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I am not a competitive person. Never have been. I don't like performing, I have no desire for fame, to be a celebrity, to put my mug on video much less a cooking show, or anything like that. Okay, I might do a video... someday. My goal with my website is to simply put out an authentic product that hopefully readers will enjoy, that will stir up some memories from days past, and that will nudge you back to the kitchen. I spent most of my pre-blogging life in a highly competitive legal career, but the growth of my site has been pretty organic, and I kinda like it that way.
I do, however, love watching, from the stress-free comfort of my cushy chair, competition cooking shows and Food Network Star is my favorite. I've been watching that one for several seasons now, believe it or not, even with The Cajun who I think enjoys it as much as I do. The next star I'm talking about here, is the brand new, just released today, Food Network Star: The Official Insiders Guide, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity for a sneak peek I could share with you. Y'all know I love my cookbooks, but this is one of those cookbooks that is much more than just a collection of recipes. Yes there are recipes, of course, like this one.
|Carissa Steward's Shrimp Puffs from Season Two.|
Each season introduces you to the finalists with revealing bios, refreshes us about their individual Culinary P.O.V.s, and includes lots of candid photos and recaps of the contestants in action. There are summaries of the challenges - remember Batali Boot Camp in Season 1, the Dressed up MREs of Season 3, the Packaged Food Challenge with Martha Stewart in Season 4, or the Season 6 Lunch Truck Challenge with Paula Deen? This book is loaded with memories that'll bring you right back to the episodes you loved, and there's even commentary at the end of each season chapter from those who were eliminated, episode by episode.
You'll also find bits of trivia and insider stories about the challenges and the contestants, and Q&A interviews with each season winner, as well as mentors and celebrity chef judges, including the Queen Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, and Bobby Flay, to name a few. I love that they included a few of their fun and memorable quotes scattered all throughout the book.
"Try not to take yourself too seriously and for goodness' sakes, whoever gets a show, don't become a diva." ~Paula Deen
"I smell fear." ~Alton BrownAnd the recipes. There's a variety of recipes in each section, one or more from each finalist, as well as from each season winner, including Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh's Lobster Pot Pie, Guy Fieri's Chipotle Pasta, Amy Finley's Goat Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Aaron McCargo's Stuffed Pork Chops, Melissa d'Arabian's Rustic Lemon Onion Chicken, and Aarti Sequeira's Coconut Tomato Gazpacho, to name a few.
|Jennifer Cochrane's Chicken Parmesan with Vodka Sauce |
from Season Four.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from William Morrow an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Online purchases linked within this post are to my Amazon affiliate store and I receive a small percentage in compensation from sales.