- Posted May 25, 2011 by
Food Network Star's Giada de Laurentiis Says: Cooking can be fun and glamorous
In one of those “delicious” moments where one gets a behind the scenes look at a one of his/her favorite shows… It was a delectable treat when “Food Network Star” NOT “The Next Food Network Star” (this is the first season with the name change) invited me “into the kitchen” (well the set) where Giada de Laurentiis has gone from mentor to judge.
Even with the already atomic panel of judges, this Italian beauty doesn’t need to turn down the heat of her oven as she comes to the table with not only a magnetic personality, but a list of accomplishments that makes a guy wonder, “Giada what haven’t you done?” So, in a sit down and take off your apron chat, she was nice enough so share a few insider morsels with just enough mystery to keep us craving more!
Moving from mentor to judge was not a difficult transition, but she did remark that, “I took some time to think it through… I loved being a mentor and was hesitant only for the fact that I felt I may have needed to be overly critical as a judge – But that wasn’t the case at all and I have been able to bring both roles together this season.”
As for wrangling the “boys” on the panel? Have no fear, as Giada is a woman who makes no apologies for what she knows and her right to have her opinion heard. Thankfully with so many talents, she was willing to admit she is not without limitations and while she works to “making cooking cool and at times bring some glamour to the kitchen,” She openly admits you might not want to consider her for your first string pick if you are looking for the next American Idol or the standout winner of So You Think You Can Dance…
“Food Network’s number one series, Food Network Star returns June 5that 9PM ET/PT with the most intense tests of talent and exciting guest stars steering the 15 finalists towards the ultimate dream job: his or her own Food Network show. With the drive to follow in the footsteps of their culinary idols, the finalists must first prove they have the charisma and culinary prowess to host/judge Bobby Flay, the judges’ newest addition Giada de Laurentiis and the Food Network executives on the star-making selection committee.
The finalists include: Mary Beth Albright (Washington, D.C.), Justin Balmes (Marietta, Ga.), Whitney Chen (New York), Katy Clark (Long Beach, Calif.), Penny Davidi (Los Angeles), Justin Davis (Minneapolis), Howie Drummond (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Jyll Everman (Glendora, Calif.), Susie Jimenez (Carbondale, Colo.), Juba Kali (New Orleans), Jeff Mauro (Elmwood Park, Ill.), Vic “Vegas” Moea (Las Vegas), Chris Nirschel (Hoboken, N.J.), Orchid Paulmeier (Bluffton, S.C.), and Alicia Sanchez (New York).
In the two-hour season premiere, the finalists get their first taste of Los Angeles with challenges staged at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the city’s Original Farmer’s Market. Alton Brown lends his behind-the-camera, know-how to mentor teams in developing promotional TV commercials, later critiqued as contestants serve-up a four-course meal served to the judges and special guests, Jess Cagle, Managing Editor, Entertainment Weekly, Extra TV host Mario Lopez and Hal Rubenstein, Fashion Director, InStyle.
With a variety of challenges designed to separate a true star from just another cook in the kitchen, this season’s highlights include creating and advertising a unique food truck under the watchful eye of Tyler Florence, adding fireworks to a meal with MGD 64 for an all-American 4th of July food festival hosted by Guy Fieri, throwing an impromptu dinner party for Wolfgang Puck, having their menus “roasted” by some legendary comedic faces, using Kellogg's ® cereals, toaster pastries, and snacks to create an impressive appetizer and competing head-to-head Iron Chef America-style in Kitchen Stadium. The finalists also visit the set of ABC‘s hit series Cougar Town and create custom meals for cast and crew with special guest stars, Courteney Cox and show creator Bill Lawrence. This star-studded season also features the industry’s biggest stars and culinary authority such as: Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Scott Conant, Melissa D’Arabian, Paula Deen, Ina Garten, Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine, the Neelys, Rachael Ray and Michael Symon.”
The season-long trials and triumphs culminate in the finale on Sunday, August 14th9pm ET/PT, where the finalist proven to have the ultimate recipe for success is revealed and films a six-episode Food Network series to premiere in August 2011.