by Sarah De Heer in Contests, Food Network Chef, April 4th, 2013
by FN Dish Editor in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 3rd, 2013
Whether Alex Guarnaschelli is cooking at restaurants Butter or The Darby, dishing out top-notch critiques as a judge on Chopped, racing around Kitchen Stadium as the newest Iron Chef or cooking up a storm with her daughter at home, fans of hers know that Alex does comfort food best.
Alex grew up in a home surrounded by a love of cooking, where souffles and cheeseburgers were equally revered. The daughter of a respected cookbook editor and a Chinese cooking enthusiast, Alex developed a passion for food at a young age, sealing her professional fate. In her premiere cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food, she shares her journey from waist-high taste tester to trained chef, along with the 100 recipes for how she learned to cook — and the way she still loves to eat.
Want to get Alex’s secrets to great home cooking? You can pre-order a copy of Old-School Comfort Food here, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us which one of Alex’s recipes is your favorite and why in the comments (you must include the URL — find Alex’s list of recipes here). We’re giving away an autographed copy of the book to five lucky, randomly selected commenters.
Read official rules before entering
by Debra Puchalla in Events, Food Network Chef, April 3rd, 2013
Justin traveled the back roads of the South in his 1-hour special, Rebel Eats, this past Saturday night (watch the full episode here), but it’s hard to show everything in just 1 hour. Click the play button above to watch never-before-seen Rebel Eats moments and go deeper with Justin as he answers questions about his show and what’s next for him.
Tell us about the deep-fried burger from Dyer’s. What’s the difference in taste between standard oil and the century-old stuff that’s used at the restaurant, and what does it bring to the burger?
Oh man — I could wax poetic about that burger. Imagine if you cooked some garlic in oil and then removed the garlic. What is left? Garlic-flavored oil. The oil then becomes a condiment. Imagine if you put your garlic oil on bread. Nobody would bat an eye. That doesn’t sound wild at all. Now imagine doing this with delicious ground beef instead of garlic, and using that oil to fry all your burgers. For 100 years. The real question is what doesn’t it bring to the burger? Scientifically speaking though, by smashing the patty they are increasing the surface area and getting rid of air. This makes the beefy flavor more concentrated per bite. Also, by frying it, it cooks very quickly to well-done. Now, a well-done burger is murder in my book, but here it actually works nicely because of the thinness of the patty. The more you cook a patty, the more the beefy flavor is coaxed out, but the less appealing the texture. By making thin, greased-up patties, they are letting the beef grease provide the juiciness in the burger. They don’t serve lettuce or tomato because this burger has no room for crunch. It is like eating a puck of beef butter. Maybe that sounds gross to some, but to me this sounds like a great last meal.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 1st, 2013
Food Network chef Anne Burrell got a thumb’s up from First Lady Michelle Obama Monday at the White House’s Easter Egg Roll, which drew 30,000 people to the South Lawn for fun that went far beyond eggs. “A little love in your food makes everything taste better,” Anne told Mrs. Obama, prepping pasta with broccoli rabe pesto and sausage as a family-friendly all-in-one-meal idea for visitors. “Kids, you would eat this at home, right?” the First Lady asked, getting a big “yes” in reply. Mrs. Obama said the dish — a nourishing mix of protein, veggies, good fat from olive oil and pistachios — tasted cheesy enough to be kid-friendly but sophisticated enough for date night. Watch the video here and get the recipe over on the Let’s Move blog.
“It’s the perfect ratio of pasta to sauce,” Anne said. “When you finish the pasta you should have just enough sauce left to take the last of your bread and get that little bit, wipe it up so your plate’s clean. Then you can put your plate right back in the cupboard because you’re part of the clean-plate club.” Anne was on stage in the Play With Your Food area along with White House chef Cristeta Comerford, White House pastry chef Bill Yosses (pictured above) and other food-famous folks including Al Roker and Ina Garten; there, visitors followed up egg-rolling by peeking into the garden that supplies the First Family with fresh vegetables year-round, eating jelly beans and learning how long it takes to work them off (30 seconds each) and trying out tennis and basketball on the White House courts. The eat-well-move-more activities were in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, which aims to reduce the rates of childhood obesity in the United States.
by FN Dish Editor in Food Network Chef, Shows, March 30th, 2013
If you’ve ever written to Guy with suggestions for Triple D-worthy restaurants in your neighborhood, know that he’s been paying attention and wants to visit the area standbys that you love most.
During tonight’s marathon of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes, Guy sets off to discover some of the local favorites that you, the fans, have recommended to him. He’s off to Eischen’s Bar & Grill in Oklahoma first to taste their decades-old fried chicken recipe, then travels to Kenny and Ziggy’s, a Houston deli that’s making corned beef and traditional Jewish comfort food just like they do in New York City.
Later, Guy finds the best of the best in Basque, Salvadorian and Spanish fare — all without leaving the country — with tastes of oxtail stew, tomato-chile pork and spiced tasso at spots from Florida all the way to California. He then sets off on a Hawaiian adventure to sample Windy City-style hot dogs on the island of Oahu before partaking in a luau that’s special to locals.
Join Guy on his coast-to-coast journey starting at 6pm/5c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes, and then try your hand at the recipes.
