Food Network stars tell The FN Dish what’s on their holiday wish lists!
When people visit Food Network, they are often surprised, and I’ll venture to say disappointed, that they don’t find delicious heaps of food for the taking by our offices. I guess one can rightfully assume that one of Giada’s awesome, mouth-watering plates would just be waiting for them in a grand buffet line. Alas, this is not the case. [We do have coffee though.]
Full confession: I am by no means gifted in the kitchen. New husband will happily attest to this. But I recently tried out Giada’s Florentine-take on sea bass and I cannot tell a lie — it was unbelievably good. You have to try it! It’s so easy and I am now one with the beauty of canned tomatoes…and the magic of flour; a little dusting and the fish tasted just right.
Food Network Design Director, Wendy Waxman, got her latest assignment — create a vibrant tablescape for a Food Network charity event featuring Chef Duff…oh, and make it kid-friendly. Wendy immediately saw red — in a good way.
As the table came together, Wendy shared some great tips…
1) Bold, vibrant colors will stay true to you – going bold works well all year long, whether the holidays or the 4th of July.
2) Pick a plate that’s ready to take the stage. For this, Wendy fell for a rich collection from SoHo-based Global Table.
3) Let your creativity bloom. Wendy chose amaryllis and orchids from Ovando to complete her vision. A top-notch florist should always supply fresh product (and ideas, if you want them).
Have a holiday tablescape question?
Hit Wendy up in the comments below…
Or check out her holiday tablescape photo gallery.
The FN Dish goes backstage at Guy Fieri’s upcoming special, Guy’s Big Night.
FN DISH CONTEST!
Enter in the comments a short description of your favorite diner, drive-in, or dive — the top entry will win the autographed book featured in the video!! Thanks to all who submitted cooking techniques — CONTEST ENDED on 12/21 — winner will be contacted via email!
You may remember Food Network staffer, Emily, from this amazing lattice-work apple pie she baked in our Thanksgiving Throwdown. Emily manages the Food Network Store and was asked to do a holiday gift segment on New York’s local CW network — PIX 11. To heighten the stakes, it was LIVE — which was a first for her.
We all think she did a pretty bang-up job and wanted to share. Check out Emily’s segment here. Plus, according to Em, you still have about five more days to place orders with guaranteed Christmas delivery, if you didn’t feel like dealing with Black Friday.
As mentioned, Food Network staffers just baked off in honor of the 12 Days of Cookies. To settle some bets, we’d love to hear which you think turned out the best. Plus, see if you can guess all the FN Gingerbread Stars in the last of the two fan photos at the bottom. Full answers (and the staff winner of our internal taste test) will be posted this Friday in the comments below…
Sunny Anderson takes a break from filming new episodes to give The FN Dish a behind the scenes peek at her Cooking for Real set!
FN Dish recently posted about the secret storage room that houses Food Network’s props, flatware and goodies from the last fifteen years. FN Set Decorator Wendy and her colleague Jamie curate the entire collection.
FN Fan, Robin, recently asked an excellent question: “When a show is introduced with a new on-air personality, how are props selected? Is a collaborative process between you and the on-air personality?”
Here’s the scoop from Wendy… “I really like to blend new, used and vintage elements to create intriguing backgrounds and tabletop designs… Most people live among newly-acquired purchases or gifts, heirlooms, impulse items, and hand-me-downs. This is the same for sets at Food Network, except with attention paid to camera angles, color, which foods will be featured, etc.”
As Robin guessed, Wendy does meet with each chef, along with key members of the Food Network production team before a show commences shooting. This helps her translate their vibe, energy and personality into the artistic choices seen on air. Have a question for Wendy? Post below and let her know.
Recognize these bold pieces from Sunny Anderson‘s set?
In honor of the 12 Days of Cookies, some Food Network staffers decided to bake each cookie this weekend. We’ll take pictures and put up a gallery on The FN Dish next week.
However, it would be more fun if you got in on the action as well. Send us a photo of YOUR holiday cookie and we’ll post as many as we can. If you need inspiration, try out some 12 Days of Cookies ideas or maybe an exotic, international recipe.
Send your photo to FNDish@foodnetwork.com and feel free to let us know how it went (and if they were tasty). We’re looking to receive all photos by Monday, December 8th so we can get them up.
~ The FN Cookie Monster
Last year, Babbo. This year, Butter. Am I speaking gibberish? Not quite. Each year, my honey, Hagan, and I forgo anniversary presents in exchange for an extra luscious celebration dinner. Last year, for our three year anniversary, we indulged ourselves at Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo, off of Washington Square Park. Although that experience warrants a post dedicated to itself, I’ll skip right to the current year and give you the dish about Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant, Butter!
Alex describes food the way most discuss art. Before Chef Guarnaschelli snagged her own Food Network show, The Cooking Loft, I loved hearing her skillfully shaped notes as a judge on Iron Chef America. (And I definitely look forward to hearing her commentary on FN’s new show, Chopped, this January!) So it was a total no brainer what restaurant got my vote for our special dinner.
At the New York Wine & Food Festival, I ran into Alex where my director then spilled I was thinking about Butter for my anniversary dinner. Without missing a beat, she said, “How dare you not email me. Stop being ridiculous. Email me and let me book your reservation.” I waited a week to hide a bit of my anxiousness. But when I finally did email her, Alex quickly shot back, sending well wishes and confirming the dinner reservation she made personally for us.
Alas, I did not plan for the mood lighting (aka too dark to take pictures without flash), so apologies for the “mood lit” camera phone photos!
We feasted on seared Maine sea scallops, cavatappi pasta with yellow tomato sauce and spicy lamb sausage, chanterelle ravioli, Hudson Valley duck breast, a lovely trout dish (I forget the pretty name), and a dark chocolate cake with pumpkin ice cream for dessert…
The top bite of the night? Hagan swore that the scallops were the best he’s ever had, but for me…and this may sound a bit ridiculous…but my favorite component in the whole meal was the simple, yellow tomato sauce. Sounds boring, right? Well I’ve heard before that you can judge a good chef by their soup, but there must be some truth to judging a chef by their tomato sauce. Now I’m not sure if this is the same recipe that Chef Guarnaschelli uses at Butter (I’ll try to do some investigating), but I did find this Yellow Tomato Sauce recipe of hers from The Cooking Loft — has anyone tried it?
With only 361 days to go to my next anniversary, I thought I might start taking a poll of where to go to for next year’s celeberation. Have you tried any of Food Network’s chefs’ restaurants? Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons? Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill or newly opened Burger Palace? Guy Fieri’s Johnny Garlics or Tex Wasabi’s? Neelys Barbecue? Morimoto’s Morimoto? Michael Symon’s Lola or Lolita?
Tell me about your visit!
Associate Producer, The FN Dish