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Chopped Mystery Basket Weirdest Ingredient Bracket Tournament — Vote in Round 2

by in Shows, April 17th, 2013

Chopped Mystery Basket Weirdest Ingredient Bracket Tournament Round 2Some of the mystery basket ingredients that get used on Chopped are pretty unusual, to say the least. But the culinary producers who come up with them don’t just draw them out of a hat — though sometimes it does seem that way! They take their time to decide on the ingredients, making sure the basket components are just right and actually manageable. FN Dish queried the culinary producers to find out the top 16 weirdest basket ingredients they’ve had on the show. The list of ingredients ranged from goat brains to gummy eggs over easy — almost no ingredient is off-limits.

Now it’s up to you, Chopped fans, to vote on the ingredient you think is the weirdest of them all in this four-round bracket tournament, which coincides with the new season of Chopped All-Stars.

VOTE now!

Introducing the Croque Señor — Rebel Remix

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 16th, 2013

Chopped All-Stars Round 2 Appetizer Basket
Every Tuesday, Justin Warner, winner of Food Network Star Season 8, is back remixing the Chopped All-Stars baskets as seen in the episode Sunday night in pure Justin Warner style: edgy, intense, passionate and full of wit. If you’ve ever watched an episode and found yourself yelling at the TV, “I would have made this and that instead!” then these are the posts for you.

by Justin Warner

Welcome to the second installment of Chopped All-Stars Rebel Remix. In the space below, you will find my woulda-shoulda-coulda of Sunday’s showdown. Just so you know, I give myself no more than 45 minutes to write these little posts. It gets pretty intense. I actually sweat, a little.

Keep reading

Mama’s Cookin’, Neighborhood Joints and Scratch-Made Classics on Triple D Tonight

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 15th, 2013

Scratch-Made Classics on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesIn tonight’s new episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (9pm/8c), Guy’s favorites are completely homemade from coast to coast. In Manhattan, a real deal chef is crankin’ out homemade pretzels with a special beer cheese sauce. Heading north to Vancouver, Guy will visit a butcher shop turned bakery and diner that’s serving up standards like burgers and turkey pot pie. Back down to the West Coast in Santa Barbara, Calif., a family-run joint is making authentic Mexican food from scratch, like carnitas with red salsa and pozole with homemade tortillas.

But before Guy takes off, he’s heading out in a marathon of episodes that will having you craving Pancetta Bacon Pasta (yes, pancetta and bacon), Potato and Cheese Pan-Fried Pierogies, and BBQ Pulled Pork With Carolina Sauce.

Take the trip with him starting at 6pm/5c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes and try your hand at the recipes.

From north and south to east and west, Guy’s been everywhere. Next time you’re traveling, download the On the Road app or check out this map to find all of Guy’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives destinations.

Go behind the scenes with Guy

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Competitors of Chopped All-Stars?

by in Shows, April 15th, 2013

Chopped All-Stars
Chopped All-Stars brings together famous chefs, talent from Food Network and Cooking Channel, current Chopped judges and popular celebrities to compete for a chance at winning the title of All-Stars champion and $50,000 for charity. Though these competitors seem completely unrelated, the one thing that connects them is a shared love for food. But above all they want a chance at giving back to the charities they care about. See how well you know each all-star in this quiz.

Test Your Knowledge: Chopped All-Stars Quiz

Take this quiz and test your knowledge to see how well you know the all-stars.
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Need some help answering the questions? Read the all-star bios and check out the all-star Q&As on FN Dish.

Restaurant Revisited: Something’s Fishy at Joe Willy’s Seafood House

by in Shows, April 14th, 2013

Robert IrvineJoe and Dena White, owners of Joe Willy’s Seafood House in Fishkill, N.Y., looked to Robert Irvine to save not only their restaurant but their family too, as the stress of their declining business had put a load of frustration and tension between them. It was up to Robert to hone in on the most-critical issues plaguing Joe Willy’s and work with his Restaurant: Impossible team to attempt to fix them in only two days and with just $10,000. He quickly learned that many of the restaurant’s problems stemmed from its poor-quality food, made by Joe, the head chef, so he focused his efforts on implementing an improved menu that Joe could execute with ease. After 48 hours of renovations, Joe Willy’s reopened to a dining room full of guests with Joe and Dena at the helm, now working harmoniously. We checked in with Dena a few months after the transformation to find out how Joe Willy’s is doing.

