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.

Midterm Elections: Who’s the Frontrunner and Your Current Favorite?

by , July 16th, 2015
  • Comments Off

Food Network StarFrom first-impression spotlights and sunny days at an alfresco food festival to a not-so-sweet baking challenge, a 4th of July switcheroo cookout and a think-on-your-toes improv challenge, the remaining rivals have survived six weeks of camera and cu...

Read more

When You Cook Brunch for Bobby, It Better Be Perfect

by , July 16th, 2015
  • Comments Off

Food Network StarJust as the Food Network Star finalists ought to put their best dishes forward in an Italian-food challenge for Giada De Laurentiis, on Sunday they surely better bring the best of their brunch game in the Mentor Challenge, as Bobby Flay knows just wh...

Read more

Curtis Stone to Let Sun, Sand and Classically Simple Fare Shine on Brand-New Beach Eats USA

by in Shows, July 15th, 2015

Curtis StoneIf you’re all about location, location, location when it comes to finding your next favorite restaurant, then you’ll revel in the hot spots Curtis Stone reveals on his brand-new series, Beach Eats USA. Premiering Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 10:30|9:30c, this six-episode celebration of all things waterside will showcase the ultimate collection of beachside bites from coast to coast, serving up not only fresh, alfresco fare, but also a shining backdrop of sand and surf.

The beauty of beachside fare is that along with a stellar view, most bites are easy enough to eat sans forks and knives — and shoes, as it’s all about digging in along the water. That casual, simple atmosphere is just what Curtis is after as he tracks down a series of themed eats, including burgers, like the one he tries along the Pacific Ocean in California, and boardwalk bites, like the soft-shell crab hailing from the Chesapeake Bay. In his travels, he’ll check out the local beach scene up close, indulge in regional adventures, get to know the restaurants’ chefs and owners, and surely dig into assorted famous eats as he chats with diners.

Read more

Star Salvation: Double the Challenges, Double the Risk

by , July 15th, 2015
  • Comments Off

Just as this week marked the halfway point of the Food Network Star competition, so too did it on Star Salvation. This is Week 3 of the six-week journey to redemption, and for the four hopefuls remaining, time is running out until Alex Guarnaschell...

Read more

Unusually Sized Rodents, Unhappy Campers and the Ultimate S’mores: Alton Brown Previews Camp Cutthroat

by in Shows, July 14th, 2015

Alton BrownSummertime in the woods at camp … a time for late-night dives in a cool lake, fireside chants with friends and as much mess-hall grub as you can eat, right? Wrong, at least when Alton Brown’s in charge of camp. On his all-new series Camp Cutthroat, he’ll take the most-diabolical aspects of the classic rounds of eviliciousness and send them to the great outdoors for a five-part tournament of wilderness — and sabotage — survival.

Just in time for next month’s premiere (Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 9|8c), FN Dish caught up with Alton to chat about his plans for the sure-to-be-unhappy campers he’ll be welcoming to the woods. “I just throw out the most-horrible things I can think of!” he said of what’s in store, adding that when it comes to chefs’ preparedness, they ought to come equipped with “Rodent-of-Unusual-Size repellent and anything-that-stings repellent” when they show up. Read on to hear more from Alton and learn his secret for making the ultimate s’mores.

What 10 essential pieces of equipment should these chefs pack in their duffle bags for the tournament?
Alton Brown: Bear repellent, snake repellent, wolf repellent, mosquito repellent, Rodent-of-Unusual-Size repellent, anything-that-stings repellent, wolverine repellent, skunk repellent, mountain lion repellent and snacks.

Are you a camper or a glamper? Tell us about your most-memorable outdoor trip.
AB: I am most certainly not a “glamper,” as I almost never line the floor of my yurt with the “good” rugs. And my espresso machine is solar-powered. As for my most-memorable camping excursion, well … I can’t talk about it. …

Read more

Emilia Roasts Her Rivals: Too Far or Too Funny? Vote Now

by , July 14th, 2015
  • Comments Off

Food Network StarIt was Emilia's plan all along on Sunday night to take a grand risk in front of the judges, as she explained of her plans for her comedy club performance in front of mentors Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, plus Food Network executives Bob Tuschma...

Read more

Camp Cutthroat Canteen: Unrivaled S’mores — INFOGRAPHIC

by in Shows, July 13th, 2015

Camp Cutthroat Canteen: Unrivaled S'mores — INFOGRAPHICTune in to the premiere on Camp Cutthroat on Wednesday, Aug., 12 at 9|8c.

“You Mock Me!” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, July 12th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen judge since the earliest days of the series, Antonia Lofaso surely knows the ins and outs of the competition. But on tonight’s all-new episode, she proved just how much of an expert she is in the world of master sabotage. “Round 3: blondies. And our very first one was this interesting brownie pan,” Alton Brown said to her during the host’s After-Show while introducing her to the pan. He was about to explain the intricacies of the sabotage but didn’t manage to finish his thought — “Whoever got stuck with this had to do all of their mixing” — as Antonia simply cut him off, knowing exactly what he was about to say. “Mixing and prepping inside of the container!” she said, much to Alton’s chagrin. “You mock me!” he joked with her.

She was somewhat certain that “we always do this for cakes,” and indeed similar vessels have made appearances for past baking rounds. But Alton noted: “We don’t need new ideas when the ideas we have work. Maybe we just need judges that aren’t so pointing out of that.” They laughed about their exchange, and sure enough, Antonia was able to discern which of the two remaining chefs received this challenge for his blondies.

Read more

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

by , July 12th, 2015
  • Comments Off

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...

Read more

Your Weekend Cooldown: Frozen Peanut Butter Bites

by in Recipes, July 10th, 2015

Frozen Peanut Butter BitesWelcome to the sticky, sweltering dog days of summer. If the season’s heat has you bogged down, take refuge in a chilled treat this weekend: these easy-to-make, eat-with-your-hands Frozen Peanut Butter Bites (pictured above). Made with only four pantry ingredients, the Neelys’ sweet-tooth-satisfying dessert celebrates the perhaps most-beloved of all flavor combos: peanut butter and chocolate. And maybe the best part of this recipe is that there’s no need to turn on the oven.

Get the Recipe: Frozen Peanut Butter Bites