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April Food Festivals

by in Events, April 3rd, 2012

asparagus
For some, April — like T.S. Eliot notes in The Waste Land and the seasonal severe weather shows — is the cruelest month. Those poor folks would change their tune if they could partake in any of the pabulum parties below. This month’s culinary treasures are sweet, spicy and creamy.

Tater Day, Benton, Ky., April 2: While this festival celebrated on the first Monday in April is 169 years old, it wasn’t until approximately 1960 that the Kiwanis Club gave the festival its current form. Local growers still gather to trade sweet potato slips (shoots grown from mature potatoes) and related wares. They also congregate to fete the town’s favorite starchy tuber with a parade, pageants, eating competition (perfect after a spin on a carnival ride), horse races and the Barbeque Kookoff. Of course, folks will vie for a chance at winning the title of largest sweet potato.

More April food festivals around the country

Food Network “Lights It Up Blue” for Autism Today

by in Events, April 2nd, 2012

autism awarenessNotice something different on Food Network this morning? Today, Food Network and Cooking Channel are participating in the Autism Speaks: Light It Up Blue campaign, an annual global initiative that raises awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. That means they’re taking the logos you see on television and turning them blue for one day.

“Autism impacts an estimated 1 in every 110 children in the United States, and through the extraordinary support of such wide-ranging cable television networks we are raising awareness and building support by delivering an important message about autism to millions of people watching television today,” said Robert Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, in a press release.

Autism Awareness Day has partners in 180 cities and 35 countries around the world — they’ll all turn iconic landmarks blue for the day, including New York City’s Empire State Building.

Food Network invites you to Light It Up Blue today. Find out how here.

Be a Part of Share Our Strength’s Food Blogger Bake Sale

by in Events, March 28th, 2012

share our strength blogger bake sale
It’s that time of the year again when Share Our Strength hosts the Great American Bake Sale, an incredible feat that asks people across the country to host or participate in a bake sale to raise money for the 1 in 5 kids in America struggling with hunger on one day, Saturday, April 28.

This year, Bloggers Without Borders is working with our own writer Gaby Dalkin, of What’s Gaby Cooking, to help spread the word via bloggers. Well, FN Dish wanted to help, too. Last year, they raised $25,000 through 26 bake sales. This year, Share Our Strength has set a challenge to raise $50,000 with the help of bloggers from all 50 states.

With just $1 connecting a child to 10 meals, the community would be helping Share Our Strength ensure that the more than 16 million kids facing hunger today never go hungry again.

Here’s how you can help:

Get Involved: Click here for a list of bake sales already taking place. If you’re interested in participating in a bake sale, please reach out to the host. If there isn’t a bake sale taking place in your area, maybe you’d like to host one (see details below).

Continue reading for more information

Celebrate Cherry Blossom Season!

by in Events, Food Network Magazine, March 20th, 2012

Cherry Blossom Desserts
Cherry blossom season is in full swing in Washington, D.C., and this year the city is celebrating 100 years of its cherry blossom trees. National Cherry Blossom Festival coordinators have been recruiting dozens of local bars and restaurants to serve dishes inspired by D.C.’s famous buds. You can sample all of them — including this cherry blossom milkshake from Good Stuff Eatery ($3.75 to $5.25; goodstuffeatery.com) and cherry macaroons from Adour ($20 per dozen; adour-washingtondc.com) — throughout the centennial celebration, March 20 to April 27.

For a full list of cherry blossom specials at D.C.-area restaurants, visit Nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/cherrypicks.

(Photograph by Charles Masters)

2012 James Beard Nods Are Out: Congrats to Ina, Ted and Chopped

by in Events, News, March 19th, 2012

2012 james beard nomination
The James Beard Foundation announced the final nominees for the 2012 James Beard Awards at an event in Las Vegas today, and Food Network has not one but three reasons to celebrate: Ted Allen and Ina Garten are nominated for Best TV Food Personality/Host and Chopped has been nominated for Best Television Program, In Studio or a Fixed Location.

The winners of each category will be announced on Monday, May 7,  in New York City as Food Network’s own Alton Brown hosts the event.

