All Posts By Sara Levine

Sara Levine is a Senior Online Editor at FoodNetwork.com and a culinary-school-trained home cook. Several years ago she quit her magazine job to go to Le Cordon Bleu, which led to a stint in Food Network Kitchen. Although cooking professionally wasn’t her thing, she loves frequenting restaurants and putting her own amateur culinary skills to work in her tiny kitchen.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Eric Ricupero

by in Shows, January 3rd, 2011
No words of advice could save Eric's botched chicken dish.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I need to learn how to cook in order eat healthier and save money. Eating out 10 times a week in killing both my pocket and waistline.

What was the most valuable tip/piece of advice that you learned from Chef Robert?
Preparation and organization – it makes everything else easier.

What did you take away from the experience?
I am not only a bad cook, but apparently I’m also a bad cooking student.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
I will continue to work on my cooking and using what I learned on the show should help.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have cut out the bone of a bone-in chicken breast.

When you presented your final dish, Chef Robert’s Pan-Seared Chicken Breast, how did you feel about it?
I knew I’d blown it when I cut the bone out.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
Listen, remember and be patient.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
I tried to cook that bone-in chicken breast. I blew it again.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
Anytime Joshie and Priscilla had an argument.

Read Lina’s Exit Interview, find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.

Worst Cooks: A Winner Looks Back

by in Shows, December 31st, 2010
Rachel Coleman was stunned at the announcement that she'd won the first season of Worst Cooks in America.

Rachel Coleman, a former website editor from Brooklyn, was crowned “Best of the Worst” on Season One of Worst Cooks in America. Before the new season kicks off this Sunday night at 9pm/8c, we asked Rachel to take a look back on her win and share how she’s doing in the kitchen a year later. Plus, this boot camp survivor lends some advice to the Worst Cooks of Season Two.

Listen up, new recruits!  Here are a few bits of inspiration from Rachel:

“I now cook at home all the time! At this point it’s hard for me to even remember what I DID eat before, since now I cook at least 5 nights a week. I even cooked dinner for my roommate and 10 of her friends for her 30th birthday party; my roommates love having me around.”

“The best advice Chef Anne gave me was to READ THE ENTIRE RECIPE before cooking. I honestly think that (and being disorganized) was my biggest mistake pre-show, I wouldn’t know where I was going so I’d get lost on the way there. Now I make sure I understand the entire recipe before starting.”

“Just focus on every step and don’t get overwhelmed. It’s easy to think ‘This is impossible!’ and get flustered and mess up, but to succeed they need to just keep moving forward and working with purpose.”

Read the rest of the interview here. Rachel’s victory also made her red team leader Chef Anne Burrell a winner…can Chef Anne do it again on Season Two? Don’t miss the premiere of Worst Cooks in America this Sunday night at 9pm/8c.

A McConaughey and Fieri Feast

by in View All Posts, December 17th, 2010

Guy and Matthew rocked it out on the bongos between takes on Guy's Big Bite.

What’s one of People magazine’s sexiest men alive doing playing the bongos and making soy-glazed green beans on Guy’s Big Bite? Turns out, Guy and Matthew McConaughey are buddies—they’ve cooked together several times, and one day at Matthew’s house they decided it would be fun to do so on Guy’s show.

Don’t miss the special one-hour episode tomorrow night, December 18, at 8pm/7c. Matthew loves to cook—he’s all about healthy, flavorful food—and brings along some recipes of his own, like Malibu Oysters and JKL Peso Pork, named for his charity, the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation.

Check out our behind-the-scenes gallery of Guy and Matthew on set, and don’t miss the episode tomorrow night at 8pm/7c.

Live on FN.com: Aarti’s Fan Favorite Web Series

by in View All Posts, December 16th, 2010

In her online videos, Aarti shares useful tips, go-to techniques and surprising myth-busters about Indian cuisine.

Aarti Sequeira pretty much cleaned up on The Next Food Network Star, Season 6. Her series of web-exclusive videos, a prize awarded to each season’s Fan Favorite, is now live on FoodNetwork.com.

“Fan Favorite was probably even more rewarding than winning the competition in certain ways because it’s coming from the audience,” Aarti says. “There is something very democratic about the fans being able to vote you in as well, to have their voice heard. I’m really thankful.”

For her four-video series, Aarti chose topics that give viewers new insights into the Indian cuisine she’s cooking up on Aarti Party, which just debuted its second season. For example: The ever-mysterious curry. “The number one question I get is definitely ‘how do I make a curry?’” Aarti says. “I am so glad to finally have the chance to explain what it is, what it isn’t, and that it’s actually not all that hard to prepare.”

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Donatella Does Brunch: Hangover Pizza, Anyone?

by in Holidays, Shows, December 13th, 2010

hangover pizza donatella
After slinging Neapolitan-style pies at lunch and dinner for the past couple of months, Donatella Arpaia’s eponymously named New York pizzeria rolled out a brunch menu this past weekend.

2010 has been a big year for Donatella—she opened this very personal addition to her restaurant mini-empire, served on the judges’ panel for The Next Iron Chef Season 3 and on several episodes of Iron Chef America, and published her first cookbook, Donatella Cooks. We’d be surprised if the lawyer-turned-restaurateur ever sits still long enough for a lazy brunch, but she clearly gets what it’s all about. Her sunny pizzeria is perfectly suited for relaxing mid-day repasts and the menu is full of carby comfort.

