Thursday, June 21, 2012

Next Food Network Star Season 8, Episode 6 Food Court Challenge

Tonight's episode brought a re-imagined point of view from Nikki. She changed from being "Girl on Grill" to "Grill Next Door" - a move I have to grudgingly admit impressed the heck out of me. Although Nikki has never been one of my favourites, her quick adaptation of an already brilliant concept in order to better suit the Food Network was inspired.

The teams were charged tonight with creating food court style kiosks with the following themes:

Team Alton got Italian inspired dishes and named their kiosk "Littler Italy."

Team Bobby went with "American Sandbar" and served dishes made with fresh seafood.

Team Giada got Mexican - which was an advantage for Martita but cause for panic for Linkie who had no idea what she would make. I immediately thought of churros and was validated in that thought when Martita suggested the same thing.

Meanwhile, the ever annoying Martie chose some kind of deep fried ground beef and rice ball that would have been fine except she's begun referring to herself as "Martie Party."

Girlfriend, please.

And if it wasn't for Justin and his fry station super powers, I suspect her balls for the evening would have been far less crispy.

Moving on.

The chefs had their mojo on, and after a trip to the grocery store everyone was in the kitchen, locked, loaded and ready to go.

But it wouldn't be Next Food Network Star without a twist or two and tonight featured one of my all time favourite chefs, Geoffrey Zakarian with a secret ingredient: Chicken livers.

One chef from each team was tasked with incorporating chicken livers into their dishes. Michelle agreed to take on the task from Bobby's team and with Bobby's genius coaching, created a chicken liver crouton for her clam chowder.

Justin was all over the challenge and tempura fried his, while Yvan created a Mexican taco that I, hater of all things liver, actually think I would like to try.

When all was said and done, I was thrilled to see Team Alton come out the challenge winner because I adore him and two of his finalists.

The bottom two finalists were Nikki and Linkie  and, as often happens, each brought opposite challenges to the table. Nikki has to work on not coming off as rehearsed and abrasive while Linkie needs to work on her confidence.

In the end it came down to the Producer Challenge and though Linkie did really well, Nikki excelled. For the first time I saw who she really is and wanted to know more. I like that she is tough and strong and want to see and learn from the Grill next Door!


What would you create for a food court challenge?

For this one I have to go with Team Giada and would serve my Chimichurri Fish Tacos.
For printable recipe, click HERE.

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  1. just looking at this fish makes me hungry, fish tacos, yum! Food court challenge, mmmm, I have no idea, thats why I come to see you! you are such a wonderful cook and have the best imagination, I love the Cherry hill series, the last entry was so good, I enjoy them so much!

    1. Thank you for saying that Laurie! It means a lot :-)