Food Network Star 2013 (Season 9), Ep.2: Burger Bash

How Nathan Myhrvold makes a Modernist Burger

How Nathan Myhrvold makes a Modernist Burger

Hello I am Zin and it is time for burgers!

The contestants have to make burgers for up to 100 people though actually no one has to make more than 15 and they have to do a 2-minute in-person demo to the crowd. The people will each have a token they can “spend” for a burger but only one! So the contestants have to sell the sizzle! The judges will taste everything and like Alton says, “We will be ever so judgmental.” The audience has the dials and the tokens though!

The Best:

Chad makes guess what barbecue! Memphis barbecue with cole slaw and hickory smoke sauce that looks like it came from a bottle but maybe that was ketchup since he said he made his own sauce. He uses 12 spices and makes fried green tomatoes and the women do not care what he is cooking they just turn their dials up and get in line! Whether he wins or not I bet FN is going to find a way to put him on TV or send him out to do demos and fairs. Giada loves his fried green tomatoes but wants him to do some kind of barbecue besides Memphis sweet style which seems a little picky to me. That is going to be the problem with Chad because how much barbecue can you do? I am bored with him already!

Stacey wins the Cleanest Station award! No of course there is no such award but it is important since on TV you can not have a messy station. She makes a Baja Betty Burger (I do not know who Betty is) with beef and chorizo, jalapeno aioli, pico de gallo and lettuce on the bottom to keep the bun from getting soggy because “nobody wants a soggy bottom.” Alton is not sure how she will work vintage into this but Bobby is more worried that she needs to up the spice level if she is going to call it spicy! She does not quite get there Alton wants 15% more spice but it is a good burger over all and she does a very good presentation and gets 9 tokens so she is in the top three.

Russell talks about beef and lamb and duck fat and bacon and Alton tells him his Seven Sins are his strength so he goes with that! When he says bacon and liquor people cheer! Of course they do everyone likes bacon and liquor! Fat and salt are why a third of us are obese! Yay Russell you and Paula Deen killing America one show at a time! When you have your heart attack you can peddle heart medicine like she sells diabetes drugs! God Bless America! He makes the best burger of the day (of course he does fat and salt taste good just ask Michael Moss) and he connects with the audience and he ties for the most tokens with 15! He is in the top three! He wins a prize for Most Improved since last week he was in the Bottom Three! Who cares about heart disease he won! And I bet it is delicious!

The Mediocre:

Viet does not like public speaking but he owns a restaurant so he knows he has to talk to customers. He makes a Vietnamese banh mi burger with pickled cucumber, duck fat aioli, and mushroom pate. I think duck fat aioli sounds disgusting but it is the sort of thing chef types love! Giada asks him how he will sell it and he starts to stammer until Alton says “All you need to do is say ‘I won Battle Ground Beef’ on Iron Chef America which is true! So that is what he does and they are impressed that his presentation improves! He gets 9 tokens and the judges like his burger Alton thinks he developed the flavor well. Viet is Safe!

Rodney is the first to cut himself! He makes a burger pie by putting onions, mushrooms, gruyere and a bison patty on top of a pie crust and he says something about Motley Crue that I did not quite get. He talks very fast! He is rolling pie dough and ends with “You’re freakin’ pie style jack” and Bobby loves the energy but he needs to calm down! They do not like the burger Bobby says the crust is like a tortilla and he does not have to make a pie every time. He could have made a hamburger pie there are such things, Alton had a meat pie show on Good Eats, but I do not think Rodney is that good a cook to make something like that up on the fly. He only got 7 tokens but they love him so he is Safe!

Lovely uses ground turkey for her burger because her mother used it to make it healthier but then she puts on bleu cheese and butter so what is she talking about? Bobby says to sell delicious not healthy! Alton says people at a burger bash do not care about healthy. This is why I love this show! They will turn around at some point and say “Healthy can be delicious” but right here they are saying clearly it is not! She puts caramelized onions and microgreens on top to make it glam! I guess microgreens are glam? I can buy them in my supermarket and I do not need instruction on how to throw them on a burger so how glam can they be? Giada still thinks she is fake but Bobby thinks she is likeable and Alton wants to try her burgers so that is good! She had the highest focus group score but her burger was all bleu cheese, still she is Safe. She is fake and that is exactly why she is perfect for FN!

Damaris makes a lamb and duck fat burger (is it just me or does that sound disgusting) on a focaccia bun with pimiento cheese because the burgers are southern and the cheese is southern. I am not sure either is southern really but ok. Alton warns her not to be cutesy. She tells the crowd in the south first they learn to crawl then they learn to grill and she grilled at age 7 which makes her developmentally delayed if she was still crawling. Yes I am being picky. But then she waggles her boobs and the dials go way down! Alton says they were laughing at her. That makes me sad. I do not particularly like her but she is not mean and she knows she made a mistake and that is good enough for now. She cries really hard and they have to let her gather herself before they continue to tell her how bad she was. They tell her she was in the middle of the pack with 7 tokens and she could have been really great but the boobs were off-putting. Her burger was really good though she just did not sell it! Anyway she is safe but she is the last Safe.

