All Posts In Behind the Scenes

Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Food Network’s Star Book Tour

by in Behind the Scenes, September 25th, 2011

food network star book tour
Last month, fans of Food Network Star had the chance to get up close and personal with Susie Jimenez, Mary Beth Albright, Whitney Chen, Vic “Vegas” Moea and the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, during the Food Network Star: The Official Insider’s Guide Book Tour.

We were there to snap memorable moments, including an unforgettable autographed sandwich signed by the Sandwich King himself.

Browse the behind-the-scenes photos »

Crave Fried Chicken Episode: Facts and Thoughts

by in Behind the Scenes, Shows, September 10th, 2011

fried chicken
With any half-hour episode of Crave, there are hundreds of facts and thoughts I don’t get to share. If you watched this past Monday, thank you. If you missed it, well, suffice to say, your chicken knowledge is in serious decline.

Fried Chicken Facts and Thoughts

FACT: Chickens are the closest living relative to T. rex. They got the short end of that evolutionary stick.
THOUGHT: I realized that my ultimate fried chicken would be crossbred with a spider so that it would have eight drumsticks.

FACT: In China, KFC sells Irish Fried Chicken dipped in Bailey’s liqueur. Next time you’re at a local watering hole, ask for a drumstick in your snifter.

The average American eats about 80 lbs. of chicken a year »

A Tuscan Cookout — Weekend Cooking

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, September 9th, 2011

florentine-style steaks
Each month, Food Network Kitchen chefs put more than 100 recipes to the test for Food Network Magazine. Every recipe goes through at least two to three rounds of testing, plus a round of cross-testing, where the recipe goes through one final run-through to make sure it works as it is written in final form.

“We make sure language, timing and visual cues are correct,” says Andrea Albin, a Food Network Kitchens recipe tester.

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Snacks That Taste Better Fried

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, September 6th, 2011

fried oreos
It’s state fair season, so for the September issue of Food Network Magazine, chefs in Food Network Kitchens raided the fridge and pantry and deep-fried for days, looking for hits and misses for the story, “Can You Fry It?”. There were a few explosions — marshmallows melted, gumdrops sank to the bottom of the fryer, and the iceberg lettuce came out looking like a sea creature.

Fried Snickers, muffins, bananas and more (with photos) »

The Perfect Iced Tea — Food Network Kitchens

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, August 19th, 2011

perfect iced tea
To come up with Food Network Magazine’s perfect iced tea recipe, Food Network Kitchens recipe testers compared hot- and cold-brewed black, herbal and green teas, testing each with both tea bags and loose tea to ensure accurate results.

“Although the cold brew did have a nice, pristine flavor, you ended up having to use so much more tea,” recipe tester Andrea Albin, recipe tester, says.

Get the perfect iced tea recipe »

Star Scrapbooks: A Look Back

by , August 19th, 2011

Star Journals

We started with 15 finalists in Los Angeles. Six moved on to New York City. And last Sunday night, a winner was crowned: Jeff Mauro is our new Sandwich King!

To put this exciting and exhausting journey in perspective, take a look back through the f...

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In The Kitchens: Royal Wedding Cakes From Last Cake Standing Contenders

by in Behind the Scenes, April 17th, 2011
Jason from Last Cake Standing spent hours in the Food Network Kitchens working on a special royal project.

Last week, three of the talented pastry wizards from Last Cake Standing Jason, Jörg and Richard — were up in Food Network Kitchens working on a special project. It wasn’t totally top secret, so we’ll spill the beans: They’d been asked by Rachael Ray to come up with over-the-top cakes inspired by the upcoming Royal Wedding.

Each cake artist took a different direction; beyond the Royal Wedding theme, they had free rein to follow their own inspirations. Tomorrow, the guys will present the final creations on the Rachael Ray Show and Rachael will declare a winner. We hear the Royal Couple is planning to serve traditional English fruitcake at the reception, but if Will and Kate happen to catch Rachael’s show and see these beauties, I’m thinking they might reconsider.

