All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an online editor at FoodNetwork.com, covering top-tier show and talent packages and managing the FN Dish and Star Talk blogs. She grew up in a tight-knit Italian family in Michigan, where food was the focus of most conversations and it wasn't unusual to talk about the next day’s lunch and dinner menus while eating breakfast. Maria graduated from Barnard College in 2012 and currently lives in New York City. She likes her pasta cheesy, her eggs runny and her oysters briny.

The 10 Best Things We Ate at the 2017 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 27th, 2017

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalAfter a four-day marathon of eating and drinking alongside your favorite chefs and stars at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, it’s safe to say that we. are. full. But as we look back on this sunny weekend along the Miami shore, we can’t help but crave a few particularly memorable dishes that we were enjoying mere hours ago. From an over-the-top-cheesy burgers at Burger Bash to a sweet treat of Trisha Yearwood’s coffee cake at her Southern Kitchen Brunch, these are 10 of our favorite tastes of SOBEWFF.

Read more

These Individual-Serving Pot Pies Will Transform Your Menu of Comfort Foods

by in Recipes, Shows, February 25th, 2017

These Individual-Serving Pot Pies Will Transform Your Menu of Comfort FoodsWhen it’s blustery and cold outside, few things will do the job of warming you up quite like a hearty casserole. But thanks to hectic schedules (and the ability to go from hungry to hangry in just a few minutes), there’s not always time to settle into the kitchen to prepare one. Enter: A timesaving solution. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced a duo of chicken pot pies, but neither was presented in the traditional big-batch format. Instead, these brand-new recipes put an individual-serving spin on the pot pie, proving that this tried-and-true favorite can be transformed in a speedy way. Read on below for two weeknight-friendly takes on pot pie, each a can-do meal fit for the whole family.

Read more

Burger Bash 2017 Winners: Little Jack’s Tavern and Jr’s Gourmet Burgers

by in Events, News, February 24th, 2017

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe soft sand, the cool ocean breeze, the sound of partygoers mingling along the shore — this was the scene at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Friday night. This plus a whole lot of burgers, of course. Friday marked the 11th annual Burger Bash at SOBEWFF, and like in years past, Rachael Ray hosted the fan-favorite extravaganza, which brought together nearly three dozen chefs from across the country. As hungry burger enthusiasts lined up to sample chefs’ between-the-bun offerings, all-star judges, including Ayesha Curry, Rev Run, Adam Richman and Emilio Estefan, took their places on a perch inside the tents to get down to the business of tasting as well. Up for grabs this year was the sought-after Schweid & Son’s The Very Best Burger Award, which would be decided by the judges, and the equally coveted Heineken Light People’s Choice Award, which celebrates the chef or restaurant that earned the most votes from guests. After reveling in the meaty burgers (and plentiful sides) on display, we watched as two restaurants earned the highest honors. Read on below to find out who took home the trophies, and take an insider’s look at some of our favorite bites from the night.

Read more

7 Reasons Why Italian Food Is Best Enjoyed on the Beach, As Learned at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, News, February 24th, 2017

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe team here at Food Network is enjoying a mini spring break of sorts. Along with some of your favorite chefs and many of the most-revered names in the restaurant industry, we headed south to Miami and are spending the weekend at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which brings together stars like Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Trisha Yearwood, Guy Fieri and Giada De Laurentiis for four days of celebrating all things food and drink — and plenty of eating and drinking, of course.

Thursday marked the first night of this 16th annual culinary extravaganza, and in true Florida form, sun-kissed guests donned their sandals and packed into the seaside tents to join pals Alex Guarnaschelli and Valerie Bertinelli as they hosted an opening-night soiree. At Italian Bites on the Beach, as guests danced in the sand to the sounds of a live band, chefs and restaurateurs doled out some of Italy’s most-craved comfort foods, from pizza, pasta and saucy meatballs to lemony cupcakes and rich cannoli. And here’s the thing: ordinarily we wouldn’t consider these plates beach fare. After all, they’re often warm and covered with sauce, not often an ideal combo when you’re already sitting in hot, messy sand. But as we made our way from booth to booth, tasting each of the items up for grabs, we couldn’t help but realize just how right it is to eat Italian food on the beach.

Here’s why:

Read more

2 Party-Ready Appetizers You Can Make with Freezer Shortcuts

by in Recipes, Shows, February 18th, 2017

2 Party-Ready Appetizers You Can Make with Freezer ShortcutsThere’s a time and a place for super-fancy, knife-and-fork-needed appetizers, but game night isn’t it. When you invite pals over for a few rounds of poker or a no-holds-barred Scrabble face-off, what you’re likely craving is something easy, not necessarily elegant. And on those occasions, it’s A-OK to take a few welcome shortcuts from the supermarket. The key is dressing them up to make them your own. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts hosted a game night of their own, complete with a menu of fuss-free eats and drinks, including two appetizers that get their start from the freezer section. Read on below to get the can-do recipes, then check out all of the how-tos from the show.

