Food Network Star Salvation, episode 1 recap: Snacks and kitchen hacks


After having their Food Network dreams dashed, these contestants get a second chance at fame in Food Network Star Salvation.

If you were given a second chance, could you make the most of it? The web series Food Network Star Salvation will give one finalist a second chance at stardom. Over a six week period, the ousted finalists will compete for the opportunity to rejoin the Food Network Star competition. Mentors and judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro will guide these eliminated finalists toward redemption.

The first episode of Star Salvation covered snacks and kitchen hacks. Five eliminated finalists had to create a “can do” snack and demo related hack on Facebook Live. Competing in this episode were Blake, Nancy, Toya, Suzanne and Trace. While a good dish and impressive demo were key, these contestants had to show improvement from their Food Network Star appearance.

Star Salvation, photo from Food Network

Blake, the contestant who left Food Network Star before the competition started, created a healthier version of avocado toast. As the healthy chef, Blake used a sweet potato, instead of bread, for the recipe.

Overall, his video presentation was good and he was able to eat the dish on camera. Unfortunately, his sweet potato lacked seasoning, which was criticized. Overall, his presentation and dish showed improvement. Blake moved on to episode 2.

Trace was the most recent eliminated contestant to join Star Salvation. The party planner was at home in this challenge. His dish, a tomato caprese salad, was bright and flavorful. His personality shined in the Facebook live demo. His hack was the most impressive of all the contestants.

Food Network Star Salvation, photo from Food Network

His hack was to layer the salad in individual serving bowls. Plating is easy because the glass is just turned upside down. The salad looks pretty and the components aren’t muddled. Trace moved on to the next week’s competition.

Toya created an andouille sausage slider. With this dish, she tried to tie the recipe back to her family and her Louisiana roots. Overall, the slider was tasty, but the judges would have preferred more sausage.

Toya’s Facebook Live demo needed some work. Her time management wasn’t the best. Also, she didn’t interact with the viewers. Lastly, her hack of using store bought roasted red peppers wasn’t the best choice. Still, her effort and improvement kept her in the competition for another week.

Nancy, aka nana, made yogurt honey peaches on a baguette. I really want to like Nancy, but she is low energy. I’m sure that she has lots of cooking talent, but it is hard to watch her and get excited about the food. Her dish sounded yummy for summer, but the Facebook demo was a disaster.

Time management is Nancy’s biggest issue. She didn’t finish the demo nor was her hack clear. The idea of cutting a peach into wedges to avoid cutting around the peach pit is smart. But, if the audience doesn’t want to watch her, the demo or the dish, Nancy can’t be a Food Network Star. Nancy was eliminated.

Food Network Star Salvation, photo from Food Network

Suzanne had a lot of difficulties on Food Network Star. Overall, her food sounded good. I would love to learn how to cook Middle Eastern cuisine. But, Suzanne tends to freeze in front of the camera. Unfortunately, the trend continued on Star Salvation.

Suzanne’s dish, kebobs with Middle Eastern flavors, was tasty. Her Facebook live demo was a disaster. She wasn’t able to describe the dish nor present a good hack. The meat becoming stuck onto the pan could have made a blooper reel. Suzanne was the second contestant eliminated.

At the end of this episode, the mentors reminded the contestants that they must taste their food on camera. Any Food Network personality needs to convey to viewers that the food is delicious. If the contestants don’t try the dish on camera, the viewers won’t get to see the taste experience.

Next: Food Network Star goes glamping with elevated classic camping food

Each week another eliminated finalist from Food Network Star will join Star Salvation. Eventually one contestant will return to the Food Network kitchen to compete again. Will the mentoring assist him or her on the path to redemption? Tune in to the web series next week to find out.