All Posts In Food Network Chef

Katie Lee’s Strategies for Summer Entertaining, Plus Her Cookout Staples

by in Entertaining, Food Network Chef, May 31st, 2014

Katie LeeThis week marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and with that comes three months of hazy days, late-night swims and surely plenty of grilling. While burgers, hot dogs and barbecue are no-fail menu items, the classic preparations for these favorites can get tired year after year, and so this morning’s episode of The Kitchen was dedicated to go-to grilled recipes, seasonal how-tos and party ideas that deliver ideal results every time. Recently FN Dish caught up with Katie Lee, who dished on what it takes to pull off — and enjoy — a summertime soiree at home. Read her exclusive interview below to learn her take on the season’s must-haves, and get her ideas for make-ahead dishes plus tips on hosting a crowd.

What are some of your must-haves for summer cookouts?
Katie Lee: I like to make side dishes that I can do ahead of time that can be kept in the refrigerator and pulled out when it’s time for dinner. I always do some kind of grain salad, like a quinoa salad or a farro salad. Corn on the cob is a must. My summer cocktail of choice is an Aperol Spritz. A big bucket that you can fill with ice and all your drinks so that people can serve themselves. Reusable plastic wine glasses so that you’re not creating a lot of trash, but you also don’t have to worry about somebody breaking glass near the pool or outside.

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Exclusive: Alton Previews the First-Ever Cutthroat Kitchen Judges’ Battle

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 29th, 2014

Alton BrownFor the first time on Sunday night (at 10|9c), the contestants taking their turns on Cutthroat Kitchen won’t be everyday chef-competitors; instead the judges, Antonia Lofaso, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jet Tila and Simon Majumdar, will enter the throes of sabotage and battle against each other for Cutthroat glory. Although the group is most familiar with simply tasting the aftermath of a challenge, they’re keenly aware of the kinds of evilicious obstacles Alton‘s been known to auction off. Just ahead of this weekend’s special episode, FN Dish checked in with Alton to find out what he has planned. Read on below to hear from Alton in an exclusive interview and learn his thoughts on the competition plus his advice for the judges.

Regardless of who’s competing — contestants or judges — what is one key piece of advice you think everyone should know before beginning a Cutthroat battle?
Alton Brown: Shop for the unexpected. It’s easy to grab ingredients for a specific dish, but remember … in Cutthroat Kitchen you never know what sabotages might be coming your way. Don’t just load for bear; load for monsters.

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The Magical All-Purpose Broth

by in Food Network Chef, May 29th, 2014

That Magical All-Purpose BrothLast week I shared tips on stocking the fridge with some of my favorite waistline-friendly foods. Today I’m sharing an easy recipe for my secret weapon: a fast, healthy and flavorful meal in just about no time. I call it All-Purpose Broth. The star ingredient? Miso paste.

Before I dive into the greatness that is the All-Purpose Broth, let me start by giving you a very basic miso primer: Miso is fermented soybean paste used in Japanese cuisine and it has a salty, savory, slightly nutty flavor and is full of glutamates, which imparts umami (savory flavor). The lighter the color in miso paste, the milder the flavor. White miso paste is milder than yellow, red or intense brown varieties. I usually buy white or yellow, which are both mellow and delicious — and readily available at most neighborhood supermarkets. (But try other versions, too, for a deeper, more intense flavor, and try out the miso soup at high-end Japanese restaurants to explore artisan miso pastes that you won’t find on your average grocery store shelf.) The exact health benefits of miso paste are somewhat debated, but proponents tout its levels of vitamin B12 and antioxidants, as well as its positive impact on the immune system. Others swear by its ability to alleviate common cold symptoms. In any case, I love it as an easy go-to pantry item for lean and tasty meals on the fly, which brings me back to my All-Purpose Broth.

Here’s how it works: Basically I load up each individual serving bowl with whatever I have on hand (leftover chicken breast, a spoonful of quinoa, shredded veggies, a piece of grilled fish or maybe I’ll cube up some tofu). I make a quick broth and then pour it over the contents of the bowl. And then I eat it, with a smile, patting myself on the back for making a meal that is thrifty, fast, delicious, healthy and versatile.