Since its Restaurant: Impossible experience, the restaurant has enjoyed a significant boost in business, Dena says, explaining that “sales have tripled to quadrupled at times.” Since they’re now making a profit, Dena notes that it’s “much easier to pay bills, rent and staff, and make improvements,” and says that they’ve begun to catch up on their debt.

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One-on-One With the Chopped All-Stars Round 2 Winner

by in Shows, April 14th, 2013

Chopped All-Stars Round 2Earlier on FN Dish, we broke down the second round of Chopped All-Stars, including an interview with runner-up (spoiler alert).

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — FN Dish is about to break down the episode and chat with the winner.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who won

Mega-Chefs on the Chopping Block: We Chat With the Round 2 Runner-Up

by in Shows, April 14th, 2013

Chopped All-Stars Round 2The Chopped Kitchen has seen many talented chefs, including its own Chopped judges, compete. Tonight contenders with considerable competitive prowess took each other on in the second round of the All-Star competition. With winning titles like Food & Wine Magazine‘s 10 Best New Chefs and hands-on experience in competitive cooking shows like Next Iron Chef, four mega-chefs, Chuck Hughes, Elizabeth Falkner, Gavin Kaysen and Richard Blais took on the dreaded mystery basket ingredients.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — FN Dish is about to break down the episode and chat with the runner-up.

SPOILER ALERT: The exclusive interview with the runner-up

What’s the Most-Common Mistake Made in the Chopped Kitchen?

by in Shows, April 13th, 2013

Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Amanda Freitag and Ted AllenWeek after week, Chopped fans tune in to watch four eager chef competitors take their places in the kitchen for a chance to outcook the chopping block and score the coveted title of Chopped Champion. Not only facing off against each other, the contestants battle baskets full of mystery ingredients like shad roe sacks, black garlic, pig ears and duck hearts — products and produce that are so unusual that some chefs have neither seen nor tasted them before in their career.

Working with such oddball selects surely invites a host of unique problems, including overcooked proteins and underdone grains, but the most-common mistake made among chefs isn’t one resulting from obscure ingredients. Instead, it’s something that trips up even home cooks as they prepare everyday meals for their families.

Speaking to a crowd at the Borgata Hotel Spa & Casino in Atlantic City, longtime Chopped judge Geoffrey Zakarian said that the most-prominent error in competitors’ dishes is seasoning. No stranger to the highs and lows in the Chopped kitchen, he’s tasted his share of meals that have proved to be near disasters simply because chefs used too little of two of the most-basic ingredients found in restaurant and home kitchens alike: salt and pepper. “Nobody puts salt and pepper in their food,” he said. “Amazing. Shocking.”

What cooking conundrums do you struggle with in the kitchen? Tell FN Dish in the comments below.

What to Watch: Laila Ali Cooks With Paula, Jeff’s Italian Sandwiches and Lance Bass Judges on Cupcake Wars

by in Shows, April 12th, 2013

Lance Bass on Cupcake WarsThis weekend there is a bunch of new episodes on Food Network that are sure to give you some great entertaining ideas and glue you to your seat with exciting action.

On Saturday, watch all-new episodes from Paula, Ree and Giada. First, boxer Laila Ali joins Paula in the kitchen to make some hearty favorites. Then Ree is cooking fun finger foods for a cousin sleepover party at the lodge. Later, Giada is hosting a luncheon for a group of special ladies.

Start Sunday morning with Jeff and his Italian-inspired sandwiches. Follow it up with some competition in the evening, beginning with a “Fan Favorites” episode of Cupcake Wars judged by special guest Lance Bass. Afterward, it’s Round 2 of Chopped All-Stars, where mega-chefs battle it out in the kitchen for a chance at competing in the grand finale. And finally, on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert helps a couple save their seafood restaurant and, in turn, save their family.

Read about the shows

Chef Wanted: Blaue Gans Update

by in Shows, April 11th, 2013


Chef WantedBlaue Gans, German for “blue goose,” is a Wirtshaus-style restaurant in New York City serving modern Austro-German cuisine. It is one of five establishments owned by esteemed chef and published cookbook author Kurt Gutenbrunner. After promoting the restaurant’s current chef to oversee all operations, Kurt needed a new chef for Blaue Gans, so he turned to Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team for help. Four candidates were brought in, and after two rigorous cooking tests and two dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef Carsten Vollrath.

Originally from Germany, Chef Vollrath has been living and working in the United States for the past 10 years. He has wanted to become a chef since the age of 17, and he’s always dreamed of coming to New York City. He thinks Blaue Gans will become his new home away from home.

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