All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an 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.

One-on-One with the Latest Food Network Star Finalist to Go Home

by , July 5th, 2015
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Food Network StarIt's the nature of the Food Network Star beast that even though no matter how badly finalists want to achieve their dreams of stardom, ultimately only one can win the coveted title, and with that, 11 finalists will be going home. Every week Star Talk...

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Your Ultimate Summer Party Menu, Delivered

by in Recipes, Shows, July 4th, 2015

Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni SaladThe key to enjoyable summer entertaining is to keep the party simple, from the ingredients you shop for to the dishes and drinks you serve. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast came together to create the ultimate, one-stop guide for seasonal bashes, featuring recipes for crowd-pleasing dips, a bold chicken dinner and, because “it’s five o’clock somewhere,” of course, a fruity cocktail from Geoffrey Zakarian.

Since most summer soirees take place outside, perhaps around the pool or picnic table, keep the appetizer spread easily accessible with a trio of dips. Jeff Mauro’s Strawberry and Mango Guacamole comes together with just a handful of ingredients, letting the fresh fruit complement the spicy jalapeno add-in. For a classic mayonnaise-based option, stick with Geoffrey’s 20-minute Bacon and Egg Dip, a play on classic deviled eggs. In her Roasted Garlic and Frozen Veggie Dip, Sunny Anderson adds the warm flavor of roasted garlic to a cream cheese-laced mixture of processed vegetables for rich results.

When it comes to the main course, chicken is a perennial people-pleaser, and Katie Lee’s all-in-one recipe for Grilled Butterfly BBQ Chicken with Macaroni Salad (pictured above) is a must-try pick. To guarantee bold flavor in the meat, she seasons the chicken with a mixture of chili powder and garlic powder before grilling it until juicy and slathering it in barbecue sauce. The macaroni salad celebrates the traditional flavors of the beloved dish, which includes a tangy, sweet dressing spiked with yellow mustard and a pinch of sugar.

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Caption It: Here, Fishy Fishy

by , July 3rd, 2015
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Food Network StarCome Sunday night, it's all about culinary pairs, both in terms of mashed-up ingredients on the plate and in terms of finalists working together as duos in the kitchen. After a classic ingredient swap in the Mentor Challenge, finalists head out of Fo...

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Anne Burrell Previews Her Star Appearance with Been-There-Done-That Advice for Working on a Team

by , July 2nd, 2015
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Anne BurrellOn Worst Cooks in America, Anne Burrell sets off to find who among her cast of recruits is the best of the worst, but as a guest judge on Food Network Star this weekend, she'll work with mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis in the search for th...

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How to Master Meat: Chef Tim Love’s Tips and Advice for a Scorching July 4th Cookout

by in In Season, Recipes, July 2nd, 2015

Tim LoveWhen it comes to manning the grill, Tim Love, a longtime chef and restaurateur, is all business. This born-and-bred Texan is known for his expert preparation of meat, fusing together classic Western flavors with modern ingredients and flavors. On the all-new summertime tournament Chopped Grill Masters (premiering July 14 at 10|9c), Love will takes his place among the roster of esteemed Chopped judges as a master of meat as he oversee the 16 grilling professionals who are trying to wow the panel with worthy barbecue fare.

Just in time for this weekend’s 4th of July party, FN Dish caught up with Tim, who’s also teamed up with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, which is celebrating a brand-new squeeze bottle, for his take on how to win the holiday cookout scene. From make-ahead favorites to his all-time favorite meat to grill, read on below to hear from Tim in an exclusive interview.

Come grilling season, which dish are you most looking forward to making every year? What do you crave most?
Tim Love: Nothing says summer like kebabs on the grill. There is just something about cubes of beef and veggies stuck on a stick over a flaming grill that makes me giddy. My go-to is Rosemary Steak Kebabs, because you can use the rosemary branches for skewers so it adds to the flavor.

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Giada’s Living la Dolce Vita in Italy This Summer on an All-New Series

by in Shows, July 2nd, 2015

Giada De LaurentiisFor years you’ve watched Giada De Laurentiis make her family’s tried-and-true Italian meals with the most-authentic recipes from where she was born. And now with her all-new series, Giada in Italy, you’ll be able to get an insider’s look at her home country for the ultimate summer vacation adventure.

Premiering Sunday, July 19 at 11a|10c, Giada in Italy will take Giada to Italia for 13 weeks of cooking with the freshest local Italian goods, embracing the beauty of the region, and celebrating with local family and friends. The first stop on the trip is Sorrento, a coastal town in Southern Italy, where Giada sets off to scour for seasonal ingredients, then heads home to put them to work in light, classically Italian dishes.