Take the Hangover Pizza. Donatella’s executive chef, Jarett Appell, came up with it when he was making himself some food after a night of, well, too much of the obvious. The blistered crust is topped with breakfast sausage, an egg, and thin, melting slices of cured lardo (pork fat). The whole thing is oozy, decadent, satisfying—a delicious interpretation of the classic breakfast plate. The boss told Jarett to run with it on the brunch menu.

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Hanukkah Latke Cook-Off: Duff vs. Nigella

by in Holidays, December 1st, 2010
"My great-grandmother Mamo made the best latkes in the whole world!" says Duff.

Tonight’s the first night of Hanukkah, and naturally, potato latkes are on the menu. These fried potato pancakes are a Hanukkah tradition—in addition to lighting the candles, fried foods are eaten to celebrate the oil that burned for eight nights. This year, Food Network Magazine challenged Duff Goldman and Nigella Lawson to a cook-off to see who could fry up the best batch.

"These are sweet, gorgeous fritters to be eaten straight from the pan and drenched with maple syrup," says Nigella.

Duff went traditional, “slightly” adapting his great-grandmother’s classic recipe, while Nigella took a sweet route, grating apples into her latkes and drizzling them with maple syrup. It’s a tough call…good thing Hanukkah lasts eight nights, so there’s plenty of time to try both!

Let us know which latkes get your vote! And for lots more Hanukkah recipes, check out FoodNetwork.com/Hanukkah.

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Exclusive Interview: Forgione Dishes

by in Shows, November 23rd, 2010

marc forgione
A few words from the winner

On why he signed on for Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef:
“The only show that I would have done on TV was The Next Iron Chef. There are a lot of other chef shows, competitions that are on TV that I won’t name by name, but The Next Iron Chef is the only one that truly says, we want to see you as a chef, and we want to see who can actually be an Iron Chef. Not to see who can entertain us with the after-work antics and all this kind of stuff. It’s about the food.”

On how his life has changed:
“Just last night, I walked back into the kitchen through the dining room and every table was looking around and pointing me out. That used to happen every once in a while, but now, every table, they’re like, “Oh! That’s him!” I got stopped on the street coming into work yesterday and again this morning…It’s wild. I’m really kind of a humble, chill person. I’m having a great time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a big change.”

On the Next Iron Chef experience:
“I’ll be 100 percent honest: I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was. Not to say I went in thinking it was going to be easy, but I kind of went in there thinking, you know, you do what you do, you see what happens. Which is the philosophy that I had the whole time: Just cook your food and relax…”

Read our full exclusive interview with Iron Chef Forgione.

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Eat Lunch Like an Iron Chef

by in Shows, November 22nd, 2010

marc forgione slab bacon
When we visited Chef Marc Forgione at his restaurant (in secret!) shortly before his winning moment aired on The Next Iron Chef, we wanted to see him in his element: Back in the kitchen, cooking. But Restaurant Marc Forgione is closed for lunch, so the laid-back, mohawked chef asked what he should prepare from the menu. We got back to him with this proposition: “Just make yourself some lunch. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy—whatever you’d normally whip up.”

The resulting pork belly and pickled apple sandwich is so addictively delicious, we had to share Chef Forgione’s recipe with you. Iron Chef Forgione’s recipe, that is.

Chef Forgione's late-night lunch: The B.A.D. Sandwich

Check out the making of this sandwich and get a tour of Marc Forgione (the restaurant). Plus, read our exclusive Q&A with the newest toque in Kitchen Stadium.

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Next Iron Chef Journals: A Look Back

by in Shows, November 17th, 2010

Read our eliminated rivals' journals for a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to compete on The Next Iron Chef

We started with 10 rivals in Los Angeles. Five went on to Las Vegas. Now it’s down to the last two standing. Marco Canora and Marc Forgione will battle it out in Kitchen Stadium for the title of The Next Iron Chef this Sunday at 9pm/8c.

To put this exciting and exhausting journey in perspective, take a look through the eight eliminated rivals’ journals from the competition. What was the thought process behind the dishes that won challenges—and those that sent rivals packing? Who drew lifelike sketches of their plates and who took meticulous notes? Flip through the pages of the chefs’ red Next Iron Chef journals to see.

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Thanksgiving Side of the Day: Sausage and Kale Dressing

by in Holidays, November 15th, 2010

sausage and kale dressingThe age-old question remains: What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing? Traditional wisdom holds that stuffing is actually cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is cooked separately and served alongside. Makes sense, right? But in my experience, it really comes down to geography. My family (from New York and Pennsylvania) never stuffs the bird, but we always call our savory bread pudding-style side dish “stuffing.” Go further South, and everything is “dressing,” as I learned at my first Thanksgiving with my fiancé’s family in Louisiana.

I’m not sure why Food Network Magazine decided to call this one dressing—maybe there was a Southerner in the room. Call it what you wish; it’s filled with many ingredients I love—kale, fennel sausage, focaccia—and is definitely going to show up on my spread this year.

TELL US: What stuffing and/or dressing will be on your Thanksgiving table?

For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving

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