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.

Robert Irvine Celebrates Barbecue and Blues at NYC Wine and Food Festival

by in Events, October 19th, 2013

Smo-ConesGuests could smell the sweet, smoky scent of barbecue well before they could see it as they made their way into the depths of New York City’s Hudson Hotel on Friday night. More than 15 chefs and restaurateurs from the Big Apple and beyond gathered on day two of the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival, all to celebrate Thrillist’s Barbecue & The Blues, hosted by Food Network’s own restaurant reviver, Robert Irvine.

BBQ CannelloniRobert led his fellow masters of meat with an offering that was anything but common to true ‘cue enthusiasts. He presented BBQ Cannelloni (pictured right): rolled sheets of pasta that were filled with ricotta cheese and a combination of beef cheek, brisket and oxtail, then topped with tomato chutney and finished with barbecue powder. “That’s sexy food,” Robert told FN Dish at the event, the fourth of its kind since the festival’s inception six years ago. “Everybody else is doing brisket …. We took that and took it in a different direction.”

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Aarón Sánchez Tackles Tailgating

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 17th, 2013

Aaron SanchezHe may be a renowned chef, cookbook author and no-nonsense judge on Chopped, but when it comes to tailgating, Aarón Sánchez is just like every other footfall fan on game day. “Everyone thinks that, ’cause I’m a chef, I’m going to want all this really decadent stuff,” Aarón told FN Dish recently. “No, sometimes you can’t mess with the formula of a tailgate.” We recently caught up with him in New York City at an event hosted by Ortega, where he was celebrating his partnership with the Mexican food company, and he explained that there should be just a few classic eats at every tailgate spread — not over-the-top dishes or fancy fare.

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#TBT: Anne Burrell

by in Food Network Chef, October 17th, 2013

Anne BurrellIt’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.

These days Anne Burrell is living her life in extremes — kitchen extremes, that is. When she’s not working with top restaurateurs to find their next leading executive chef on Chef Wanted, she and Bobby Flay are leading teams of seemingly hopeless home cooks: the culinary recruits on Worst Cooks in America. But even in her earliest days on Food Network, Anne enjoyed competition, first appearing as Mario Batali’s sous chef on Iron Chef America in 2005. Not long after, she traveled from Kitchen Stadium to a homelike kitchen on the set of her first daytime show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.

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Best 5 Pizza Dough Recipes

by in Recipes, October 16th, 2013

Basic Pizza DoughWhile delivery pies may seem like the quickest dinner solution some nights, they don’t have to be. The trick to enjoying homemade pizza in a cinch is relying on frozen from-scratch pizza dough. By making a double batch of dough today and freezing half of it, you’ll have a ready-to-go dinner waiting for you the next time you’re craving a crispy slice. Just let the dough defrost, ladle on your favorite sauce, cheeses and toppings, then bake for a hassle-free supper. But before you can make pizzeria-style pies, you’ll need go-to crusts. If you’ve never made from-scratch pizza dough, know that it takes just a few ingredients, and most recipes require little to no kneading by hand. Check out Food Network’s top-five pizza dough recipes below for must-try ideas from Guy, Tyler, Bobby and more chefs.

5. Prime-Time Pizza Dough — Guy lets the mixer do most of the work for him in preparing this easy dough, made with everyday all-purpose flour, then baked for only a few minutes until golden-brown and deliciously crispy.

4. Pizza Dough — The secret to making Tyler’s five-star dough is opting for 00 flour — also named doppio zero in Italian. This extremely finely ground flour is often used to make breads and pizzas in Italy. Pick it up at specialty food shops, and watch how it transforms the texture of the pizza dough into a tender crust.

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Marc Forgione Opens the Ultimate Steakhouse in New York City

by in Food Network Chef, October 16th, 2013

Marc ForgioneJust like his attitude in the face of Kitchen Stadium battles, Iron Chef Marc Forgione‘s approach to the restaurant business is fearless. This longtime chef and the winner of The Next Iron Chef, Season 2 opened his first New York City eatery, Restaurant Marc Forgione, in 2008, and since then he’s gone on to launch American Cut in Atlantic City and Khe-Yo, also in New York. To that list of accomplishments Marc can now add one more venture: a Manhattan outpost of American Cut, located in the downtown neighborhood of Tribeca, just blocks away from his other Big Apple businesses. Overflowing with inspired creations like tender hiramasa, fish floating in a sweet and spicy miso broth, and succulent bone marrow with short ribs, plus tried-and-true dishes done correctly, like moist crab cakes, perfectly seared porterhouses and creamed spinach, the menu at American Cut offers perhaps the ultimate steakhouse experience — and in a space that is as comfortable and welcoming as it is chic and refined.

FN Dish visited Marc at American Cut in New York City and chatted with him and John Meadow — a co-founder of LDV Hospitality, which owns and operates the restaurant — about their journey in opening the business. Read on below to learn more about their inspiration for American Cut, and find out what Marc says are a few must-have menu items.

How is American Cut different from your other restaurants?
John Meadow: This is our loftiest, most ambitious restaurant we’ve done. It’s the highest design. I think the notion of taking classic American fine-dining cuisine and doing it at that level represents a very ambitious task that we’re glad Marc is our partner in the process of doing so.
Marc Forgione: If you go to Restaurant Marc Forgione, it’s for one thing. If you go to Khe-Yo, it’s for another thing. If you go to American cut, it’s for another thing. We want to make it so that you can eat at all three in the same week and have a beautiful, consistently different experience.

