Food Network Star 2013 (Season 9) Episode 10: Network Pitch

Hello I am Zin and it is time to pitch!

There are no cooking challenges today! First they meet with Bobby, Giada, and Alton to fine-tune their ideas for a show. Then they do their perfected pitches to Susie and Tush and one of them gets sent home. Then the three that survive meet with Surprise Guest Mentor Guy Fieri at a site specific to their show concept and film a pilot. We see the pilot (or at least the parts they want us to see) and then the Viewers Like You (no that is PBS… the viewers nothing like you, then) vote up to 10 times a day until 9am Wednesday August 9th. I am not going to vote because I do not really care who wins. I will watch one or maybe two of whatever the new show is just to see how closely it resembles what they said it would be and that will be all I need.

Russell is excited because he is starting to peek – no, peak, I think. Damaris is nervous because the last time she was in front of Susie and Tush back in Ep. 5 she was drunk. Stacey has to figure out how to connect emotionally. Rodney is going to get confetti, roses, and a Food Network Sash around his chest. He seems to have confused this with Miss America! I am almost relieved that Nikki was spared this. Oh, shout-out to MoHub whose comments last week inspired me to make rice pilaf in honor of Nikki! Saturday I sautéed my rice mixture (brown, wild, white, and red though I do not understand red rice) and the usual veggies and my favorite tajine-like spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, cumin, allspice) then put in pine nuts and dried cranberries and and it was delicious! I added Canadian Bacon for Russell and faced south for Damaris (sorry, MoHub, I can not do Skynyrd) and said “Pie Style!” for Rodney because that is all Pie Style seems to be and made it in my Vintage Kitchen (and I am pretty Vintage myself) so I got the Final 5 in! I have a lot left over so I will be eating Sinful Pie Style Vintage South-facing rice pilaf for dinner for a few days! I hope rice pilaf freezes well!

Four Pitches and Three Pilots:

Stacey

Mentor Meeting:

She gives them two ways to do Vintage/Modern: first, she will go to restaurants doing the old stuff right, like burgers and French toast, and modernize it. Now, I wonder: why would you change something that is right? Her second idea is to go through old cookbooks for Grandma’s apple pie and update the recipes. Bobby does not think restaurants doing things right are going to be happy about someone coming in and modernizing. Hey that is what I said! Alton suggests combining the two ideas. I am not sure how you combine those two ideas but she is happy to find a way to get people to connect emotionally with food, which is certainly a Food Network phrase but a ridiculous idea since Americans already connect too emotionally with food, in NYC you can stop and frisk as long as you do not take away Giant Gulps! I think food may be the only thing we connect with these days!

Network Pitch

Stacey wants to show Susie and Tush she can connect emotionally so she starts with a teary recollection of how RI saved her restaurant! Susie and Tush feel sad! She wants help other people whose “dishes have fallen into disrepair” (which of course makes no sense, recipes do not fall into disrepair they go out of style, and if it is your dishes in disrepair, you need new plates) which is what they did in the last challenge, right? Susie and Tush are too depressed by her sad beginning to pay attention! It takes them a moment to grasp her idea. Susie finally thinks it is a natural idea for her to pursue. Giada guesses the tears were her attempt to give the human emotion they have been clamoring for. They all recognize it is a half-assed idea and even though it comes down to a supposedly narrow vote for the sake of drama with Alton casting the tie-breaker between her and Russell, Stacey is out. I am so surprised! I thought she was the Chosen One from the start but they wrote her off in the Mentor Meeting! That is why no one should ever listen to me! After all I thought it would be an X-chromosome final and it seems a couple of Y-chromosomes have worked their way in! Stacey goes back to the restaurant that clears $1 million a year. That is not a bad thing to go back to!

Russell

Mentor Meeting

His first idea is going to different restaurants and bringing them his culinary sins. The second is making a sinful dinner party menu. Alton points out he can not just show up and talk about sin, he has to do something! Russell will bring sin with him and give dishes a sinful twist like adding bacon and bourbon. This is what passes for a show on Food Network these days. I think they have written Russell off too.

Network Pitch

He is a Culinary Sin Artist! He revels in: Sugar, fat, salt, liquor, bacon, ice cream, offal! I was with you babe until you got to the offal. He will add bacon to vanilla ice cream to make it sinful. But wait he just said Ice Cream was already a sin… Never mind, Susie gets it and she likes him. She did not know why he was here before. Susie, he is there to get a show, what did you think, he was shopping for a lawnmower? Tush does not so much get it and sees a “tightness” to him (I do not want to contemplate that) but he likes the intriguing seven sins concept. Since he is marginally better than Stacey he makes a pilot.