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Melissa’s Top 10 Supermarket Savings Strategies

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 22nd, 2014

Melissa's Top 10 Supermarket Saving Strategies1. Grab the smallest cart available: Studies have shown that grocery stores can do one simple thing that will result in you unwittingly spending more money — put out bigger grocery carts. So use this information to your advantage and always select the smallest cart available. And if only one size is offered, then either use the hand held basket (if possible), or make your cart visually “smaller” by filling it up with inexpensive produce first, before hitting the rest of the store.

2. Buy meat when it’s a loss leader: Imagine a world in which all your meat was 50 percent off (or more!) — it’s doable if you shop the loss leaders. Every week in major grocery store chains, there is usually one beef, one chicken and one pork cut on sale for 50 to 75 percent off its normal price. The objective of a loss leader is to get shoppers in the door of a supermarket, and though the store may take a hit on this one item, they know that you will also likely buy the rest of your groceries while you’re in the store (and make up the cost). I like to stock up on a few packages of these loss-leader meat items because meat freezes so beautifully. Then you always have a stock of various meats at the ready for diverse and cost-effective family dinners. (Wine is also sometimes a loss leader.)

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Geoffrey Zakarian’s Brunch and Farmers Market Tips

by in Food Network Chef, May 22nd, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian's Brunch and Farmers Market TipsBrunch and farmers markets: When it comes to weekend events, they’re right up there with sleeping in. FN Dish recently caught up with the chef/owner of The Lambs Club and The National, both in New York City, and asked about his strategies for shopping farmers markets and hosting a weekend brunch.

FN Dish: What are your top tips for navigating a farmers market?
Geoffrey Zakarian: First things first: Don’t buy anything for the first half-hour. See what you see. Ask for samples of everything. Then sit down for a minute and have a coffee and write down what you’re going to buy. Don’t be manic — everybody buys way too much. They get excited, they buy this and then say: “Why did I do that? This chocolate looks better, but I just bought this chocolate!” Just take a deep breath.

FN Dish: You’re hosting a brunch at your house. What do you make?
GZ: I make a roast with a bunch of vegetable side dishes that are all cooked together in one pan. Then I make a garden salad and maybe some cheese and salumi — done.

FN Dish: What’s your go-to brunch drink?
GZ: At brunch, I like rosé champagne. Bloody Marys are great, but if you start on Bloody Marys and then you want to have wine or champagne later, you’re just going to get trashed. So it’s best to start with rosé champagne; you can do champagne for the rest of the evening.

Watch: Guy Takes Fans on a Tour of the New Flavortown Market

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 6th, 2014

A new season of Guy’s Grocery Games premieres Sunday, May 11 at 8|7c, and to get fans excited, Guy’s showing everyone the new digs. That’s right: This season, Flavortown Market moves to Guy’s hometown, Santa Rosa, Calif.

“First and foremost, this set — Flavortown Market — will knock your socks off. It has the most-eclectic and most-international profile of ingredients available,” Guy tells FN Dish. “When you use the term ‘super’ in ‘supermarket,’ that’s what this set is — it’s truly defining in all shapes and sizes. The aisles are wider, the lighting is better, so it makes it easier for the chefs to shop and see what’s on the shelves. Going along with the shelves, the culinary team has stocked and set them up so they’re far more shopper friendly. There are a lot of great markets around the country, but I wish Flavortown Market really existed.”

Tour the new Flavortown Market before the start of the new season by clicking the play button above.

Robert Irvine Reflects on 100 Episodes of Restaurant: Impossible

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 4th, 2014

Robert Irvine and the Restaurant: Impossible TeamThe nature of Restaurant: Impossible is such that Robert Irvine doesn’t know what he’s going to walk into when he begins his missions at eateries across the country. This week marks the show’s 100th episode, and while he’s found filthy kitchens and ruthless employees at some business, he’s stumbled upon disjointed menus and disjointed decor at others. But no matter the condition of the business when he arrives, he and his team have always used their two days and $10,000 budget to give restaurants the best second chance at success possible.

