Sandra Lee was on hand in New York City this week as House Beautiful magazine launched its annual showcase of the Kitchen of the Year, an over-the-top dream kitchen and outdoor space constructed in the heart of Manhattan. This year’s design was the masterpiece of Mick De Giulio. He wanted to create a space that would be not only functional for cooking but also warm, inviting and the center of the home.
All Posts In Food Network Chef
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This coming Monday, the James Beard Foundation will host its annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center to honor the chefs and restaurateurs who made the food industry unforgettable in 2011. This year, the foundation has asked Food Network’s own Alton Brown to host the awards. A true entertainer and culinary superstar, Alton’s no stranger to hosting gigs. Between Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America and previous seasons of Food Network Star, the James Beard Foundation should rest easy knowing they have a pro on stage.
Last year, Alton Brown was awarded the Best TV Food Personality Award for Good Eats. Prior to that, in 2003, he was awarded the Book Award in the Reference category for his first book, I’m Just Here for the Food (2002).
We recently caught up with Alton to ask him about this honor, especially since the foundation will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.
You’ve hosted numerous shows on Food Network, but this somehow seems different. What are you doing to prepare? Are you nervous?
Prepare? Absolutely. A couple of jokes and an escape route. Nervous? Let’s say I’m appropriately aware.
Last night we watched one of the most anticipated Chopped All-Stars episodes of the series. Four Chopped judges — Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy and Chris Santos — took their place on the Chopping Block to compete for the fourth and final spot in the finale and $50,000 for their charity.
If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode, divulge the winner and chat with the runner-up.
Country music star Trisha Yearwood invites y’all into her Nashville kitchen starting tomorrow morning (10:30am/9:30c) on Food Network. She’ll cook up Southern favorites, share stories and keep her door open for family and friends.
Yesterday, Food Network Facebook, Twitter and Google+ fans got the chance to ask Trisha about her favorites, like Sunday meals, comfort foods and potluck pleasers.
@paint_it_golden on Twitter asked: What’s your favorite dish to cook on a regular basis?
TY: Basic stuff like spaghetti and black-bean lasagna.
@kongatoast on Twitter asked: What’s your favorite Sunday meal?
TY: Having roast beef, rice and gravy always reminds me of Sundays growing up.
Ann Garvin on Facebook asked: How do you plan out your weekly menu?
TY: Haha! I don’t. I have good intentions, but I never seem to plan ahead.