All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate editor at Food Network, now living in New York City after being born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She likes her eggs runny, her pasta cheesy and has been known to throw back dozens of oysters at a time.

How Do You Define Breakfast? — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, March 2nd, 2014


While some challenge dishes on Cutthroat Kitchen are straightforward, like apple pie, a burrito and grilled cheese, the Round 1 plate on tonight’s brand-new episode left some room for interpretation. The task was to create an all-American breakfast in 30 minutes — Alton gave no other instructions and simply let the chefs prepare their own definitions of that morning meal.

“Usually it would feature eggs, bread, perhaps a smoked pork product — bacon, ham,” judge Jet Tila said on the latest installment of Alton’s After-Show of his idea of an all-American breakfast. It turns out that nearly all of the competitors held similar beliefs, as three attempted to turn out egg-focused dishes and another offered two takes on toast. Within these plates, however, there existed strong disparities, and each highlighted unique inspirations, including California flair, Southern ingredients and a love of hash.

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After Buying This Restaurant: 312 Pizza Company

by in Shows, March 2nd, 2014

Buy This RestaurantStaci, Dan and Kim were determined to bring a slice of their home city of Chicago to the South when they moved to Nashville, and for them that meant opening a restaurant serving authentic Windy City-style deep-dish pizza. Although the trio was clear in its hopes for a family-friendly pizzeria, help was needed from Buy This Restaurant and famed broker Keith Simpson to find the ultimate location for the business. After scouring the city of Nashville and beyond, they purchased a vacant space in Germantown, Tenn., which would ultimately become 312 Pizza Company.

FN Dish checked in with Staci, Dan and Kim shortly after filming wrapped to find out how construction of their restaurant is progressing today. Read on below to hear from the owners in an exclusive interview and get the latest update on 312 Pizza Company.

How is the construction going on 312 Pizza Company? In what stage is the renovation, and when do you plan to open?
Staci, Dan and Kim: We are hoping to open mid- to late March 2014.

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Win a Signed Copy of Kelsey Nixon’s Kitchen Confidence

by in Contests, Shows, March 1st, 2014

Kelsey Nixon and Sunny AndersonGeoffrey, Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny are all about empowering home cooks on The Kitchen and giving them the tools they need to create deliciously simple meals in a flash. Week after week the co-hosts share their tried-and-true suggestions for turning out fuss-free dishes, and they welcome friends to the set who share similar beliefs in easy cooking.

Just this morning, Cooking Channel host and Food Network star Kelsey Nixon dropped by The Kitchen to introduce her cookbook, Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes & Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything, a celebration of sweet and savory classics that will make even novice cooks feel comfortable. Inspired by her belief in mastering a few basic skills in order to learn and grow in the kitchen, Kelsey’s premiere work is full of must-haves that would be welcome additions to any recipe repertoire. Together with Marcela, Kelsey showed off one recipe from her book: Sloppy Jane Sliders. This big-batch supper is a go-to pick for families, boasting tender turkey, fresh vegetables and homemade sloppy joe sauce.

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Photos: Take a Tour of the Beat Bobby Flay Set

by in Shows, March 1st, 2014

On the Set of Beat Bobby FlayNo stranger to fierce competition, Bobby Flay is a longtime Iron Chef with a winning record in Kitchen Stadium, and he’s thrown down with some of the top chefs and home cooks across the country. But beginning this weekend, Bobby will launch an all-new kind of contest on his upcoming series, Beat Bobby Flay. Beginning with a sneak-peek episode on Monday, March 3 at 10|9c, Bobby will welcome rival competitors into the kitchen for a face-off, and he’s looking to find who among them can beat him in battle. Each show will feature two competitors going head-to-head in a preliminary-round cook-off; it’s up to Bobby’s closest friends and colleagues to decide which competitor is worthy of the chance to challenge Bobby in Round 2.

FN Dish was on the set of Beat Bobby Flay recently to take in the sights and sounds of the competition, and to get an insider’s look at the kitchen where the contest unfolded. Bobby and the rival chefs have their own workstations in the kitchen, which offer all of the tools, pans and equipment they may need to turn out winning dishes. The pantry overflowed with myriad fresh produce and an assortment of dry goods, while the refrigerator was piled high with creamy cheeses, crisp lettuce, a range of meats and various stocks.

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Marcela to Take Over Twitter in a Special Saturday Morning Event

by in Community, Shows, February 28th, 2014

Marcela ValladolidAs you cozy up on the couch with your morning cup of joe and prepare to take in an all-new episode of The Kitchen on Saturday (at 11a|10c), log on to Twitter and follow @FoodNetwork, as there will be a very special guest sending out tweets that morning. The Kitchen’s own Marcela Valladolid is taking over Food Network’s account for the run of the show that day, sharing her insider perspective on filming as well as behind-the-scenes commentary.

The focus of this Saturday’s episode is on questions that you, the fans, have asked, and it will be up to the co-hosts to answer them on air in the form of easy-to-make recipes and go-to tips. With Marcela at the keyboard on Twitter this weekend, however, you can likely expect to find a few additional ideas, as she may be dishing out her own tried-and-true strategies for quick-fix meals and cooking for kids. Do you have a question for Marcela? Tweet it @FoodNetwork, and perhaps she’ll answer it online.

