Episode Six of the Food Network Star proved to be disappointing for our own Orchid Paulmeier. Having been given a “second chance” last week during the July 4th themed episode it was really all up to the contestants, particularly Orchid, Mary Beth and Whitney this week to break through the clutter.
Another Food Network Star, Tyler Florence, host of The Great Food Truck Race, presented this week’s challenge and you guessed it – the food truck face-off was the designated task. The contestants were grouped into three teams with Orchid working with Vic Vegas and Jyll. Each team must also film a commercial to promote their truck and the food they will be serving. The lucky viewers who get to sample the goodies are only allowed to choose their one favorite for noshing based on which commercial they prefer.
Orchid’s team chose “Fierce Food Fusion” as their theme and while their commercial, which promised that “they were all in, so let’s dig in!” made both the judges and the crowd smile, Vic and Jyll really stood out in the spot. The other trucks, with themes of “Balls on the Roll” and “Charley’s Angels” were deemed less than noteworthy although the promise of Penny’s fillet mignon wrap prompted a long line at their truck. Unfortunately, Penny’s slow pace meant the first-takers had to wait, which did not go well with her food truck partners Mary Beth and Chris. The meatball truck and their silly commercial did not bring in many tasters although according to the judges, both Susie’s matzo ball soup and Jeff’s Italian meatballs were excellent. Whitney’s mushy falafel was a bust.
The Fierce Food Fusion truck also garnered praise with Jyll’s shrimp taco and Vic’s Phillyrito (philly cheese steak served like a burrito) although Orchid was not able to grab attention away from Vic and Jyll in front of the judges to make her POV (point of view) or her pork taco stand out. Overall, Orchid’s culinary talent really was not in question, it was according to Giada that, “the contestants must engage and hold on.” She noted in her post show video that Orchid radiated a “beautiful soft glow and presence on camera,” however the remaining contestants were now finding their POV and were shining, and so Orchid was relegated to the “middle of the pack.” This is a difficult spot to work yourself out of at this point in the contest.
Episode 6 left Orchid, Mary Beth and Whitney facing the judges. Judge Bob Tuschman
sounded truly regretful as he gave Orchid the bad news and she left the stage. In his post-show video he reiterated that the ‘star’ they are looking for must be able to not only cook well but also be able to bring the food to life. In other words, the next Food Network Star must have the whole package, and be able to “turn it on and turn it off” at will, as Giada described. And they only get 10 weeks to prove it.
Luckily for Orchid she is an optimistic, determined person who is an amazing, creative cook and I’m sure we will see more of her in the future. No matter the outcome, Orchid certainly has been a star for us in the Lowcountry and we can’t wait to see what wonderful opportunities wait on the horizon for her! You can also still vote for her on the fan page – the fan favorite will have their own webisode series on Food Network! And in the meantime be sure to visit Orchid at One Hot Mama’s in Hilton Head Island!