Five weeks ago 16 celebrated chefs entered Season 4 of the Chopped All-Stars tournament for a chance to walk away with the title of champion and the largest sum in the history of the show, $75,000 for a charity of their choice. Four preliminary rounds whittled down the competitors to four: Art Smith, Anne Burrell, Michael Psilakis and Jet Tila. In their earlier rounds, these four unlocked the mysteries of the basket, creating courses that earned them a place in the finale. All of them brought their A-game to the final battle, but one outmaneuvered them all. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the champion.
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Four celebrated chefs made it into tonight’s Chopped All-Stars finale, taking on the mystery baskets for a chance to win $75,000 for charity. The appetizer round presented them with fish carcass, tasso ham, Calabrian chiles and purple potatoes. And after the episode, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant decided to take on those same baskets. “It’s always a blast when you all leave the judging table,” Ted tells the judges. “It’s a blast for you, because you get to point and laugh at us,” Scott replies. “I think after all this time these might be my two favorite boyfriends that I have,” Alex says playfully, situated between Geoffrey and Scott. “You guys are our original gangsters,” Ted adds.
“A lot of Americans would look at this as garbage,” Ted says, pointing to the fish carcass, which includes a fish head. “This particular fish carcass is cod and a catfish head,” says Geoffrey. “I love how you say that,” says Scott, poking fun at how Geoffrey pronounces “cod.” He points out that most people would probably want to turn the bones into a broth, but with the time constraints it may not be the right choice. “I am dying to cook this,” adds Scott as Ted gives them 20 minutes to create a dish.
I love picnics, and nothing says picnic more than fresh-baked pie. These guys had 90 minutes to make a delicious pie. Doesn’t seem that tough, right? Wrong! You can bang out a decent pie if you’ve had some practice, but it could be a disaster if it’s been a while since you made one. Pies are a great way to judge baking skills since they involve many steps, and someone with little experience will invariably miss something.
Chopped fans, have you dreamt of being able to cook like a competitor on the show? Now here’s your chance to make it come true. All you have to do is participate in the Chopped at Home Challenge, the final round of which starts today. Simply enter a dish using a set mystery basket of ingredients for a chance to compete in the Chopped kitchen at Food Network headquarters. And to top it all off, the winner will receive $10,000, just like a real Chopped champion.
The diner: There’s probably nothing more American than an eatery where you can order pretty much any dish you want when you want it and not get flack for it. Whether that’s an egg sandwich at 3 in the morning after a night out with friends, or lunch with the family on a Saturday afternoon, the diner has something for everyone. Early last year, Chef Amanda Freitag, co-host of American Diner Revival on Fridays at 10:30|9:30c, reopened Empire Diner in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. You may recognize the iconic eatery from movies and TV, and that’s because it’s been around since the mid-1940s. Since then it’s gone through quite a few iterations and owners, but it’s possibly never looked better than in the hands of Chef Amanda, who’s taken the classic diner menu and given it a modern twist; it keeps customers coming back for more.
FN Dish recently caught up with the chef to chat about how she came to run the diner, what she loves about the menu and what customers can expect to experience.
As far as sabotages go, one that’s made out of metal, provides stable support for food and stands up well to heat is practically a gift in the eyes of Cutthroat Kitchen rivals. Or at least it likely seemed that way ahead of tonight’s brand-new episode when Alton Brown auctioned off a perforated French loaf bread pan on which one rival would have to cook a croque madame. Since a French loaf pan is a sturdy metal pan that’s indeed meant to be heated, the bread, meat and cheese elements of this classic French sandwich would be doable, but creating the bechamel — a creamy sauce — would prove downright difficult.
Before Alton could feature this sabotage on the show, it had to vetted by the Cutthroat culinary crew, and during the test, food stylist Hugo Sanchez noted his concern about making a liquid sauce in a holey vessel. “That’s going to be an issue here,” he said simply before getting set to tackle the challenge head-on. His solution involved filling the holes by mixing up a pastelike combination of flour and milk, as he explained: “It is sticky. It’s gooey, which is exactly what we want.” After covering the holes with this mixture, he quickly turned the heat on in an effort to bake the paste into the holes, thus closing them once and for all, and ultimately allowing him to use that now-solid surface to create his sauce — and approve the sabotage.
Just in time for Monday’s Memorial Day holiday, the cast of The Kitchen came together to throw the ultimate backyard barbecue on this morning’s all-new episode. Complete with a boozy Long Island iced tea, the co-hosts’ menu boasted classic and creative picks alike, but at the forefront of their cookout were their recipes for two meaty favorites: a juicy burger and saucy ribs. While both are traditional barbecue selects, Katie Lee’s burger and Jeff Mauro’s spare ribs featured next-level elements — a buttermilk-herb dressing for the burgers and a Chinese-inspired glaze for the ribs — that transformed the meats into impressive presentations with satisfying results.
FN Dish wants to know, as you consider your ultimate cookbook plate, both at your Memorial Day gathering and at summer soirees all season long, which of these tried-and-true selects is your favorite? Are you a fan of the beefy goodness that only a cheese-covered patty, piled high with toppings galore, can offer, or do you prefer the tender succulence of hearty ribs? Cast your vote in the poll below to share your preference.
In honor of the upcoming season of American Diner Revival, show hosts Chef Amanda Freitag and home improvement expert Ty Pennington gave the scoop on their new series in a recent Facebook chat with fans. On the show Amanda and Ty team up to renovate the interiors and revamp the menus of struggling diners in less than 36 hours. The hosts shared their favorite diner dishes and fun facts about their careers and answered questions about the goals and challenges of the show.
Jump-start your weekend with a special season premiere of American Diner Revival tonight at 10:30|9:30c. Watch as Chef Amanda Freitag and home improvement pro Ty Pennington team up to renovate and revitalize diners across America in only 36 hours.
Tune in on Saturday morning for a birthday celebration feast on The Pioneer Woman and great make-ahead recipes on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. Join the cast of The Kitchen for Memorial Day party tips, dishes and drinks. Start off your Sunday with new episodes of Giada at Home and Southern at Heart. Giada De Laurentiis makes small dishes that all include fennel. And Damaris Phillips is making Hot Chicken-Fried Steak Sandwiches with Smoked Macaroni Salad on the side and a delicious Blackberry-Almond Cobbler for a sweet ending to her dinner party.
With the weather getting warmer and the sun shining bright, the season of outdoor cookouts and backyard BBQs is upon us. Starting on Monday, May 25, Food Network is celebrating the start of grilling season all week long. Each night, starting at 8|7c, tune in for a lineup of grilling-themed episodes of your favorite shows. Kick off grilling week with a fresh one-hour, summer-themed special of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at 9|8c, followed by the season premiere of Guilty Pleasures at 10|9c. Join your favorite Food Network stars as they reveal the locations of their most secretive and beloved guilty pleasures.
On Saturday and Sunday morning, sit back and learn the best tips, tricks and recipes you need for the ultimate BBQ feast from premiere episodes of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, The Kitchen, Southern at Heart and Farmhouse Rules. On Saturday night, Guy Fieri will guide you on a tour of the best barbecue joints around the country with four hours of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Even the competition shows are getting ready for summer — don’t miss the grill-offs on new episodes of Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen throughout the week. See the schedule below for all of the premieres.