All Posts In Food Network Chef

#TBT: Marcela Valladolid

by in Food Network Chef, February 6th, 2014

Marcela ValladolidIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

While Marcela Valladolid may be one of five fresh faces on the all-new series The Kitchen, she got her start on Food Network as the premiere resource on Mexican cuisine. Born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, this culinary school-trained chef spent time as a caterer before moving stateside to pursue her first-ever Food Network series, Mexican Made Easy.

Marcela recently told FN Dish that her culinary point of view is “quick, easy, approachable and Mexican at the core,” which is likely why her go-to recipes from Mexican Made Easy have become some of fans’ favorite Mexican dishes. With her relatable explanations and helpful tips, she’s broken down traditional cooking techniques to make them simple for home cooks and has shared recipes for reinvented classics, like Mexico City-Style Tacos, Easiest-Ever Chicken Mole Enchiladas and Shrimp Ceviche.

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Alton’s Dream Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages Revealed

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

Alton's Dream Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages RevealedLet’s set the scene: utensils made from aluminum, no salt, missing ingredients and an evilicious grin to top it off. These are all the ingredients that make up Cutthroat Kitchen. Every Sunday night, Alton dishes out sabotages that can trip up even the best of chefs — but here’s the kicker: Alton truly enjoys watching the chefs distribute and overcome the obstacles that are thrown at them.

“I love seeing people play the game, so anything that accentuates that, I’m a fan of. I grew up loving game shows,” Alton recently told FN Dish on the set of his show. “The auctioning segments are my favorite part — I enjoy the strategies used by the chefs,” he continued saying.

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From Food to Football: Guy Fieri to Compete in Celebrity Beach Bowl

by in Events, Food Network Chef, January 29th, 2014

Guy FieriYou know him as the blond, blinged-out host of Triple D and one of two culinary mentors on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, but this weekend Guy Fieri is putting his kitchen chops aside to show off his skills on a sandy football field. Along with such famous faces as actors Tracy Morgan and Chace Crawford, personalities Kevin Frazier and Artie Lange, and model Hannah Davis, Guy will compete in DIRECTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl in New York City ahead of Sunday’s big game. Every year the biggest names in entertainment join forces with top-notch athletes in a friendly flag football game, and this Saturday the game will prove greater than ever as NFL Hall of Famers Joe Montana, Deion Sanders and Warren Moon join the superstar roster.

The celebration kicks off Saturday at 10a|9c in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park at Pier 40 when DIRECTV hosts a tailgate for fans, then a pregame show starts at 1|12c, followed by the all-stars taking the field at 2|1c for the start of the game. Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern will be on hand to work the crowd during the halftime show at 2:30, and after the game at about 3:20|2:30c, Paramore take the stage to belt out their latest hits.

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Sunny Anderson’s Big-Game Bash

by in Food Network Chef, January 27th, 2014

Sunny AndersonWhen it comes to the big game, no one tackles football food quite like Sunny Anderson. She’s a passionate football fan with a knack for turning out touchdown-worthy classics like wings, chili, dips and nachos at home, and her kickoff plan for easy entertaining is a cinch to follow and guarantees stress-free hosting. Just in time for next weekend’s big game, FN Dish chatted with Sunny to find out her ultimate team matchup and go-to chili toppings, plus learn what she’ll be cooking for the celebration and a few good-to-know party tips. Read on below to hear from Sunny, then watch her video to find out more about her kickoff solutions.

What is your dream team matchup for the big game?
Sunny Anderson: I think my dream matchup … would be Jets versus Giants. Let’s just settle it. The Giants are better. Let’s just grudge-match settle it.

What will you be cooking for the big game this year?
SA: I’m cooking everything. Usually I do a smorgasbord of wings. So I like to just do, like, two or three wings. So it’s usually going to be the basics, which is like a good spicy wing — a Buffalo wing — and then I go crazy from there, so definitely my PB&J Wings, and then I’m in love with Sticky Onion Crunch Wings, another recipe that I just put together. And then just lots of, like, dips; I have a crab-avocado, guacamole-type thing. And then you’ve gotta have dessert, because to me, dessert is like what you serve when you’re ready for people to go home. It’s your cue to leave when the coffee and dessert comes out.

