All Posts In Shows

Did You Miss the Meat? — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, June 18th, 2013

In most Chopped baskets, it’s the meaty protein or shellfish that trips up competitors, what with these ingredients that tend to be difficult to break down, clean, and cook properly and fully in a hurry. But in tonight’s brand-new episode of Chopped, the contestants found themselves with vegetarian baskets, which meant that when it came time for an After Hours competition, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag and Marc Murphy were challenged to create entrees using golden beets, wheatgrass, tempeh and etrog citron.

While Alex and Marc admitted to being unfamiliar with cooking and eating these kinds of ingredients, Amanda told them, “I eat this stuff,” and she later admitted to being “a closet vegetarian.” For all three judges, the challenge was offering dishes that were both bold and hefty enough to be filling. Amanda stuck to a classic preparation of tempeh by featuring it in a spiced stew with curry, while Alex treated the tempeh like rice, turning it into a risotto-style plate with mushrooms and citrus. Marc, however, known for his fondness of meat-and-potatoes classics, made a tempeh-based burger that was anything but vegetarian, thanks to beef broth and bacon. After tasting each of their offerings, guest host Aarón told them: “I’m not crying for meat right now. You made satisfying meals that really sort of constituted a complete dish.”

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Get to Know Charles Stiles, the Host of Mystery Diners

by in Shows, June 18th, 2013

Charles StilesOn Food Network’s Mystery Diners, Charles Stiles and his team of mystery diners go behind the scenes with hidden cameras to find out what restaurant employees are up to when the boss is not around. What they discover just goes to show how bad customer service can get when employees don’t put the success of the business first. What you might not know is that Charles’ company has been servicing businesses in need of help for the past 18 years. Business Evaluation Services uses undercover mystery shoppers and diners to get to the root of an establishment’s problems.

FN Dish recently chatted with Charles to find out more about his company and what it does for restaurants and retail shops around the nation. He talked about how his company came to be, how people can become mystery shoppers and how to prevent the failure of a business. Read the Q&A with Charles and watch the new season of Mystery Diners on Fridays at 10pm/9c.

Get to know Charles Stiles in his Q&A

Short Rib Burgers, Indian Favorites and Chicken Pie on Triple D Tonight

by in Shows, June 17th, 2013

Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesTonight on the all-new episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (10pm/9c), Guy’s taking it across the country for some mean meat dishes. Missed last week’s episode? Stay tuned for the marathon that will leave you hungry for a road trip.

This week Guy throws it back in Denver with an old-school short rib burger and a tart apple strudel pastry with a savory twist. Guy ventures to the Arizona sunshine to find a Pakistani spot dishing out authentic goat. The festival of flavors continues with the Tempe, Ariz., restaurant’s Tandoori chicken roasted with insane spices. Next, Guy will fall for the flavors in the city of brotherly love. One local Philadelphia joint is crankin’ out chicken pie without the pot and grillin’ up Triple D-worthy fresh octopus.

Join Guy on his coast-to-coast journey starting at 6pm/5c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes, then try your hand at the recipes.

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Restaurant Revisited: Sink or Swim at Pier West Restaurant

by in Shows, June 16th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleDespite the picturesque view from its waterfront location, Pier West Restaurant in Twin Lakes, Wis., couldn’t escape serious issues indoors, among them considerable debt and drab decor. With just $10,000 and two days to work, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team relaunched owner Chip Walmsley’s business with a new menu and an updated design, plus gave Chip the support he needed to manage the restaurant and the foundation to mend his relationship with his family. FN Dish checked in with Chip a few months after the renovation to find out how the eatery is doing today.

“Business has been great since the filming [of the show]. We have definitely seen about a 25-percent increase in food sales,” Chip tells us. “We are taking things one week at a time … [and] following the standards Robert set up for us.”

Chip says “not one single customer misses the old look” of Pier West, and in terms of the new space’s features, his favorites are “the lighting and the floor.”

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The Challenge of Prepared Products — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, June 16th, 2013


In the last After Hours episode, Chopped judges tried their hands at ingredients that collectively proved to be some of the most common ever featured on the show, and their experience with them was a challenge in and of itself. Similarly, on tonight’s all-new battle, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Aarón Sánchez and Marcus Samuelsson faced a basket with one particularly demanding ingredient: lobster bisque. In the same way that the last group of judges had to transform the familiar, Alex, Aarón and Marcus had to redefine something that was already a finished dish.

“I think that’s the hardest [ingredient] right there,” guest judge Amanda Freitag said of the bisque, “’cause someone made it already. And maybe they made it too creamy, too thick.” Her peers understood what she meant by that, and they each went to great lengths to transform the bisque into something else, instead of simply warming it and serving it as-is. Aarón and Alex treated the bisque as the base of their sauces, guajillo and marinara, respectively, while Marcus used the bisque as the building block of another bisque. He added yogurt and white wine to the basket ingredient in an effort to increase its “sourness,” and cooked it with squid, potatoes and daikon radish. What resulted was a “completely complex” offering, according to Aarón .