“Guilty Pleasures”

He takes a metal briefcase loaded with his Seven Culinary Sins (I do not want to know how one puts offal in a briefcase, or ice cream for that matter) to an ice cream shop where they have cabernet sauvignon sorbet. The idea is he finds the guiltiest pleasure on the menu then makes his own guilty pleasure to top it. Does this make sense to anyone? Cabernet sauvignon sorbet sounds pretty good. I think he should say, “Well, you do not need me, bye!” But that is not going to happen, so he makes bourbon ice cream with bacon candy on top. He has a lot of trouble with scripted lines. He finally gets into it and has a good time being who he is, at least that is what he says. Sometimes he is very good on camera though like when he does little asides. Guy says he is very comfortable in the kitchen. That may be but it is a stupid concept and he can not talk.

Rodney

Mentor Meeting

He tells the mentors he will go to a restaurant, and make their signature dish Pie Style. Alton says, “Thank you. Second idea?” Because no kidding, right? He gives his second idea (call a musician and find out his favorite dish and then make it Pie Style, which is really the first idea in different clothes) but it does not matter because they are already planning the first idea. I wonder if they gave each of them, or at least Damaris and Rodney, their “idea” and then told them to think up another one because both of them had a “good” idea (in FN terms) and a terrible idea. Alton says you turn it into a dare with the restaurant saying “I bet you can not make pad thai pie!” The very thought of pad thai pie makes me sad. Throwdown Pie Style! Maybe that is why they want Rodney so bad, they already have the format set up. Rodney can talk for quite some time without saying anything at all: “Pie style is locked on, I am ready to roll.” Maybe that is why it does not matter that no one can understand him, because he is not really saying anything!

Network Pitch

He gets very cozy with the Network: “Well, Bob, Susie, my show is called Pie Style. So my idea for the show is, I can bake a pie out of anything, and we go to restaurants and take their signature dish and they challenge me to turn it into a pie. They will be like, ‘There is no way Rodney can make a pie out of this.’ Pie style is sweeping the nation!” Tush: “Pie style is Rodney style?” Yes! Tush thinks it is down to earth and comforting. But they do not automatically pick him, they let the mentors decide, and of course they are for him. Alton: “Rodney is just too fun to not give a shot.” Giada: “I would follow him anywhere.” I would not follow him anywhere myself, but I suppose it is a matter of opinion. Tush would rather take a chance on someone with a personality because they can figure out a show down the line if they have a star.

“Pie Style”

Guy Fieri loves Rodney! The two of them on my screen together give me a headache! But Guy does try to teach so I have to give him credit. Rachel Ray taught him “never burn tape” so just keep going no matter what (I thought tape was cheap but I guess not) and all about how to talk with your mouth full: You take a monster bite and “pack it away” in your cheek to talk, or you take a princess bite and talk over it! Either way you are still talking with your mouth full on national television! Is that ok now? Or is it just ok on Food Network where money > manners? Maybe this is why I find these guys so repugnant. And that is Pie Style: Talk with a mouthful of grilled cheese, and say “pie” every four seconds whether it makes sense or not. I am beginning to hate pie! Rodney: “The Pie Man don’t take no princess bites. I take prince bites, ’cause I’m the Prince of pie.” Sort of like the Sandwich King… I suddenly get the sinking feeling they want Rodney to win.

Eric Greenspan shows him his special Grilled Taleggio Cheese and Short Rib Sandwich on Raisin Bread with Apricot Caper puree. So Rodney turns it into a pie with a raisin walnut crust and the other stuff in there. Rodney is the sloppiest cook I have ever seen on television! I wish I had been there to see if he really knew what Taleggio cheese is or had a clue how to make short ribs. I do not think it matters because someone will be there to teach him how to cook. “I have rocked 40,000 people before but never had as much fun as today.” I have a confession to make: I like the concept of the show! Is that scary or what? But not with Rodney! If Bobby Flay did that show I would watch it the way I watch Throwdown: when I am waiting for something else and it is the only thing on. But I would rather just cut my toenails or roll pennies than watch Rodney.