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Marking the Joy of Another Year — How the d’Arabians Do Birthday Season

by in Family, Food Network Chef, January 24th, 2014

Zucchini Muffins with Orange-Maple GlazeIt’s officially birthday season in the d’Arabian household: Two of my daughters, my husband, my brother-in-law and two nephews (who live a few houses away) all have birthdays within a three-week period. (Come to think of it, maybe we just have a big family?)

Birthdays are a celebration of another year — a year filled with loving one another, laughing, good times, tough times and being connected. The candles on the cake remind us that life is in session and we are participating. And the number of candles isn’t the only reminder (“Mom, your cake has so many candles it’s going to catch fire!”). How we celebrate also speaks to the passage of time. It seems like just yesterday we were lighting a “1″ candle on a cupcake that my daughter couldn’t have cared less about and giving her gifts that she lacked the dexterity to open. The princess party years breezed by, although if you had asked me as I stood in line, yet again, at Disney Store for the latest sparkly costume, I was sure they wouldn’t. Last week, a new milestone: our first “real” boy/girl party. Valentine turned 9 and wanted an evening party, including dinner and a dance area on our patio.

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#TBT: Geoffrey Zakarian

by in Food Network Chef, January 23rd, 2014

Geoffrey ZakarianIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

Although he’s a relatively new addition to Kitchen Stadium and recently launched a brand-new series, The Kitchen, with four other co-hosts, Geoffrey Zakarian is a longtime Chopped judge, having been part of the panel since the show’s premiere season in 2009. Now recognized equally for his dapper ensembles and his harsh critiques at the Chopping Block, Geoffrey is a no-nonsense judge, able to note the intricacies of a competitor’s dish and offer constructive reviews on how to better it in the future.

A pillar of the restaurant industry, Geoffrey has two eateries in Manhattan, serves as the culinary director for The Plaza Hotel in New York City, and has ventures in Miami and at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City. Despite these commitments, however, and his dedication to serving only the finest cuisine at his restaurants, Geoffrey connects to viewers with ease and shares quick-fix, crave-worthy recipes that home cooks can surely replicate. His Caesar Salad with Red Romaine is a hearty, simple salad that can be on the table in a quick 20 minutes, and just this month on The Kitchen, Geoffrey offered a recipe for Italian Chicken Pasta Salad that takes advantage of store-bought rotisserie chicken.
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The Kitchen from Marcela’s Point of View — with Photos!

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 21st, 2014

Behind the Scenes on The Kitchen, Episode 3by Marcela Valladolid

It’s my turn this week to take you behind the scenes of our new show, The Kitchen. On behalf of Geoffrey, Katie, Jeff and Sunny, I’d like to tell you how absolutely grateful we are for the feedback, ideas, photos, recipes and love you’ve sent our way. All five of us, along with what has to be one of the best production crews I’ve ever worked with, are constantly looking for and debating what topics, recipes and ideas you would find most interesting.

Personally, I want you to walk away from each show feeling like you have learned something — like it was worth sharing your hour with us. We all have very different perspectives on food and cooking, and, I think, that’s what’s so great about The Kitchen; at one point or another, someone is going to say something that you connect with.

I’m injecting this show with two syringes: la mom and, because it’s in my DNA, la Mexican. It’s remarkable how even though I’ve dedicated my life to food, I’m still stumped every once in a while about what to put on the table for Fau (aka Fausto, my son). Anybody can buy a rotisserie chicken and make some tacos (often dinner at this casa), but what if you don’t even have time to go to the grocery store and get the darn chicken? What if, more than once a week, it’s like a Chopped episode and you just open up the pantry praying that you’ve got enough in there to whip up something good and nutritious for your family?

