All Posts In Food Network Chef

Damaris Phillips’ Top Tips for Making Biscuits and Gravy

by in Food Network Chef, November 25th, 2013

Damaris PhillipsJust in time for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, Food Network Star winner Damaris Phillips, a lifelong southerner with a knack for baking and the host of Southern at Heart, is demystifying biscuit making so that you can skip the store-bought tubes of dough and make your own buttery beauties at home. This Kentucky native is known for enjoying her biscuits with gravy for breakfast, and just last month she took the stage with fellow Food Network Star alum Justin Warner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival to fuse her classic recipe with another morning favorite: bagels and lox. She walked fans through the step-by-step of creating this hybrid breakfast while chatting about basic biscuit-and-gravy how-tos, like simple tricks for cutting biscuits and the importance of cooking the flour in the gravy roux. Read on below to get Damaris’ top-six tips, then try her recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Pork Loin, Apple Mustard Butter and Salad.

1. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter at home; a round glass will do the trick.

2. There are two kinds of biscuits: flaky and cakey. Damaris prefers the cakey variety, as they’re better suited for sopping up gravy, so consider this if you plan on serving your biscuits with gravy as well.

3. When making the roux for the gravy — the mixture of fat (here, butter) and flour — it’s important to let the flour cook for a bit so it loses its raw flavor. The more you cook it, the darker the roux will be.

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#TBT: Jeff Mauro

by in Food Network Chef, November 21st, 2013

Jeff MauroIt’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 Jeff Mauro is now a firmly ingrained Food Network chef, his first days on TV weren’t actually as a star — instead, he was a star in the making, as he was one of 15 finalists to compete on Food Network Star, Season 7.

During the run of the competition in 2011, Jeff offered a sandwich-focused point of view in the kitchen, explaining, “You are only a couple steps away from turning any sandwich into a meal and any meal into one fantastic sandwich.” His unique culinary niche, coupled with his on-camera charm and comedic timing, caught the attention of the Selection Committee, including Food Network executives Bob and Susie, and they ultimately welcomed him to the Food Network family as the first-ever Sandwich King. Jeff’s premiere series, titled after his nickname, aired that summer with a mix of sandwich recipes inspired by his Italian heritage, his hometown of Chicago and some of his favorite meals.

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Southern Cooking According to Damaris

by in Food Network Chef, November 20th, 2013

Damaris PhillipsAs a competitor on Food Network Star this past summer, Damaris Phillips didn’t stray from her Southern point of view in the kitchen. She used her lifelong experience of living in Kentucky and her passion for traditional Southern ingredients to establish herself as the ultimate authority on the cuisine, and when she told Bob and Susie in her pitch that “Southern food is the food of love,” they were quick to believe her. She’s maintained her tendency for Southern-style cooking on her first-ever series, Southern at Heart, airing Sundays at 10:30am/9:30c, where she helps love-struck guys turn out deliciously comforting Southern dishes with the classic ingredients of the region. FN Dish caught up with Damaris in her hometown of Louisville to find out more about her penchant for Southern cuisine, like her ultimate down-home meal. Read on below to hear from Damaris and find out her go-to Southern goods, the secret to making the best-ever grits and more.

What’s your favorite Southern meal, the one down-home dish you’re always craving?
Damaris Phillips: Cornbread and milk. It’s my favorite. I also love beans and cornbread. First you have pinto beans or butter beans and cornbread for dinner, and then the next morning, inevitably, there’s leftover cornbread. You take that cornbread into a glass, cold milk over the top and you just eat it — [with] maybe some honey. I like to put a little honey on there. It’s like cornflakes, kind of. Not really, but kind of.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Trisha Yearwood

by in Food Network Chef, November 18th, 2013

10 Things You Didn't Know About Trisha YearwoodFor a self-professed “chick singer who cooks,” Trisha Yearwood has been more than successful — much more. She’s on her fourth season of hosting Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, and, after two best-selling cookbooks, she’s back in the kitchen working on another. Yet despite her double dose of fame (and high-profile marriage to Garth Brooks), the Georgia native is as grounded as ever, evinced by her answer-any-question demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Here, our top takeaways from her event:

1. The slow cooker is her secret weapon. “I’m all about easy. If it’s hard to do, I pretty much won’t do it,” she says. “I grew up making stuff in the Crock-Pot. Things like chili, stews or soups — anything that could cook all day long.” Lately, one of her favorite ways to use it is for turtle candy. “Making dessert in the slow cooker is the coolest thing ever and it’s super, super simple,” she says.