Read more

Enter to Win a Copy of Chris Santos’ New Cookbook Share

by in Contests, Food Network Chef, February 15th, 2017

ChoppedYou know ­­­­­­Chris Santos as a no-nonsense judge on Chopped, capable of lauding chefs’ stellar use of flavors and flagging their missteps all at once. But when he’s through with tastings at the judges’ table, he’s likely in the kitchen at one of his hot-spot restaurants, including such New York City institutions as The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex. He’s known for bringing bold flavors and innovative dining concepts to hordes of visitors at his eateries, thanks to his craveable takes on dressed-up comfort foods and his penchant for striking presentations. Now, though, Chris is going beyond the restaurant scene and delivering some of his most-beloved dishes to his fans near and far with his first-ever cookbook.

Just last week Chris published Share: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table, which features more than 100 can-do recipes for anytime entertaining (check out a few of them right here). The concept focuses on share-able dishes, of course, and as Chris told us: “The book was inspired by my love for communal eating. It’s how we serve food in our restaurants and how I serve food in my own home.” We caught up with him to learn more about his vision for Share as well as his advice for easy, enjoyable hosting. Read on below to hear more from Chris, then at the bottom find out how to be entered to win a copy of Share for free from FN Dish.  

Read more

3 Brownie Recipes to Make Your Valentine Swoon

by in Recipes, Shows, February 11th, 2017

3 Brownie Recipes to Make Your Valentine SwoonValentine’s Day is just days away, and if you’re suddenly experiencing an uh-oh moment at that realization, we have just the advice for you. It’s surely not too late to pick up a bottle of Champagne for you and your bae to share, but if you want to up the romantic ante this year, look no further than a decadent dessert of chocolate. Brownies are a tried-and-true classic, as they’re easy to make and loaded with rich chocolatey flavor. But they’re also somewhat divisive. If you’re a brownie fanatic, you’ll likely land in one of three camps when it comes to preferred brownie texture — chewy, cakey and fudgy — and it’s not likely you can be convinced that another one is better. And that’s OK, because on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced a trio of recipes for brownie lovers of all kinds. Read on below to learn tips for turning out chewy, cakey and fudgy brownies, then check out all of the chocolate-focused recipes from the show.

Read more

#Goals: The Storied Romances of Food Network Chefs

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, February 10th, 2017

Ina and JeffreyIf your Valentine’s Day plans are shaping up to be a low-key night with your BFF instead of a Champagne soiree with your bae, fear not. We have just the thing to put a smile on your face: Tales of other people’s happily-ever-after #RelationshipGoals. We’re looking back on some of the most-storied relationships of Food Network stars and their spouses, because as it turns out, your favorite chefs aren’t just smitten with food — they’re also pretty fond of their other halves too. Many chefs have been open about their longtime romances, dishing on their engagements and sharing insider photos from their weddings. We’ve rounded up the most aww-inducing moments of the bunch, so grab a box of chocolates and join us with happy sobs.

Ina and Jeffrey
If there are two people more in love than Ina Garten and her husband, Jeffrey, we’re hard pressed to find them. These two met in 1964, and they’ve been married for nearly five decades. Recently they revealed to Food Network Magazine the story of their earliest days together — they’re every bit as adorable as you’d imagine, with memories of love letters galore — and how Ina prepared impressive meals on the go as she and Jeffrey traveled throughout Paris with little money to their name.

Read more

3 Flavorful Ways to Transform Your Coffee Game

by in Recipes, Shows, February 4th, 2017

3 Flavorful Ways to Transform Your Coffee GameStep 1: Wake up. Step 2: Drink coffee. If that’s how your mornings usually go, you’re surely not alone. But for many, coffee is more than just a 6 a.m. pick-me-up; it’s also an after-dinner treat, often enjoyed both at home and when dining out. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced a trio of dressed-up coffees, each of them ideal for evening sipping. Read on below for spiced, spiked and iced variations on the cups of joe you know and love.

Read more

Bringing the Big Game Home with Themed Decor

by in Recipes, Shows, January 28th, 2017

Touchdown TouchesIt’s one thing to don the jersey of your favorite NFL player or paint your face the colors of your home team. But when you go so far as to transform your home decor in the name of game day, you’re surely inching closer to superfan status. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts offered up a roster of Touchdown Touches to bring the big game to life. Football-themed balloons, pillows, mugs and more must-see features are easy to put together and will earn you big points for creativity at your tailgate. Read on below to see three of our favorite ideas from the show, then click here to find all of the Touchdown Touches.

Read more