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
FN DISH CONTEST!
We got the scoop about Jamie Oliver’s new video game, “What’s Cooking,” and now you have a chance to win the game! Enter in the comments a short description of who in your life would most benefit from playing Jamie’s new game — the top 3 entries will win!
Contest Ends: Sunday, December 7, 2008 11:59PM/10:59c
The FN Dish’s own Bruce Seidel hits the streets to get the dish on the holidays, offering up some great holiday ideas available at Walmart.
I have a feeling that I’m doing what a lot of you are doing right now: staring at the leftovers in my fridge and wondering how many more Thanksgiving sandwiches I can squeeze out of the turkey and dressing. Anyone in the same boat?
Since I can’t help but wonder how many of us printed out recipes from FoodNetwork.com and are hovering over the same leftovers this post Thanksgiving weekend, I thought it would be fun to do a “Thanksgiving Show and Tell” of sorts here on The FN Dish.
What FoodNetwork.com recipes did you whip up this past Thursday? Send me all your food beauty shots at FNDish@foodnetwork.com — I’ll collect all the photos I get and put them up this coming week! Just be sure to email them over as soon as possible as you’re munching away on the leftovers.
Now remember, this is show AND tell, so be sure to give me a quick sentence or two about how it turned out? Was it a smash? Did you forget to set the timer and burn it? Give me a good story!
Now, back to the fridge for me!
Associate Producer, The FN Dish
Numerous letters have hit the FN Dish mailbag requesting fashion tips from Susie Fogelson — VP, Marketing & Brand Strategy.
In the spirit of Black Friday, Susie shares five fashion and shopping ideas that may even save you money…
1) Hunt for one special piece. A signature hat, scarf, or belt can transform basics from your closet into something unforgettable.
3) Don’t fear the hat. Susie would wear one daily if she could — and now her daughter is into them as well. A fave designer is Eugenia Kim, who mixes tweed and cashmere. What’s not to love?
4) Monochrome is not monotonous. On the contrary…a single color can be sophisticated. All black is great but solid lights work too. She was a bucket of crazy but remember how elegant Sharon Stone looked in her head-to-toe cream ensemble from Basic Instinct?
5) Get social. Even if you don’t have cash to spend this season, nothing is better than gathering good friends and window shopping boutiques in a new neighborhood. You may even find that signature accessory.
On key holidays, some FN staffers fire it up and throwdown — potluck-style. Thanksgiving is a huge holiday at Food Network so our potluck last week was nothing short of mouthwatering. Top prize commanded $25 bones and novelty kitchen tools were awarded for other categories — best side, best main, most apropos, fan favorite etc.
See if you can guess each pictured dish…