2. She’s a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. It’s all about the big voice for Trisha. Growing up, her music hero was Linda Ronstadt; these days, it’s Clarkson. “Her voice is so powerful, amazing and emotional,” she says. She’s such a fan, in fact, that she worked with Clarkson (and country legend Reba McEntire) on a special Christmas album, which debuted in October.

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One-on-One with Marc Murphy: Inside His New Restaurant, Kingside

by in Food Network Chef, November 16th, 2013

Marc Murphy's KingsideWhile so many restaurateurs struggle to launch and maintain businesses in New York City, Chef Marc Murphy appears to have found the secret to success. When this Chopped judge isn’t joining his fellow panel members at the table in reviewing contestants’ best attempts at basket dishes, he’s busy running restaurant kitchens at his five Manhattan restaurants: two locations each of Ditch Plains and Landmarc, plus his newest venture, Kingside. Having opened just last month, Marc’s Kingside is the first of his restaurants to reside in a hotel, and it is his only “new-American” menu, featuring a list of offerings with French, Spanish and Italian influences. FN Dish caught up with Marc at Kingside, located in midtown Manhattan’s Viceroy Hotel, to chat about his latest project, learn more about his goals in opening the restaurant and find out how he manages his busy schedules, both in the kitchen and on Chopped. Read on below to hear from Marc, then browse exclusive snapshots to take a photo tour of Kingside and see some of Marc’s most-popular dishes at Kingside.

What are you most excited about in opening Kingside?
Marc Murphy: I haven’t done a new concept in about five years, and in those five years, I think I’ve gotten a lot more popularity on Chopped, and I think a lot of the times people are like, “Oh, those chefs on TV kind of thing,” and I’m like, “Well, yeah, I’m still a working chef,” and I love doing what I do, and I’m excited to be able to produce new food and [a] new concept to my beautiful city.

How is Kingside different from your other restaurants, Ditch Plains and Landmarc?
MM: I guess I’ve opened myself up to be able to do different cuisines here, in the sense we’re calling it “new American,” where I can really sort of branch out and pull different influences from other countries, like Spain. You sort of let loose a bit with new-American cuisine, I feel. I can have a little more liberties, because Ditch Plains is really a New York-style fish shack, so I kind of have to stay within that vocabulary, and Landmarc is a bistro with some Italian influences, so you can’t start making sushi if you’re doing a bistro. I feel as though if somebody is going to come to your restaurant, you have to sort of keep true to what the concept is.

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Marc Forgione Looks Back on Three Years as an Iron Chef

by in Food Network Chef, November 16th, 2013

Iron Chef Marc ForgioneWith almost three years of Iron Chef America battles behind him since winning The Next Iron Chef, Marc Forgione is in no way the rookie of Kitchen Stadium anymore — after all, Iron Chefs Zakarian and Guarnaschelli have both accepted the famed title after him. He clinched the win in 2010, and from that point on he’s been reinventing the secret ingredients to make Chairman-worthy plates in each and every battle, and challenging not only his opposing chefs but also himself to compete at a higher level. Fresh off the opening of his third New York City restaurant, American Cut, FN Dish sat down with Marc to reflect on the past few years of Kitchen Stadium contests and to find out how he balances the demands of restaurant cooking and Iron Chef competitions. Read on below to hear from Iron Chef Forgione and learn which of his restaurants’ dishes he’s re-created on television and more.

It’s been almost three years since you won The Next Iron Chef. What’s been the most-surprising thing you’ve learned in that time?
Marc Forgione: Especially being in New York City, you can’t — whether you want to or not — you can’t rest on your laurels. There’ll be somebody just as hungry, or hungrier, or just as hungry as you were right there waiting for you to fall down so that they can start taking your customers and people can start talking about them. New York is the cliche: If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. But once you get there, it’s tough to stay there. You have to make sure that you can.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Guy Fieri

by in Food Network Chef, November 15th, 2013

10 Things You Didn't Know About Guy FieriYou know him for his trademark bleached hair, for flame-covered cooking gear, and, of course, his monster hit shows Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite and now Guy’s Grocery Games. But there’s plenty more that you don’t know about his royal dudeness, Guy Fieri. Read on to discover a few surprising insights the Food Network star shared during his cooking demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival.

