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.

Restaurant Revisited: Culture Clash at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe

by in Shows, July 30th, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible“This is tasteless,” Robert Irvine said of the tableful of dishes he sampled at Marie’s at Ummat Cafe in Atlanta. It turns out that the restaurant’s bland food was just one in a series of problems he and his Restaurant: Impossible team discovered on their latest mission. The uninspired decor was appalling to Robert and guests alike, and the staff struggled to work well with owner Jaliwa Owuo. With only two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert overhauled the menu at Marie’s and reopened the eatery with a design that would be welcoming for all. Read on below to hear from Jaliwa and find out how her restaurant is doing today.

“We have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in revenue” since filming ended, Jaliwa explains, noting that “the tipping has increased by 90 percent.”

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Best 5 Peach Cobbler Recipes

by in Recipes, July 29th, 2014

Easy Peach CobblerCheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and pound cake — these are just a few of the mouthwatering sweet treats that can be made easily all year round with guaranteed success. But when it comes to those fruit-focused desserts that depend on the ripest produce, it’s often best to wait until their shining season, to make sure the finished product turns out as sweet as possible. While strawberry and rhubarb season is coming to a close and the fall harvest of apples is still a few months away, now is the time to celebrate juicy peaches, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to bake them into a deliciously decadent cobbler. Start with a base of sweetened, spiced sliced peaches and finish it with an indulgent topping of crumbled oats or buttery pastry before baking until it’s tender and bubbly. For more summertime dessert inspiration, check out Food Network’s top-five peach cobbler recipes below to find must-try picks from Alton Brown, Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri and Trisha Yearwood.

5. Slow-Cooker Peach Cobbler — A hands-off dessert that requires only 15 minutes of prep time, Alton’s fuss-free cobbler lets the slow cooker do the work for you.

4. Blueberry-Peach Cobbler — Save time in the kitchen by using a prepared pie dough as the topping for Sunny’s two-fruit dessert, laced with nutmeg for added flavor.

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How to Enjoy a Summer Staycation at Home

by in Recipes, July 26th, 2014

Sunny's Sweet and Spicy Korean BBQFor one reason or another, you may not be indulging in a lavish getaway this summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon the idea of finding quality time to relax. The key to turning your home into a vacationlike setting is switching up your usual routine for a few days; during your staycation, try treating yourself to different meals and re-creating some of the common experiences you may have had, if you had traveled. For the co-hosts on The Kitchen, that meant creating international-inspired recipes and sharing ideas for DIY spa treatments on this morning’s all-new episode. Read on below to get some of their best recipes for favorite eats and drinks, plus tips on fashioning at-home spa services.

Eats:
Perhaps the best part about Korean barbecue is the customizable element that takes the guesswork out of catering to your family’s individual appetites. Sunny Anderson’s Sweet and Spicy Korean BBQ (pictured above) features versatile lettuce wraps; after marinating beef in a sweet and salty brown sugar-soy sauce mixture, she grills the meat and serves it in Bibb lettuce cups with an array of toppings. Set up a buffet of carrots, bean sprouts, radishes and kimchi, and let everyone build their ultimate wraps.

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Bobby Speaks Out: His Advice to Battle Rivals and His Culinary Weak Spots

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 24th, 2014

Beat Bobby FlayBetween Iron Chef America, Throwdown and the premiere season of Beat Bobby Flay, Bobby Flay has faced his share of culinary competitors. He’s no stranger to the demands of heated battles and knows what it takes to succeed in a pressure-packed arena. But, after all, as the goal of Beat Bobby Flay is to find a rival who can take him down, there’s no shortage of chefs ready to try their hands — and recipes — against those of the famed Iron Chef. FN Dish caught up with Bobby on the set of Beat Bobby Flay to learn his advice to his future competitors and what he thinks they ought to do to succeed. Read on below to hear what he had to say and find out what he revealed to be his culinary weak points.

What advice would you give a competitor preparing to battle you for the first time?
Bobby Flay: My advice would be … to challenge me to a dish that they’re really well-versed in, because the lights, the cameras and the action are going to be an obstacle that they probably don’t think is going to be a big deal, but it is.

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Restaurant Revisited: Fork in the Road at The Fork Diner

by in Shows, July 23rd, 2014

Restaurant: ImpossibleEven from Robert Irvine‘s first steps inside The Fork Diner in Calhoun, Ga., it was clear that this mission was going to be like none other. Although Robert usually meets with owners before trying an eatery’s food, this time he sat down and immediately ordered from the menu, only talking to partners Gray Bridges and Michael and Diana Forster afterward. Michael revealed that The Fork Diner was losing nearly $12,000 every month, and soon Robert posed an important question to Gray, who’s been the lead funder of the restaurant: Would she continue working at the restaurant or walk away and turn over the business to the husband-and-wife team of Michael and Diana? Gray ultimately revealed that she’d be leaving once filming ended, explaining, “There’s things more important than money and more important than my passion for that restaurant.” Nevertheless, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team continued with their overhaul of The Fork’s disappointing menu and lackluster decor, and they reopened the restaurant to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Diana a few weeks after her business relaunched to learn about Gray’s involvement since taping and how the restaurant is faring today.

“Gray has finally decided to leave and turn things over to us after months of seesawing,” Diana notes. There have been a few other changes in staff, she notes, including a few servers who are no longer working at The Fork. “I did not know how bad they were till they were gone and I got customer feedback. When I was around they were pretty good.”

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Best 5 Grilled Shrimp Recipes

by in Recipes, July 22nd, 2014

Grilled Shrimp ScampiWhen it comes to grilling standbys, burgers, barbecue and hot dogs often claim the spotlight — and for good reason, of course. But in addition to these meaty mainstays, seafood shines when grilled. Firm, flaky fish like swordfish and salmon stand up to the flames well, while clams, mussels and shrimp benefit from the smoky, charred flavor the grill offers. Grilled shrimp are not only a versatile seafood pick, but they’re also quick to make in a hurry and are easy to prepare in bulk, so they’re a go-to option for effortless summer entertaining. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five grilled shrimp recipes to find must-try ideas from Rachael, Bobby, the Neelys and more chefs.

5. Grilled Shrimp and Feta Salad — Ready to eat in only 25 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s fuss-free salad boasts Mediterranean-inspired flavors like cool cucumber, salty Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese, and it’s tossed with simply seasoned shrimp to make it a complete meal.

4. Grilled Shrimp Pizza — Save time in the kitchen by starting with a prepared dough to make this fuss-free pizza, topped with sweet grilled onions and shrimp. Add seasonal cherry tomatoes and tangy feta in the last few minutes of cooking, and let the heat of the grill slowly warm and melt them.

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