Alton won’t be the only Food Network chef making an appearance on stage. On Friday, May 4, James Beard Award-winning chef and Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon, along with four-time James Beard Award-winning correspondent Martha Teichner, will co-host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner.

Continue reading: The complete list of 2012 James Beard Award nominees

Three Reasons Why Social Media is Crucial for Food Trucks

by in Community, Events, March 12th, 2012

the lime truck the great food truck race
It’s no surprise that social media and food trucks go together. We’ve known that for quite some time now. However, the reasons why the two are so dynamic are evolving as more social platforms become available and as the food truck movement continues to grow.

A recent SXSW Interactive panel brought together Food Network’s general manager of online brands, Bob Madden, and recent cast members from The Great Food Truck Race to speak on this topic. Daniel Shemtob from The Lime Truck, James DiSabatino from Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Stephanie Morgan from Seabirds sat down for an hour to discuss how they go beyond using Twitter and Facebook on a day-to-day basis.

So why is social media so important to the food truck industry? Each panelist shared their reasons:

1. To tell people where your truck is located.
2. To show the transparency of the business.
3. To gain the consumer’s trust.

Read more

Top 10 Places to Eat in Austin for SXSW

by in Events, March 8th, 2012

fn local austin, tx mapIf you’re heading to SXSW this weekend in Austin, Texas, you’re going to need to fuel up in between all of the interactive, film and music events. You can’t possibly focus on having a great time without some delicious eats in your belly. We’ve rounded up a few Food Network favorites from Giada’s Weekend Getaway in Austin to Guy’s best bets from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

 

Find more of Food Network’s favorite eats in Austin on Food Network Local.

Get the Top 10 Places

Collecting Treasures in the Belly and the Hand

by in Events, March 7th, 2012

knivesIt’s interesting to hear what people collect during their travels. From postcards to original artwork, the choice of what to carry home reveals an intimate peek into the traveler’s life. As a food professional, it’s not surprising I hanker for edible souvenirs. Unfortunately, they don’t last any longer than the time it takes to eat a sausage sandwich on the cobbled streets of a German village, or lick the buttery crumbs off my fingers from an unbelievably good French croissant. A bottle of Italian olive oil might make it out of the country, but its lifespan is only as long as the number of home-cooked dinners it lasts for. Although the foods may be long gone, the memory lives on.

What do you collect when you travel?

March Food Festivals

by in Events, March 6th, 2012

strawberries
As late winter looks toward spring, this month’s food festivals head outdoors, to the woods and to the shore for sugar highs, creamy mirth and moveable feasts.

Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City, Fla., March 1–11: The state fair has nothing on the Sunshine State’s Strawberry Festival. The sweet bonanza of fruit-related diversion and traditional food-fair merriment, including a royal court, draws hordes of hungry and smiling Floridians, not to mention snowbirds. All are eager for the simple pleasure of strawberries and cream, after which they can try their hand at carnie games on the midway or test their stomachs on a thrill ride. The Neighborhood Village displays homemade, local food and crafts. Competitions aren’t relegated to only the edible variety. Baking and preserving contests share schedule space with needlepoint and scrapbooking. Of course, there’s also pig racing, ideally paired with strawberry-topped funnel cake.

Cincinnati Wine Festival, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 8–10: Cincinnati is an underappreciated world-class city with a magnificent skyline (it’s important!), so it’s no surprise that the riverside urban center hosts a jam-packed oenophile fiesta, complete with dinners, sampling and an auction. The weekend affair is uncorked with a series of elegant wine dinners, followed the next day by hours of access to the tasting room. Ticket prices for seven sips begin at $40. Chin-chin, Cincy.

Read more

Alton Brown to Host 2012 James Beard Awards, Michael Symon Hosts Journalism Awards

by in Events, March 1st, 2012

alton brownThe James Beard Foundation announced today that one of Food Network’s favorite personalities and multiple James Beard Award winning celebrity chef Alton Brown will host the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards on May 7 in New York City.

He won’t be the only Food Network chef making an appearance on stage. On Friday, May 4, James Beard Award winning chef and Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon, along with four-time James Beard Award winning correspondent Martha Teichner, will co-host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner.

Read the entire press release »