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Summer Cooking (and Eating), Alex Guarnaschelli Style

by in Food Network Chef, In Season, July 1st, 2015

Alex GuarnaschelliThe beauty of summertime eats and drinks is that it all comes down to simple, fresh fare, which just so happens to pair well with long days outside and the warm temperatures of the season. Recently FN Dish caught up with Alex Guarnaschelli at one such alfresco feast, where she was celebrating the launch of her partnership with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi to create a line of cookout-ready wine-infused barbecue sauces (you can buy them here). From her picks for seasonal entertaining to the secret to make-ahead appetizers, she shared her top ideas for summertime cooking, plus dished on what she piles on top of her ultimate burger. Read on below to hear what she had to say in an exclusive interview.

What’s your favorite way to entertain during the summer?
Alex Guarnaschelli: For a barbecue or a cookout — from Memorial Day through Labor Day and maybe even into October — I’m really big into the outdoor stuff. Because chefs are always locked indoors, we really appreciate those spring and summer months. I like to go nuts, and I think the best way to do that is to prepare a lot of stuff in advance. I definitely load my fridge door with a few salad dressings, vinaigrettes, sauces, the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue sauce. I might take that Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue sauce and take it in a direction — I’ll add a big dose of fresh ginger, put it on shrimp. I’ll take that barbecue sauce and I’ll add a huge hit of chili powder and I’ll put it on a pork shoulder. You know, I might just take the personality of it and pull it. Because it’s got that wine flavor, those tannins. It’s almost like a dry barbecue sauce, like in the good sense, like a dry wine. I think that having all that stuff done in advance, for me, is huge. So when you talk about how charming it is, the butterflies and the unicorns and the rainbows, for me, it’s great when I have company over and I’m outdoors and I’ve lit the little tiki lamps and the food is out and people are drinking and we’re laughing and I’m not going back in the kitchen.

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Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About Nachos

by in Community, Shows, July 1st, 2015

Fans Show Us Their Guilty Food Pleasures: All About NachosThe beauty of nachos is that, unlike dishes that require a certain set of ingredients, there are no rules for creating the ultimate plate. Chips, cheese, maybe a meat and something creamy — that’s all that’s expected, and beyond that, it’s up to you to customize the platter however you see fit with whatever you happen to have on hand. On yesterday’s brand-new episode of Guilty Pleasures, Katie Lee showed off a wow-worthy platter of chorizo nachos, one so impressive that it’s sure to incite “table envy” from those dining near you.

Recently Food Network asked you to tell us about your best-ever nacho eats, and in true superfan fashion, you delivered in droves, with comments and photos of piled-high plates. Keep scrolling below to see FN Dish’s favorite selections.

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#LookWhoIsBack: Matthew Sets His Sights on Star Salvation

by , July 1st, 2015
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#LookWhoIsBack: Matthew Sets His Sights on Star Salvation

Perhaps one of Food Network Star's most-divisive finalists in the history of the competition, Matthew Grunwald shocked the Selection Committee and fans alike when he strutted into Food Star Kitchen on Day One with not only a difficult-to-grasp POV o...

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“The Most-Spectacular Thing That We’ve Ever Done Here” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, June 28th, 2015

While surely all Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are designed for a bit of shock-and-awe factor, perhaps no single challenge delivered as much wow-worthy reaction as the brand-new dollhouse that was rolled out — literally — for tonight’s Round 3 oatmeal cookie battle. For host Alton Brown, this is quite simply “the most-spectacular thing that we’ve ever done here on Cutthroat Kitchen,” he said to guest judge Susan Feniger during the After-Show.

He explained that in this at once oversize and miniature house, one chef not only had to prep all of the cookie ingredients, but also cook them in there by way of the mini kitchen. “This was like a miniature kitchen dropped into the middle of hell,” Alton told Susan, adding that in true evilicious fashion, this sabotage wasn’t just what met the eye.

Aubrey, who works on the show’s team bringing the sabotages to life, explained that this house featured “some challenging ways for the chef to have to use the kitchen.” Think hanging through wall cutouts to reach the kitchen and crawling along stairs to get to the bathroom, where Chef Demarco, who was gifted this unprecedented challenge, chose to use the shower basin as a mixing bowl. “Our Cutthroat Kitchen workshop wasn’t big enough to build the whole thing in one piece, so we had to build [the house] in two separate pieces,” Aubrey explained, “and then when we rolled it into stage, we could actually put the roof on.”

Check out more photos below to see inside the dollhouse and get an up-close look at what this sabotage entailed.

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