Needless to say, the judges on Chopped know a thing or two about cooking, so watching from the sidelines gives them a unique perspective on the competition. With Food Network’s exclusive Web series Chopped After Hours, they have the opportunity to leave behind the judging table and cook with the same mystery basket ingredients that have sent competitors home. On Tuesday, August 26 at 11|10c, Chopped After Hours is coming to television in a special episode.
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The Chopped judges have always had their place behind the judging table, but when there’s an opportunity like After Hours, allowing them to come out from behind and get in the kitchen, they’re happier than pigs in mud. Ted points out that “rather than watching from the sidelines, complaining about other people’s cooking,” the judges can be front and center. But Scott doesn’t leave it at that, and he jokes, “Now it gives people the opportunity to complain about our cooking.” But considering how great the basket is, they’re more excited than usual to get cooking: “I’m dying to cook this. I’m really antsy and raring to go,” he says.
“This is not the little piggy that went to market,” says Ted. “This is the star of our food truck and food cart entree round.” Amanda, Aarón and Scott are taking on the ingredients from tonight’s episode: whole suckling pig, fiddlehead ferns, kebab sauces and corn tortillas. All the judges are excited to work with the basket, as Amanda points out, “because there are so many options.” Scott, though, jokes that Aarón is probably going to make tacos because there are tortillas — and, well, Scott’s right.
Fans of the hidden-camera show Mystery Diners can now find host Charles Stiles and his crew of secret diners on Wednesdays at 9|8c. In its seventh season, the show takes viewers behind the scenes of problematic restaurants as Charles investigates everything from thefts to just improper behavior, all caught on camera for the owners to see. This Wednesday, tune in for an all-new episode as two food truck operators try to figure out what’s been happening to their businesses, and it’s all been taking place under their noses.
Southern California was the starting point for the food truck rookies on this past Sunday’s premiere of The Great Food Truck Race. Like many seasons before, the cross-country competition began on the West Coast, but this time, Santa Barbara, Calif., was city number one. Before anyone could get settled, a surprise Speed Bump moved the eight new teams to Venice, the hometown of team Beach Cruiser. Although it seemed like a truck selling healthy SoCal food would be a shoo-in, Lone Star Chuck Wagon, the team from Texas, ended up snatching the highest sales. Go figure!
Whether you’re looking for SoCal favorites like tacos, seafood and sushi or something unexpected like barbecue, we’ve narrowed down the restaurant offerings to the top 10 from the area, which include all the offerings mentioned above.
It was a double-whammy this week on Cutthroat Kitchen, with host Alton Brown creating an elaborate sabotage that hit not only one, but two chefs with the biggest set ever created on the show. In the TV dinner round, two chefs had to do all of their cooking and prep in a 1974 version of Alton’s living room, complete with a couch, television, coffee table and even a smiling photo of Alton himself.
Chef Mitch won this challenge for a whopping $9,100 and gave it to his opponents. “Would you have been OK with this?” asked Alton to judge Jet Tila on this week’s After-Show. “With four components here — a dessert, a starch and a protein, a little tough. So no, I wouldn’t have been OK with this one,” said judge Jet.
Click play on the video above to see the living room up close, and hear judge Jet’s reaction.
On the Season 5 premiere of The Great Food Truck Race, eight teams of food truck rookies began the cross-country competition in Santa Barbara, Calif., but they soon found they would be moving their trucks to Venice in a Speed Bump challenge. What they didn’t know was that it would also become their first Truck Stop challenge, with Tyler sending special guests and food truck experts to taste test each of their signature dishes. Unfortunately one team wasn’t able to roll with all the challenges, and along the way, a number of small missteps added up to a major failure in getting out their main product. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the first team cut from the race.
What to Watch: Kid-Friendly Menus with Giada and the Season Premiere of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Offby Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, August 15th, 2014
It’s a kid-friendly extravaganza this weekend on Food Network, with shows to appeal to kids of all ages, including burgeoning young chefs.
First, join Ree Drummond on The Pioneer Woman as she prepares a feast for her boys before she leaves for a trip. Next, learn how to cook with your kids from The Kitchen co-hosts.
On Sunday, Ina Garten’s planning a cheese-themed menu on Barefoot Contessa and Giada De Laurentiis is creating several recipes for her daughter, Jade, and her friends. Bobby Flay elevates standard burgers and milkshakes on Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics. Next, tune into all-new competition with the season premieres of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off and The Great Food Truck Race, and a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.
An all-new tournament comes to Chopped, which will test a group of top former champions in a high-stakes battle. What makes this competition so interesting is that groups of professional chefs, amateur home cooks, heroes and celebrities will be competing. But the playing field is completely leveled when it comes to the Chopped kitchen, where anything can come out of those mystery baskets, oftentimes confounding the most-consummate professional. The winners of the four preliminary rounds will go on to the grand finale, where only one competitor will walk away as the grand champion and the winner of the biggest prize in Chopped history, $50,000 and a brand-new car.
In just one year, Cutthroat Kitchen fans have watched as hopeful chefs have donned souffle suits, stooped inside mini kitchens and spun the Wheel of Heat, all in the name of sabotage — and at the hands of Alton Brown. The no-nonsense host is no stranger to the ruthless challenges that befall competitors round after round; after all, he’s doled out and auctioned off every single one. FN Dish caught up with Alton recently to learn his thoughts on a year of contests and get his advice for approaching infamous sabotages.
Cutthroat Kitchen recently celebrated its first on-air birthday, and it’s getting set to air its fifth season soon. Why do you think the show is so popular?
Alton Brown: It’s a game; it’s an actual game. People love games. And it’s a kind of game where anything can happen — and often does. And I think people like that too. That’s it. It’s a game; people like games. Sabotage is fun. It’s fun to see what is going to come out of that shelf later.