When it comes to decking the halls, you can be sure that your favorite Food Network stars have no-fail recipes, easy entertaining tips and party-ready menus to help you host your best holiday ever. But have you ever wondered how these chefs celebrate the season when they’re away from the cameras? Among them, which are known for an infectious Christmas spirit, and who prefers to spend a casual holiday enjoying non-traditional eats and drinks? Do they like to curl up in front of the fireplace with their families, or are they drawn to the hustle and bustle of the season? We recently caught up with Paula Deen, Sunny Anderson, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and more Food Network favorites to find out the answers to these questions and more, and what they told us may surprise you.
Test Your Knowledge: How FN Stars Celebrate the Holidays
Think you know how the chefs celebrate the holidays? Take this quiz to find out, and learn about their plans for this season, memories of holidays past, ultimate Christmas menus and more bits of seasonal trivia.
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Who owns a full-size leg lamp similar to the one that's featured in the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story”?
One Christmas when she was a child, Sunny Anderson was given an extra-special teddy bear that she still has today. What did she name that teddy bear?
For Trisha Yearwood, the perfect holiday meal includes baked ham, green beans, coconut cake and what other dish to honor her late mother?
Which two stars have experienced holiday cooking disasters involving raw turkeys?
Alton Brown and Bobby Flay
Trisha Yearwood and Rachael Ray
Sandra Lee and Alex Guarnaschelli
Paula Deen and Robert Irvine
Flannel pajamas and mismatched socks are part of whose Christmas morning wardrobe?
Giada De Laurentiis
“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is whose favorite Christmas song?
How many Christmas trees does Sandra Lee set up in her home during the holiday season?
Jellyfish, dumplings and seafood-stuffed pineapple are often what you'll find which star enjoying on Christmas?
"Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate" is what this star said is part of her perfect holiday meal.
Giada De Laurentiis
Which two chefs consider “It's a Wonderful Life” to be their favorite Christmas movie?
Paula Deen and Alex Guarnaschelli
Robert Irvine and Rachael Ray
Sunny Anderson and Bobby Flay
Sandra Lee and Giada De Laurentiis
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No stranger to competitions, Masaharu Morimoto is one of the Chairman’s longest-standing Iron Chefs and a seasoned veteran of Kitchen Stadium, with more than 35 Iron Chef America battles under his belt. On Wednesday night, however, the tables will turn for this king of Japanese cuisine as he trades in his chef’s jacket and takes his place at the judges’ table of the Miss Universe Pageant.
The Iron Chef will join 16 other famous judges including musician CeeLo Green and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to oversee this annual pageant. As 89 contestants from around the world come together to compete in several rounds like a question-and-answer segment and evening gown presentation, it will be up to Iron Chef Morimoto and his fellow judges to determine who has proven herself worthy of the crown and the yearlong title of Miss Universe.
Food Network stars reveal their favorite cookbooks. Give one (or all!) to the chef in your house.
ALTON’S PICK: The Fireside Cook Book
Alton Brown’s most beloved cookbook, written by James Beard, isn’t about food science or crazy gadgets — it’s an old-school American classic. “It’s a clear portrait of American cuisine at its post World War II height, before the rise of California or fusion cuisine, or any cuisine for that matter,” he says. $30, Simon & Schuster
MARC’S PICK: The French Laundry Cookbook
Iron Chef Marc Forgione loves Thomas Keller’s fine-dining bible as much for how it looks as for what it says. “When I first picked up this book, I realized I had never seen food look like that before,” Marc says. “Reading Keller’s stories about ingredients, purveyors and staff helped me confirm that I wanted to be a chef.” $50, Artisan
We caught up withRon Ben-Israel, host of Sweet Genius and the mastermind behind Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City, to chat with him about some of his holiday favorites. As he’s known for creating some of the country’s finest couture cakes, we weren’t surprised when we asked him about his favorite holiday dessert and he named an old-fashioned classic that, when finished, is a spectacular conversation piece.
What’s your favorite holiday dessert?
