By Ron Ben-Israel, contributions by Kate Kenny and Nikki Junda
Ron Ben-Israel has raised the bar on the newest season of Sweet Genius with more unusual techniques and inspired flavor combinations. That made the Sweet Genius team think back to the previous seasons. After revisiting the best moments from old episodes and the 10 best ingredient inventions, they also decided to narrow down the 10 best inspiration interpretations from Seasons 1 and 2.
1. Mauricio Santelice
Dessert: Chocolate Unicorn Emerging From an Ostrich Eggshell With Pate a Choux Swans
EPISODE 101/Disco Genius
When Chef Mauricio Santelice presented me with an entire mythological scene of dessert creations inspired by a unicorn, I knew that he was an ambitious and talented chef. Chef Mauricio’s dish, with its chocolate unicorn leaping from an open ostrich eggshell and scrumptious pate a choux swans, made me feel as if I were given an edible surrealist painting. Inspired by my vision of a fantastical unicorn, Chef Mauricio’s dessert transported me to another place.
Get the top nine moments
On this past Sunday’s episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the bottom two celebrity contestants, Kathy and Gilbert, competed in a midnight-snack cook-off to determine who was to go home. Kathy made a hummus that both coaches raved about. Though Gilbert’s second attempt at a peanut butter sandwich was better than the one he made for the dinner theater challenge, it wasn’t good enough to save him.
Which midnight snack do you think is better: Kathy’s hummus with toasted pita chips or Gilbert’s peanut butter and banana sandwich? Vote in the poll after the jump.
More from Rachael vs. Guy:
Photo Highlights from Episode 1
Rewatch Episode 1
As many of you may know, midnight snacks are often the only way to satisfy late-night stomach rumblings, especially when they wake you up. Whether it’s leftover pizza, cookies, a PB&J or hummus and chips, eating something — anything — seems like the only way to get back to sleep.
VOTE for whose snack is better and SHARE your favorite snack
On Bobby’s Dinner Battle, Bobby Flay‘s brand-new show premiering Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10pm/9c, this professional chef and restaurateur visits teams of experienced home cooks across the country. These cooks are challenged to create themed three-course dinner parties to be judged by himself, a special guest and fellow competitors in the ultimate at-home cook-off. While some teams rely on advanced cooking techniques to showcase their star power, others turn out favorite classic recipes, but they all must learn to cope with the pressure of cooking for such a high-profile dinner-party guest as Bobby.
Imagine for a moment that you are one of the home cooks on Bobby’s Dinner Battle. What meal would you serve to such a famed food star, one who’s inevitably enjoyed meals from some of the very best chefs in the country? Would you opt for a no-fail crowd-pleaser that you’ve made countless times, or would you offer him an elegant feast of the finest dishes? Since Bobby is the master of all things barbecue, might you rely on sticky, saucy ribs to win him over? Would you try to impress him with your take on one of his own recipes, or would you simply direct him to your stove and saute pan and politely ask him to cook for you?
At last year’s New York City Wine and Food Festival, FN Dish had the opportunity to chat with a few celebrity chefs and ask them whose team they would be on: Rachael’s or Guy’s. Watch the video above to see Geoffrey Zakarian, Melissa d’Arabian, Ted Allen, Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain, among others, weigh in. Find out the team they would choose and why.
Now you tell us: Which team would you choose to be on?
Last year, FN Dish introduced you to a new series on Cooking Channel called Classy Ladies. For 2013, they’re shaking things up even more with a familiar Food Network face, Adam Gertler (Food Network Star and Kid in a Candy Store), in Food Bites.
Taste test the best (and worst) of food television with him every Thursday as he takes his steak knife to the world of food. Nothing’s off-limits and everything’s served up with a dash of humor.
What does a cigarette and vodka have to do with a bologna volcano? Find out on the latest episode of Food Bites, where Adam explores pork-related food crimes, pickles with Kelsey Nixon, visits with the Bare Nekked Chef and, for good measure, also talks with the Nearly Naked Chef (click the play button above to watch).
Watch more videos of Food Bites here.
I was thrilled to be asked to judge a Kitchen Stadium battle between Bobby Flay and Viet Pham, as they are two of my favorite chefs in the country. I was even more thrilled when the Chairman revealed that the Secret Ingredient for the challenge was to be ground meat. It may seem like an ingredient that is hard to elevate to Iron Chef levels, but I was certain that in the hands of these two accomplished chefs, my fellow judges and I were in for a real treat. I was right.
What is ground meat?
As the name suggests, ground meat is animal flesh that has been minced, once or twice depending on the use, and then mixed with onions, spices or herbs. It can then be shaped into such things as hamburgers or meatballs, cooked “loose” in meat sauces or even eaten raw (with caution). The most popular ground meat used in the United States is of course beef, but chicken, pork and turkey are also commonly available as are some more exotic meats such as venison, elk and even bison. Traditionally, grinding was a way of making tougher, cheaper cuts of meat easier to prepare, and while this is still generally the case, you can now find many butchers and restaurants grinding expensive parts of the animal for more premium dishes.
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Every Sunday night, FN Dish gives you the exclusive exit interview with the latest castoff from Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the competition show that features celebrities cooking their way through challenges for a chance to win the title of Cook-Off Champion and $50,000 for their chosen charity. This season will have the celebrities facing real-life situations — far from the glamour of the red carpet — and will test more than just their cooking skills.
On tonight’s premiere, the eight celebrities walked in on the red carpet and stepped directly into the competition. The challenge for the first episode combined cooking and entertaining, but not as you might initially think. The celebrity that was sent home unfortunately only excelled at one task and not the other.
Find out which celebrity was eliminated
Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off is back tomorrow for Season 2 with new teams of celebrities, new challenges and an all-new location on the West Coast.
In the premiere episode, the stars arrive on the red carpet before meeting their team leaders, Rachael and Guy. The first challenge will test their ability to cook for and entertain a very large crowd of discerning guests.
Watch the Episode 1 preview above and tune in tomorrow, Sunday, January 6, at 9pm/8c. Plus vote for your favorite celebrity. Keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes previews.
A new Iron Chef has officially been crowned and added to the prestigious roster. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli prevailed in the final showdown, a full-out Kitchen Stadium battle that paid homage to three long-standing Iron Chefs: Chefs Flay, Symon and Morimoto.
Iron Chef Guarnaschelli is the executive chef at both The Darby and Butter Restaurants (take a photo tour here) in New York City. She’s also a veteran judge on Chopped. Returning for a chance at redemption, Chef Guarnaschelli survived all eight of the Chairman’s intense challenges, only finding herself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown once.
We recently sat down with Chef Guarnaschelli at Butter to chat about her experience on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption — why she decided to go for it a second time and what her biggest fear about Kitchen Stadium is.
Read our exclusive interview
FN Dish is counting down to the season 2 premiere of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off by introducing a new celebrity contestant every day. The competition tests the celebrities to see who has the culinary chops to win the title of champion and guarantees a $50,000 donation to the winner’s charity of choice. Watch the premiere on Sunday, January 6, at 9pm/8c and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes previews.
Figure skater Johnny Weir is a three-time U.S. National Champion, two-time Olympian and World medalist. But when he’s not on the ice, Johnny loves to entertain, often serving a unique combination of foods including veggie sticks, cheese, crackers, candy and wine. Get to know Johnny better from his Q&A with FN Dish.
Read Johnny’s Q&A