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.

From Bouncing to Rock Climbing, Jet Takes His Turn at Camp Activities — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, August 26th, 2015

By now fans know that no one is safe from the diabolical sabotages up for auction — not even the judges. After the third round of outdoor eviliciousness on Camp Cutthroat tonight, host Alton Brown caught up with the judge of the day, Jet Tila, and wasted no time in putting him to work in some of the most-trying challenges of the day. Up first: the bouncy-house obstacle course. “I have to go over this thing?” Jet yelled as he made his way through the course. “This totally sucks.” No matter his dislike of the sabotage, though, he indeed made it through unscathed, and in less than a minute.

But perhaps the real doozy of a sabotage came in the form of the rock wall, which, just like Chef Jessica did, Jet attempted. Not only was he snugly strapped into the harness, but he also pulled himself up the wall, only to meet his fate at the top when he attempted to concoct a sandwich. “I don’t care,” he admitted, after quickly giving in to the sabotage, stuffing a sandwich into his pocket and rappelling down the wall in the hopes of feeding Alton.

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“It’s an Angry Pan” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, August 23rd, 2015

For mobile eateries like food trucks as well as brick-and-mortar hot spots, social media is the name of the game in terms of guaranteeing success. When Alton Brown auctioned off a savvy @-shaped pan in Round 1’s breakfast sandwich battle, however, success seemed impossible for the chef competitors. But believe it or not, cooking up the classic morning meal on this metal contraption was indeed possible. Codii Lopez, a member of the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew, showed off her approach to this doozy of a challenge on tonight’s latest installment of Testing the Sabotages.

For Codii, perhaps the trickiest aspect of the pan proved to be its signature shape, as she explained, “My main concerns here is that it’s all just going to fall off, because I only have these little pieces of metal and the rest is fire.” That fire indeed caused a few flare-ups when Codii took to frying the bacon: “The flame is licking the fattiest part of this bacon,” she said. “It’s hissing at me. It’s an angry pan,” she noted, attempting to move the bacon just a smidge away from the open heat. No matter a few bright-red flames, though, she managed to turn out well-done bacon before facing her next hurdle: cooking a sunny-side-up egg using just the narrow edges of the pan. No sooner did she crack an egg onto the pan did the yolk flop into the burner, forcing her to resort to squeezing out a scrambled mixture instead.

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Penne with Butternut Squash to Help You Prepare for Fall — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, August 23rd, 2015

Penne with Butternut SquashBy no means has fall arrived — New York City, at least, is still sweating it out in the midst of 90-degree temperatures — but already food fans have started to crave a switch in flavors from the light and cool to the warm and comforting. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week (pictured above), laced with golden butternut squash and earthy mushrooms, is a transitional meal of sorts, ready to help you bridge the gap between the refreshing tastes of summer and the hearty fare of autumn. Featured in Food Network Magazine, this go-to supper can be on the table in only 30 speedy minutes, so keep it in your back pocket for those hectic back-to-school weeknights.

For more healthy recipe inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Penne with Butternut Squash from Food Network Magazine

3 Ways to Flavor-Bomb Your Ice Cream

by in Recipes, Shows, August 22nd, 2015

GZ's Family-Style Chocolate Mint SundaeIt’s summertime and it’s sticky-humid-oh-so hot outside, so there’s no question what one ingredient is on your must-have list for the grocery store: ice cream. While there’s indeed nothing wrong with digging out a scoop from the carton — or eating straight from the carton — you can surely dress up the everyday varieties to turn them into all-new treats. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared three easy ways to turn out extra-special chilly desserts using just your favorite flavors of ice cream, which you likely already have on hand, plus a few extra add-ins.

GZ’s Family-Style Chocolate Mint Sundae features a beloved taste combo: chocolate and peppermint. For a minty-fresh bite, Geoffrey Zakarian mixes just a bit of peppermint extract into melted chocolate, then pours it over rich vanilla ice cream before piling on the decadent toppings: brownie chunks (opt for store-bought to save time), plus sweet marinated cherries, fluffy whipped cream and crushed peppermint sticks. Since Geoffrey serves up a whopping 12 scoops of ice cream, this indulgent platter is big enough to satisfy even the most-demanding sweet tooths in your family.

