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.
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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.
At Pomona Golf and Country Club in Egg Harbor City, N.J., Robert Irvine had to contend not only with a 45-year-old joint golf course and clubhouse but also family friction amongst the owners, sisters Andy Truitt and Pam Grenda, and their cousin, Bruce Ritchie. The trio was facing losses after having failed to attract a fresher audience, and it was up to Robert to reimagine the establishment’s futures. Read on below to hear from Andy and find out how Pomona Golf and Country Club is doing today, a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible transformation.
“Business is slowly picking up,” says Andy. “We’ve had three dinners averaging 25 people.” She adds that they “using the patio” and customers have taken well to the golf carts.
On this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient grapes. While raw grapes are the perfect way to add a touch of sweetness to a salad, or just for snacking on their own, cooking with them might not necessarily be the most obvious choice. But in this recipe for Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Grapes and Olives, the sweetness of the grapes works together with salty ingredients like olives and capers to create a balanced dish that the entire family will love — and it puts grapes in a whole new light.
Tonight the four teen winners from the four preliminary rounds of the Chopped Teen Tournament — Dante, Sequoia, Tommi Rae and Jason — returned for the last fight to the finish line. They’d battled before and now they battled once again, but only one of them left with $25,000 in prize money, a coveted culinary school scholarship worth $40,000 and the title of Chopped Teen Grand Champion, the bragging rights of which are priceless when it comes to being just a kid in school. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the grand prize winner.
As this week’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen demonstrates, sometimes the most-obvious sabotages don’t involve ingredient swaps or fancy equipment, but simply taking away a chef’s most-desired tool: his hands. In the falafel round, two chefs had to hold hands the entire time they were preparing their dishes.
“That’s so sweet!” said judge Antonia Lofaso on this week’s After-Show. But she learned how difficult the challenge could be when host Alton Brown explained to her that they couldn’t move their cooking stations closer together. “That defeats the purpose of peace,” said Alton. Still, the chefs made it through in the end, thanks to each of them having the opposite dominant hand in the round. “What are the chances?” said Alton.
Click play on the video above to see how the chefs worked through the sabotage, and hear what judge Antonia had to say about it.
This weekend on Food Network, the stars of your favorite shows are showing you how to make the most of the warm weather with barbecue specials and inventive summer snacks.
First, join Ree as she takes you through her favorite comfort-food recipes on The Pioneer Woman. After, join the hosts of The Kitchen as they prepare some warm-weather snacks for any occasion.
Then, on Sunday, Ina busts out the grill on Barefoot Contessa, showing you that summer is far from over. Bobby takes to the farmers’ market to create big flavors with fresh ingredients on Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics. Finally, tune in for three hours of competition with new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen, and the season finale of Food Network Star.
As time passes and new restaurant trends join the market, it’s often not enough for long-established eateries to continue doing business the same way year after year and decade after decade. Paul Awramko, the owner of Paul’s Bar & Bowling, learned this lesson the hard way when the 85-year-old establishment found profits rapidly declining in the last eight years. “Nothing has really changed” of the dark, old-fashioned interior at Paul’s, says Ed Arzoomanian, an investor in the business. The joint bar and bowling alley in Paterson, N.J., was in dire need of an update, and the menu called for a complete overhaul, both of which Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team successfully managed to complete in only two days and with a $10,000 budget. Read on below to hear from Paul to find out how his business is doing today.
“For the first three weeks, business was up 20 percent,” says Paul. He adds, “It looks so much brighter, more comfortable, intriguing, cleaner, more current [and] totally, totally not old school anymore.”
On this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient pickle juice. Instead of throwing out leftover pickle juice, the chefs decided to use it both in the creamy tartar sauce and to dress the shrimp in this Pickled Shrimp and Fried Tomatoes recipe. By using the juice for both parts, the tangy flavor is carried through the entire dish, and pairing it with fried tomatoes makes for a contrast in textures. Enjoy this dish for a simple weeknight dinner or weekend get-together. And it takes only 30 minutes total to create.
Four young chefs-in-training entered the competition on tonight’s fourth episode of the five-part Chopped Teen Tournament. But only one kid made it through all three rounds of mystery baskets, securing a spot in the grand finale, where he or she will have the chance to win $25,000 in prize money, a $40,000 culinary school scholarship and bragging rights as the first Chopped Teen Grand Champion, which goes pretty far when you’re just a kid in high school. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the teen-chef winner from Part 4.