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Watch the Top 5 Stubborn Owners on Restaurant: Impossible

by in Shows, November 6th, 2013

When Robert Irvine visits a business on Restaurant: Impossible, he has but one goal: Fix the failure. Despite his no-nonsense attitude and often harsh critiques of eateries’ menus and decor, he wants to see the restaurants thrive, and with the help of his team, he will use his years of experience and expertise to give each establishment a second chance at success. While owners accept Robert’s matter-of-fact assessments of their business, no matter how bleak and seemingly unforgiving they may be, others are quick to question his authority and proficiency, believing their ways of running a restaurant to be effective.

These persistent — if, perhaps, naïve — owners stand by their business practices, plus the quality of their food and menu offerings, and they see no fault in their management styles, often despite looming financial disaster or unhappy employees. While Robert’s almost always able to convince these dogged owners of their mistakes and give them opportunities to improve, the most tenacious among them will fight with Robert until the very end to attempt to support their theories.

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A Lesson in Transforming Unwelcome Ingredients — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, November 5th, 2013


Certain culinary tactics are required when it comes to working with an ingredient that’s not so desirable. That’s when chefs — especially Chopped competitors — pull out all the stops in the kitchen. But success isn’t guaranteed. It takes a lot of skill and creativity to transform an unwanted ingredient, whether by elevating it or disguising it. That’s exactly what the judges accomplished with the appetizer baskets from the special Chopped: Redemption episode. Marcus, Amanda and Aarón took up spots in the Chopped kitchen for an After Hours competition where they faced cooking with vegan lobster, chop suey, hot mustard and winter melon.

On the show, the competitors all made dishes that incorporated the basket ingredients rather well, whether it was a salad, soup or stir-fry. Ultimately the chef whose preparation didn’t disguise the unwanted flavor of one of the basket ingredients was chopped. The judges attacked the basket ingredients with the same fervor, knowing what mistakes not to make. Marcus and Aaron both made dishes that disguised the vegan lobster and incorporated all the basket ingredients. Amanda decided to highlight the vegan lobster with flavors that brought it up to nearly the level of actual lobster, which proved to be very successful.

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Two Times the Trouble — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 3rd, 2013


Cutthroat Kitchen fans knows that when competitors are gifted a sabotage, no matter how treacherous or simple it may seem, it could ultimately mean disaster for them if they don’t know how or do not have the time to remedy it. But what happens when a challenge must incorporate not just one sabotage, but multiple? Will they use the double dose of damage to further fuel their creative energy, or will they succumb to the pressure of the contest and crumble?

On this week’s installment of Alton’s After-Show, the host revealed to judge Jet Tila two competitors’ attempts to adapt to multiple challenges after finding themselves victim to an onslaught of sabotages. The first set occurred in the initial round’s sandwich-and-side battle, when a chef was forced to harvest bread from prepared convenience-store sandwiches before learning that he or she would also have to make the dish on a TV-dinner-size tray instead of an oversized workspace. “And I think from there [the contestant] went insane,” Alton joked of the competitor. This chef was ultimately overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, as he or she didn’t make it past the first round of competition.

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Go Behind the Scenes of Southern at Heart with Damaris

by in Shows, November 3rd, 2013

Although Damaris Phillips survived 11 weeks of camera and culinary competitions on Food Network Star to become the newest face of food television, nothing could prepare her for the excitement and nervous energy that would come with filming her very own show. Just last week she premiered her series — Southern at Heart, airing Sundays at 10:30am/9:30c; cameras were rolling in Louisville, Ky., as she prepared to take her place in the kitchen and tape that episode.

Click the play button on the video above to watch as Damaris introduces her set and explains the props in the kitchen, and hear as she chats about her hopes for Southern at Heart.

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What to Watch: Giada’s Casino Night, Damaris’ Down-Home Breakfast and the Premiere of Restaurant Express

by in Shows, November 1st, 2013

Robert IrvineThis weekend on Food Network, watch all-new episodes that will inspire and entertain. Start Saturday morning off with some Tex-Mex favorites for the family from Ree. Then, Giada’s inspired by casinos when creating her party spread. In the evening, watch a special Miss America-themed episode of Cupcake Wars.

On Sunday morning, Rachael shows you how to make a week’s worth of recipes. Afterward, Guy reworks breakfast staples as lunch and dinner options. Then on Southern at Heart, Damaris shows a guest in need of culinary guidance how to create a down-home breakfast.

In the evening, watch Guy’s Grocery Games for a surprising twist in the final round. At 9pm/8c, tune in for the series premiere of Restaurant Express in which nine aspiring restaurateurs fight for the chance to win their own restaurant concept. They’ll be traveling by bus, facing challenges created by Robert Irvine, who will help them shape their own restaurant. And finally, watch a new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, where the competitors in the last round must make s’mores, which may require a campfire for one unlucky chef.

