If you don’t think you can find great tacos north of the border, think again. In this episode of Top 5 Restaurants, Food Network embarked on a country-wide taco tour, uncovering everything from succulent carnitas to homemade breakfast tacos. Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian hosted this fun fiesta, giving you a special behind-the-scenes look at the restaurants and what exactly makes their Mexican specialties the best of the best.
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A Cutthroat Kitchen judge since the earliest days of the series, Antonia Lofaso surely knows the ins and outs of the competition. But on tonight’s all-new episode, she proved just how much of an expert she is in the world of master sabotage. “Round 3: blondies. And our very first one was this interesting brownie pan,” Alton Brown said to her during the host’s After-Show while introducing her to the pan. He was about to explain the intricacies of the sabotage but didn’t manage to finish his thought — “Whoever got stuck with this had to do all of their mixing” — as Antonia simply cut him off, knowing exactly what he was about to say. “Mixing and prepping inside of the container!” she said, much to Alton’s chagrin. “You mock me!” he joked with her.
She was somewhat certain that “we always do this for cakes,” and indeed similar vessels have made appearances for past baking rounds. But Alton noted: “We don’t need new ideas when the ideas we have work. Maybe we just need judges that aren’t so pointing out of that.” They laughed about their exchange, and sure enough, Antonia was able to discern which of the two remaining chefs received this challenge for his blondies.
Cooking can sometimes seem like a daunting activity, but making food from scratch doesn’t always have to be complicated. This weekend on Food Network, tune in to see how Daphne Brogdon simplifies dishes. Join her on Sunday morning as she shows you how to grill flank steak and demonstrates how she tackles a commonly feared ingredient, yeast, in her delicious Cheesy Bread Rolls.
Then, get ready for three hours of fun-filled competition on Sunday night. First, in an all-new episode of Triple G, Guy has the competitors make a dish using only ingredients that start with the letter S. Then, they play an exciting game of Musical Carts for a chance to go on and compete to win a $20,000 shopping spree. Next, catch up with the remaining finalists on Food Network Star. They must get creative and have a sense of humor, because they’re cooking for guest judge David Alan Grier and a crowd full of fans of both comedy and food. Finally, tune in for Cutthroat Kitchen at 10|9c — you won’t want to miss Alton’s evilicious challenges!
Valerie Bertinelli is showing viewers how easy it is to prepare modern versions of her family favorites. Starting Saturday, Aug. 8 at 12|11c, the Golden Globe winner, best-selling cookbook author and co-host of Kids Baking Championship invites her closest friends over for mouthwatering meals and, of course, lots of laughs on Valerie’s Home Cooking.
At his New York City studio, Ron Ben-Israel imagines, creates and designs towering, expertly adorned cakes for all occasions. But on the all-new series Cake Wars, this master pastry chef won’t be in the kitchen, baking against the clock; rather, he’ll be overseeing the contest as a lead judge. Each week it’s up to him, fellow pastry chef Waylynn Lucas and special guests to dole out themed baking challenges that test the competitors’ time management and on-the-spot ingenuity, as well as their baking prowess.
Recently FN Dish caught up with Ron at a special screening of Cake Wars at Manhattan’s International Culinary Center, where he’s an instructor, to chat with the judge about all things to do with sweet competition. From his favorite cake-frosting flavor combination to what he looks for in a well-designed creation, read on below to hear from Ron in an exclusive interview.
What can fans expect from the season? What are you most looking forward to?
Ron Ben-Israel: It’s a new show, actually. Even though it’s similar to Cupcake Wars, it’s bigger and better. You know, cupcakes look nice and cute, but they are small. Even when we talk about cake — four, five, six, seven tiers. In the main challenge, they get four hours to build a cake, and … the themes are so crazy, from The Simpsons to Hello Kitty to Girl Scouts. So we don’t want to see miniature; we want to see over-the-top.
Your cakes take hours — days, even — to make. Could you imagine having to turn out something spectacular in such a short amount of time?
RBI: The hardship is not so much the four hours; it’s not being able to divide the task to a few days, because normally you bake the cake, then you chill [it] and you make the fillings … Here, everything comes together. But the reality is, if you have [the right] state of mind and organize, you can achieve what you want, and that was the hardest thing for me — not being able to go to the kitchens, because everybody has their own set kitchen, and say “Clean up, guys. It’s a mess.”
Things got fishy tonight on an all-new Chopped when Ted Allen announced that the entree basket would contain something known as trash fish, or porgy — a type of fish that used to be a cast-off. That along with olive tapenade, blood oranges and vermicelli (rice) noodles made up the required ingredients, which proved challenging. Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Geoffrey Zakarian took on the basket during a new installment of Chopped After Hours.
Amanda’s plan gets off to a rough start as she tries to deep-fry the rice noodles and realizes they’re not getting crisp. She makes some adjustments to speed up the process. “I cranked this, too, because I know my other chef competitors, they would like to use the fryer as well,” she says. “Look how considerate I am!” Geoffrey is convinced otherwise, asking where she put his pink peppercorns, which are actually on the ledge above his stove.
You know those sleepy summer camps that encourage community, camaraderie and nighttime kumbayas by the fire? This is not that. Led by none other than the master saboteur himself, Alton Brown‘s Camp Cutthroat takes everything you know and love about classic Cutthroat Kitchen — the over-the-top challenges, demanding judges and tight time constraints — and brings it to the great outdoors for a five-part tournament that shines a (hilarious) light on the most-evilicious sides of summer camp.
Premiering Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 9|8c, Camp Cutthroat takes place not in the cozy confines of the traditional Cutthroat arena but outside in the rural woods, which means that the 12 chef contestants will have to contend not only with each other, but also Mother Nature and, of course, the themed sabotages Alton has up his camp-uniform sleeve. From unforeseen wild animals and pesky fellow campers to a murky lake on the grounds, this adventure will test the competitors in downright diabolical ways before ultimately culminating in a finale that crowns one rival the Camp Cutthroat Champion.
You might consider your meat cravings satisfied, because on last night’s episode of Top 5 Restaurants, Food Network traveled from coast to coast to discover America’s best steaks. Hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian revealed these juicy, meaty and, in some cases, fatty meats to you in a countdown. Find out below which restaurants made the cut, and read about the succulent steak that topped the list.
For the second time in the show’s history, Chopped headed out of the studio and into the great outdoors for Grill Masters. The cast traded in their dress shoes and city blacks for boots and overalls — well, almost! Production moved the entire crew to Queens County Farm on the outskirts of New York City to tape the special grilling tournament, premiering July 14 at 10|9c. FN Dish caught up with host Ted Allen to chat about the challenges the location posed as well as the challenges the competitors will face.
“We’re a studio show, for the most part, and you forget how easy you have it shooting indoors,” says Ted, referring to the fact that Chopped tapes at Food Network headquarters in New York City, which is a whole lot comfier than roughing it in the Tucson desert like the cast and crew did for the previous Grill Masters season — just think sand everywhere. For Season 2 everything still had to happen outdoors, and even though a more convenient location was chosen, it didn’t mean it would be that much easier — there was still the chance of inclement weather, among other uncontrollable factors.