All Posts By Sarah De Heer

They’re After Redemption: The Next Iron Chef Season 5 Cast Revealed

by in Shows, August 7th, 2012

next iron chef season 5
Redemption: That’s what the newest season of The Next Iron Chef is all about. You’ll see 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef. Watch week after week as Alton Brown returns to host this series through an array of challenges that takes the contestants through Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Putting their reputations on the line one more time for a chance to join the ranks of chefs including Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon and Geoffrey Zakarian in Kitchen Stadium are:

  • Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag, Eric Greenspan and Jehangir Mehta from The Next Iron Chef Season Two
  • Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli and Spike Mendelsohn from the cast of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs
  • First-time Next Iron Chef competitors Tim Love and Marcel Vigneron

Find out who the tenth slot will go to

3 Days to Open: Cove Lounge

by in Shows, August 3rd, 2012

cove lounge
Bobby Flay brought in the big guns not once but twice this episode as he took on his next project: Cove Lounge in Harlem, New York. With just three days to open, Alyah and Gloria found themselves knee-deep in bills, as well as dealing with a series of staffing and kitchen issues in their quest to open an upscale lounge. Bobby relied on the legends of Harlem’s food industry and Nina and Tim Zagat to help guide Alyah with constructive criticism. The ladies picked the perfect neighborhood for their venture, but that was only a small part of it.

Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the Cove team fix these four crucial issues: staffing, menu, food quality and cocktails.

The signature cocktail, “The Cove,” has been created, and the French fries seem to be perfect. Alyah waited three years for this dream to come true, but did it all work out? One lesson we’re sure she learned was to proofread everything. We checked in with her and Gloria to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

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Melissa d’Arabian Dishes on her First Cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners

by in Books, Food Network Chef, July 31st, 2012

melissa d'arabian ten dollar dinners cookbook
In just two weeks, Melissa d’Arabian’s first cookbook will officially be available — Ten Dollar Dinners the book is packed with tips to elevate simple, fresh meals any night of the week along with 140 mouthwatering recipes. We caught up with Melissa on the set of her show to talk about what makes her book stand out, several key takeaways and the home cook’s best friend — the pantry.

Towards the beginning of the book, you talk about strategies for saving and list your top 10 commandments of Ten Dollar Dinners. If you had to pick just three strategies for saving money, what would they be?

1. Incorporate bean night once a week: Contrary to the title, that doesn’t mean just beans, it’s any sort of inexpensive protein. If you have a few recipes in your pocket that you know are very inexpensive and are driven by an inexpensive protein you will automatically see savings in your grocery bill every month. Think about beans, eggs, pizza or a meatless meal.

2. Try clear-the-pantry week: This is a week when you really don’t buy any other groceries — you dig into your pantry and you really try to stick to the food you already have. You’d be amazed what you can get away with. It’s a great opportunity to see what you have lurking in the pantry — and who doesn’t have frozen meats tucked away in the freezer? Let’s face it, if you don’t use it, it’s going to go bad and that’s wasting money.

Find out what Melissa uses the most in her pantry

3 Days to Open: Licari’s

by in Shows, July 27th, 2012

licari's 3 days to open with bobby flay
When Bobby Flay arrived at Gionni’s dream restaurant, Licari’s in Grand Rapids, Mich.,  just three days before the opening, he was almost positive they weren’t going to make it. Along with his wife, Lisa, co-owner of the restaurant, they invested everything — their house, sanity and marriage — but they were in the red, owing money to contractors and vendors, all while emptying their retirement fund and borrowing money from their parents.

Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the husband and wife team fix these four crucial issues: Lisa’s unestablished role, poor food quality, a disorganized kitchen and unleashing the secret recipes from Gionni’s mom.

On opening day, Gionni said “he closed a chapter, but opened a new one.” Are things still running smoothly? How are Gionni and Lisa handling their new venture together as a couple? We checked in with Licari’s six weeks later to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

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3 Days to Open: Melt Mobile

by in Shows, July 20th, 2012

melt mobile
When Bobby Flay arrived at Diana and Darlene’s Melt Mobile food truck in Stamford, Conn., he wasn’t sure if this venture would ever take to the road — especially since the team had just three days until the opening. These two best friends quit their jobs to pursue this dream, but after mortgaging their homes, they were left with almost no money to open their business with. Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the team fix these six crucial issues: organization, food knowledge, wait time, expediting, food quality and packaging.

