Food Network Star, Season 8: Behind the Scenes of Episode 2

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and relive all the highlights of Food Network Star Season 8, Episode 2.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Star-Studded Food Tour

For their second challenge, the teams are leading bus tours through iconic New York neighborhoods known for their food culture. Team Alton is up first with the Lower East Side, a historically Jewish neighborhood. "You guys are going to really have to soak this up," Alton advises.

In a Pickle

Each finalist will make a dish inspired by a local business in their team's neighborhood. Judson has trouble finding inspiration at the Pickle Guys: "I'm just not feeling it," he admits. In turn, his presentation comes off generic. "He seemed like a motivational speaker," says Bob Tuschman.

Matzo and Bialys

Emily and Justin are both full of ideas after visiting their respective businesses, Streit's Matzo Factory and Kossar's Bialys. Emily's offbeat Passover Meatloaf is tasty enough to forgive her presentation, which suffered greatly due to her motion sickness on the bus.

Katz's Inspiration

Martie first visited Katz's Deli 20 years ago on a trip to New York and is excited to make a dish inspired by the pastrami sandwich she fell in love with there. Despite her tendency to ramble, she pulls off her dish and presentation.

Teamwork

After losing Cristie, Team Alton is determined not to go down again this week.

Cooks on the Line

Team Bobby is always at home in the kitchen. After visiting their neighborhood of Harlem, they get right to work on their dishes.

Barbecue and Catfish

Nikki uses the sauce from Dinosaur BBQ as the Harlem inspiration for her grilled shrimp. Michelle hates catfish, but her assigned location, Sylvia's, is known for it. She goes with catfish sliders and the judges immediately pick up on her lack of confidence and excitement.

Soul Food Struggle

Kara is the most uneasy about her assignment: the iconic soul food restaurant Melba's, which specializes in chicken and waffles. "I don't fry chicken. I don't like chicken on the bone. As far as waffles are concerned, I prefer pancakes," she laments. Instead of taking inspiration from Melba's dish and going in another direction, she tries to replicate it without much success.

In Their Element

Team Giada visits Arthur Avenue, the Little Italy of the Bronx. It's right in her comfort zone: "Giada's going into her home stinking turf. I don't know who she paid off to get this!" says Alton. Ippy also feels at home, since he's the chef at his family's Italian restaurant in Hawaii. He decides to take the flavors of Arthur Avenue Trattoria's famous eggplant Parmesan and use them in a soup.

Seeking Redemption

Linkie is determined to redeem herself after last week's Key lime pie fiasco. She visits Palombo's Pastry Shop and reworks their cannoli into a cannoli cheesecake made with ricotta. Giada nods in approval, and Alton agrees: "That's not cafeteria food."

Mex-Italian

Martita picks Cosenza's Fish Market and makes a ceviche with an Italian twist. The judges love it: "This is up there with the best ceviches I've tasted," says Susie Fogelson.

Fingers Crossed

In the stew room, the members of Team Giada feel pretty good about their bus tour, but they don't know how the other teams did. Despite Ivan's flavorless mozzarella skewer, Giada took part in the other two bus tours and is cautiously optimistic about her team's fate.

Feels Good to Win

Team Giada is thrilled to learn that they are the challenge winners and are all safe from elimination. Giada may be the most excited of all: "Winning really feels great, I've got to say. Huge congratulations to you guys."

Bobby vs. Alton

That leaves Team Bobby and Team Alton on the bottom, with Judson and Kara facing off in the Producers' Challenge. Neither finalist was memorable to the judges on the bus tours, and they'll have one chance to turn that around to stay in the competition.

Battle Potato

Bob and Susie's challenge is simple: "Take the least memorable ingredient, the potato, and turn it into the most memorable dish we've ever had." Kara and Judson confer with their mentors and get to work creating potato dishes that they hope will wow the judges.

Be Genuine

Alton tries to get Judson to break down the walls that make him sound like a motivational speaker: "Stop presenting to me like you're selling something. Just talk to me."

Man Down

The remaining members of Team Alton anxiously watch Judson prepare his potato-crusted salmon dish. They're already at a disadvantage with four team members and can't afford to lose another. Fortunately, Judson comes through for them.

Not Quite a Star

"I'm not even concerned about my food. I'm immediately concerned about my presentation," says Kara as she prepares her mother's twice-baked potatoes. Her food is tasty and comforting, but it's her uneasiness on camera that ultimately sends her home from the pitch room.

Team Bobby: Down to Four

"It's sad to leave my team. They become your family immediately," Kara reflects. "I think they're going to go all the way. I think that's the final four right there."

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