All Posts By Joseph Erdos

Joe is the Online Entertainment Editor for FoodNetwork.com. When he's not writing about food you'll find him photographing food, cooking food and/or eating food — oftentimes all at the same time.

There’s More Than One Way to Skin an Eel — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, August 26th, 2014

 When faced with an ingredient like eel, most chefs would run the other way, but the judges on Chopped After Hours take the challenge in stride: “You think some slippery eels are going to shake our nerves?” retorts Aarón. Geoffrey recommends that the skin be removed, which is an important step. Only one pro chef managed to serve his dish with eel that had the skin removed in the appetizer round of the Ultimate Champions premiere. His dish turned out to be the judges’ favorite, but the other dishes left something to be desired — i.e., no skin.

Geoffrey, Chris and Aarón are cooking with the appetizer basket ingredients — eel, pepihuates, shaved coconut and sea beans — from tonight’s episode. Even though Geoffrey points out they’re not equipped to properly skin an eel, the three judges cleverly decide to parboil it first, which makes removing the skin and bones much easier compared with how the episode’s chefs struggled. The only ingredient that leaves Geoffrey flummoxed is the pepihuates. “Watch me magically transform it,” Chris asserts. Aarón explains it’s simply a Mexican tomato-based snack/drink with peanuts and a tamarind stick — not unlike a Bloody Mary, Ted thinks.

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Go Southwestern and Beyond in Tucson — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, August 26th, 2014

huevos rancheros on The Great Food Truck RaceThe second stop in The Great Food Truck Race brought the rookies to Tucson. Many of the trucks thought that going from Southern California to the Southwest meant it would be an easy transition, but that wasn’t the case for everyone. Those who took the opportunity to adapt to local tastes found the best customer response, resulting in top sales. And Tyler’s Truck Stop challenge had the teams all selling a Sonoran hot dog, which proved to be one of the best ways of testing the teams’ marketing abilities. In the end, the team from SoCal came in first place, proving that they could make a comeback from last week.

Whether you’re looking for Southwestern favorites like burgers, Sonoran hot dogs or modern Mexican cuisine, we’ve narrowed down the restaurant offerings to the top 10 from the area, which include a few surprises like Jamaican stew and a Philly favorite.

Get the Restaurant Listings

Exclusive Interview with the Latest Food Truck Team to Exit the Race

by in Shows, August 24th, 2014

The Great Food Truck RaceOn this week’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the teams found themselves headed to Tucson, Ariz. Some hoped the change in location from California to the Southwest would be a seamless transition that wouldn’t require much modification in menu or strategy. A Truck Stop challenge of selling a local favorite, and later a Speed Bump that relocated the food trucks to a local festival, both tested the teams’ marketing abilities. But the challenges were easier for some more than for others. One team in particular wasn’t able to get out of the rut they had put themselves into in the previous city. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the latest team cut from the race.

Find Out Which Team Was Eliminated

Move Over, Competitors; the Chopped Judges Are Cooking After Hours

by in Shows, August 20th, 2014

Chopped After HoursNeedless 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.

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“This Is Not the Little Piggy That Went to Market” — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, August 19th, 2014

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 sucking 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.

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Mystery Diners Moves to a New Time

by in Shows, August 19th, 2014

Mystery DinersFans 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.

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So Much to Eat in SoCal — On the Road with The Great Food Truck Race

by in Restaurants, Shows, August 19th, 2014

The Great Food Truck Race, fish tacos from Beach CruiserSouthern 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.

Get the Restaurant Listings

Exclusive Interview with the First Food Truck Team to Exit the Race

by in Shows, August 17th, 2014

The Great Food Truck Race teamsOn 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.

Find Out Which Team Was Eliminated

Returning Chopped Champions Compete in First-Ever Ultimate Champions Tournament

by in Shows, August 14th, 2014

Chopped Ultimate Champions CompetingAn 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.

Find out the rounds and who will be competing