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Gyros vs. Tacos: Which Restaurant Divided Concept Did You Like Better?

by in Shows, October 31st, 2013

Restaurant DividedCaught between her bickering fiancé, Neil Vaswani, and her mother, Terry Kipriadis, Vicky Giannakos explained: “My mother. She’s stubborn like a bull. Neil is also stubborn like a bull.” Terry opened Gyros & Goodies in Washington Township, N.J., three years ago, and Neil supported the venture as a substantial partner. But now that the Greek-focused restaurant is facing a mountain of financial struggles, Neil’s convinced the eatery should relaunch with a Mexican concept, while Terry is committed to Mediterranean fare. “The restaurant can’t continue like this, and as a family, we can’t continue like this,” Vicky admitted, just in time for Rocco DiSpirito and a Restaurant Divided transformation to decide the fate of her family’s business once and for all.

After sampling made-over menu items and overhauling the interior of the restaurant, Rocco welcomed everyday diners and esteemed restaurateurs alike for dinner at two concepts — the blue-and-white-clad Gyros & Goodies, run by Terry, and The Township Cantina, a bright spot staffed by Neil — in the same space. The future of Terry’s business, however, was ultimately in Rocco’s hands, as he number crunched profitability estimates and spoke with customers before eventually deeming Terry’s Gyros & Goodies more likely to succeed than Neil’s Mexican endeavor.

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Restaurant Revisited: Feathers Fly at Ducky’s Family Restaurant

by in Shows, October 30th, 2013

Robert IrvineFacing nearly $230,000 of debt, 33-year-old Ducky’s Family Restaurant in Kokomo, Ind., desperately needed Robert Irvine‘s help if the business was to have any chance at future success. Not long after Robert arrived, he realized that poor-quality canned food was among the largest issues plaguing Ducky’s, as was its drab interior decor akin, which Robert’s designer, Taniya Nayak, deemed “a cafeteria nightmare.” Together with Taniya and the rest of his Restaurant: Impossible team, Robert re-launched Ducky’s after two days of work on a $10,000 budget, and he helped owner Bill Duncan and Bill’s family learn essential skills for managing their family-run eatery. FN Dish caught up with Bill to find out how his business is doing a few months since the show filmed.

“Since the shooting of our episode, we have doubled our weekly sales,” Bill said. “Everyone loves the remodel.”

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Halibut with Soppressata and Fennel — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

by in Recipes, Shows, View All Posts, October 30th, 2013

Halibut with SoppressataChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week’s Chopped: Competition Italiano episode, the competitors found limoncello, pasta dough, soppressata and newborn baby fish in their appetizer baskets. Except for that last ingredient, the items sound pretty standard for an Italian kitchen. During the challenge, some of the competitors got into a bit of a sticky situation with the pasta dough, which turned out to be the most difficult to transform. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is the soppressata, a very flavorful Italian salami that’s much easier to use than pasta dough. It’s great eaten on its own but even better when cooked in a dish like this: Pan-Seared Halibut with Soppressata and Fennel. The recipe is perfect for either an elegant dinner party or a casual family dinner.

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Cooking, Eating and Living La Dolce Vita — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, October 29th, 2013

When you think of Italy, one of the first things that come to mind is probably the food. Then it’s imagining all the enjoyment of eating it. Just think: big bowls of pasta, plates of salami and a final celebratory toast with limoncello. Those are exactly the ingredients from the appetizer basket in this week’s episode of Chopped, which had a special Italian theme. To have their way with the ingredients, judges Amanda, Aarón and Maneet took up spots in the Chopped kitchen for an After Hours competition. They faced cooking with pasta dough, soppressata, limoncello and baby fish.

On the show, the competitors all tried making pasta in some shape or form, but not without some sticky situations. Just think about how much time you might need for rolling out pasta! Amanda and Maneet reinvented the pasta. Amanda, deciding to make a fritto misto, thought not only was she going to fry the fish, she would fry the pasta too. And Maneet wanted to turn her pasta into Mexican tostadas with an Indian twist. Only Aarón tried to make a traditional Italian pasta dish of ravioli uovo, which is pasta with an egg yolk inside. Unfortunately his attempt to make “the best pasta ever” didn’t turn out so well, so instead he switched to plan B.

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Back to Basics — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 27th, 2013


Given the unexpected sabotages, limited time on the clock and looming judgment with which they’re forced to adapt, it’s likely that when chefs compete on Cutthroat Kitchen, they’re cooking under a crushing amount of stress and pressure. For some, that anxiety may serve only to better their game, forcing them to work smartly and efficiently, but for others, such a burden may get the better of them.

In this week’s competition, a chef’s inability to cope with the competition’s demands ultimately led to his or her exit. Judge Antonia Lofaso told Alton on his After-Show that the contestant’s Round 1 lasagna offering featured such grievous errors that she had no choice but to eliminate him or her on account of these seemingly elementary errors. Although inexperienced with making fresh pasta, this chef was forced to make pasta dough from scratch, but the end result proved “dense,” according to Antonia, and was only one part of an overall unsuccessful plate. “It was just poorly executed, everything on the dish,” she said, “from the cuts of the bell peppers to them not being cooked to pasta that was just completely inadequate.”

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