All Posts In Food Network Chef

#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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One-on-One with Sunny Anderson from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 10th, 2014

Sunny AndersonYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Sunny Anderson, then get to know the rest of the group.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Sunny Anderson: I am hungry, I am impatient and I am lazy. This is how I cook.

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
SA: I always talk about food, so why not get paid for it, right? And it’s a good excuse to get Geoffrey Zakarian to cook for me weekly.

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One-on-One with Marcela Valladolid from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 9th, 2014

Marcela ValladolidYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Marcela Valladolid, and check back tomorrow to hear from Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Marcela Valladolid: Quick, easy, approachable and Mexican at the core

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
MV: Because I wanted to add that perspective precisely. A lot of the hosts have kids — well, the Jeffries have kids — but I am the only one that’s a mom, and I think that’s a very important perspective to have. And also, I think I’m always going to try to infuse that Mexican flavor and Mexican ingredients, and I think that’s very relevant these days. I think there’s a huge interest in that, so I think you can infuse that at the same time as being incredibly approachable …. So I think there’s a huge interest in anything Hispanic, and I’d love to be able to be that voice on the show. I’m sure all of us appreciate, like I said, easy and approachable menus, but because, like I said, I’m a mom, it’s just something that I totally gravitate toward.

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Starting a New Habit in 2014: Eat a Salad a Day

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, January 9th, 2014

Starting a New Habit in 2014: Eat a Salad a DayI’d like to commit to having a salad a day this year. Who is with me?

Perhaps I should back up and start with a confession: I’m not a naturally disciplined person. Left to my devices, I will sleep until 10am, lounge about in sweats all day, never work out and order in spicy Thai food until my palate finally forces me to switch to a day of pizza(!). Yes, natural me is an ugly scene. That’s the bad news. The good news is I know this about me. And I also know how to create a life I really want, despite my human imperfections. What is the secret? It all comes down to one thing: creating habits that support the life I truly want to live that will circumvent my natural (read: lazier) tendencies. And what better time to start a new habit than now, amidst all the belly-gazing the new year inspires?

Why a salad a day? Why not an apple, as the saying goes? I’ve already done an apple a day for a year. It was brilliant and I still have an apple most days — proof that habits, even good ones, die hard, which is why it is doubly wise to choose our habits purposefully. Back to our salad, I feel better when I eat raw vegetables. I have more energy, my skin is clearer, my body feels leaner and I feel generally healthier. Committing simply to “eat more raw veggies” in the new year would be to trust my whims to lead me to a crudite plate night after night. As I mentioned before, I know myself. The first week, I would be making a gorgeous platter with elegant zucchini spears, cutely bulbous tiny heirloom tomatoes and mini sweet peppers perfect for scooping up a low-fat yogurt dip. But by the end of the month, I’d be pulling a baby carrot from the leftover dregs of my daughter’s lunchbox, mentally checking off the veggie resolution box. Not good.

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#TBT: Michael Symon

by in Food Network Chef, January 9th, 2014

Michael SymonIt’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.

Now a long-standing Iron Chef, Michael Symon had to earn his place in Kitchen Stadium through weeks of hard-fought battles on the first-ever season of The Next Iron Chef. He faced off against top rival chefs in the hopes of claiming the ultimate prize, and finally in 2007, Michael joined the ranks of The Chairman’s elite. He’s been battling competitors with sweet and savory Secret Ingredients ever since.

When it comes to his cooking style, Michael often celebrates the flavors of his Greek heritage and is especially keen on pork — any and all cuts of it. This meat man doesn’t shy away from bold flavors, letting everyday seasonal ingredients shine in order to create the freshest dishes, like Stewed Escarole with Feta, Grilled Rack of Pork with Cabbageand Chicken-and-Dumpling Soup. Fans appreciate Michael’s straightforward approach to his recipes and ability to combine Kitchen Stadium-worthy flavor with home cook-friendly techniques — not to mention his signature, unmistakable laugh.

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One-on-One with Katie Lee from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 8th, 2014

Katie LeeYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Katie Lee, and keep checking back to hear from Marcela and Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Katie Lee: I think simplicity is best. Use really great ingredients, and you don’t have to do a lot to them.

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
KL: When I first heard about this show, I thought it sounded like so much fun. The kitchen is truly the hangout heart of my home; everybody’s always in there. And to get in this kitchen with these people, it’s such a joy and so much fun.

Hear more from Katie

One-on-One with Jeff Mauro from The Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 7th, 2014

The KitchenYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Sandwich King Jeff Mauro, and keep checking back to hear from Katie, Marcela and Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Jeff Mauro: I’m a true dad home cook: I do it, I live it, and I want to be able to provide my family with the freshest, healthiest food in all shapes and sizes and forms.

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
JM: Other than being on Food Network, my dream was to have a talk show format where I can improvise, be funny and cook all at the same time, while interacting with other people, so to me it’s a dream come true.

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One-on-One with Geoffrey Zakarian from The Kitchen

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

The KitchenYou know GeoffreyJeffKatieMarcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian today, and keep checking back to hear from Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny.

Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Geoffrey Zakarian: Classically rooted with a modern edge

Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
GZ: I just love working with Food Network, but I love the composition of the show, and that we talk about all kinds of things …. The kitchen is where everything happens, basically.

Hear more from Geoffrey