Chris makes pickled watermelon rind which sounds like another banh mi but he calls it Korean. He explains it as “hodgepodge” and Alton is worried but tells him to sell it like he sells at his establishment. Chris can do that! He is a salesman! He has a food truck! He runs out of time explaining his burger and the dials go down but he is a used car salesman and just keeps calling people over! I think he gave away a bottle of booze at one point but I think they would not have shown that because it probably breaks about thirty liquor laws. Bobby calls him a carnival barker and Alton says a carnival barker has more mission! He has a mission to sell! A point of view is what he does not have! I get tired listening to him! I would go over and see Viet or Stacey or Russell who are quieter. They do not like his demo but Giada is pleasantly surprised by his burger! He gets 13 tokens so Alton admits though his presentation was dead on arrival he saved it by working the crowd and he can cook and sell when he has a product to sell so now he has to see himself as a product and sell it. This is very depressing. People are not products! But he is Safe.

The Worst:

Nikki is worried because she has to make a burger with meat on the side! She is worried if she includes too much veg it will be loose and wet. That sounds like something to worry about all right! Alton tells her not to get cutesy. She is pretty confident because it is what she does online but she only gets six tokens! Of course she does not get much at a burger fest if she is making burgers out of veg! Alton does not like the Veggie Bang Burger and Giada says it has no flavor! Giada tells her to stop apologizing for the vegetables while at the same time telling her the vegetables taste terrible! That is why I love this show! Later Alton says she is not inspiring anyone to follow her and Giada wonders if she has mastered vegetables in general. That is pretty scary a semi-veg cook who can not cook veg! This was probably not a good test of her veg skills though!

Danushka decides the problem is that her personality is not coming across! I think her personality is coming across just fine! I think Danushka is a little bit full of herself and has shown no reason to be that I can see. She thinks burgers are boring too so she tells Bobby she will take her shirt off and hope they like what they see and come to her station. Bobby tells her to forget the fashion model and get them to see her as an authority figure. She does the “watching you” finger thing with Bobby which makes no sense. She makes a bison slider with corn salad but her presentation is all in the red zone. “I love game meat!” she shouts and everyone laughs! She says she was herself 100% and that is who she is take it or leave it and I know which I will do! Alton says he can not look away but it hurts when he looks! There it is! That is pretty good. FNS a new train wreck every week! Come on that is why we are all watching yes? Her burger is ok but she only gets 2 tokens and did worst with the focus group.

Andres talks about teaching men that cooking is as manly as growing a beard but Giada maybe does not like beards and tells him to tell a direct story! Giada and her stories! Alton asks about the whole wheat bun and again tells him how compelling the weight loss angle is but Andres does not want to jump on the weight loss bandwagon and he says something very interesting: “So many people are exploiting fat people.” Yes they are! There is money in obesity! My respect for Andres just went up a lot! He asks the audience if the guys make dinner and they seem to think he is scolding them. It does not go well! He makes a Cuban beef/pork burger with paprika and garlic but he is in the red then he talks about losing all that weight and the dials jump into the green! Maybe people at a burger bash do care about healthy! He only gets three tokens though so no they do not! Alton thinks it tastes like onion and mustard and has no seasoning. Giada says he insulted the men and alienated people by scolding them but I do not think so I think he issued a challenge and they were too lazy to take him up on it! But if guys do not want to cook he is not going to be able to get a show! Giada says he is running away from the thing that connects him to people which is the weight loss. I feel bad for him because he does not want to do that. Alton says he is the guy that does not want to do the thing he needs to do. Giada says he is trying to leave that other person behind which is pretty astute for Giada even if it is not accurate! Bobby defends him as having a message which makes me think Danushka is out since her message is somewhere around “I am beautiful and you are not so look at me.”

And the Loser Is:

Andres is out! That is what happens when they tell you to do something and you will not do it! I do not think they gave him enough of a chance to think about a new POV but I guess Danushka is good for getting people to talk about FNS! No publicity is bad publicity!

Analysis:

Yes I am going to do analysis! Brace yourselves! Do not worry it will be over soon.

I have no idea who will win but I am positive that they knew before they started filming! A network does not spend money on a new “star” unless they know what they have and they will not leave it to chance! Especially with ratings dropping and the whole thing with Justin still confused and muddled! This is a big game of “We want to generate ratings with this competition and create a ready-made audience who is familiar with the new person at the same time.” Who they pick depends on the demographic they want to shore up!

Stacey seemed most likely at first but I think she is peaking too early! They need to get her a POV too! If they want a Guy Fieri threat they might be looking at Rodney or Chris but I think Chris is too frat-boy and Rodney may not be able to cook anything but a traditional pie! Chad might be in the running to pick up grilling from Bobby! Nikki has the best POV but she does not seem to have the presence to pull it off at least not yet but if they are replacing Melissa maybe she is the one.

The person who most surprises me is Viet and my surprise comes from outside the show! From TWoP I learned that he was on Extreme Chef and he had no problem being forceful and outspoken and some people think he is putting on this humble and quiet act! I did not see the show so I can not speak to that (and I can not find anything on Youtube) but still that is interesting! It would mean he is poised for a Rising Arc – start out shy and awkward and develop confidence! We know he can cook so maybe they want to add a touch of class with someone who has actually won awards instead of all these people who are making it up? Possession of culinary chops in the past has been a negative but maybe they are figuring out that they need someone besides Bobby Flay who can actually cook on the Food Network!

We will see how things develop!

Next week:

The Chopped Challenge with Alex Guarnaschelli!

And I want a cheese burger right now! This is why I should not watch FNS!

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One response to “Food Network Star 2013 (Season 9), Ep.2: Burger Bash

  1. Pingback: Food Network Star 2013 (Season 9) Episode 10: Network Pitch | A Just Recompense

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