Behind-the-scenes photos

#TBT: The Neelys

by in Food Network Chef, January 16th, 2014

The NeelysIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

The king and queen of down-home barbecue, husband and wife Patrick and Gina Neely are best when they’re together, one of only a few groups on Food Network to co-host a show. Their first-ever series on the network, Down Home with the Neelys, featured Pat and Gina cooking alongside each other, swapping stories about their family’s recipes, tips on executing their dishes at home and surely plenty of laughs.

Pat and Gina specialize in making traditional barbecue, and while that has different meanings across the United States, the Neelys most often focus on classic Tennessee ’cue, turning out Memphis-Style Hickory-Smoked Beef and Pork Ribs, Barbecue Baked Beans and Honey Cornbread Muffins. Although some barbecue recipes have a tendency to be complicated and require tricky cooking techniques, Pat and Gina’s are simple to follow and deliver tried-and-true results, thanks to their fan-friendly style of breaking down each component of a recipe and showing how it  can be replicated easily at home.

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14 Things You Didn’t Know About Alton Brown

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 14th, 2014

10 Things You Didn't Know About Alton BrownMost fans believe Alton Brown‘s a walking food dictionary (and he is). He’s the ultimate commentator on Iron Chef America, he’s a mentor and judge on Food Network Star and no one will ever forget Good Eats. But there’s still so much to learn about this pillar of Food Network. FN Dish caught up with Alton on the set of his newest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, where he chatted about survival techniques for future competitors and even a couple things you may not know about the man who so many admire and look up to.

1. When Alton was younger, he always thought he would end up directing movies, which is what he trained for. “Only I got sidestepped into commercials for a long time.”

2. Alton spends a lot of time flying airplanes.

3. Alton plays multiple instruments including the guitar. “I always travel with a guitar when I’m on the road.” He also sings with his trio on his live tour.

4. Going along with music: Alton almost always listens to music while he cooks. The playlist depends on the day. “I’m anywhere from opera to Led Zeppelin — and everywhere in between. My daughter is 14 and listens to a lot of pop stuff, so I tend to gravitate way, far away from whatever she’s listening to. I have music on in the kitchen all the time. The last 10 things I cooked were probably to mid-’70s Elton John,” Alton shared with FN Dish.

5. Alton is terrified of calf’s liver. “I’ve tried it and I can’t make it edible. I don’t like anyone else’s either — and mine is just worse,” Alton adds.

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The Sophomore Effort

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 12th, 2014

The Kitchen - Behind the Scenes, Episode 2by Jeff Mauro

What a blast it was watching the premiere of The Kitchen along with all of you. The twitter action was bonkers. I was up in the air on my way back from the 14th annual Mauro Mexico Family Trip (25 Mauros strong this year!). I was sad because: A) The vacation was a bit of a bummer because it rained five days straight, I lost my iPad and my mom got a terrible case of strep throat*, and B) I wasn’t able to watch the live airing of the premiere of our new show on TV. Luckily, we had in-flight Wi-Fi and I got to engage in the episode via Twitter. Overall, the response was very positive, which is always reassuring. Twittertown can be a rough and tumble joint (keep reading, you’ll see what I mean), and it is seriously not for the meek. But in this case, it seemed like the people really liked us. Phew.

Episode 2 was a blast to shoot. We hit the field energetic and, with a couple practices and a solid game under our tight belts, more confident. We had our first guest during Cookbook Club — the highly talented pastry guru, author and legitimate Chicago native Jenny McCoy (win a copy of her book now). She gave an effortless interview in which I totally blew it and forgot to ask her my favorite question ever (see photo below). Jenny then demoed some of her award-winning desserts with the girls, and GZ and I promptly got kicked off set. This gave us a bit of a “union break.” I enjoyed a necessary dose of Jersey sunshine with GZ (which I guess was highly necessary, considering I received several tweets, one claiming I look “pretty pale” and another asking “What’s with Jeff’s alabaster skin? It’s gross.”). Noted.**

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