Brigantine personal chef Nicole Gaffney survived yet another week on "Food Network Star," but was given some homework by the panel of judges.

Gaffney impressed the judges on the first challenge of the evening, instructing Alton Brown on how to make chicken fried steak. Gaffney won good marks for the precision of her instructions, even though - as she said - "We don't do chicken fried steak in New Jersey."

In the second challenge, Gaffney had to instruct a television audience how to prepare a meal.

The 29-year-old won praise for her meal, a couscous salad, but judge Giada De Laurentiis said Gaffney showed little energy on camera.

"I didn't see someone having a good time," the judge complained.

Gaffney said while she is usually "super energetic" when on camera, she was having a hard time concentrating on her performance while also cooking and coming up with a recipe.

Gaffney was one of the first contestants declared safe from elimination for the evening, but the good news was tempered with a warning.

"Nicole did a lot of things right, but where's the energy," Brown wondered. "I think you need to find it - soon."