When it comes to the judges of Chopped, Tuesdays 10|9c, they definitely have their own distinctive personalities, and it’s most evident just by the way they deliver the bad news to unsuspecting chefs at the chopping block. If you’ve ever found yourself siding with one judge over the other — especially when there’s a heated disagreement pertaining to the correct use of a mystery basket ingredient — you’re not alone. You’ve probably thought to yourself you could easily hang with one of them. Well, now’s your chance to find out with whom you share the most in common.
When it comes to competition shows, everyone’s got an angle, a competitive strategy in hopes of winning. On All-Star Academy, premiering Sunday, Mar. 1 at 9|8c, each of the mentors has his or her own way of approaching the competition. As culinary instructors, they have different methods for teaching the mentees as they lead them through the many difficult cooking challenges, which test the home cooks’ resolve in order to find the single best one in the nation.
FN Dish recently caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon to find out their competition strategies, how they think they’re going to win and what sets them apart from their fellow mentors — and they didn’t hold back with their answers.
“I hate to admit this, but I love these apple pies,” confesses Scott, for what Ted Allen explains is “not the kind your grandma used to make but the kind you might get at a convenience store.” Geoffrey pokes fun at the comment, saying, “I actually got all these things at the gas station on the way here.” Ted underlines the difficulty they might have working with processed foods. But Geoffrey isn’t fazed, as he explains “that any of these foods will taste better with some alcohol.”
“Bake your cake and eat it too” was basically what the kids were told by Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli in the finale of Kids Baking Championship. The kids would be making cakes they would want to enjoy at the winner’s party. Interestingly, three of the four remaining young bakers ended up going with lemon cakes to impress Valerie, who happens to love lemon treats. In the end, though, one cake was clearly ahead of the rest, and that cake earned its baker $10,000 in prize money and the title of Kids Baking Champion.
Whether you’re a lover of lemon cakes, too — or any cakes, for that matter — now’s your chance to try your hand at crowd-pleasing celebration cakes at home. We’ve got recipes that appeal to everyone’s taste buds, including chocolate cake, classic yellow cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, carrot cake and more.
On the new show All-Star Academy, premiering Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c, Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon mentor teams of home cooks to find the nation’s single best cook, who will leave a champion and $50,000 richer. These mentors are known for their rival personalities, competitiveness and talent — traits that they will look for in the cooks when choosing their teams in the premiere episode.
“Going to the grocery store is one of my favorite things to do,” says Guy Fieri, host of Guy’s Grocery Games. Now in its fifth season, there’s a reason why the show is so popular. That’s because everyone shops. Everyone has to get to the store, whether they like it or not, unless they’re grocery shopping online, something you’ll never find Guy doing. But the point is that grocery shopping affects us all. And Guy’s Grocery Games turns the mundane chore into a fun game. Who hasn’t dreamt of running down the aisles of the supermarket in a shopping spree?
We recently caught up with Guy on the set of the show to find out what grocery shopping is like for him, his tried-and-true method, what he likes to buy (what he can’t leave without) and what’s the absolute top thing he hates about going to the supermarket — it’s something that probably has happened to you before.
Mixed reactions would best describe the kids when they heard they would have to bake treats featuring pate a choux in Episode 3 of Kids Baking Championship. Some revealed they hated the dough, whereas others were excited to be taking on something they loved. It’s safe to say most of us viewers were wondering how these kids even knew about the French pastry dough used to make cream puffs (profiteroles), cheese puffs (gougères) and éclairs, among other treats (including the towering croquembouche).
The kids went about the challenge and created some of the most-impressive baked goods. The judges’ criteria came down to mostly flavor profiles — although there was the occasional issue of too large versus too small a puff.
If you’re up for a challenge, and if you consider yourself as advanced as these kids, here are some recipes to get you started baking with pate a choux, including sweet and savory renditions, just as was asked of the kid bakers. See how well you can survive the challenge at home. And if you happen to produce some “ungainly” results, as Duff Goldman commented, eat the evidence!
On Worst Cooks in America, 14 hapless cooks entered Boot Camp to be mentored by chefs Anne Burrell and Tyler Florence. Split into the Red and Blue teams, they faced new cooking challenges every week, honing their skills until just two finalists (one from each team) remained to face off in one final cook-off. In last night’s episode, one came in the winner, walking away with $25,000, whereas the other left with just the knowledge and skills she learned during the competition. By no means is that runner-up a loser, having made it all the way to the finale. Her accomplishments give her much to be proud of.
FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Season 6 runner-up.
Seven weeks ago, 14 recruits entered Boot Camp as the worst cooks in America. They came to the competition to learn skills and techniques from team mentors Anne Burrell and Tyler Florence in hopes of making it to the end for a chance to win the $25,000 grand prize. Two faced off in the finale, cooking a three-course meal in order to impress a panel of culinary experts who chose the single best cook. Tonight one walks away the winner of Worst Cooks in America, taking with her not only the prize money but also a set of invaluable culinary skills. She is no longer a “worst cook.”
FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Season 6 winner.
All-Star Academy is Food Network’s new show that brings out the best in home cooks in order to find the single most-talented cook in the nation. That person will walk away with the $50,000 grand prize. Led by one of four mentors, the home cooks have the chance to be molded into some fierce competition, and host Ted Allen has a bird’s-eye view of it all, from the action unfolding on set to the drama brewing behind the scenes. He recently caught up with FN Dish to reveal what viewers can except from the show, premiering on Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c.
Ted also dished on mentors Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon, revealing their strengths and weaknesses in competition.