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.
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.
When Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis took the stage at New York City’s Times Center, it didn’t take long for these longtime friends and colleagues to start passing playful, well-meaning jabs to one another. The two joined Julia Moskin of The New York Times as part of a series of TimesTalks during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, and what followed was a lighthearted conversation about food, Food Network Star and their early days on the network. Never one to miss a beat, Bobby jokingly told the audience, “As you know, Giada invented Italian food,” while Food Network’s resident Italian superstar took the dig in stride before returning the favor to Bobby. She told the story of how he claimed on national television to have discovered a secret pasta-making strategy, when in fact it was she who deserved the credit.
In no time, their chat turned to the most-recent season of Food Network Star, in which Justin Warner, mentor Alton Brown’s Rebel With a Culinary Cause, scored the most votes from at-home viewers and was crowned Food Network’s newest star. Bobby and Giada, also mentors to teams of Star contenders, looked back on the season and agreed that while other contestants may have turned out better food, Justin “is a talented entertainer” and “has a real chance to make some noise” now that he has claimed the top prize.
Test Your Knowledge: FN Stars' Favorite Halloween Candy
Candy rules on Halloween and we all have our favorite Halloween treats. But do you know your favorite Food Network stars' picks? When this sweet holiday rolls around, they can be found eating everything from classic chocolate bars to crazy carbonated candy out of the Halloween stash.
Take this quiz and test your knowledge to see if you’re the ultimate Food Network fan.
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Which Food Network Star winner craves the irresistible combination of peanut and chocolate?
“I’m obsessed with licorice — but real licorice. It bridges the gap between adult and child. I hate candy. Most of it is so unimaginative.” Which Iron Chef said this?
Which two ladies of Food Network crave classic candy corn during Halloween?
Paula Deen and Sandra Lee
Rachael Ray and Paula Deen
Gina Neely and Paula Deen
Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli
This Chopped judge loves the crunch of a Butterfinger:
“All I care about is full-size candy — none of that bite-size nonsense!” Who said this?
This Ohio native’s favorite candy is chocolate-covered raisins:
Giada De Laurentiis
“My favorite Halloween candy is a good old-fashioned chocolate bar. Plus, if I have any leftovers, I can repurpose the plain chocolate bars for recipes — just chop.” Who said this?
This Food Network personality considers homemade candy corn good eats:
Though not commonly found in the Halloween candy stash, the carbonated candy Pop Rocks is still this Iron Chef’s favorite:
Who can be found munching on mini peanut butter cups?
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Halloween recipe inspiration: Food Network Kitchens turn ordinary foods into freaky Halloween snacks with exclusive and easy-to-do recipe ideas.
Just when you thought Rachael Ray had done it all, Food Network’s own 30-minute maven and the host of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off unleashed a “pup-up” food truck for dogs in New York City last week. This mobile canine caterer dishes out not your everyday kibble but human-quality meals like Chicken Muttballs, Beef Stroganwoof and Tail Waggin’ Turkey to packs of pooches across Manhattan. These “wet” dishes are part of the Nutrish Naturally Delish line of dog foods from Nutrish, Rachael’s own brand of dog food. We were on hand at the unveiling of this never-before-seen food truck and caught up with Rachael to find out why this truck is so important to her and learn the trick to preparing dog food from scratch at home.
A passionate dog owner herself, Rachael noticed that, in recent years, animal shelters have accumulated many unwanted dogs, so she took it upon herself to support them by donating all of her proceeds from Nutrish. “This is a way to raise a lot of money to help shelters large and small get the animals adopted,” she explained. She worked with Nutrish to create recipes similar to those she feeds her own dog, Isaboo, and makes sure that all of the food produced is wholesome and safe for pets.