On tonight’s episode of Chopped Tournament of Stars, four former Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off competitors entered the Chopped kitchen to take their chances with the mystery basket ingredients. Some sought redemption for not winning their RvG season, whereas others had something to prove to themselves. The winner of the round earned a spot in the finale, in which a $50,000 donation to charity and the title of Chopped champion await the Tournament of Stars champion. As veterans of Rachael vs. Guy, these celebrities are used to the pressure of competition, but not this kind. Find out who proved they have what it takes to win this time. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Round 2 winner.
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Husband and wife Keith and Raquel were no strangers to the food industry when they met Keith Simpson, as they’ve been owners of a successful Indianapolis-area catering company for years. It was only after they decided to pursue a sit-down eatery that they looked to Buy This Restaurant for help in purchasing the ideal location. They toured three possible hot spots before ultimately selecting a 3,800-square-foot restaurant in Noblesville, Ind., that offered both room for a traditional service as well as a private area for catering.
FN Dish checked in with Keith a few months after he and Raquel bought their restaurant, now named The Ville Restaurant, to learn their plans for the business and to find out how the construction process is faring today. Read on below for an exclusive interview.
How is construction going on The Ville Restaurant? In what stage is the renovation, and when do you plan to open?
Keith: Things are going well with construction. … So far we have only completed light demo, but if all goes as planned we will open in June 2014.
Cooking involves facing many different things, including ingredients that may not be as easy or pleasurable to deal with as others. Scaly fish, snapping lobsters — these are just some of the scary ingredients recruits have had to face on past seasons of Worst Cooks in America. All you have to remember is you’re at the top of the food chain. And when it comes to “dispatching” with a live lobster, some kitchen confidence is involved, but once you get beyond it, you will have an impressive lobster dinner.
The lesson that Anne and Bobby try to teach is to not to be afraid of anything in the kitchen, especially creatures of the deep. Cooking fish and shellfish may take some getting used to, but it’s no reason to keep from cooking and enjoying eating them.
Start the weekend right with a trip down to Key West in a new Friday-night episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy takes in the best of the island, from seafood shacks to taco carts. Then, once you’re well-rested and ready to eat again on Saturday morning, watch all new episodes of The Pioneer Woman and Heartland Table: Ree makes a special meal for her son, and Amy gets the neighborhood together for a horseradish harvest. Later on, The Kitchen co-hosts bring back the classic iceberg wedge salad.
On Sunday morning tune in to Southern at Heart, where Damaris and her friend create the perfect snacks to accompany movie watching. Afterward, Giada cooks up some dishes inspired by L.A. hot spots. And on Sandwich King, Jeff makes pork sandwiches and a sweet version of pigs in a blanket. In the afternoon, watch a new Buy This Restaurant, where Keith helps a couple achieve their dream of restaurant ownership. In the evening watch all-new episodes of Food Court Wars, Cutthroat Kitchen and the Chopped Tournament of Stars, in which four former Rachael vs. Guy competitors make their triumphant return, this time in the Chopped kitchen.
Chopped fans, here’s your chance to be a part of the competition. You’ll be able to choose the basket ingredients for unsuspecting chef-competitors for an upcoming episode. Food Network is giving you the opportunity to assemble the ingredients that make it into all three of the mystery baskets. It’s a special viewers’-choice episode that will take the competitors by surprise.
“There’s nothing that says, ‘Welcome to a barbecue place,'” Robert Irvine said after surveying Tootie’s Texas BBQ, but it turned out that what he deemed the “very, very bland” decor was just one of several problems plaguing owner Eileen Smith’s Cathedral City, Calif., restaurant. With unexceptional ‘cue coming out of the kitchen and mediocre management at the helm of the business, Tootie’s was losing nearly $3,000 every week, so Eileen looked to Robert to reinvigorate the eatery as well as herself, after she’d endured a string of personal losses and devastating struggles. With only two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert indeed fulfilled his Restaurant: Impossible mission, reopening Tootie’s with an updated menu and a comfortable, lively interior. Read on below to hear from Eileen in an exclusive interview, and find out how she and her business are doing today.
“Our sales are up 30 percent,” Eileen says, adding, “I know I have a ways to go before I am making a profit, but the gap is closing. I am working my tail off to ensure success.”
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient broccoli rabe. The goal of this challenge was to find a new use for the leafy green outside of traditional Italian cooking. With that in mind, this recipe for Broccoli Rabe and Cheddar-Beer Soup came about. This classic comfort food gets remade by swapping regular broccoli with broccoli rabe, which lends a spicy and slightly bitter taste to the soup. You might just find yourself loving this new rendition even more than the original — it’s that flavorful.
On Worst Cooks in America, 14 recruits have the opportunity of a lifetime: to be mentored by two renowned chefs, Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay. They arrive at Boot Camp with some of the worst kitchen skills imaginable, but if they’re able to last through seven weeks of competition without getting cut, they get the chance to be named the best of the worst and win $25,000 in prize money. Plus their mentor gets bragging rights — and this year Anne is fighting to win her title back after losing to Bobby last season. Unfortunately, two recruits, one from each team, must be eliminated every week.
Every Monday night, FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team.
On Worst Cooks in America, 14 recruits have the tremendous opportunity to be mentored by Food Network chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay. They’ve come to Boot Camp with some of the worst skills imaginable, but if they’re able to survive seven weeks of competition without getting eliminated, they might just be named the best of the worst and win $25,000. And their mentor gets bragging rights. This year, Anne is fighting to get back her title after losing to Bobby in Season 4. Every week, one recruit from each team is sent home.
FN Dish has the exclusive interviews with the eliminated recruits from the Red Team and the Blue Team.
Whether for an after-school treat, late-day pick-me-up or just-because indulgence, beloved snack foods like Twinkies, potato chips, doughnuts and Goldfish crackers are timeless munchies that can curb cravings in a flash. While you surely have images of noshing on these bites as a child — or just recently — you’re going to see them in an all-new light on the upcoming series Rewrapped.
Hosted by Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off and Chopped All-Stars alum Joey Fatone, Rewrapped, premiering Monday, April 21 at 8|7c, will celebrate these tried-and-true comfort foods — and put a competitive spin on them. With limited time to cook in Round 1, three competitors will have to re-create the chosen snack of the day for a panel of discerning food folks and snack-brand experts. The goal is to make their version resemble the original as much as possible in areas like taste, texture and appearance in order to earn points they can carry into Round 2. It’s then a matter of reinvention, as the rivals must use the packaged good to devise a dish all their own. From savory takes on a traditional sweet treat to next-level dessert plates and almost everything in between, competitors will have to deliver on creativity above all else if they want to wow permanent judge Marc Summers, the host of Food Network’s Unwrapped, plus the other evaluators. In the end, however, only one will have earned enough points to claim lasting glory and, best of all, a lifetime supply of their challenge snack.