Next Food Network Star Recap: June 12, 2011

I learned one thing watching last night’s first Food Network Star challenge: That Giada De Laurentiis really likes to say the word “pizza.”

“As you can probably tell, today is all about PEET-zah! Now, you will have one hour to make your PEET-zah!. It’s up to YOU to create a PEET-zah that reflects your culinary style! When you present to camera you must tell us a story that relates to your PEET-zah! The winner of today’s challenge will have their PEET-zah featured in Food Network Magazine!”

Now I realize why I haven’t been more successful in life. I’ve been saying “pizza” wrong all these years. No one ever told me I was supposed to put an emphasis on the PEET part of it it. So instead, I blew my youth publicly going around emphasizing the ZAH!  Boy, the laughs my friends must have had behind my back all these years. Well, we all learn when the time is right for us, don’t we? From now on, I’m leading a PEET-driven life. Thank you Giada De Laurentiis!

By the way, this challenge suddenly made Food Network Star so much more accessible to me. For once, I didn’t have to worry about not knowing a thing about reductions or braising, and I didn’t have to give a fake nod of understanding whenever someone on the show said “crème fraiche.” I may not be the most educated dude in the kitchen, but there’s one thing I know, and that’s how to make a PEET-zah!

Also, I think the reason the show introduced an early elimination this week was specifically to shed itself of Juba. Good looking? Yes! Youth on his side? For sure! Able to speak while standing still in front of a plate? I give you Exhibit A:

“Um… today’s pizza was um… an, a, an inspired dish… from ah, this half-priced… it was prepared, the sauce was p-p-p-prepared with tomatoes. It’s called the Triple… the Triple Holy Trinity because I used three different kinds of peppers, toasted pine nuts, clam juice and white wine!”

I’m not sure who I felt worse for… Juba, or Judge Susie Fogelson as she bit the insides of her cheeks to keep from laughing.

Actually, I think I felt the worst for Katy… this season’s Stepford Chef, or as Judge Bob Tuschman put it, this season’s “morning show host.”  Katy seems to have it all: the smile, the pluck, big hoop earrings that glisten with confidence.  Unfortunately, it all reads oh-so insincere.  She’s like the lady at the garage sale who seems endlessly interested in your life story while trying to get you to cough up a buck for her old VCR.  Katy’s “story behind the pizza” didn’t help matters much either.

“I had a Chinese worker stay with me a couple weeks ago and we made pizza, and she said it was the best thing she had ALL WEEKEND…. making pizza with me!”

Yeah, you read that right.

Suddenly, Katy’s pizza held no interest for me whatsoever.  Who was this Chinese worker? Where did she come from? And where did she go? Did Katy make the Chinese worker wear a pink helmet and goggles while she was in the kitchen?  Did she give her five minutes every seventy-two hours to pee and make phone calls to her loved ones?  Did the Chinese worker thank Katy for the totally awesome pizza by building her an iPad before she left?

This story could have been an episode all its own!


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