All Posts By Sarah De Heer

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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Military Grill Battle Fun Facts — Iron Chef America Special Edition

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, June 3rd, 2012

military grill battle behind the scenes
Behind the scenes on Iron Chef America, Food Network’s culinary production team is responsible for making sure that the rival chefs have everything they need to cook and present their dishes — from a stocked pantry to plenty of serving vessels — even outside of Kitchen Stadium. Daniella LaRosa from Food Network Kitchens recently shared some fun facts about what it took to pull off last night’s special episode for Grilling Week — the first-ever Military Grill Battle in Hawaii — that pitted Iron Chef Cat Cora against Iron Chef Michael Symon and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. They weren’t alone, though: Each Iron Chef was paired with a sous chef from the Navy, Army or Marine Corps.

Was setting up Kitchen Stadium in Hawaii more difficult than the mainland?

Creating Kitchen Stadium from scratch took a lot of time. We had treated both the Tailgating and Grilling battles like they were challenges from Next Iron Chef — specifically in that equipment and pantry items were going to be limited, and they might have to share during the battle. Because shipping anything to Hawaii was so expensive, we ended up having to spend about four full days personally shopping for equipment and specialty foods in Hawaii for the Iron Chefs and their sous chefs to use during the battle. We used all local produce — the Secret Ingredients were all sustainable and local.  We used as many local vendors as we could find or found through word of mouth while we were there. It was also very difficult on both shoot days when we had to set up Kitchen Stadium at 6:00 am using the headlights from our rental car.

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Grilling Q&A With Food Network Kitchens This Saturday on Facebook

by in Community, May 31st, 2012

food network grilling facebook chat
Let’s face it: No matter how many times we take to the barbecue every season, we still find ourselves second-guessing the perfect temperature for hamburgers, wondering how to create those perfect grill marks on steak and looking for ways to reinvent classic macaroni and potato salads. Well, Food Network has the ultimate cheat sheet for you this summer season.

Experts from our very own Food Network Kitchens will come together to address these perennial grilling problems on Food Network’s Facebook page this Saturday from 12 pm to 12:30 pm EST.

From dry chicken to tips for cooking food over direct and indirect heat, our experts from Food Network Kitchen will be offering helpful solutions and delicious recipes to take you beyond Labor Day.

Do you have a question you need answered? Head to Food Network’s Facebook page this Saturday from 12 pm to 12:30 pm EST.

5 Burger Don’ts From Meat Master Pat LaFrieda, Jr.

by in Holidays, How-to, May 26th, 2012

perfect burger
Last year, we polled FN Dish readers: Burgers or hot dogs for Memorial Day weekend? While 44 percent said they would be indulging in both, 35 percent said they were all about the burger. To ensure you cook up tender and juicy burgers this upcoming long weekend, we asked the “Magician of Meat” Pat LaFrieda, Jr. to offer up some tips.

5 Things to Avoid Doing to Your Burger

Never place your burger on a grill that is not preheated. Always make sure your grill is hot enough and ready to cook on before placing the burger down. Too often people turn on the grill and immediately place the meat down to start cooking — and the end result is never pretty. If the grill is preheated to the right temperature, you’ll notice the difference.

Don’t do these four things to your burger

The Great Googa Mooga Sets a New Standard for Festival Food

by in Events, May 20th, 2012

YouTube Preview Image
The Great Googa Mooga. Googa what? That was my exact reaction when I heard the name for the first ever “amusement park of food and drink” that is taking place this weekend at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Roots, Fitz & the Tantrums and Hall and Oates. These names are enough to draw in thousands of people to the newest food and music festival added to the roster of so many, but a first for New York City.

However, the true stars this weekend and what I believe was the biggest draw were the 75 food vendors, 35 brewers and 30 winemakers that dished out food ranging from barbecue to burgers, pizza and seafood and pastrami and ice cream. If you were craving it, you could buy it. While you might have to wait in multiple 30 minute lines, it was worth it — the food produced at this festival set a new standard for all festival food.

We spoke with organizer Jonathan Mayers, who launched Bonaroo and he said, “It’s time for food to get top billing.” He did just that. Included in those 75 food vendors were restaurants Spotted Pig, Roberta’s Pizza, Momofuku Milk Bar and Hill Country Barbecue. Special guests, demonstrators and chefs also included were Food Network’s own Michael Symon, Pat LaFrieda, Marcus Samuelsson, Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Ruth Reichl and even Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari. (For more with Michael Symon, click the play button above.)

Chatting With Alton Brown, Master of Ceremonies for the 2012 James Beard Awards

by in Events, Food Network Chef, May 3rd, 2012

alton brown
This coming Monday, the James Beard Foundation will host its annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center to honor the chefs and restaurateurs who made the food industry unforgettable in 2011. This year, the foundation has asked Food Network’s own Alton Brown to host the awards. A true entertainer and culinary superstar, Alton’s no stranger to hosting gigs. Between Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America and previous seasons of Food Network Star, the James Beard Foundation should rest easy knowing they have a pro on stage.

Last year,  Alton Brown was awarded the Best TV Food Personality Award for Good Eats. Prior to that, in 2003, he was awarded the Book Award in the Reference category for his first book, I’m Just Here for the Food (2002).

We recently caught up with Alton to ask him about this honor, especially since the foundation will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

 

You’ve hosted numerous shows on Food Network, but this somehow seems different. What are you doing to prepare? Are you nervous?
Prepare? Absolutely. A couple of jokes and an escape route. Nervous? Let’s say I’m appropriately aware.

More from Alton after the jump

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