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Justin Bieber Ice Sculpture: Pretty Cool, Right?

by in Behind the Scenes, News, March 3rd, 2011

Justin Bieber ice sculpture by Ice Brigades
Ice Brigade ice sculptor extraordinaire Randy Finch chills out with his Justin Bieber ice sculpture.

Baby, baby oh: Ice sculptor Randy Finch, star of Ice Brigade, chips away at massive blocks of ice with cool tools and an artist’s hand. His latest subject? Pop star rock star teen star everywhere Justin Bieber. Happy 17th Birthday, Justin! Nice haircut, Biebs. Up next: Selena Gomez. Maybe. Never Say Never.

Tonight at 10 pm ET, watch as Randy and his crew head to Michigan to design an entire lounge–complete with a working bar, sushi station and pool table. Cool stuff.

What celebrity would you most like to see as an ice sculpture?


Design Spy: Dream of Spring by Reinventing Winter

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, January 13th, 2011
Wendy took a green damask tablecloth from Christmas and used fresh irises and pink accents to transform the table setting to spring.

Design Director Wendy Waxman has been at Food Network since its inception decorating sets, designing tabletop displays and special events, and styling cookbooks. Among her projects are the altar displays for Iron Chef America and the sets of Guy’s Big Bite30 Minute Meals, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Cooking for Real and Aarti Party. Wendy’s favorite pastime is sleuthing for colorful objects and she can be spotted pursuing her quest anywhere, anytime.

Like a post-holiday nymph who refuses to leave the party, January never fails to beckon with its tempting array of alluring sales. This is one post-holiday ritual not to be ignored. A plethora of fresh merchandise awaits discerning January buyers who peruse with a careful eye toward the coming year.

The seasonal green linens of December will surely welcome a spring lamb to the table, and a holiday red tablecloth will be the perfect backdrop for the guacamole and chips of that most sacred American celebration: The Super Bowl. And what better time to stock up on ornaments and decorations for the next Christmas season? You’ll save time and money next November. Here’s the original Christmas tabletop that I transformed for spring.

Wendy's Christmas table, with a green damask table cloth, red charger plates and ornaments, can easily be transformed for spring.

I often can be found scooping up discounted platters, plates, and bowls. I ask myself how a particular shape will enhance what I own already. Will that smooth shiny square plate play well with my favorite round matte dinnerware pieces? Glassware always makes my list, especially for replenishing the ever-disappearing stock of wine and Champagne glasses. I love discovering odds and ends. Glasses that look great together but don’t match give me a chance to build on this stockpile during the rest of the year.

I also love parties, so I never forget the cocktail napkin. Decorative paper napkins are on my radar and come in handy for office and birthday parties, or even stashed in the glove box for that last minute treat on the run. Small linen napkins in silver and gold make an anniversary special anytime of the year.

The venerable tray in any color or form is another sale treasure. I use them for everything from hors d’oeuvres to serving platters for larger fare. Don’t forget that when not in service they look wonderful on kitchen counters and coffee tables.

I bank on these January sales and similar ones after each holiday year-round. Shall we meet in the clearance aisle?

Behind the Scenes in Food Network Kitchens: Deep-Fried Turkey

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, November 24th, 2010
Recipe tester Leah Brickley (cautiously!) experiments with indoor turkey-frying in Food Network Kitchens.

Sometimes being married to a kitchen gadget geek has its perks. For our November issue of Food Network Magazine, we had to test Cat Cora’s deep-fried turkey recipe. Deep-fried turkeys have become really popular over the past few years and Cat’s is rubbed with a delicious Cajun spice blend. The turkey comes out crispy and really flavorful.

Our test kitchen is located in New York City’s Chelsea Market building, and the outdoor green space available to set up a vat of boiling oil is very limited to non-existent. Luckily, my husband, Paul, had a rather interesting solution to my deep-fryer problems: Why not fry it indoors? At first I thought he was crazy, but then he told me about this new (and safe) indoor turkey fryer made by MasterBuilt. It sits right on your counter, uses about half the amount the oil and has a safety magnetic break-away cord.

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