While much of Robert Irvine‘s Restaurant: Impossible mission involves him overhauling the menu and bettering the interpersonal relationships among business owners and staff, time and time again one of the most-striking elements of his transformations proves to be the all-new decor of the restaurants. From fresh coats of paint and hand-laid flooring to knocked-down walls, custom artwork, signature signs and improved lighting, Robert and his design team will take on almost anything when it comes to updating the interior of restaurants, and they’re committed to working within their budget to giving eateries the best look and feel within their space.
Since owners are often sequestered from the transformations taking placing inside their restaurant, most are simply overwhelmed with surprise and emotion when Robert reveals their brand-new business. Tears, hugs, wide eyes and dropped jaws are just a few of the reactions Robert has witnessed when they’re finally able to see their revitalized restaurant for the first time.
While Cutthroat Kitchen judges are quick to taste the food before them in each round of evilicious competition on the show, they don’t know exactly how that dish came to be, what ingredients were used to prepare it and which methods were undertaken to produce it. For help in clarifying the unknown, host Alton Brown sits down with the judges in his Web-exclusive After-Show to break down the ins and outs of the challenges; this week, he and Antonia Lofaso chatted about the latest contest to unfold.
Traditional wonton wrappers may seem like a must-have ingredient for chefs tasked with preparing pot stickers, but in Round 1, three of the four competitors were forced to work with wontons in other forms, like honey-soaked wontons, frozen wontons and wonton soup. Thinking about the offerings she had just tasted, Antonia correctly guessed that Chef Velez was the one fortunate enough to work with the fresh product. Although she was initially hesitant about Chef Miranda’s dish, which was crafted out of frozen wontons and featured cabbage-wrapped bites, Antonia ultimately told the finalist, “I’m not mad at it.” Later she explained to Alton: “When someone says ‘pot sticker,’ you have this idea in your head of exactly what you want. So when I walk over and there’s cabbage, and I’m like, am I going to get that texture on the outside? Am I going to get that little bit of, like, char? And then I really enjoyed it.”
Over the years you’ve come to know both Rachael and Guy from their many Food Network shows. Fans can easily recognize each one’s cooking style, recipes and, above else, personality — Rachael with her trademark show 30 Minute Meals and her “yum-o!” motto and Guy driving around in a red Camaro looking for the best eats on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. But, in fact, how well do you know this pair who together host Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off? Now it’s your turn to find out. Take the quiz below to see if you’re a Rachael and Guy superfan and watch the premiere of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 8pm/7c.
This weekend on Food Network, tune in for a new episode of Cupcake Wars. Four bakers compete for the chance to serve their cupcakes at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships where they’ll be judged by actress Bo Derek. Later, tune in for a new episode of On the Rocks. John Green transforms a fight-themed bar in California that’s on the brink of bankruptcy.
On Sunday morning, Rachael Ray shares a week’s worth of her favorite soup and stew recipes. Then Guy goes hog-wild on Guy’s Big Bite by cooking up bacon-wrapped pork kebabs. In the evening, watch a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen; things get icy when one chef must harvest shrimp from a block of ice.
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient of smoked salmon, which many people will recognize as a favorite bagel topping. The idea of that popular combination became the inspiration for this recipe. If you love salmon sushi and/or bagels with smoked salmon, then you’re sure to love this recipe that fuses the two. This dish makes a great Japanese-inspired meal for four, especially a family of adventurous eaters. However, for an even better idea, serve these Everything Bagel Sushi Rolls as a party appetizer — your guests will be impressed.
Whether or not they’d admit it, most owners who welcome Robert Irvine to their eatery on Restaurant: Impossible realize the need for change in their business. But that doesn’t stop some from fighting with Robert every step of the transformation, yelling at him in frustration or embarrassment, accusing him of sabotage or resisting his help along the way. True to his mission of giving restaurants a second chance at success, Robert embraces the challenges these owners pose and continues to offer them his and his team’s support, even if that means getting screamed at along the way.
For the first time this season, Antonia Lofaso took her turn judging four competitors in the latest round of evilicious contest on Cutthroat Kitchen, and because no judge is privy to the bidding for sabotages and cooking, she joined Alton Brown on his After-Show to learn what had gone down.
The chefs had to create gnocchi during Round 1 of the competition; though a hand masher may have been an appropriate tool for the job, it became an obstacle for Chef Gentile when he was forced to have it duct taped to his arm for the duration of the round. “He was looking for garnish that was going to build a dish,” Antonia told Alton, realizing that this impediment is what prevented Chef Gentile from breaking down ingredients and cooking with more precision.
Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off fans, here’s your chance to see the first episode before it hits TV. You can get an early look at the Season 3 premiere on iTunes before it airs on Food Network. Plus you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of the entire season and bonus scenes that haven’t been seen before. Just visit itunes.com/FoodNetwork starting today to get the exclusive early preview. And stay tuned for the rest of the season on Food Network, starting with the premiere on Monday, Jan. 6 at 9pm/8c.
Start your Food Network Saturday off with a joint birthday party for Trisha and her sister on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. The ladies head to the bowling lanes for some fun. Then in the evening, watch an all-new episode of On the Rocks, where host John Green helps revive a failing establishment. On Sunday morning, Rachael Ray has a week’s worth of meals to show you — and it’s all about layered recipes. Later, Nancy Fuller gets together with her grandkids for a weekend full of fun and treats. And in the evening, catch a brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen for more sabotages, including a chef having to wear a certain kitchen utensil.
Facing nearly $300,000 of debt, Sally Fatzz and Brenda Brewer turned to Robert Irvine for a restaurant rescue at their eclectic one-year-old restaurant, Goombazz Big City Eatzz, specializing in regional cuisines from around the country. While Sally had enjoyed prior ventures in the restaurant industry, Brenda was new to the restaurant scene, but both recognized their need for a Restaurant: Impossible
transformation if their business was to have any chance at future success. It didn’t take Robert long to realize that this Rock Island, Ill., restaurant was failing largely on account of Sally’s out-of-control temper, which ultimately led to unhappy customers and a dissatisfied staff. With a budget of just $10,000 and only two days to work, Robert and his team overhauled the interior of Goombazz, updated the eatery’s menu, and began mending Sally and Brenda’s relationship. Read on below to hear from both owners and find out how their restaurant is doing today.
Since the transformation, “business is up,” Sally says. “We went from $800 to about $1,200 on weekdays, and [on] Friday and Saturday, $3,000.” He adds that “everyone loves the new decor.” Brenda explains: “The floor is amazing, the bridge mural is beautiful, we love the back bar, but [we] had to add our own lighting, and the kitchen pass-through window being closed up is my favorite change! I also love the fresh flowers on the tables.”