All Posts In Food Network Chef

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.)

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.”

Read more

Post-Easter Guide to Using Up All Those Hard-Boiled Eggs

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, April 19th, 2014

Post-Easter Guide to Using Up Hard-Boiled EggsEaster is tomorrow, and for my family that means one thing: lots of hard-boiled eggs. We love to decorate them (see some of my fun ideas here), hunt for them and, of course, eat them. We always have a ton leftover, and over the years I’ve developed a number of strategies for breezing through even the most copious of hard-boiled-egg inventories. As Monday morning rolls around, take that basket full of colorful hard-boiled eggs sitting in your fridge and try these recipe ideas ranging from classic to never-before-seen.

Traditional Ideas, with a Twist:

— Deviled Eggs: Try some new flavor profiles such as an all-time favorite, Barbecue Ranch, or top deviled eggs with an upscale ingredient like a dab of caviar or some tuna tartare.

Read more

The Beginner’s Kitchen According to Marc Forgione

by in Food Network Chef, April 14th, 2014

Marc ForgioneA famed Iron Chef with multiple New York City restaurants, Marc Forgione is certainly no rookie cook, but that doesn’t mean he can’t dole out advice to those just beginning in the kitchen. Recently Marc hosted a hands-on cooking event wherein dozens of fans were tasked with manning the frying pan and making their own dinners, and while many guests were culinary novices, he guided them through the how-tos of making a successful hearty main dish. FN Dish was at this event and caught up with Marc to hear more about his take on elementary cooking, ask which go-to dish a beginner should learn and find out a few of his essential ingredients. Read on below to hear from Marc in an exclusive interview.

What’s the first dish a novice cook should learn to master?
Eggs. ‘Cause if you think about an egg, how many different ways can you cook an egg? Scrambled eggs, soft-scrambled eggs, hard-scrambled eggs, over easy, sunny-side up, soft-boiled, soft-poached, hard-boiled. It’s something that everybody has in their fridge all the time, and it’s almost like culinary school right in your refrigerator. Challenge yourself. When you figure out how to make the perfect sunny-side up, figure out how to make the perfect over easy.

Read more

Spring Into Spring with 4 Seasonal Ingredients

by in Food Network Chef, In Season, March 20th, 2014

Spring Into Spring With 4 Seasonal IngredientsSpring is here. I’ll admit that when I lived in colder climates such as Vermont or Paris, the arrival of spring was more anticipated (“When can I put my boots away?!”). I remember in Burlington, Vt., we had the tradition of breaking out our swimsuits on the first day that it hit 50 degrees F, a temperature that would have me snuggling up to the fireplace now. Even in San Diego, I’m excited about spring for two reasons. First, my daughters’ spring break is around the corner, and we are hunkering down for a family staycation here in San Diego (all the family time and fun, none of the stress of travel!). And the second reason I’m eager for the end of winter is — traditional spring food! Yes, I know these days we can get many ingredients year round, but they are lackluster compared to their in-season versions. Quite simply, there are certain flavors that are just better in that magical shoulder season between winter and summer.

Here’s my ideal springtime menu, featuring seasonal ingredients that you can get at any supermarket right now:

Asparagus: I’ll start here because it’s perhaps the quintessential spring vegetable, with its tender stalk and earthy flavor. While you can get asparagus many months of the year, the flavor (and the cost!) both tell you that spring is the time to indulge. I buy several bunches a week in peak season. My methods of cooking asparagus are almost exclusively roasting or grilling: a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and about 10 minutes in a hot oven (or seven minutes on a hot grill) is all it takes to bring out the natural sweetness and earthiness. Roasted asparagus can be served hot, at room temperature or cold (toss it with a tangy mustard vinaigrette for a fresh spring salad as in my Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette). Or cook for even less time to make a fresh soup (try my Almost-Raw Asparagus Soup with Yogurt and Almonds — it couldn’t be easier to serve spring in a bowl).

Read more