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Camp vs. Cutthroat: A Behind-the-Scenes Photo Comparison

by in Shows, August 20th, 2015

Camp vs. Cutthroat: A Behind-the-Scenes Photo ComparisonFrom re-creating the pantry with working doors to stocking chefs’ prep stations, building the sabotages and even constructing a judges’ tasting platform, the process of moving the grand Cutthroat Kitchen arena to the great outdoors for Camp Cutthroat was no small feat. Even the Bobs had to be considered — and you know they’re a fickle bunch. As fans have seen in the first two heats of competition, no shortcuts were taken and no details missed, as the resulting Camp set was not only as fully functional as its indoor counterpart but also shockingly similar to it. Check out a few side-by-side photos of both sets to see just how alike they are.

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Gusts of Wind, Pelting a Bob and Wading for Ingredients — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, August 19th, 2015

Not one to shy away from even the most-dramatic Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages, judge Simon Majumdar has been known to enjoy a hands-on attempt of some of the challenges of the day — just last week on the After-Show, he chugged a shot of fish sauce with abandon. And lucky for fans at home, it turns out that Simon hasn’t lost his diabolical spirit just because the competition has moved outdoors. After tonight’s episode of Camp Cutthroat, the judge willingly partook in several of the battle’s most-evilicious sabotages, including going face to face with a powerful wind gust. “I like that. I like that a lot. We need to use that more,” Simon said, after a Bob held the powered-up wind machine near Simon’s face.

When it came time for the dodge ball demonstration, however, it wasn’t Simon who was getting pelted with plush balls; instead, Simon and Alton joined forces to take down a Bob. “Beat him while he’s down!” Simon joked. In what was perhaps Simon’s most-adventurous challenge, he yanked up his waders and hightailed it down to the lake at Camp, where he used the same oversize skimming rod that Chef Candice had used to pick up ingredients. “If you feel anything nibbling at your feet or your legs,” Alton warned Simon, “it’s probably either the catfish or the snapping turtles.” But in true superjudge fashion, Simon enjoyed the outing in the water. “Could I keep these?” Simon asked Alton about the waders. “They’re rather fun.”

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Getting to Know New Star Eddie Jackson: 11 Fun Facts

by , August 18th, 2015
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Food Network StarMere hours after accepting the title of Food Network Star, Eddie Jackson took to Food Network's Facebook page to chat with the fans who stood by him through 11 weeks of competition and are ready to see him on his upcoming show, BBQ Blitz (premierin...

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To Eddie, From Damaris: Here’s What to Expect from the World of Stardom

by , August 18th, 2015
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Food Network StarIt was just a few days ago that Eddie Jackson, a former pro footballer, was crowned Food Network's newest Star after he bested his fellow finale rivals, Dom Tesoriero and Jay Ducote, at the end of an 11-week journey. Yesterday Jeff Mauro, the Season ...

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Exclusive: Chatting with the Runners-Up of Food Network Star

by , August 17th, 2015
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The stage was set for a finale of life-changing proportions last night when the entire Selection Committee came together to welcome Food Network's newest Star to the family. As the top-three hopeful finalists and their peer competitors awaited the ...

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The Heat of Sabotage Is No Match for Firefighters — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 16th, 2015

Responding to emergencies, running into burning buildings and rescuing the injured — firefighters are trained to perform these heroic actions on a daily basis. So going face to face with a little sabotage should be no problem for them, right? Right. While there was no shortage of eviliciousness on tonight’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, featuring four firefighters at the helm, the dishes turned out shockingly stellar, according to judge Antonia Lofaso, who was on hand to sample the plates of the day.

“This whole day, everything was cooked well,” Antonia said during the After-Show, and not just because she had just learned what challenges these cooks had to endure: burned chicken in a blazing building and fries that had to travel the length of a 50-foot hose. “All of their dishes were legitimately really good,” she said. According to host Alton Brown, the chefs gave stellar performances because the demands of a Cutthroat battle aren’t unlike what they’re used to. “They’re very resourceful and they don’t panic under pressure,” he explained to Antonia.

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