Go on set with Guy
by FN Dish Editor in Food Network Chef, Shows, March 25th, 2013
Justin Warner fans are in for a treat tonight (10pm/9c). The Rebel With a Culinary Cause is hitting the road in his new show and biggest challenge yet — finding the real culinary rebels of America on Rebel Eats. Armed with $300 (for gas), a car and a nose for good food and crazy characters, Justin will travel the back roads of the South to try everything from moonshine and bacon beer to deep-fried PB&J, jellyfish pasta and bowling alley barbecue served in a Mason jar. We recently caught up with Justin and asked him to dish a little on his special, catch us up on what he’s been eating and teach us how to be food rebels ourselves. Before tuning in tonight, read his interview below (and go behind-the-scenes with these photos).
How did your experience on Food Network Star prepare you for making Rebel Eats?
Given that I had no television experience prior to Star, I would say that every facet of the show helped me prepare for Rebel Eats. In Star, we were constantly fighting against the clock. It has made me much more concise and efficient when conveying ideas or developing dishes. In addition, having Alton as a mentor was really a life-changing experience. He taught me how to understand where the camera is, what it’s picking up and how to make it my best friend.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Recipes, March 21st, 2013
In tonight’s new episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (10pm/9c), Guy’s digging into dishes with a personal connection. In Toronto he’ll visit a Jewish deli smoking meats and knishes the old-school way. And in Los Angeles, he’ll hop aboard a funky food truck infusing Singaporean flavors into their chili crab cakes and lamb burgers.
But before Guy takes off, he’s heading out in a marathon of episodes that will suffice any carbohydrate craving your heart desires, with dishes like lasagna Bolognese, pasta carbonara, barbecue spaghetti, and lobster mac and cheese. Beyond pasta, get recipes for Baked Lemonade Pork Chops, Chicken and Dumplings and Sweet Potato Souffle.
Take the trip with him starting at 6:30pm/ 5:30c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes, then try your hand at the recipes.
Go behind the scenes with Guy Fieri
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, March 14th, 2013
When it comes to building the ultimate hamburger, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is doing things a little differently. Forget about everything you know to be true about barbecuing, seasoning and flipping the meat. Chef Zakarian is introducing an all-new method that will wow you with its simplicity and tried-and-true results, so much so that you won’t be tempted to return to the dry, flavorless patties of burgers past. Chatting with fans at a recent event at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, he demonstrated his flawless technique and shared can’t-miss tips that are easy enough for the home cook to master — and you don’t even have to wait until grilling season to try them.
10. Cook hamburgers on a cast-iron skillet indoors, instead of on an outdoor grill.
9. Opt for corn-fed ground meat that features about 25 percent to 30 percent fat.
8. The ideal blend of freshly ground meat includes equal parts chuck, rib eye and either flank steak or brisket.
7. Let meat come to room temperature before you cook with it.
6. Preheat the skillet until it’s screaming hot — only then should the meat be added.
Get Chef Zakarian’s top 5 tips
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, March 11th, 2013
Having already conquered the professional kitchen as the chef-owner of two New York City restaurants — The Lamb’s Club and The National — and Kitchen Stadium as a member of the Chairman’s elite team of Iron Chefs, Geoffrey Zakarian is setting out to take over the radio airwaves, if only for just one night.
From 8pm-9pm EST tomorrow evening, Friday, March 15, Geoffrey can be heard on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Stars Channel 107 chatting with an impressive roster of chefs, including Guy Fieri, Anne Burrell, Sunny Anderson, Andrew Zimmern, fellow Chopped judges Scott Conant and Marc Murphy, and more. These industry A-listers came together in Miami, Fla., during last month’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and FN Dish was on hand as the show was recorded live, poolside from The James Royal Palm Hotel.
by Maria Russo in Events, Food Network Chef, February 27th, 2013
As one of the most-successful pastry chefs in the country, Sweet Genius Ron Ben-Israel is known for creating sky-high cakes that are as deliciously whimsical as they are stunningly beautiful. On Sunday’s episode of Worst Cooks in America, however, he was forced to abandon the high-quality demands he prides himself on in his professional kitchen and think back to basics. Stopping by Boot Camp to offer the recruits an in-depth cake-baking how-to, he showed them seemingly simple recipes for creating wow-worthy celebration cakes, but for some of the competitors, this challenge ultimately proved to be nothing short of impossible. We checked in with Chef Ron to find out what it was like helping the competitors turn out their best-possible confections and to learn the most-shocking moment he experienced at Boot Camp. Read on below to get the insider scoop on what went down, plus check out Chef Ron’s easy tips for at-home bakers.
How was your time on the show?
RB: I’m a big fan of the show and always learn something valuable by watching Chefs Anne and Bobby. So I was so excited to be asked to come to the kitchen and teach the recruits how to bake a cake. And they were so sweet and excited to see me! Also, the kitchen was very well equipped with every tool and ingredient that a cake designer may wish for. I was so happy to be there and started demonstrating with great enthusiasm.
How many times have you searched for the ultimate recipe only to find one that’s nearly what you’re looking for but features perhaps a single ingredient or flavor that you simply can’t bare? When that happens, do you scrap the recipe altogether, vowing to find one that’s perfect, or do you settle for the undesired taste because the rest of the recipe fits the bill? We caught up with Iron Chef Michael Symon at the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and he told us that instead of an all-or-nothing approach to recipes, look at them as detailed suggestions you can use to build the dish that best suits your tastes.
“Let your palate be your guide,” Iron Chef Symon said. He was reminded of a time that his father suffered through a batch of salsa that, while it was made according to its recipe’s instructions, boasted cilantro, an herb his father doesn’t like. Looking back on the moment now, Iron Chef Symon recalled that it would have been perfectly acceptable for his father to swap in other “soft, leafy herbs” for the cilantro so as to keep with his preferences and ultimately allow him to enjoy the dish.