We’re just hours away (10pm/9c) from the start of the third season of The Great Food Truck Race and while we’ve been previewing each truck on FN Dish all week, who better to kick off the new season than Tyler Florence? We caught up with him on the set of Food Truck and asked him to give us a sneak peek of what we can expect. And mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 21, at 3pm EST when Tyler Florence stops by to chat and answer questions about the new season on Twitter. Don’t forget to Tweet along with us during the season premiere tonight using #GreatFoodTruckRace.
How does this season compare to last season?
TF: I’m really excited about the third season because we’re changing up the rules of the game. Instead of professional food truck operators, we’re flipping the whole thing on its side. We looked for teams that would love to have a food truck — really confident people and fantastic chefs that would really love to get into the food business. They’re going to compete for a chance to win their very own food truck and that’s the grand prize at the end of the race.
Why do you enjoy being a part of this show?
TF: I try to be part of the solution because we are giving people the courage to do this themselves and people are doing well as a legit business. I’d much rather pay $6 for a food truck meal than in a fast food chain. It’s encouraging people to be in business for themselves.
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Robert and Gail’s fairy-tale wedding was brought to life on a sunny day in May at the Charles Krug winery in St. Helena, Calif. Not only did their wedding include best man Guy Fieri, but Robert set the scene and menu for his bride with help from friends Michael Chiarello, Beau MacMillan, Elizabeth Falkner and Masaharu Morimoto.
For their honeymoon, the couple satisfied their craving for adventure and great food with an excursion to Greece. We recently spoke with the newlyweds about their trip — the sights they took in and, more importantly, their favorite eats.
In Athens, Greece, Robert and Gail took in the best sights this capital city had to offer. They booked a guided tour of the ruins of the Parthenon, a temple to the Greek goddess Athena, which sits atop the Acropolis. On a worldwide tour in preparation for the London summer games, the Olympic cauldron made a quick stop at the Parthenon on the same day Robert and Gail visited the site. “We had perfect timing to see the Olympic flame (pictured above) and meet the runner who was passing the torch,” the couple said.
Get Robert and Gail’s 5 Best Honeymoon Eats in Greece
In just two weeks, Melissa d’Arabian’s first cookbook will officially be available — Ten Dollar Dinners the book is packed with tips to elevate simple, fresh meals any night of the week along with 140 mouthwatering recipes. We caught up with Melissa on the set of her show to talk about what makes her book stand out, several key takeaways and the home cook’s best friend — the pantry.
Towards the beginning of the book, you talk about strategies for saving and list your top 10 commandments of Ten Dollar Dinners. If you had to pick just three strategies for saving money, what would they be?
1. Incorporate bean night once a week: Contrary to the title, that doesn’t mean just beans, it’s any sort of inexpensive protein. If you have a few recipes in your pocket that you know are very inexpensive and are driven by an inexpensive protein you will automatically see savings in your grocery bill every month. Think about beans, eggs, pizza or a meatless meal.
2. Try clear-the-pantry week: This is a week when you really don’t buy any other groceries — you dig into your pantry and you really try to stick to the food you already have. You’d be amazed what you can get away with. It’s a great opportunity to see what you have lurking in the pantry — and who doesn’t have frozen meats tucked away in the freezer? Let’s face it, if you don’t use it, it’s going to go bad and that’s wasting money.
Find out what Melissa uses the most in her pantry
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
This Thursday night on Food Network (10pm/9c), Anne Burrell will be putting her mentor hat back on as she helps top restaurants find an executive chef — the critical employee who can make or break a restaurant — on Chef Wanted. Each week, Anne Burrell will put four candidates through the toughest job interview of their lives, testing everything from their culinary mettle to business acumen. It all ends with the biggest test of all: running the restaurant.
We recently chatted with Anne about being a mentor: identifying red flags on resumes, the hard questions she has to ask and even her own toughest job interview.
What is the best question to ask a potential candidate?
AB: There are a few questions I always ask. The first really important question is why do you want this job? This is to see if they’re looking for any job or if they’re actually interested in this particular job. Second, why did you get into cooking? I want to find out if this is their passion or just a job to them.
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What’s the next best thing you never ate?
The Food Network Kitchens staff might know. We see (taste and smell) ingredients and products just before they take their place in the national palate. Sometimes one of our on-air chefs brings them into our kitchen, sometimes we find them during restaurant dinners or in grocery stores, at home and away. Each month we’re going to share one with you, along with tips or recipes. And we know that many of you devote a good amount of time to exploring, tasting or just getting dinner on the table, so let us know what you find that might just be the next best thing we never ate.
You won’t eat Petrossian’s caviar powder by the spoonful, because just a little dusting of this dried caviar gives a salty, slightly fishy kick to all the classic caviar partners. The dried caviar buttons come in their own mill, so you can grind them over just about anything. We tried it on scrambled and soft-boiled eggs — we like the brininess against the cream and butter, and the heat from the eggs releases the flavors of the powder. Other possibilities? Deviled eggs, seared or smoked scallops, pasta, baked or boiled potatoes (a little crème fraiche wouldn’t hurt, either), crostini with fresh ricotta, tomato salad and crudo.
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This is a good recipe when you feel like having a few late spring-early summer tomatoes when they are not yet at the height of the season. I find this is a simple and tasty way to extract the maximum flavor from them. I like to take my time with this recipe and work with the grill when it’s not so hot. I really like grilling something and blending that charred flavor into others. That’s why I dig this soup.
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Biscuits hold a special, fluffy, buttery place in Alton Brown’s heart. His grandmother made the best biscuits every day for more than 50 years, and re-creating those legendary biscuits took him 10 years of science projects, oven temperature readings and failed attempts.
So it’s only fitting that he kicked off this weekend’s International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., with a talk on all things biscuit, including how he finally cracked the recipe and what you should and shouldn’t (read: yogurt) mix into your biscuit dough.
“Biscuits aren’t food, they’re currency for the soul,” Alton says. That’s because they’re all about tradition. After trying literally everything — including mimicking the barometric pressure and humidity of his grandmother’s mountain home in his Atlanta-area residence — to re-create the family biscuits, Alton finally learned that a difference in technique was ruining batch after batch. His grandmother kneaded with her fingers straight, while he kneaded with bent hands. For this reason, he says, “You can only learn biscuits from a direct transfer of one to another.” (Watch Alton make biscuits with his grandmother.)
No biscuit-savvy grandmother in the family? Continue reading for some of Alton’s tips to baking better biscuits.
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Iron Chef Michael Symon — the unofficial mayor of Cleveland — tells Food Network Magazine what to eat in his hometown.
Roasted Pig Head from The Greenhouse Tavern
Michael is known for his love of unusual cuts of meat, so it’s no surprise that he digs into half a pig’s head at least once a week. “It’s a lot of pig face,” he admits. The pig is seasoned with a spicy Southeast Asian style barbecue sauce and served with lettuce cups. Michael often stops at this spot after work: It’s next to his restaurant Lola, and the chef, Jonathon Sawyer, is an old friend. $31; 2038 East 4th St.; thegreenhousetavern.com
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