All Posts In Behind the Scenes

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Did the Baby Food Diet for 3 Days, and Here’s What Happened

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 9th, 2016

Food Network Staffer Diary: I Did The Baby Food Diet for 3 Days, and Here's What HappenedThis is a no-tricks, no-nonsense eating plan. The baby food diet is exactly what it sounds like: three or more days of eating pureed baby food and trying your absolute best not to complain (or vomit).

I first read about this diet in 2013 when my girl Jennifer Aniston was rumored to have shed quite a bit of weight from eating like a baby for a while. (This was a confusing moment for me, as it was the first time I ever questioned anything Jennifer Aniston did.) Started by celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, the diet quickly became an internet phenomenon as a way to cut cals and drop pounds, fast.

It sounded like absolute torture. I genuinely could not understand why anyone would eat sweet potatoes out of a jar when they have the option to do otherwise. Only an idiot would put their body through that.

Fast-forward three years: I am that idiot.

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Food Network Staffer Diary: Can My Friends Tell the Difference Between Expensive and Cheap Wines?

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, November 2nd, 2016

If you ever walk into a Trader Joe’s wine section or shop (depending on where you live), one of the most-glaring things you will notice is a vast selection of $2.99 wines by the name of Charles Shaw. But when he’s just kickin’ back, down the esophagi of his more frugal fans, he’s known as Chuck, Two Buck Chuck.

Since Chuck’s introduction in 2002, Trader Joe’s famed wine of “extreme value” has earned itself a reputation – hence the nickname – especially among those who wish to enjoy the finer things in life but don’t want to break the bank.

I am one of those people.

But is it any good? I ask myself, as many people do, when they come across such a concept as a two-dollar-something bottle of wine. I had to find out but did not want to volunteer myself as tribute.

With such a predicament, I decided I would make my friends do it. Read more

Ina’s Back in the White House: Exclusive Interview About Her Barefoot in Washington Special Visit

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 28th, 2016

Michelle Obama and Ina GartenWhen Ina Garten worked in Washington, D.C., little did she know she’d end up in a completely different career, first operating a specialty foods store in Long Island and then writing cookbooks and hosting a very successful cooking show on Food Network. Now, years later, Ina returns to the nation’s capital in the special Barefoot in Washington, premiering on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1|12c. After making various stops in the city to see how the culinary scene has transformed, and to reconnect and cook with longtime friends, Ina makes one last stop at the White House to see how the gardens and the kitchen supply food for state dinners as well as the wider community. And before she leaves, Ina sits down to tea with Mrs. Obama.

FN Dish recently sat down with Ina to chat about the special.

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By the Numbers: What It Takes to Stock the Kitchen for the Grannies on Clash of the Grandmas

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 27th, 2016

Clash of the GrandmasThe ladies competing on Clash of the Grandmas are downright masters of their culinary crafts, with decades of experience commanding their kitchens at home. There’s no doubt they know what it takes to prepare meals fit for a family, but to succeed in the competition, they must put together dishes to impress a panel of all-star food authorities. To do that, they’ll need the very best in ingredients and equipment. So, to ensure they have what they need, the show’s culinary production team went to great lengths to ready the kitchen for the upcoming series of granny battles.

We caught up with Morgan Hass, a culinary producer on the show, who told us all about what it takes to stock the kitchen and pantry for the contest. Read on below to get her by-the-numbers details of what’s on hand, on the shelves and in the refrigerator.

2: Number of days it takes to build and stock the kitchen

8: Number of people on the culinary team overseeing Clash of the Grandmas

100: Total number of available gadgets, including 25 different varieties of equipment, like waffle makers, blenders and smoking guns

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Food Network Staffer Diary: I Ate Only Foods I Discovered on Instagram

by in Behind the Scenes, Community, October 26th, 2016

1. AvoEgg Breakfast

Photo courtesy of @remixt

I could’ve included avocado toast, but I needed to up the ante. After all, avocado toast is a staple for me and I’ve pretty much mastered that skill (NBD). I’ve seen so many ‘grams of bright-green avocados with pops of yellow yolks in the center, and I have always wanted to bake this for breakfast; alas, I’ve never had the time. And when I did have the time, this idea would escape me. This time there was no escaping. The instructions were pretty simple, as were the ingredients. I cut my ripe avocado in half, took out the pit and spooned in one egg in one half. This is where I made oops No. 1: I didn’t scoop out enough avocado, and the egg whites started to slip out of the avocado!

Frustrated, I tried again with my other half, this time carving out even more avocado. I spooned in the egg yet again, and the same thing happened. I decided to shrug it off and top my concoction with salt, pepper, chives and shredded mozzarella. (You can totally toss in paprika, onions, cheddar Jack — you name it.) I baked the eggs for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, and to my delight, they were good to go! However, they were not as beautiful as the next one.