I love some of the old-fashioned desserts that have now disappeared from restaurants. Things you used to get at a tea parlor, like at the Plaza Hotel. Something that is elaborate and beautiful and nostalgic for me is baked Alaska. I’m also crazy about baked egg whites, which is really what meringue is. I used to be fascinated seeing my mother whip egg whites into a foam for baked Alaska or for mousse. Watching them gather up air and triple in volume to become white peaks was fascinating. You can mix dollops of egg whites with sugar and make the most amazing baked kisses. For an easy baked Alaska, take ready-made ice cream, shape it into a dome, cover it with swirls of meringue and brown it. The crunchiness on the outside and billowy soft layer underneath — it’s not hard to do. You can add a layer of cake for an interesting effect, or pour some liqueur around it and ignite the whole thing for flambe. Bring that to the holiday table and it’ll be spectacular.
It seems that all Food Network recipes make the editors here drool, but sometimes there’s a recipe that really catches our eye and makes us stop dead in our tracks. This past Sunday Jeff Mauro did just that when he made the ultimate comfort food sandwich on Sandwich King: Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese With Bacon. A creation he credits to his son, Lorenzo, Jeff takes country white bread and layers it with an enormous serving of a classic, gooey, homemade mac and cheese, thick-cut smoked bacon, American cheese and tomatoes that have been soaked in hot sauce. If that doesn’t warm and fill you up on a cold day, well, we’d be impressed then.
Her fame may be relatively quiet — she doesn’t have a line of cookware, there isn’t a namesake restaurant — but make no mistake: Ina Garten is a powerhouse celeb chef.
Fans know her story well: From a White House budget analyst to specialty food-store owner, her path to stardom has been slow and steady. In 1978 she bought the Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton; after 20 years she quit and sold it to the employees, only then embarking on cookbooks. Her first was published in 1999.
Now, with her eighth cookbook (Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof ) out and her show entering its 11th year, the publicity-shy chef has plenty to dish about.
Get ready for the newest season of The Next Iron Chef by experiencing some of the most drool-worthy moments from seasons past at the Iron Chef’s restaurants. From the deliciously spicy dishes at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill to Michael Symon’s modern American food at Lola and the phenomenal Asian-fusion at Morimoto, you’re bound to find a secret ingredient to your liking. We’ve compiled the ultimate Food Network fan restaurant guide with the help of the On the Road app and website.
It’s hard not to be in a festive mood at Mesa Grill. There are so many margarita flavors and so much color in the food and decor that you can’t help but smile. But there’s serious cooking going on, too, with Bobby Flay’s love and mastery of all things Southwest coming through in every dish.
With the pint-sized costumes and hours of trick-or-treating that all but define Halloween, it can seem as though this spooky-sweet holiday is just for kids. But youngsters aren’t the only ones who can enjoy Halloween and especially the buckets of candy that come with it. Sure, store-bought miniature candy bars may be the treat of choice handed out to Batman, clowns and princess look-alikes on Wednesday night, but you don’t have to settle for individually wrapped peanut butter cups when feeding adults. For grown-up Halloween goodies, try making your own chocolate truffles with help from dessert extraordinaire Chef Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes bakeries in Maryland and California and the star of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Sugar High.
In partnership with Godiva, Duff recently launched Cake Truffles, a line of candy truffles inspired by classic desserts, and we caught up with him to get the secret to candy making for beginners and to find out his favorite truffle from the decadent collection.
After two hard-fought battles between Chefs Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong then Chefs Robert Treviño and Duskie Estes, the Next Iron ChefRoad to Redemption wraps up tomorrow with a third and final Kitchen Stadium showdown, this time between victors Chefs Wong and Estes. The chef whose cuisine reigns supreme will join nine rival chefs in the journey to claim the ultimate culinary title on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, premiering next Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c.
Until the battle begins, however, it seems as though the focus in Kitchen Stadium will be on Road to Redemption host and judge Alton Brown. In this sneak-peek shot from tomorrow’s finale, Alton turns the cameras on himself for a few moments of close-up face time before revealing the Secret Ingredient. Is he simply working on a blooper real, or is this one-man show part of the battle? Will we see the Road to Redemption‘s other judges, Simon Majumdar and Iron Chef Jose Garces, in similar frames?
Before you watch Chefs Wong and Estes face off for Kitchen Stadium glory, we’re challenging you, Next Iron ChefRoad to Redemption fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.