Damaris

Mentor Meeting

The mentors look so bored when she talks about the History of the Modern South (I am so amused by history of modern anything I love it! But when you talk about the History of the American South you may want to be careful…) so she moves on to Idea #2: “When a guy cooks for me it melts me, so I want to take nerdy guys or beefy guys or, like, bros, help them cook a meal that will trap the girl” (which is getting scary close to date rape; if you accept a home-cooked meal from a gentleman will you now have it used against you in court as evidence that you wanted it?) and everyone screams “NO TRAPPING!” so it becomes “teach guys to cook to win her heart” (I am not sure that is the point). And by the way: SHE STOLE THAT! Andres was going to teach guys to cook! Back in Episode 2 you kicked him out because you said teaching guys to cook was insulting and he should do weight loss instead! Is teaching men to cook not insulting if they are using it in the service getting serviced? Did you want him to change his POV because you wanted a woman to do it? Because a man teaching a man to seduce with food is slimy but with a woman it is romantic? That is sneaky and mean and underhanded! /rant (I am supposed to use rant tags now to make rants easy to find though I do not know why). By the way, I now know what a “bro” is. Since my slang lags behind the times I was a little worried there for a while. I am still worried but not as much. Alton is thrilled to pieces because he started cooking in college to get dates. But he wants to know what her scenario has to do with Southern cooking and she talks about the recipes her grandmother had. Bobby stops her. “What is the best food in the world?” “Southern Cooking,” says Damaris on cue. “Southern food is the food of love…I can show you how to make a pecan pie that will make a girl cry.”

Network Pitch

“Eat Date Love” – Tush did not know Southern food is the food of love but when she says it he believes her! He asks if she has used this technique herself. “I have caught and released a lot of gentlemen,” she says, and they are so happy! I am still angry! They got rid of Andre because of his POV but they love it when the flirtatious Southern girl steals it! I think Andres should complain! In a few years Damaris will be ready to lick Robert Irvine’s belly and have her face on every ham in the supermarket! Tush is excited (and he really is; yes, that is Tush excited!) because he has no idea what she is going to do next and wants to be along on the ride. She is the only one they both specifically pick (they have the mentors pick the other two) so I think it is a foregone conclusion that Damaris is the winner. I think they are deliberately putting her up against two guys who can not talk so she is sure to win!

“Eat Date Love”

She films her intro about southern food as the food of love and Guy is so excited he runs over yelling “Money, Money, Money!” while high-fiving her hand hard enough to break it. “Medic!” she cries. Some actor named Josh comes in and pretends to need help seducing his foodie girlfriend. Damaris suggests peppererd pork loin and a sweet potato biscuit with apple butter mustard. What does that have to do with Josh or anything at all? Nothing, but who cares. She keeps forgetting to look at the camera and Guy keeps teaching her how to turn from Josh to camera to explain things because she can never forget that Josh is just a prop for her act! She does look gorgeous I have to say! And she is very comfortable on camera. She slips in a couple of sly puns like “use a cup” and some “adorable” Rachel-esque catch phrases like “you do not want humpy biscuits” and I think the hole in their Hypersexual Southern Queen department has been filled!

Final observations:

I thought this would be an X-chromosome final three but it seems it is more of a Y-chromosome season! The Seven Culinary Sins probably appeal more to men than women (women would have things like chocolate and bread) but I think they have made it clear he will not win no matter what the votes say. Damaris is doing soft-core porn which is normally more for women but with Damaris it is a different matter. I think women will like her, but with men she is going to be hotter than Giada (I wonder if that is why Giada loves Rodney so much)! Rodney appeals to “bros” now that I know what the term means. I think no matter what they are going to find a way to put him on TV. They may take a while to whip him into shape but I am pretty sure he is coming to a TV screen near you.

Next Week

We find out if the Food Network wants more Guy Fieri, more Paula Deen, or both!

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2 responses to “Food Network Star 2013 (Season 9) Episode 10: Network Pitch

  1. Thanks so much for the shout-out! Your pilaf sounds fantastic, and yes, it can be frozen. When you go to reheat it, add a few tablespoons of water, and it will help keep the grains separate.

    Although I voted for Damaris—and I too was shouting, “Wasn’t that the concept that got Andres booted?”—I think Russell’s idea has legs if tweaked properly. If he loses the fixed quantity and list of sinful foods and tailors the contents of his briefcase to fit the specifics of each type of dish he’s approaching, and if he emphasizes that embracing the sins is only for experiencing the occasional indulgence and not to be made a dietary way of life, I think his show could be fun and fascinating. I also like the Guilty Pleasures title and would like to see the term sins deep-sixed.

    However, I think Damaris’ concept allows for a wider range of food choices, and she could drop the “date” part and expand the “love” part to embrace anyone cooking for someone he or she loves to make an impression.

    Of course, Carla Hall is already there, bar the one-on-one teaching part.

    • Hello MoHub! I like your idea for Damaris! I had so much fun with the pilaf! I have not cooked something different in a very long time. I need to do that more often! I am not really interested in any of the shows but I always like to see how it turns out once Susie and Tush get their hands on it. I do not think anything could beat the peculiar goings-on from last year with Justin though!

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