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Damaris Dishes on What’s at the Heart of Her Upcoming Series

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 15th, 2013

Damaris PhillipsFresh off of her summer win on Food Network Star, Season 9, Damaris Phillips is already in the kitchen preparing for her first-ever series, Southern at Heart (premiering Sunday, Oct. 27 at 10:30am/9:30c). This Kentucky-born culinary school instructor wooed Star fans with a Southern-inspired pilot focusing on classic and approachable date-night dishes, and on her upcoming show, she’ll deliver a similar concept and more down-home meals — all served alongside her trademark wit and humor.

FN Dish caught up with Damaris this month and chatted with the new star about her plans for her series, her favorite upcoming episodes and how Food Network Star prepared her for this upcoming venture. Read on below to get a sneak peek at Southern at Heart from Damaris, then browse behind-the-scenes photos of Damaris on the town in Louisville. Ky.

What are you especially excited about for your new series?
Damaris Phillips: I’m so excited about my guests. So, they’re real guys and they don’t know how to cook, and they have real stories about girls that they love, so that for me is the most exciting.

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Potato-Fennel Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 14th, 2013

Potato-Fennel SoupButternut squash, broccoli-cheddar and simple barley soups may be all the rage once the cool weather settles in, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the tried-and-true classics all season long. This fall, cozy up to a piping-hot bowl featuring creative twists on the usual favorites, like Food Network Magazine’s Potato-Fennel Soup (pictured above).

This potato-based soup can be on the table in only 40 minutes, and it features leeks cooked three ways — boiled, broiled and sauteed — for the most flavor-forward results. After cooking potatoes with some of the leeks until tender, add broth and a splash of milk before pureeing the mixture in a blender. The secret to this soup lies in the from-scratch broth, made by quickly simmering leeks, fennel and water; using this instead of everyday water guarantees the most concentrated taste. If you’ve never before cooked with fennel, know that it has a subtle licorice-like flavor, but don’t worry: This decidedly savory soup doesn’t taste at all sweet.

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Respecting the Challenge Dish — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 13th, 2013


Although the stipulations of almost every Cutthroat Kitchen sabotage force competitors to reimagine the classic versions of challenge dishes, chefs still should be able to serve plates that are at least reminiscent of the original concept. They may not be able to cook with every seemingly crucial ingredient or prepare plates in the most traditional style, but the final offerings ought to be valid interpretations of assigned dishes; for this week’s competitors, that meant burritos, pie and teriyaki bowls.

“It has to come down to what the challenge is,” judge Jet Tila told Alton Brown on the latest installment of Alton’s After-Show. The competitor ousted in the Round 1 burrito challenge presented a deconstructed Vietnamese-style burrito that was, in fact, hardly a burrito at all, according to Jet. “I’m sorry, but it was a ridiculous play on a burrito,” Jet explained of the summer roll-inspired dish. He added, “If she took a few pieces of lettuce and actually made a tight, concise roll, at least I know you’re thinking burrito,” noting how the contestant could have improved.

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Better Together: Apples and Caramel

by in Recipes, October 12th, 2013

Caramel, Chocolate and Candy ApplesGiven the tartness of crisp apples and the rich smoothness of gooey caramel, these fall flavors shine when they’re put together, most often in the form of classic caramel-covered apples. While the tried-and-true recipe is a timeless favorite, Giada takes it to the next level of indulgence in her recipe for Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples (pictured above) by coating the apples first in caramel, then drizzling them with melted chocolate and finishing them with crunchy chopped nuts, sweet candies or sprinkles. Kids — and kids and heart — will appreciate being able to build their ultimate dessert with their preferred combination of toppings.

Caramel Apple CheesecakeBut beyond caramel apples — both classic and creative — there are indeed ways to celebrate these flavors in other decadent treats this autumn. Try Bobby’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake (pictured right), a five-star showstopper that delivers wow-worthy results every time. He starts with a buttery graham cracker-walnut crust, then fills it with a vanilla-cream cheese center. But the star of the cheesecake comes in the form of its topping: tender sweetened apples and a brandy-spiked caramel sauce.

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Bars on the Rocks to Receive Last-Chance Rescue

by in Shows, October 11th, 2013

On the RocksWhile the bar and nightclub scene is supposed to conjure images of good drinks and even better times, many of those businesses across the country are just barely managing to pay the bills, hoping for a last-chance opportunity to be rescued from certain closure. That’s where John Green comes in. As a lauded bartender and the owner of a bar consulting company, John knows the ins and outs of the bar business, and on his all-new upcoming series, On the Rocks, he’ll use his extensive experience to give failing bar managements the skills — both in terms of mixology and beyond — they need to pour profits.

When On the Rocks premieres Sunday, Nov. 17 at 10pm/9c, John will assess all aspects of America’s most distraught bars and nightclubs by listening to their owners, scouring their billing statements, sampling their menus and evaluating their employees — all to find out why the businesses have been set up for struggle. It’s then up to John and his team to rethink the bar’s image and give the staff effective tools to turn around their business. The task won’t be an easy one, however, as the group will have to implement substantial changes swiftly, and the owners must come to terms with working in a transformed business.

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