All Posts By FN Dish Editor

Wardrobe Malfunction Averted on Semi-Homemade

by in View All Posts, October 31st, 2008

SandraLeeHalloween
FN’ers love their holidays but no one does Halloween like Semi-Homemade star, Sandra Lee. Aside from coming up with some of the most inventive tricks, treats, cocktails and tablescapes of this spooky season, Sandra knows costumes.

We aren’t talking about bedsheet ghosts and rubber masks. Sandra could literally step onto movie sets with the costumes she discovers.

We caught her between takes, wardrobe changes and a million other things as she shot her AMAZING Halloween Queens episode which aired earlier this week. Imagine cooking, hosting and finishing a long day of shooting — all while balancing a huge, top-heavy wig on your head.

What’s Halloween without tricky costumes?

If you missed Halloween Queens, fear not. Another great Sandra-fied Halloween episode airs today at 4pm ET / PT. Sandra…or should we say Marilyn, or Liz, or Vivien, serves up spicy bat wings and sweet & sour eyeballs, to name a few.

Can’t wait? Check out Sandra’s Greatest Halloween Hits:

12 Sandras in 60 Seconds

Want more Sandra Lee Halloween ideas? Check out her Halloween Sock Hop!

This Cat Has Nine Jobs

by in View All Posts, October 30th, 2008


The FN Dish just caught a culinary demo and book signing for none other than Iron Chef, Cat Cora in Midtown Manhattan. When not doing battle on Iron Chef America, Cat is plenty busy. Aside from nine lives, she appears to have nine jobs as well.

Her recent book, Cooking from the Hip, is a great overview on whipping up creative, tasty offerings from fresh ingredients and staples every stocked pantry should have.

However, Cat caught us up on an even NEWER venture that’s coming this December. She’s opening a new restaurant called CCQ (think BBQ but add a dash of Cat Cora instead). Keywords for Cat here are affordable, flavorful, fast and casual. Time and money are more valuable than ever but why sacrifice taste? She is taking international BBQ inspiration from Asia, South America and the Caribbean to make the CCQ experience unforgettable.

The OC crowd will get first tastes. CCQ will open within the Macy’s at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. If SoCal isn’t in the cards, FN has the recipe to the CCQ Signature BBQ sauce here that should tide you over.

If that all weren’t enough, Cat is also President and Co-founder of Chefs for Humanity which supplies relief and aid to fight worldwide hunger — created in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami tragedy. You can learn more here or even donate and get a signed photo of Cat for your kitchen here.

Cutting Room Floor

by in View All Posts, October 29th, 2008

I could hardly contain myself after finding out The FN Dish would be going to Ina Garten’s Hampton home for last week’s episode. Being an avid Barefoot Contessa viewer prior to working here at Food Network, I had to make a conscious effort to keep professional and suppress the fan inside who was begging for an autograph. With 133 comments on our Ina video and counting, it looks like I am not alone in my Ina devotion! So for that reason, I thought I’d reveal some cutting room gems left out of our final piece in last week’s “Ina is Back to Basics” video:

GEM #1
Bruce asked Ina what Food Network shows she likes to watch, and after admitting that she doesn’t have time to watch a lot of TV, this was her response:

INA: “Well I love Giada. I think Paula’s show is fun.”

BRUCE: “Yeah, you do like to cook with butter and garlic too”

INA: “Of course! But I think fried mac and cheese is a little off the charts for me!”

Ina talks to FN Dish host, Bruce Seidel (Note to self: Do not bring Paula’s Deep Fried Mac and Cheese to Ina’s next picnic.)

GEM #2
Ina has a wonderful garden full of fresh herbs and vegetables, however, Ina confessed that she hadn’t been up to speed in clearing out her overgrown zucchinis.

Ina picks an overgrown Zucchini with Bruce

Did any of you know that they grew this big?? I could hardly contain my laugher when we were shooting and imagined that Ina had hidden this prop zucchini in the garden before we arrive. But alas, she assured me that zucchinis, if not pulled off the vine, will continue to grow and grow and grow…. I thought Ina might have state fair material on her hands until I looked up these fellow New Yorkers and their super-sized veggies.

GEM #3
Here is proof that Ina’s fridge might be similar to the rest of ours. After Bruce asked Ina what were her go-to late night snacks when opening her fridge at night, Ina humbly said, “whatever doesn’t have mold on it!” That’s my girl!

That’s all the extra scoop I have for now! But if you haven’t already, be sure to check out her new Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basic episodes Saturdays at 1:30pm/12:30c.