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VOTE: Star vs. Chopped Summer Salad Showdown

by in Recipes, Shows, June 16th, 2013

Summer Salad ShowdownWe challenged two prestigious groups — Chopped judges and Food Network Star winners — to a summer recipe showdown. All season long, we’ll present head-to-head matchups of mouthwatering summer recipes from each team — from refreshing cocktails to fresh farmers’-market salads to the juiciest backyard burgers. By voting each week here on FN Dish or on our Fan Feed, you’ll determine the winning recipes.

At the end of the summer, the team that tallies up the most wins will celebrate with an all-star Labor Day party menu. Who will prevail as Summer Showdown champion — Star or Chopped?

This week, Season-6 Star winner Aarti Sequeira and Chopped judge Aarón Sánchez spice up summer’s best produce in a pair of rival salads. Aarti puts an Indian spin on grilled corn, while Aarón takes fresh tomatoes and infuses them with Mexican flavors. Whose will be a must on your summer table? Cast your votes below!

Vote now

What to Watch: A Special Chopped/Star Crossover and Father’s Day in the Kitchen

by in Shows, June 14th, 2013

ChoppedThis Father’s Day weekend, Food Network has new episodes geared toward the guys. First, Paula is cooking “dad food” with her son Jamie. Then Ree is cooking breakfast and lunch for her cowboys. Then Trisha is making “manly” food for her husband, Garth, and his two buddies. Afterward, Giada is making a special dinner for her husband, Todd. Then on Sunday, Guy is in the kitchen with his two sons, nephew and dad. And Jeff is taking a stroll down memory lane with his dad.

Right after, watch the season premiere of Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. Bobby is preparing a Mexican feast with bold flavors. And on Sunday evening, it’s a special night of Chopped (also, don’t forget to watch the After Hours episode online right after the show). On Food Network Star, the 10 remaining contestants get put through a Chopped challenge judged by Alex Guarnaschelli. And last, it’s Robert Irvine to the rescue on a new episode of Restaurant: Impossible.

Read about the shows

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Maneet Chauhan

by in Shows, June 12th, 2013

Maneet ChauhanYou’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.

Maneet Chauhan is a regular judge on Chopped. Viewers may also remember her as a contestant on Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef. After 8 years leading Vermilion restaurant, Maneet started Indie Culinaire, an avant-garde culinary and hospitality company that services events around the country. Her cookbook, Flavors of My World, was recently released. What you may not know about Maneet is that she hates cooking with pineapple. Find out more about Maneet in her Q&A.

Read Maneet’s Q&A

Serious Sandwiches, Global Grub and Late-Night Eats on Triple D Tonight

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, June 10th, 2013

Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesDuring tonight’s marathon of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes (starting at 6pm/5c), Guy will discover some standout veggie, meat and sandwich dishes. First, he’s off to Barrio Cafe in Phoenix where the chef is putting her signature spin on chiles and a regional pork dish.

Later in the night, Guy indulges in serious sandwiches. A gourmet sandwich shop in Austin, Texas, is slicing up duck pastrami for a pastrami and knuckle sammie. In Las Vegas, Guy will dive into a roast beef po’ boy done the Cajun way. Did someone say stuffed burgers? Guy will break down these grilled beauties in St. Paul, Minn.

Join Guy on his coast-to-coast journey starting at 6pm/5c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes, then try your hand at the recipes.

Go on set with Guy

Restaurant Revisited: Lost in the Woods at Pinehurst Country Lodge

by in Shows, June 9th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleRoger Murray, the owner of Pinehurst Country Lodge in Greeley, Pa., had no experience in either working at or owning a restaurant before he purchased the business just six months ago. Although he was once prosperous in the corporate world, Roger’s venture into the culinary industry proved less successful, and he was facing a $350,000 debt when Robert Irvine arrived to rescue him from despair. Strung with unattractive holiday lights and offering a menu of unpalatable food, Pinehurst Country Lodge was in desperate need of the design and menu revamps that Robert’s Restaurant: Impossible team was ready to provide. After just two days and with only $10,000, Pinehurst reopened to a bustling crowd and offered guests a menu of freshly prepared meals. FN Dish checked in with Roger a few months after Robert left to find out how his eatery is doing today.

“Business has picked up since the filming,” Roger tells us. “Overall I’d give it a 10 percent bump revenue-wise but consider my bottom line to be expanding more than that.” Pinehurst is indeed making more money than it was before its transformation, and Roger adds that he’s now seeing income from the bar.

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