On the Chopping Block: Or, How's That Food Network Star Thing Going?

Lisa Garza, awaiting her fate at the end of the first episode

Having been called far worse than baffling, "rigid" and "overpowering" -- which, come to think of it, sound more like compliments -- I'll ease up on Suze's Lisa Garza, whose rambling dissertation on her "three C's" almost got her booted off the first episode of The Next Food Network Star. At least her poached salmon looked edible -- a far cry from most of the entrées offered up by the other nine contestants, the most affable of whom seems to think you can make meat loaf in, like, nine minutes?

Garza's being among the bottom two might have been a good thing for the "Diva from Dallas" everyone 'round here thinks a shoo-in -- just the "wake-up call," as Garza put it, that she needed as a reminder to relax just a little. As it was, last night's episode was a little too close to one of Garza's favorite TV shows: The Office. Here, the video highlights, if that's the right word. --Robert Wilonsky

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