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Multitalented Lorraine Pascale Got Hungry for Baking and Never Looked Back

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 5th, 2016

Lorraine PascaleLorraine has worn many hats, including those of a model and even a mechanic, but the one that fits her best is that of baker. After working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries in the U.K., she began hosting cooking programs, many of which were based on Lorraine’s best-selling baking books. Stateside, she’s served as a judge on Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship. But now she’s offering her talents as a teacher to some of the most-terrible bakers in the country, in the new series Worst Bakers in America. Along with Duff Goldman, Lorraine mentors a team of hopeless hopefuls, with the goal of coaching one to the top of the ranks. With bragging rights on the line against her friend and fellow baker, Duff Goldman, all niceties get pushed aside. It’s a competition, after all.

In this interview with FN Dish, Lorraine reveals her motivation for becoming a baker, what the first dessert was that she made, which talk show queen she’d like to bake for and what keeps her doing what she loves most to this day.

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Duff Goldman Revels in the Magic of Baking and Reveals Why He Decided to Become a Baker

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 4th, 2016

Duff GoldmanWhen Duff Goldman first appeared on Food Network on Ace of Cakes, we originally knew him as the owner of a small cake shop in Baltimore that put out some pretty inventive and over-the-top sweets. Since then he’s expanded his business to Los Angeles, and we’ve gotten to see the inner workings of his studio — and meet his exceptionally creative staff — on Duff Till Dawn and Cake Masters. More recently Duff has also lent his expertise as a judge to Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship, and he’s served as a co-host and judge on Kids Baking Championship. But now Duff has taken on the role of teacher on Worst Bakers in America, airing Sundays at 10|9c. He’s paying forward all he’s learned by mentoring a set of bumbling baking wannabees, from which he hopes to train a winner.

So why did Duff end up becoming a baker, and what inspires him about his craft? FN Dish caught up with the cake-baker extraordinaire on the set of Worst Bakers to chat about his baking philosophy and the ups and downs he’s gone through in his career to get to where he is today.

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Taking the Oven Mitts Off: Duff and Lorraine Face Off in the New Series Worst Bakers in America

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, October 2nd, 2016

Lorraine and DuffDuff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale have teamed up to coach teams of terrible bakers in the new series Worst Bakers in America, premiering Sunday at 10|9c. Even though the two are longtime friends and colleagues, appearing together as judges on Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship, when it comes to a competition, they’re in it to win it no matter the cost. Lorraine will coach the Red Team, and Duff the Blue Team. Every week the baking challenges will get harder and harder, until only one member is left on each team to bake in a bakery-themed final battle for a chance to win $25,000. And for his or her mentor, there will be infinite bragging rights.

FN Dish caught up with both mentors on the set of the show to chat about the competition and find out who thinks he or she can win. And these two weren’t afraid to talk a bit of smack.

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Judge Sandra Lee Sheds Light on the Sinister New Season of Halloween Baking Championship

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, September 26th, 2016

Halloween Baking Championship judge Sandra LeeExpect some gore, some surprises, and lots of scintillating sweets on the new season of Halloween Baking Championship, premiering Monday, October 3 at 9|8c. The seven multitalented bakers competing sure know their way around Halloween tricks and treats, and baking feats. But what may be even scarier than the challenges are the three intimidating judges: Carla Hall, Damiano Carrara and Sandra Lee, whom everyone knows as the maven of Halloween entertaining. This season comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham hosts with a deftly creepy hand, doling out good and bad news to the bakers competing for $25,000.

FN Dish recently chatted with Sandra about the new season. In this exclusive interview she details the difficulties involved in judging a baking competition, and reveals her favorite things about the hallowed holiday, her favorite costume and more.

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Ted Allen on What Makes Chopped So Popular, and Why He’d Never Compete

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, June 20th, 2016

Ted AllenWhat makes Chopped such a successful competition show, one that, to this day, still excites fans and keeps unsuspecting chefs on their toes? According to host Ted Allen, a number of factors add up to make Chopped great television, but at the heart of it is an unyielding passion for food that’s on display every time a chef opens a basket of mystery ingredients. Whether you watch Chopped, Chopped Junior or the tournaments (Champions, All-Stars, Grill Masters or Teens), the format is the same: There are three rounds of mystery baskets, and each chef has only so much time to cook the ingredients. What changes are the chefs, who each bring their stories to the kitchen and cook with boundless energy and deep passion that emanates in their plates. That’s what makes Chopped one of the best food competition shows on TV.

FN dish caught up with the indomitable host to chat about what makes the show so special, what goes into preparing for an episode, what’s changed over the many seasons — because he’s been there since its inception — and what would happen if he suddenly had to compete. Hint: Ted characterizes his skills as the complete opposite of the competitors’ abilities. Find out what he had to say about the long-running series and more.

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