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Get to Know Guy’s Grocery Games Judge Madison Cowan

by in Shows, September 8th, 2015

Madison CowanChef and TV personality Madison Cowan’s claim to fame came when he became the first-ever Chopped Grand Champion. But this suave-spoken Brit has been cooking since the age of 14, so he knows his stuff. He got his big break working at Tavern on the Green in New York City under the tutelage of Patrick Clark. He’s active in first lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative, and he also runs a private catering and events company, Avenue Inc. Madison currently serves as a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, and he’s even a competitor on the All-Stars special.

Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Madison on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.

Do you prefer shopping in a small market or a supermarket?
Madison Cowan: I fancy small markets/shops. It’s the coziness, intimacy and personal service. Larger shops are cool as well. I prefer Fairway and Trader Joe’s to Whole Foods.

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Competition-Inspired Cooking: One Secret (and Free) Ingredient You’re Not Using

by in Shows, September 8th, 2015

pasta boilingIn this week’s Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off immunity challenge, the remaining contestants could use only five ingredients (not counting salt) to make a sauce for a pasta dish. This is no easy task, but the kids did a great job, especially Scarlett, who won with her earthy mushroom pasta.

But there’s one secret (and free) ingredient we didn’t see in any of the dishes and that’s the pasta cooking water! Just a little of this starchy and salty water can be a real lifesaver. Cooked noodles tend to suck up a ton of sauce, leaving pasta dishes dry. A splash of this magic water can help loosen the sauce up, plus add plenty of body (thanks to the starch) and seasoning, if you salted your water (which we suggest you do). We’ve saved literally hundreds of gloopy pasta dishes in our test kitchen with pasta water — it works like a charm!

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Get Set for a Fifth Season of Fright-Night Spooktaculars on Halloween Wars

by in Shows, September 8th, 2015

Halloween WarsGhosts, gore and ghoulishly good competition — it’s all on the menu when five teams of spooktacular challengers come together for a fifth frightening season of Halloween Wars, premiering Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9|8c. Featuring the expert collaboration of a master cake artist, a candy craftsman and a skilled pumpkin carver, the teams facing off for Halloween glory — as well as a whopping $50,000 prize — must come prepared to not only concoct over-the-top sweet creations but also deliver devilishly creepy designs. From the Small Scare displays in the first round to the larger, more demanding Spine Chiller presentations in the final round, competitors will be challenged to bring frightening themes to life in the form of their scary-good designs.

On hand to host this Halloween celebration is actor Rossi Morreale, while the returning judges, special-effects makeup artist Brian Kinney and cake decorator Shinmin Li, will take their places on the panel alongside a rotating roster of special guests.

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A Battle of Granny Proportions — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 6th, 2015

Given the high-stress competition, the pressures to cook within just 30 minutes and, of course, the sting of sabotages, Cutthroat Kitchen is the fiercest of fiercest of environments and perhaps no place for a grandmother — or so it would seem. On tonight’s special episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, four home-cook grannies took their places in the arena, ready to prove their seniority in the kitchen. “I was always taught to respect my elders, so I just want to say right now I’m very, very sorry for everything that happened here tonight,” host Alton Brown said with a sly grin as he opened the After-Show with judge Jet Tila. The guys looked back on a momentous three rounds, which ultimately had one grandma using her experience as a home cook to her advantage.

Come the Round 3 pie challenge, after being saddled with the mandate to shop and cook from the confines of a slow-moving power chair and being forced to use her mouth to fish for ingredients buried in pie, Grandma Nancy enlisted the help of a trusty appliance: the microwave. “Nancy, running out of time, knows that her custard is a real problem. She goes over to the microwave and she starts microwaving, stopping, whisking, microwaving,” Alton explains to Jet. “She cooked that custard, poured it before it had set, and the only thing you busted her for was it was too firm,” added Alton. Shocked by the realization of how Nancy’s pie came to be, Jet admitted, “I’ve never even heard of that technique.” And Alton noted that’s likely because of her skill set as a home cook. “Restaurant-trained chefs [are] never taught to use the microwave. This is a home cook from Grandmaville, from Texas, and so for her, it’s a completely viable tool,” Alton said. And indeed the microwave managed to save the day for Nancy, as she was crowned the champion.

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Get to Know Guy’s Grocery Games Judge Catherine McCord

by in Shows, September 5th, 2015

Catherine McCordFormer print and runway model Catherine McCord went from the catwalk to the kitchen. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education, she saw an opportunity to showcase her easy family-friendly recipes; that’s when her blog, Weelicious.com, was born. Her latest cookbook is Weelicious: One Family. One Meal. When this mom of two isn’t busy testing recipes, she’s serving as a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games. Discover Catherine’s favorite guilty pleasure food and what she loves most about grocery shopping.

Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Catherine on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.

Do you prefer shopping in a small market or a supermarket?
Catherine McCord: I’m about specialty markets. I can always find what I need in specialty markets, but somehow, Flavortown is like the happy medium.

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Here’s How to Use Up All That Corn

by in Recipes, Shows, September 5th, 2015

No-Cream Creamed Corn with Applewood Smoked BaconThe unofficial end of summer may be just days away, but that doesn’t mean that one of the season’s most-abundant crops has slowed down. From farmers markets and roadside produce stands to the aisles of your local grocery store, corn — a lot of it — is everywhere right now. On this morning’s brand-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts shared their top tricks for putting this seasonal beauty to work while it’s still around. Check out two easy recipes from Geoffrey Zakarian and Marcela Valladolid below for their signature takes on this staple ingredient.

GZ reinvents the traditionally rich dish of creamed corn with his no-cream recipe. His secret? Pureeing the kernels of a few ears, which produces a naturally creamlike texture after only a few whirls in the blender. He combines that corn juice with whole kernels and adds crispy chopped bacon for a salty bite. Perhaps the best part is that his recipe can be on the table in a hurry, so it’s ideal for last-minute entertaining.

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Get to Know Guy’s Grocery Games Judge Brian Malarkey

by in Shows, September 4th, 2015

Brian MalarkeyChef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey made his mark in Los Angeles long before opening seven restaurants throughout California, and he has more on the way in the coming year. He’s a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Ore., and he has appeared on ABC’s The Taste and Top Chef Season 3, Miami. His latest cookbook is Come Early, Stay Late. Now you can find this chef serving as a regular judge on Guy’s Grocery Games. And in the current special All-Stars series, he even tries out the games.

Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Brian on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.

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What to Watch: Labor Day Ideas on The Kitchen and a Grandma Takeover on Cutthroat Kitchen

by in Shows, September 4th, 2015

Say farewell to summer with your favorite chefs as they grill outdoors and celebrate the holiday weekend with their favorite party eats. Start your Saturday off right with a birthday celebration at Ree Drummond’s ranch, complete with juicy Smashed Burgers and Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites. Then, Nancy Fuller invites family over for a picnic-style lunch with BBQ Braised Brisket Sandwiches and a spread of decadent desserts. Next, The Kitchen is throwing a Labor Day party complete with tips for entertaining and a lightened-up take on creamed corn that’s perfect for any get-together. After that, Valerie Bertinelli is grilling with her family, serving up chicken kebabs and margaritas.

On Sunday morning, Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian journey continues with a trip down memory lane and some of her childhood favorites, like Pizza Bianca and Chocolate Ricotta Toast. Then, get ready for a backyard camping trip as Daphne Brogdon prepares some of her simple outdoor recipes for the kids. On Sunday night, another round of A-list chefs are competing for charity on an all-new Guy’s Grocery Games: All-Stars. Next, things get spiced up on the road as the remaining five teams use peppers to create a spicy Santa Fe meal on The Great Food Truck Race. And finally, knitting needles go flying as grandmas take over Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Host Ted Allen Takes the Judges on a Wild Ride — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, September 3rd, 2015


Some people go to the carnival for the rides, others go for the wide selection of foods. And if you’re at the right kind of carnival, the food is an adventure in and of itself. On tonight’s episode of Chopped, the competitors were struck with utilizing baskets filled with carnival-themed foods, many of them fried. After the episode, judges Maneet Chauhan and Scott Conant, and host Ted Allen, headed to the kitchen to try out the entree basket of hot beef sundae, fried spiced ham, fried cheese ravioli and fresh asparagus.

“I’d much rather be on a Ferris wheel,” says Maneet as host Geoffrey Zakarian reveals the products. “I’m throwing this entire basket into the food processor and I’m making, like, a milkshake,” Ted tells his colleagues. Scott, not sure of what he’s going to make, likes the idea. But really the task at hand is figuring out how much or how little to use of the precooked ingredients.

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Relive the Eviliciousness of Camp Cutthroat and Join the Conversation with Alton Brown

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, September 3rd, 2015

Alton Brown on Camp CutthroatThe rock walls, the bouncy houses, the blindfolds and, of course, Bob the Bear — Camp Cutthroat isn’t short on eviliciousness, thanks in part to Camp counselor extraordinaire and host Alton Brown. Last night’s Round 4 battle — the last one until next Wednesday’s finale — was full of diabolical outdoor sabotages, including the now-infamous lookout tower from which one chef had to make a skillet breakfast high atop the campsite. While all of the drama played out on TV, Alton Brown took to Twitter @AltonBrown to offer you fans an insider’s look at the competition and answer a few of your most-pressing Camp questions. Read on below to see some of his best tweets.

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