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Ina Garten, Tyler Florence and the episode three win on The Next Food Network Star

June 22, 2009

Wow, it is such a rush to watch episode three of the Next Food Network Star and re-live the experience. We do not see any previews so we are just as anxious to see how it all comes together and what comments are made. The first win felt great because I really liked Tyler. Very cool, no BS kind of guy. It was great to learn from him. Getting up at 3:00am for these two challenges was not so fun…

Ina oozes the same amazing calming, pleasant nature in person as she does on TV. Her place is mind-blowing as well. It felt like cooking in a culinary monument! I knew Michael and I would nail this one (easy to say now, right). He is a great chef and we always got along well. I did not pause for a moment when I had to select a partner.

Michael’s chicken was so tasty! I added some dried cherries to bring some acidity and interest to the Nutella in the crepes. I also finished it off with a caramel and cayenne chile sauce. The ultimate in “Sweet Heat”. The acid of the cherries cut the richness of the chocolate and then the caramel sauce takes you back to sweet again but before the sweetness becomes cloying  the heat comes in with a pleasant, cleansing burn from the chiles. All wrapped in a tender, buttery crepe.

You can’t imagine how fast an hour goes when you are creating a menu combining two people’s ingredients and cooking for 12! You move as fast as humanly possible while wielding sharp knives and working in a kitchen you have never been in. All the while you know the most discriminating palates on the planet (not to mention super stars) are about to eat your food and critique you. It is impossible to capture the true intensity we all felt. Unbelievable! Thanks for watching. This coming week is painful….
Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Bright Light permalink
    June 22, 2009 12:49 pm


    Great job on the Food Network show. I read your martial arts interview and it is fascinating how you ‘marry’ the 2 disciplines.

    Sorry the next show is painful.

    I saw your reference to “Getting Things Done”. Did you happen to attend USM? You seem like an alumnus. Just curious.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      June 30, 2009 9:17 am

      Hello, Thank you for watching and for reading my blog! No, I did not go to USM but I am a big fan of David Allen’s stuff. Take care.
      Jeffrey 🙂

  2. Shannon permalink
    June 22, 2009 5:22 pm


    Nice job! You are my favorite! Here’s my question – you cooked all the food and then one of the contestants said that they came in and cleaned the kitchen and set the table before you guys could serve – where was the food all that time? Did you get a chance to reheat? Doesn’t that affect the flavors -or do you take that into consideration when planning your menus. I’m picturing poor Ina eating room temp food. Enlighten me!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      June 30, 2009 8:48 am

      Hello, thank you for watching and for reading the blog. That is a good question. There are some timing issues but the network does a great job of orchestrating all of that. Have a great day.
      Jeffrey 🙂

  3. June 22, 2009 7:29 pm

    J, you certainly performed admirably on this episode. Has the FN posted recipes somewhere? Regardless of how painful next week may be, know that you are many people’s favorite.

    Sure is difficult cooking on someone else’s kitchen (although I can only imagine that Ina’s is well laid out). I remember Fieri telling me it was a piece of cake to go into someone else’s house and throw a meal together. Well, maybe for GF, but for the rest of us earthly beings, definitely a challenge. 😀

    Best of luck in all you do. –L

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      June 30, 2009 8:49 am

      Thank you so much! Yes, it is not easy but that is also where the thrill comes from. Thanks for watching and reading. Thanks for commenting. Take care.

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