On this week’s Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli visits the set to challenge the kid chefs to a Chopped challenge. You guessed it! They will have to cook with mystery baskets. But what terrifies the kids more than just the cooking is having to impress Alex, who also happens to be an Iron Chef.
Needless to say, the judges on Chopped know a thing or two about cooking, so watching from the sidelines gives them a unique perspective on the competition. With Food Network’s exclusive Web series Chopped After Hours, they have the opportunity to leave behind the judging table and cook with the same mystery basket ingredients that have sent competitors home. On Tuesday, August 26 at 11|10c, Chopped After Hours is coming to television in a special episode.
The Chopped judges have always had their place behind the judging table, but when there’s an opportunity like After Hours, allowing them to come out from behind and get in the kitchen, they’re happier than pigs in mud. Ted points out that “rather than watching from the sidelines, complaining about other people’s cooking,” the judges can be front and center. But Scott doesn’t leave it at that, and he jokes, “Now it gives people the opportunity to complain about our cooking.” But considering how great the basket is, they’re more excited than usual to get cooking: “I’m dying to cook this. I’m really antsy and raring to go,” he says.
“This is not the little piggy that went to market,” says Ted. “This is the star of our food truck and food cart entree round.” Amanda, Aarón and Scott are taking on the ingredients from tonight’s episode: whole suckling pig, fiddlehead ferns, kebab sauces and corn tortillas. All the judges are excited to work with the basket, as Amanda points out, “because there are so many options.” Scott, though, jokes that Aarón is probably going to make tacos because there are tortillas — and, well, Scott’s right.
Fans of the hidden-camera show Mystery Diners can now find host Charles Stiles and his crew of secret diners on Wednesdays at 9|8c. In its seventh season, the show takes viewers behind the scenes of problematic restaurants as Charles investigates everything from thefts to just improper behavior, all caught on camera for the owners to see. This Wednesday, tune in for an all-new episode as two food truck operators try to figure out what’s been happening to their businesses, and it’s all been taking place under their noses.
Southern California was the starting point for the food truck rookies on this past Sunday’s premiere of The Great Food Truck Race. Like many seasons before, the cross-country competition began on the West Coast, but this time, Santa Barbara, Calif., was city number one. Before anyone could get settled, a surprise Speed Bump moved the eight new teams to Venice, the hometown of team Beach Cruiser. Although it seemed like a truck selling healthy SoCal food would be a shoo-in, Lone Star Chuck Wagon, the team from Texas, ended up snatching the highest sales. Go figure!
Whether you’re looking for SoCal favorites like tacos, seafood and sushi or something unexpected like barbecue, we’ve narrowed down the restaurant offerings to the top 10 from the area, which include all the offerings mentioned above.
On the Season 5 premiere of The Great Food Truck Race, eight teams of food truck rookies began the cross-country competition in Santa Barbara, Calif., but they soon found they would be moving their trucks to Venice in a Speed Bump challenge. What they didn’t know was that it would also become their first Truck Stop challenge, with Tyler sending special guests and food truck experts to taste test each of their signature dishes. Unfortunately one team wasn’t able to roll with all the challenges, and along the way, a number of small missteps added up to a major failure in getting out their main product. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the first team cut from the race.
An all-new tournament comes to Chopped, which will test a group of top former champions in a high-stakes battle. What makes this competition so interesting is that groups of professional chefs, amateur home cooks, heroes and celebrities will be competing. But the playing field is completely leveled when it comes to the Chopped kitchen, where anything can come out of those mystery baskets, oftentimes confounding the most-consummate professional. The winners of the four preliminary rounds will go on to the grand finale, where only one competitor will walk away as the grand champion and the winner of the biggest prize in Chopped history, $50,000 and a brand-new car.
Tonight the four teen winners from the four preliminary rounds of the Chopped Teen Tournament — Dante, Sequoia, Tommi Rae and Jason — returned for the last fight to the finish line. They’d battled before and now they battled once again, but only one of them left with $25,000 in prize money, a coveted culinary school scholarship worth $40,000 and the title of Chopped Teen Grand Champion, the bragging rights of which are priceless when it comes to being just a kid in school. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the grand prize winner.
Four young chefs-in-training entered the competition on tonight’s fourth episode of the five-part Chopped Teen Tournament. But only one kid made it through all three rounds of mystery baskets, securing a spot in the grand finale, where he or she will have the chance to win $25,000 in prize money, a $40,000 culinary school scholarship and bragging rights as the first Chopped Teen Grand Champion, which goes pretty far when you’re just a kid in high school. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the teen-chef winner from Part 4.
On an all-new Restaurant Stakeout this Wednesday at 9|8c, host Willie Degel does the unthinkable, by shutting down a restaurant for the first time. On the episode, Ricky, the owner of the Red Room in New Rochelle, New York, has been faced with running his mom’s restaurant. But without any experience, he’s put all his trust in his staff — a decision that might not be the wisest. Luckily, Willie is there to show him what’s really going on, and to help him see that sometimes you have to close one door in order to open another.