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#TBT: Marc Forgione

by in Food Network Chef, February 27th, 2014

Marc ForgioneIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

Although Marc Forgione may now be considered a long-standing member of the Chairman’s team of Iron Chefs, this famed New York-based chef was appointed to the esteemed position only three years ago. He beat out rival competitors from around the nation on The Next Iron Chef: Season 3, ultimately impressing the Chairman and a panel of judges so much so that he earned the most-coveted title in the industry.

Before he entered Kitchen Stadium, Marc had been cooking professionally for years, and although his father is a renowned master of American cuisine, he sought out his own hands-on training in eateries both domestic and abroad. Today he’s known equally for his fierce culinary prowess in culinary competitions as well as for his multiple restaurants in New York City and New Jersey. Just last year FN Dish caught up with Marc to tour his latest project, a Manhattan outpost of Atlantic City’s American Cut, and he said, “Our goal from the get-go was to bring steakhouses ‘back to their glory.’”

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Best 5 Shrimp Scampi Recipes

by in Recipes, February 26th, 2014

Shrimp ScampiWhile shrimp cocktail may be the centerpiece on appetizer tables everywhere, there are indeed more ways to prepare these two-bite beauties than simply boiling them and serving them with cocktail sauce. For something a bit more dressed up but still deliciously easy to prepare, look to shrimp scampi, a quick-fix classic that pairs garlic, lemon and often a splash of white wine with the tender shellfish. Most traditional scampi recipes call for relatively petite shrimp, but even the larger varieties don’t take more than a few minutes to cook, so it’s a must-try preparation when you’re pressed for time in the kitchen. Check out Food Network’s top-five shrimp scampi recipes below to find tried-and-true as well as creative takes on this favorite dish from Giada, Bobby, Ina and more Food Network chefs.

5. Lemony Shrimp Scampi with Orzo and Arugula — Giada sears the shrimp with shallots for mild flavor, then mixes them with peppery arugula, orzo pasta and a simple lemon vinaigrette for refreshing, vibrant results.

4. Grilled Shrimp Scampi-Style with Soy Sauce, Fresh Ginger and Garlic — Ready to enjoy in only 15 minutes, Bobby’s sweet and savory shrimp are brushed with a bold blend of soy sauce, honey, lime juice and garlic before they’re grilled.

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Chefs and Stars Join Geoffrey Zakarian for Food Talk Radio Show

by in Food Network Chef, February 25th, 2014

Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey ZakarianGiven chefs’ notoriously long hours at their restaurants, plus the efforts they devote to filming television shows, making personal appearances and authoring cookbooks, it’s no surprise that Food Network stars are rarely in one place for long — and hardly ever in the same place at the same time. That all changes, however, when it comes to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival; for one weekend every winter, nearly all of your favorite chefs converge upon the sunny, sandy shores of Miami for the ultimate weekend-long celebration of the best and the latest in eats and drinks.

The 13th annual festival just wrapped up in South Beach on Sunday, but while the cooking demonstrations, seminars, dinners and late-night parties were in full swing, The Kitchen host and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian found time to catch up with some of his closest friends and colleagues in the business. He recorded a SiriusXM Food Talk radio show (airing on SiriusXM Stars Channel 106 on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 8|9c) one afternoon near the pool deck at The James Royal Palm, and he welcomed fellow Chopped judge Marc Murphy, a few co-hosts from The Kitchen, including Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson and Katie Lee, plus Anne Burrell, Robert Irvine and more food folks to dish on all things from competition television to the ever-changing restaurant industry and memorable work projects from days gone by.

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Food Network Chefs’ Favorite Comfort Foods

by in Food Network Chef, February 24th, 2014

Bobby Flay and Michael SymonWhether it’s the bone-chilling weather, the short, darker days or the cozy sweaters and puffy coats, winter practically necessitates comfort food. And while you likely reach for all things cheesy, warm and hearty to feel soothed this time of year, so, too, do Food Network chefs. FN Dish caught up with Bobby Flay and Michael Symon at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, and we asked the guys to share their favorite sweet and savory indulgences. What we found out is that when it comes to comfort food, tried-and-true classics reign supreme.

Both Michael and Bobby agreed that a classic roast chicken is among their top dishes, but for Bobby, it has to come with the works. “I want the roasted chicken with all the roasted vegetables alongside of it that you cook with it [and] the pan sauce right out of the roasting pan,” he explained.

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Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 24th, 2014

Broccoli-Cheddar Oven RisottoFor better or worse, risotto has garnered a bit of a bad rap. After all, while traditional recipes promise deliciously creamy, comforting results, they do require a bit of attention and greatly benefit from low-and-slow cooking. Food Network Magazine’s Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto (pictured above), however, celebrates the texture and taste of the classic preparation but is made almost entirely in the oven in only 35 minutes, which means little hands-on time is entailed.

The secret to Food Network Magazine’s risotto is twofold: cooking the broccoli separately from the risotto and covering the rice with plenty of hot liquid before baking. After quickly sauteing onions in butter with the rice and wine, stir into the mixture a whopping 4 cups of broth, then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. In a little while the rice will have absorbed the liquid and become tender, while creating the smooth, rich sauce for which it’s famous. It’s important to use Arborio rice instead of everyday brown or white rice, as the Italian variety has a high starch content, and it’s that starch released during cooking that will ultimately create the creamy consistency. Before serving, add sharp cheddar cheese and a splash of hot water to loosen the texture, then stir in the roasted broccoli to round out the meal. To maintain a wholly vegetarian meal, be sure to use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

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