Just in time for Wednesday’s special episode, airing May 7 at 10|9c, to celebrate the 100th show, Robert looked back on the nearly eight seasons of renovations and reflected on some of his most-memorable missions to date. Read on below to hear from Robert in an exclusive interview and find out what he’s learned along the way, as well as his top tips for business owners.

What’s been the single most-rewarding moment from 7+ seasons of Restaurant: Impossible?

It’s impossible to just choose one moment. The restaurants that we visit on the show are not just “missions,” they are like children to me. Each has its own challenges, personalities and outcomes. Each family will always be special and hold an important place in my heart — even the really difficult ones.

What’s one thing you have learned from or experienced on this show that you didn’t expect to when you first began it?

I began the show focused on fixing businesses but quickly realized that, more important than food cost and menu changes, the families and relationships involved need to be fixed first if anything we do is going to remain a success. That’s why you may have noticed the change in dynamic from the first season to now, where I evolved too, from business consultant to being more of a counselor.

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Marcela Valladolid’s Cinco de Mayo Must-Haves

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, May 3rd, 2014

Tres Leches CakeThis morning’s episode of The Kitchen was largely dedicated to Cinco de Mayo — plus mayonnaise at times — so the co-hosts came together to host a celebratory fiesta complete with warm, sweet churros, more than 50 types of tacos and a colorful pinata. While on the set of the show recently, FN Dish caught up with Marcela Valladolid to get her take on Cinco ahead of Monday’s holiday. Read on below to learn her tips for pulling off a Mexican-themed bash at home, and find out how she puts her signature spin on traditional eats and drinks, then check out her top-rated recipe for Tres Leches Cake (pictured above).

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your home?
Marcela Valladolid: I don’t. … Nobody in all of Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo. … Many folks on this side of the border confuse it with Mexican independence day, which is actually Sept. 16. … I didn’t really start getting into the holiday until I moved to the U.S. about five years ago, to San Diego. ‘Cause in downtown San Diego, it’s huge. It’s margaritas all over the place. Growing up in Mexico, I was like, it’s so crazy that they’re even celebrating, but now I like to embrace the fact that they’re just celebrating Mexican culture, and there’s such wonderful beauty about that.

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Louisville’s Top Spots for Breakfast, Sweets and Drinks for Derby Weekend

by in Events, Food Network Chef, May 2nd, 2014

If you’re heading to Louisville this weekend for the Kentucky Derby, look no further for food-and-drink recs. The most-recent Food Network Star winner, Louisville resident Damaris Phillips, recently took Food Network on a tour of her hometown favorites, including picks for breakfast, dessert and refreshing libations. Click play on the video above and be prepared to salivate.

Keep Watching: Get Damaris’ Top 5 Cocktails in Louisville

Flavortown Market Is Back and It’s Bigger Than Ever — Guy Dishes on Season 2

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 24th, 2014

Guy Fieri Dishes on Season 2 of Guy's Grocery GamesGuy’s bringing Flavortown Market back in an all-new season of Guy’s Grocery Games, premiering May 11 at 8|7c. Fans of the show will be excited to see returning judges Melissa d’Arabian, Richard Blais, Troy Johnson and Catherine McCord — as well as some new faces. But that’s not all. Guy’s challenging a brand-new roster of chefs on an all-new set. That’s right — this season, Flavortown Market moves to Guy’s hometown, Santa Rosa, Calif. FN Dish recently caught up with Guy on set and asked him what viewers can expect to see this season.

“First and foremost, this set — Flavortown Market — will knock your socks off. It has the most-eclectic and most-international profile of ingredients available,” Guy shares. “When you use the term ‘super’ in supermarket, that’s what this set is — it’s truly defining in all shapes and sizes. The aisles are wider, the lighting is better, so it makes it easier for the chefs to shop and see what’s on the shelves. Going along with the shelves, the culinary team has stocked and set them up so they’re far more shopper-friendly. There are a lot of great markets around the country, but I wish Flavortown Market really existed.”

So what can fans expect in Season 2? “I think the biggest difference is that competitors have seen the show, so they have insight into the mechanics of it. When chefs walked in the door the first season, you’d hear, ‘Well, now what do we do?’ But since most have seen the show, they understand how it progresses,” Guy explains. “I also think a bigger profile of chefs has been made available — so the competition is even more fierce.”

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