In tonight’s second episode of The Next Food Network Star 2012, 14 contestants continue on the journey to stardom via food, competition, and ever-more difficult challenges.  What happened on tonight’s exciting new episode of The Next Food Network Star 2012?  Keep reading to find out!

WARNING: THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR 2012 SPOILERS AHEAD

Please be aware this post contains The Next Food Network Star 2012 spoilers for episode 2. Please stop reading if you do not want to know what happens!

Picking up where last week left off, The Next Food Network Star 2012 opens with the contestants recovering from the near-impossible first challenge.  Southern health fanatic, Cristie is out, and rocker-turned-Chef, Josh is in.   

For this week’s Star Challenge, the remaining contestants learn that they will be guiding 20 people on a tour throughout NYC’s most iconic culinary neighborhoods, while providing a small dish and short presentation inspired by each team’s assigned neighborhood.  Giada De Laurentiis’s team will cover Little Italy, Bobby Flay’s team will cover Harlem, and Alton Brown’s team will cover a traditional Jewish neighborhood on the lower east side.

First up in our The Next Food Network Star 2012 recap is Alton’s group. The team members visit four Jewish restaurants for inspiration, head back to the kitchen to prepare their mini-meals, and hop on the tour bus to deliver their presentations.

Justin does an excellent job creating a bialy inspired chip and presenting it to the tourists. Martie, surprisingly, also does a good job despite her incessant talking.  Emily and Judson, on the other hand, completely flop.  Midway through her presentation Amy nearly throws up, and Judson delivers a shockingly insincere speech that comes off remarkably careless.

Next up is Bobby’s team. The group sets out to Harlem’s most notorious eateries for inspiration, though most of the groups fails to find any.  They make their way back to the kitchen and ready themselves for their presentations. Malcolm and Eric nail it with their enthusiasm; while Michele, Kara, and Nikki completely bomb in one way or another.

Finally, Giada’s team is up. The group is tasked with scouring the Italian Arthur Avenue neighborhood for food ideas. Once back in the kitchen, Linkie begins failing early – running out of cream cheese, and replacing it with ricotta. As for the rest of the team, Ippy’s dish seems to be coming along well, Martita’s ceviche dish seems too ambitious; Yvan’s mozzarella skewer too simple; and Josh’s sausage too messy.

The team hops on the bus and Yvan presents first. His presentation is charming and confident, but his one-dimensional food dish just doesn’t match.  Ippy floats through his presentation in his super cool, laid-back way. Josh is all over the place, recounting a long winded story about Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, which seems totally unrelated to his dish, and probably made up.  After that fail, Martita presents an Italian/Mexican ceviche hybrid that gets good reactions, and Linkie’s does surprisingly well – nailing her presentation and wowing the judges with a dessert dish that’s pleasantly “not cafeteria food.”

After the challenge is over, Bobby, Giada and Alton provide their teams with feedback. The contestants that did well are praised, and those that sucked are told accordingly.

Next, contestants and producers stand before the Network executives and receive their lashings. We find out that the winning team on The Next Food Network Star 2012 tonight is Giada’s.  Kara from Team Bobby and Judson from Team Alton are up for elimination: Kara for being a bore and Judson for being artificial.

The two go head to head in the Producer’s Challenge, which requires that they utilize the most un-memorable and uninspiring ingredient possible – the potato. Kara chooses to make a twice-baked potato in ode to her mom, while Judson opts for a New Orleans inspired potato encrusted salmon.

The two race to complete their dishes, receive a little bit of coaching by their respective producers, and record their presentations

Once in the boardroom, we learn that Kara’s presentation and potato dish are good, though quite forgettable. Judson’s presentation lacks authenticity, much like his tour bus presentation, and his potato encrusted salmon is “more salmon than potato.” Judson breaks down dramatically when Sue questions his passion for food and readiness for this challenge, promising that he’ll dismantle the walls that are hiding his personality if allowed to stay.

The Food Network execs deliberate; call Judson, Kara, and their Producers back in; and Kara is told that she will be leaving The Next Food Network Star 2012.

— Meghan Williams, Guest Blogger



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