Food Network Star - Episode #5


This week was all about working LIVE and we all knew it would be a challenging week.

For me I knew the main things I had to do were to control my excitement and nervous energy. My goals were to think before I spoke and most importantly I had to try to not talk a mile-a-minute! (Easier said than done...)

Though I knew anything could happen during the mentor challenge, I was not prepared for a Fire Alarm!!

Missing whisk? I'd use my hand. Spilled oil?! I'd spread it on my hands and make them dainty soft. But a deafening fire alarm with no lights? All I could think to do was be respectful, stay out of the way and wait for directions.

But then I realized no one was running to escape the blaze. 

In fact when I lifted my head everyone was still staring right at me...yep,they got me...

Though I will say I had a great recovery and finished the dish. If only they could have ignored that first part...

As we hear about the next challenge and the 45minutes of LIVE hell we are about to endure I know this is going to be a crazy day!! But luckily there are a lot of dishes to choose from that I am very familiar with. Even the bar station is calling to me and my 8 years of bar experience. 

But, I was not so lucky as to be drinking a cocktail and trading bar stories. Rodney was in charge of assigning the stations as he won the last challenge, and it's a pretty easy choice to put the veggie girl with the meat dish. Fried chicken here I come...

Have I ever made Fried Chicken before? No. We just don't make it at home! But I know how to fry perfectly and I understand how the dish is made.

So though I would have loved to make potato salad- at least my dish was relatively simple and I get a big station in the back of the kitchen. Time to make it work. 

I mix a little hot sauce into my buttermilk and make a self-rising flour for a crisp and slightly airy crust. Add a little paprika to the flour for color and kick, salt each step and get 4 cast iron skillets full of oil. I'm ready to fry!!

I'm keeping it simple, just using some wings and drum sticks when Alton alerts me to the fact that his favorite piece of the chicken is the thigh. Eh, guess I'm going back to my chicken and cutting out some thigh pieces.

It's not that I don't want to make Alton happy but the thigh is the most difficult piece to get off the bird and it takes the longest to cook. I have gone from plenty of time to rushing. 

In the end I finish in the nick of time.

As I watch myself on T.V., I understand their comments about my energy being a little girlie. I am silly and funny but I'm also a serious and knowledgeable 30 year old woman with 12 years in NYC under my belt. I hope I can show them that side too.

After all the stress I am announced safe 2nd and Bobby Flay even calls me "The Queen of Fried Chicken" not a bad way to end the day. 

Viet going home is SAD! He was one of my buddies and his smile always made my day that much better. He is such a phenomenal chef and person, and if he had gotten his funny and sparkling personality across when he needed to he could have won. But in this competition we are all running out of time...

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Watch the full episode: Click HERE

Get a sneak peak of next weeks episode: Click HERE

See if Viet can cook his way back: Click HERE

See Photo's from Episode #5: Click HERE