-Rachael Knudsen
(Associate Producer, The FN Dish)

Off the Hook Sighting

by in View All Posts, October 28th, 2008


Culinary star, Guy Fieri was hanging in the home office last week. Despite a hectic schedule of meetings, events and obligations, Guy took time for each and every fan on his way up to the FN offices.

The cool part was that aside from the fans you would expect, Guy drew a bunch that you wouldn’t – namely kids and teens. Move over, Miley — sorry, Jonas Brothers… Rock star chefs like Guy seem to be resonating with a younger, hungry audience.

And if you can’t get enough of Guy, new episodes of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, are back. Get the full D, D & D details here.

Food Network Magazine — On Newsstands Now!

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, October 27th, 2008

Get the inside scoop on Food Network’s new magazine from Editor-in-Chief, Maile Carpenter!

FN Magazine — Toast of the Office

by in View All Posts, October 24th, 2008


Contrary to popular belief, FN staffers are not treated to mind-blowing tastings and delicious snack breaks daily. We pack lunches or grab take-out like everyone else. However, special occasions sneak up on us and when they do, they are not to be missed.

Food Network recently launched its brand-new magazine (which makes me insanely hungry every time I thumb through it). To celebrate, our test kitchen chefs served up one feature called 50 Toast Toppers. It’s my guess that our diligent cooks actually tackled all 50 but I lost count somewhere around 27.

The spread was bountiful and impressive which triggered a somewhat embarrassing stomach growl when I walked in. The base for each app was a baked round of French bread, brushed with creamy salted butter. Atop each was a tiny explosion of flavor, whether a bite of gorgonzola, fig jam and prosciutto or hummus with olive tapenade. Sweet and savory made appearances as the team served up tender blue crab with wasabi mayo, an addictive Nutella with tangy orange marmalade and butter-sautéed apples with thinly-sliced ham. The formula was only broken with bite-sized versions of Tyler’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie. (the dessert featured on the cover). Silky. Sweet. Tart. Crunchy. YUM!

The spread looked complex for a beginner cook like myself. However, a chef confided to me that prep was actually simple. Apparently, I could knock out these toast toppers without issue (or fire alarm). With the holidays around the corner, I’m looking for easy.

Better yet, they are all featured in a pull-out booklet that can live with your cookbooks. Get details on the new FN magazine here.

And don’t miss when Bruce sits down with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Maile Carpenter, on Monday.

Alton Brown — Pounding on Asphalt

by in View All Posts, October 23rd, 2008


Alton Brown and his lovely wife, DeAnna, braved a sunny but cold NYC morning the other day, not far from the Food Network offices. The couple was walking briskly while squeaking in some speed window shopping in the process. They headed up from the quaint West Village into the Meatpacking District, which is home to more than a few high-end retailers and boutiques from Diane von Furstenberg to Catherine Malandrino and Stella McCartney.

It was clear that many of the passers-by were also serious Iron Chef fans. Alton and DeAnna got more than their fair share of rubbernecking tourists, curious stares and whiplash glances. Even in jaded New York City, it’s hard not to be star struck sometimes…

Newly Expanded FN Dish

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2008

Welcome to The FN Dish, now expanded at your request. Food Network insider Bruce Seidel will still serve up his hot weekly web show every Monday. Plus, we’ll have great behind the scenes, all-access bites from the Food Network team. Make a date to check in every day for the latest on your favorite shows and stars.

Gold Finger Cocktail

Want to join our celebration with the cocktail pictured here? Get the recipe for Michael Chiarello’s Prosecco Gold Rush. Cheers!

Ina is Back to Basics

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, October 22nd, 2008

The FN Dish takes you inside Ina‘s new barn, new show, and new book, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.

To win an autographed copy of Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, enter your favorite, “basic” cooking technique in the comments below. Thanks to all who submitted cooking techniques — CONTEST ENDED on 10/27 — winner will be contacted via email!

Kelsey Shares Family Secrets

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2008

Kelsey Nixon (The Next Food Network Star, Season 4) stopped by the offices during a visit to NYC last week. Her recipe card has been full but she always takes time for friends.

Believe it or not, she actually got married after the whirlwind of TNFNS4 — only a mini-Martha like Kelsey could have pulled off planning in that time crunch. She shared this adorable picture of her new hubby, Robby, from their big day:

Pass by Bob Tuschman’s office, and you’ll even see the pic posted up on his wall!

Kelsey revealed that Robby isn’t a huge cook but enjoys baking when she does drag him into the kitchen. She also shared her special tradition of gathering the whole family together every Sunday night, to dine on breakfast for dinner. It’s unclear what the Nixon clan actually eats in the morning… Her famed secret weapon is thick-cut French Toast with warm Maple Pecan Syrup.

Check out Kelsey’s website and her retro blog, The Retrospective Kitchen.