For a second time, Chopped has returned with Teen Tournament, and on tonight’s premiere, four teens entered the hallowed kitchen to try their luck at the mystery baskets. Many of them have practiced in advance, even training with their culinary instructors. But nothing could truly prepare them for the pressure and the time constraints. Nevertheless the teens took the competition in stride, and ultimately one of them rose to the top with three courses that earned a place in the finale, where he or she will compete for a chance to win the $25,000.
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We met our eight kid contestants from Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off this week, and the competition is sure to be fun and fierce. Who else was blown away by the contestants’ cooking skills and understanding of flavor pairings? They cooked with ingredients we never expected, like scallops, mussels and smoked salmon.
We loved Olivia’s sweet heart-shaped one-bite creation, and we were super-impressed with her last-minute sweet-to-savory shift. It’s amazing how changing an ordinary food into a fun shape can totally inspire kids (and some adults) to retry a once-refused dish. Or it can just make an old favorite even more fun to eat!
For mobile eateries like food trucks as well as brick-and-mortar hot spots, social media is the name of the game in terms of guaranteeing success. When Alton Brown auctioned off a savvy @-shaped pan in Round 1’s breakfast sandwich battle, however, success seemed impossible for the chef competitors. But believe it or not, cooking up the classic morning meal on this metal contraption was indeed possible. Codii Lopez, a member of the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew, showed off her approach to this doozy of a challenge on tonight’s latest installment of Testing the Sabotages.
For Codii, perhaps the trickiest aspect of the pan proved to be its signature shape, as she explained, “My main concerns here is that it’s all just going to fall off, because I only have these little pieces of metal and the rest is fire.” That fire indeed caused a few flare-ups when Codii took to frying the bacon: “The flame is licking the fattiest part of this bacon,” she said. “It’s hissing at me. It’s an angry pan,” she noted, attempting to move the bacon just a smidge away from the open heat. No matter a few bright-red flames, though, she managed to turn out well-done bacon before facing her next hurdle: cooking a sunny-side-up egg using just the narrow edges of the pan. No sooner did she crack an egg onto the pan did the yolk flop into the burner, forcing her to resort to squeezing out a scrambled mixture instead.
It’s summertime and it’s sticky-humid-oh-so hot outside, so there’s no question what one ingredient is on your must-have list for the grocery store: ice cream. While there’s indeed nothing wrong with digging out a scoop from the carton — or eating straight from the carton — you can surely dress up the everyday varieties to turn them into all-new treats. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared three easy ways to turn out extra-special chilly desserts using just your favorite flavors of ice cream, which you likely already have on hand, plus a few extra add-ins.
GZ’s Family-Style Chocolate Mint Sundae features a beloved taste combo: chocolate and peppermint. For a minty-fresh bite, Geoffrey Zakarian mixes just a bit of peppermint extract into melted chocolate, then pours it over rich vanilla ice cream before piling on the decadent toppings: brownie chunks (opt for store-bought to save time), plus sweet marinated cherries, fluffy whipped cream and crushed peppermint sticks. Since Geoffrey serves up a whopping 12 scoops of ice cream, this indulgent platter is big enough to satisfy even the most-demanding sweet tooths in your family.
This weekend, gather the family and kick back with your favorite Food Network chefs as they prepare meals with and for their own families. Start your Saturday with Ree Drummond as she and her daughter put together a care package filled with family favorites like Zucchini Cake topped with sweet cream cheese frosting. Then, Nancy Fuller shows her grandkids how to master a few easy dishes like her bite-size Chicken Taco Pacos. Next, the co-hosts of The Kitchen give their tips on how to cook with kids while they plan a camping party. Plus, restaurateur and author John Besh and his son stop by to make an easy school-night dinner. And Valerie Bertinelli invites her family over for do-it-yourself Homemade Pizzas.
On Sunday morning, Giada De Laurentiis continues her Italian journey with an outdoor pizza party. Next, Daphne Brogdon prepares for a road trip by making car-friendly snacks and sweets. On Sunday night, the tables turn on Guy’s Grocery Games: All-Stars as the judges compete to win money for charity. And it’s all about meals on wheels as food truck owners hit the road for a new season of The Great Food Truck Race, and four food truck chefs battle Alton Brown’s sabotages on a new Cutthroat Kitchen.
