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Food Park: Alex McCoy @ Food Network Star — 7/19/15 (S. 11, Ep. 7)

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Just One Row of Food Trucks
A row of food trucks at the 2012 DC Curbside Cookoff (Photo by Alex Levine)

Hot Slap Tacos!

If you’ve been watching Food Network Star this season, you have encountered the phenomenon sparked by the team of Chefs Alex McCoy and Dom Tesoriero. In the last episode Sunday, the two paired together for a food truck challenge, and things got heated! But more on Hot Slap Tacos in a minute.

First, let’s recap the beginning of the episode. Food Network Star, Season 11, has featured Chef Alex from DC, and we’ve been cheering him on to win the competition. The last episode (#7) on Sunday, July 19, featured a challenge where contestants operated food trucks.

Prior to that, the six remaining contestants engaged in a smaller challenge, where Food Network Star host Bobby Flay directed the chefs to make a version of their favorite brunch, but to make it portable. The winner of this mini-challenge would get an advantage in the bigger challenge — a typical scenario in Food Network Star.

The contestants named their favorite brunch before they were told they would have to make a mobile version of it, and Alex named chipped beef on toast, because it reminded him of his father, who loved the Navy-inspired meal.

Given 20 minutes to make the dish, and no chipped beef in the Food Network stock, Alex resorted to the second best option: chorizo.

As Chipped “Beef” on Toast with Chorizo is not generally a portable food, Alex used the bread to slop up the sauce of the dish instead of a fork and knife.

Alex explained to Bobby and fellow host Giada De Laurentiis that the dish reminded him of great times with his father. Still, Bobby was disappointed in the dish, which he said was not Alex’s best effort. Giada said brunch should be “pretty” and that the chipped beef looked like “baby food.”

The winner of that portable brunch challenge got to pick the theme of their food truck and assign the themes of others. Alex didn’t win, so he was assigned tacos as his theme, along with his teammate Dom.

Each team had to create short video presentation to attract people to their truck on social media. In reality, a gathering of 60 FoodNetwork.com and Twitter fans would choose between the three food trucks after viewing the videos. Each fan would have one ticket to spend for a dish from the food trucks.

Alex realized that he and Dom tend to get tense in video presentations so far in the competition this season. So he brilliantly decided to loosen things up by dubbing their taco truck as “Hot Slap Tacos.”

The resulting video presentation involved Alex and Dom eating jalapenos and slapping each other while wearing hats. It’s total slapstick — and it worked. The resulting video presentation was hilarious, and it earned praise from Bobby and Giada and guest host Chef Richard Blaze, all of whom laughed quite a bit.

For the food truck, Alex made Hot Thai Sausage Tacos with bird’s eye chilies, and Dom made Chicken Baracoa Tacos with avocado crème. Each team had to make a side dish, and Alex and Dom made Grilled Thai Eggplant and Roasted Corn Salsa to tie the two taco dishes together.

However, all the threat of hot and spicy food ultimately scared potential customers away, and the duo ended the competition with the lowest ticket count, Giada said.

In post-competition analysis, Bobby said Alex’s Thai sausage was completely burnt. Later on Twitter, Alex acknowledged, “Rookie move burning that sausage, especially since it took me 20 minutes to make from scratch. Still, so much fun.”

Although it wasn’t clear, Alex faced possible elimination at the end of the challenge, but he was saved by a contestant who quit! Marking the first time ever for it to happen in Food Network Star, blogger Michelle Karam quit the contest due to family obligations.

And so Alex remains one of five contestants heading into the eighth episode of this season of Food Network Star, scheduled to air on Sunday, July 26 at 9pm ET. Tune in to see if he survives another week! (We think he will.)

Watch Food Network Star, Season 11, Episode 7:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXefW7OFBv4]

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