they don't know who they are.

Aarti's win was a long time ago and she's almost invisible on the network.  AFAIC, the reason she failed isn't because she's not good at Indian cooking--she seemed to be quite good at it.  For me, it was her constant giggling that made me hit the delete button.  Palak has a very different personality.  And it's not like they're actually getting a show any more, where you might think two shows featuring Indian cooking would be too much (although they've had more than one Italian show, barbecue show, baking show, etc.).  Aarti doesn't have a show, and Palak isn't getting a show, so what does it matter?

Agreed.  For one thing not only do they have to respond to these stupid challenges with dumb names but then they have to provide a dish that meets the challenge with their supposed POV all in usually under 45/30 minutes.   And if it's a camera challenge they have to demo part of it , taste it, make a yum yum face, throw in a story about the culinary influence of a dead abuela, mention the challenge....all under 30 seconds.   LOL

Aarti - Not a fan of her anymore.  She came up with a story after she won that she was diagnosed with something that made her go on a gluten free diet.  Years later she popped back on the network and she is obviously chowing down on gluten.  As someone who deals with the constraints of celiac lifestyle I find this annoying and disingenuous.   Now I think she was just filling a slot a few years back as the Gluten Free authority on the network (let's make gluten free naan!).   Sure lots of people feel better when they don't eat a lot of obvious carbs.   But anyway, I haven't been thrilled with her ever since.

And since the food network doesn't even acknowledge any type of asian cooking ,they can swap her out for Palak and I'd be ok with that!   At least jet tila is starting to creep into shows.

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23 minutes ago, HappyDancex2 said:

Agreed.  For one thing not only do they have to respond to these stupid challenges with dumb names but then they have to provide a dish that meets the challenge with their supposed POV all in usually under 45/30 minutes.   And if it's a camera challenge they have to demo part of it , taste it, make a yum yum face, throw in a story about the culinary influence of a dead abuela, mention the challenge....all under 30 seconds.   LOL

Aarti - Not a fan of her anymore.  She came up with a story after she won that she was diagnosed with something that made her go on a gluten free diet.  Years later she popped back on the network and she is obviously chowing down on gluten.  As someone who deals with the constraints of celiac lifestyle I find this annoying and disingenuous.   Now I think she was just filling a slot a few years back as the Gluten Free authority on the network (let's make gluten free naan!).   Sure lots of people feel better when they don't eat a lot of obvious carbs.   But anyway, I haven't been thrilled with her ever since.

And since the food network doesn't even acknowledge any type of asian cooking ,they can swap her out for Palak and I'd be ok with that!   At least jet tila is starting to creep into shows.

Have I completely spaced out this entire season or are the culinary POV's not being highlighted or even brought up much? I don't even know what any of the remaining finalist's POV's are.

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2 minutes ago, LexieLily said:

Have I completely spaced out this entire season or are the culinary POV's not being highlighted or even brought up much? I don't even know what any of the remaining finalist's POV's are.

No, I don't think they've mentioned them since maybe the first episode. I remember when the culinary POV was harped on Every. Single. Episode. That was one of the reasons Jeff won way back when--he managed to always bring it back to sandwiches.

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