Viewers may remember Duskie Estes from seasons 3 and 5 of The Next Iron Chef as the pigtailed, pig-loving, snout-to-tail chef. Duskie, who lives in Northern California with her family, runs Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Black Pig Meat Co. and MacBryde Farm with her husband. She also makes regular appearances as a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games. And she’s currently serving as a judge on the special All-Stars episodes. FN Dish caught up with the chef to chat about grocery stores — those different from Flavortown Market — as well as some of her favorite things when it comes to food.
Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Duskie on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.
From re-creating the pantry with working doors to stocking chefs’ prep stations, building the sabotages and even constructing a judges’ tasting platform, the process of moving the grand Cutthroat Kitchen arena to the great outdoors for Camp Cutthroat was no small feat. Even the Bobs had to be considered — and you know they’re a fickle bunch. As fans have seen in the first two heats of competition, no shortcuts were taken and no details missed, as the resulting Camp set was not only as fully functional as its indoor counterpart but also shockingly similar to it. Check out a few side-by-side photos of both sets to see just how alike they are.
Not one to shy away from even the most-dramatic Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages, judge Simon Majumdar has been known to enjoy a hands-on attempt of some of the challenges of the day — just last week on the After-Show, he chugged a shot of fish sauce with abandon. And lucky for fans at home, it turns out that Simon hasn’t lost his diabolical spirit just because the competition has moved outdoors. After tonight’s episode of Camp Cutthroat, the judge willingly partook in several of the battle’s most-evilicious sabotages, including going face to face with a powerful wind gust. “I like that. I like that a lot. We need to use that more,” Simon said, after a Bob held the powered-up wind machine near Simon’s face.
When it came time for the dodge ball demonstration, however, it wasn’t Simon who was getting pelted with plush balls; instead, Simon and Alton joined forces to take down a Bob. “Beat him while he’s down!” Simon joked. In what was perhaps Simon’s most-adventurous challenge, he yanked up his waders and hightailed it down to the lake at Camp, where he used the same oversize skimming rod that Chef Candice had used to pick up ingredients. “If you feel anything nibbling at your feet or your legs,” Alton warned Simon, “it’s probably either the catfish or the snapping turtles.” But in true superjudge fashion, Simon enjoyed the outing in the water. “Could I keep these?” Simon asked Alton about the waders. “They’re rather fun.”
Changing the Landscape of the Culinary Industry: Host Tyler Florence on Season 6 of The Great Food Truck Raceby FN Dish Editor in Shows, August 19th, 2015
Now in its sixth season, The Great Food Truck Race (Sundays at 9|8c) is going back to its roots of Season 1, featuring professional food truck operators hoping to win $50,000 for a jolt of financing to make each of their businesses even more successful. This season promises some real drama, more than just bumps in the road, on the path to success. There’s a lot to tune in for, according to host Tyler Florence.
Thinking back six years ago before the show began, Tyler noted that the food truck business was completely different, and he pointed out the significance the show has had on the industry. In just the length of the series, the industry has flourished, and more and more culinary-inclined folks are trying out the mobile eatery business to reap its fast rewards.
FN Dish caught up with Tyler to chat about the new season and the food truck industry itself, how it’s evolved and what it’s like today. Read the interview to find out what Tyler would be doing if he were starting over as a chef fresh out of culinary school.
Trying to upstage a group of rock stars isn’t easy, but when the stage is the Chopped kitchen, judges Chris Santos, Alex Guarnaschelli and Aarón Sanchez definitely have an advantage. After an episode dedicated to rock stars, they took on the wacky dessert basket filled with spiced German liqueur, lemon rolls, rock candy and ginger for an all-new Chopped After Hours.
Aarón immediately starts melting the brightly colored candy down into some of the liqueur. Ted Allen asks, “That’s not going to be blue, is it?” Aarón isn’t sure, but he says he needs to cut the sweetness a bit by tempering the candy with some cream. Alex is also trying to change the flavor of the liqueur to make a sauce. “I’m actually trying to spice it because I think the spices and the heat from the ginger might just kind of freshen it up a little,” she says.