1. He doesn’t believe in kid-friendly recipes. “What do your kids like to eat? That’s a good kid-friendly recipe,” he says. Even better: Ask them to help in the kitchen. “Get them involved with whatever you cook. Let them feel something!” It’ll turn picky eaters into enthusiastic ones, Guy says.

2. He’d take a wok over the grill any day. “The wok is one of my favorite things to work with when I’m camping,” he says. “Outdoor cooking is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers. There are so many styles of food you can make.”

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#TBT: Scott Conant

by in Food Network Chef, November 14th, 2013

Scott ConantIt’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.

Long before Scott Conant took his seat at the judges’ table on Chopped, he spent his days in the kitchens of some of the most-celebrated restaurants in New York City and abroad, earning his reputation as one of the premiere chefs and restaurateurs in the industry. He graduated from culinary school and soon moved to Germany for several years before returning stateside to begin his journey up the culinary ladder, first as a sous chef and eventually as an executive chef at San Domenico and City Eatery, respectively.

Throughout his training, Scott focused much of his attention in the kitchen on his passion for Italian food. He spent time in Italy cooking with renowned chefs and relatives alike, which ultimately inspired within him a style of Italian cuisine all his own. His roster of flavors and ingredients went on to be featured at the forefront of several of his restaurants, including his now-signature eatery, Scarpetta, and in many of the dishes he’s made while competing on Chopped After Hours and Chopped All-Stars.

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Damaris Phillips’ Thanksgiving Tips and Traditions

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 11th, 2013

Damaris PhillipsThere’s perhaps no holiday more focused on food, family and tradition — some of Damaris Phillips‘ favorite things — than Thanksgiving, which means that for this Southern at Heart host, the next few weeks leading up to America’s fall feast are especially exiting. She told FN Dish recently that she’s especially looking forward to “the Thanksgiving-adjacent episode” (airing Nov. 24 at 10:30am/9:30c) of her all-new series, which will feature classic and creative recipes to help you prepare the ultimate holiday meal.

We checked in with her to find out more about how she’ll be celebrating with her family this year. Like in most homes, there will be no shortage of comforting plates on Damaris’ Thanksgiving dinner table, and just as she’s been in the past, she’ll once again be in charge of preparing the salad. Read on below to learn Damaris’ makings of a true Southern Thanksgiving, to learn tips for turning out juicy turkey and to get advice for first-time holiday hosts.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving these days?
Damaris Phillips: All of my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents all still get together, so we do a huge family Thanksgiving.

Will you be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year?
DP: Everybody contributes. It’s like a potluck Thanksgiving. I usually get stuck with the salad. They are always making me make the salad. I always try and fancy it up, so they’ll be like, “Oh, she can really cook.” But it doesn’t matter, because nobody eats the salad .… My brother is always going to do the stuffing; I’m never going to get to do it. My sister is always going to do the greens and the macaroni, and nobody wants mine anyways because I always try and make it a little less terrible for you, which nobody’s into. I get desserts a lot. Like, I’m pretty good at baking, and so I get desserts, which is pretty awesome.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Robert Irvine

by in Food Network Chef, November 10th, 2013

Robert IrvineWhen it comes to transforming America’s failing restaurants on Restaurant: Impossible and giving them a second chance at future success, fans know that Robert Irvine is all business, dedicated to teaching owners how to turn their eateries into profitable productions. And each week on Restaurant Express, you see him challenging restaurant hopefuls to survive the ultimate seven-week culinary road trip. But just recently, Robert invited fans to get to know him beyond television and divulged insider details about seemingly all aspects of his life. In an #AskIrvine Twitter chat, Robert revealed his favorite meal, deserted island must-have, packing preferences when traveling, secret to achieving bulging biceps and more. Read on below to get caught up on the highlights and learn 10 little-known facts about this longtime chef and professional restaurateur.

1. Even though he’s in tiptop shape, Robert admits, “I believe every meal should end with something sweet.”

2. When asked what single food he would bring with him on a deserted island, he answered: “Water. You can’t live without it.”

3. “I love Stella and Heineken,” Robert admits of his favorite beers.

4. For more than 10 years, Robert was a member of the British Navy.

5. Robert has been cooking since he was 11 years old.

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