Bobby left his mission saying that he felt Melt Mobile was “a well-oiled machine.” Is it still running that way? Has Darlene and Diana’s friendship withstood all the stress of opening a business? We checked in with Melt Mobile to see how things are going a few months after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

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3 Days to Open: Sticky’s Finger Joint

by in Shows, July 15th, 2012

3 days to open sticky's
Bobby Flay is no stranger to opening restaurants. He knows the trials, tribulations and stresses that go into a start-up. He also knows the equation for success and now he wants to pay it forward on his new show, 3 Days to Open.  When he arrived at Sticky’s Finger Joint in New York City — just days before it was set to open — it seemed like he was going to be their only chance for survival. With no recipes, decor, knowledge of food or leadership, Bobby set out to help Paul, Jonathan, Tommy and Stephanie open their clever chicken finger restaurant.

Paul, the visionary behind this concept, was undoubtedly all over the place, and his team needed him to organize his thoughts and delegate responsibilities. Nothing is ever that easy, though. With the help of Bobby Flay and some much-needed equipment, the team pulled off an opening better than anyone could have imagined.

But was opening night their closing night? We checked in with Paul at Sticky’s to see how things are going a few months after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

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Melissa Gets Nostalgic in Her New Season, Welcomes Her First Guests

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, July 12th, 2012

melissa d'Arabian
Melissa d’Arabian is returning this Sunday to Food Network with an all-new season of Ten Dollar Dinners, and her fans are in for a treat. We sat down with the queen of creative, budget-friendly eats to talk about the new season, her first guests and even a couple of little-known facts about herself.

What are you looking forward to the most with this new season?

MD: Ten Dollar Dinners has become sort of an accidental diary of my life. I prepare six months in advance for every season I tape and since I don’t see them until they air, they become a snapshot of my life.

This season was really inspired by my childhood — the time I spent in Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California Since moving back to San Diego last year, I think it’s reawakened that part of my life. It’s a celebration of my childhood and the memories that were created around food. For example, this season I make homemade tortillas, arroz con pollo and empanadas, which we made all the time when I was growing up. There will always be a part of me on the plate this season.

I can honestly say this season was the most fun to shoot. Even though it was hard work, it was so gratifying.

Little-known facts about Melissa

Vote Now for America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets

by in Contests, July 6th, 2012

america's favorite famers markets
For many of us, the start of summer means a visit to our local farmers’ market for some of the best produce we’ll have all year. Do you have a favorite market? Earlier last week, American Farmland Trust asked local markets to sign up to participate in a contest that could ultimately name them one of “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets.” The summer-long competition aims to see which farmers’ markets can generate the most votes from their customers. The goal of the contest is to promote the role that farmers’ markets play in keeping family farmers on the land.

American Farmland Trust holds this annual contest to raise national awareness about the importance of buying fresh food from local farms. “Farmers’ markets offer a great way for consumers to support local farms and farmers,” said American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl in a recent press release. “In addition to providing access to fresh, seasonal foods, farmers’ markets help strengthen our ties to the land where our food is grown and the people who grow it.”

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Behind-the-Scenes: Blending entwine Wines

by in Behind the Scenes, Drinks, June 29th, 2012

rob rupa and karl entwine blending session
Last year, Food Network made the exciting announcement that it was partnering with Wente Vineyards to unveil entwine, a portfolio of California wines intended to inspire food lovers to dive into the vast and sometimes overwhelming world of wine with ease. The four varietals fans can get their hands on now include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Earlier this month, Executive Chef Rob Bleifer and Culinary Writer Rupa Bhattacharya from Food Network Kitchens traveled to California to visit fifth generation winemaker Karl Wente from Wente Vineyards to conduct a blending session for the newest bottles of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. While I’m surrounded by food all day long, I was curious to learn more about the winemaking process, so we asked Karl and Rupa to break down several of the basics.

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