While some restaurant owners welcome Robert Irvine with open arms and recognize their need for his expertise, others are perhaps too set in their ways to realize the gravity of the state of their restaurant. That’s what happened on tonight’s all-new episode of Restaurant: Impossible when a mission took Robert to Cocoamoda in Calvert, Texas. A French bistro boasting both an event space and a chocolate boutique, Cocoamoda is owned by Ken Wilkinson, but it was Ken’s daughter, Courtney, who first reached out to Robert and asked if he — Brit to Brit — could convince her father to update his approach. Now, a few months after reopening a newly renovated Cocoamoda, Ken is speaking out about Robert’s changes to the restaurant and how his business is faring today.
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It’s been an especially eventful few weeks at Food Network. Fresh off the news that Ina Garten and Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, as well as Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, are among the elite few to have received 2015 James Beard Award nominations, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences just announced that several of your favorite Food Network chefs and shows have received nominations for the 42nd annual Daytime Emmys.
Bobby and Ina continue their award-season hot streak with nominations for Outstanding Culinary Host for their work on Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, respectively. They join Danny Boome of Z Living’s Good Food America, Edward Lee and Magnus Nilsson of PBS’ The Mind of a Chef, and Martha Stewart for PBS’ Martha Bakes.
Ina’s Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics is also nominated for Outstanding Culinary Program, as is Guy’s Big Bite, hosted by Guy Fieri, and Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, hosted by Mo Rocca. Other nominees in the category include Martha Bakes and The Mind of a Chef, both on PBS.
The chefs of Chopped were sure surprised to see basket ingredients in disguise in tonight’s April Fools’ episode. Presented with ingredients that appeared to be peas and carrots, grilled cheese, tomato soup and milk, what they actually had were candies, pound cake, strawberry puree and buttermilk. After the episode, the judges — Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli — face the dessert round in an all-new Chopped After Hours, cooking with the same deceiving ingredients.
“I have great news! We’re bringing in massage therapists,” says Ted. “I’ve also got vintage Champagne.” But before he goes any further, he blurts out, “None of that is true. It’s our April Fools’ episode!” The baskets were designed to fool the chefs, but the judges feel it’s their duty to bring that same spirit to their dishes. “It’s up to us to have our own version of a reaction to April Fools’,” says Alex, who’s got a few tricks up her sleeve — although Ted may have an even bigger trick up his.
Our knees were knocking during the latest episode of All-Star Academy when the remaining contestants served up their alphabet-themed dishes — there needed to be four ingredients beginning with the letters S, T, A and Y in each dish — to judge and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia. We were sad to see Angela, one of Bobby Flay’s mentees, go after she was docked major points for a messy fried egg (Y was for “yolk” in her dish). Even if you have all the time in the world, the simplest of dishes takes practice and technique. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s step-by-step how-to for the perfect fried, sunny-side-up egg.
You’ve watched the evilicious battles unfold on TV every Sunday night, you log on to FoodNetwork.com to check out the latest After-Shows with Alton Brown and the judges, you’ve even found out which sabotage would slay you if you saddled up for competition. By all accounts, you’re a bona fide fan of Cutthroat Kitchen. Now it’s time to learn once and for all whether you’re a superfan — the ultimate in die-hard devotion to all things diabolical. Take the quiz below to see how your knowledge of the sabotages, judges, host and contest rules stacks up.
Chopped fans, have you dreamt of being able to cook like a competitor on the show? Now here’s your chance to make it come true. All you have to do is participate in the Chopped at Home Challenge, Round 2 of which starts today. Simply enter a dish using a set mystery basket of ingredients for a chance to compete in the Chopped kitchen at Food Network headquarters. And to top it all off, the winner will receive $10,000, just like a real Chopped champion.
From inflated blueberry suits to curry-inspired balance beams and a swinging hammock in place of a prep station, Cutthroat Kitchen is known for its over-the-top sabotages and seemingly impossible challenges. But sometimes, eviliciousness is nearly taken one step too far, as the show’s culinary team demonstrated in the latest installment of Testing the Sabotages. Food style Abel Gonzalez tried his hand at a would-be challenge for a tortilla-soup round, in which one chef was to be forced to mix and prepare soup using only tostada shells. Luckily for that chef, Abel found that the task was ultimately impossible, so the chef was spared from struggling with — and ultimately crumbling under —the impossibility of that task.
Click the play button on the video above to get a behind-the-scenes look at Abel’s attempt. After adding the critical ingredient — a generous pour of broth, aka the hallmark of a soup — he pleaded with the shells, “Please hold, please hold,” as he set them in the microwave for a quick cook. Despite his earnest pleas, though, he opened the microwave door to a puddle of broth and disintegrated shells. “I don’t have a soup there; I have mush,” he admitted, before deeming this a “sabotage fail.”
With deviled eggs, roasted lamb, chocolate nests and party-ready punch on the menu this weekend, The Kitchen cast was set to kick off an all-new episode dedicated to celebrating next week’s Easter holiday. In true Kitchen fashion, the co-hosts turned the focus of the show to you, the fans, and let you take part in the party by giving you the chance to win an over-the-top Easter basket.
At the start of the show, Jeff Mauro showed off a special Easter egg that would be hidden on set and later revealed two times throughout the episode; it was up to you, the viewers, to spot the egg for your chance to win one of these seasonal baskets, each filled with a Le Creuset 4.5-quart Dutch oven, a Le Creuset spatula, a Le Creuset spatula spoon, a tea towel set and a Kitchen mug signed by the cast.
Think you spotted the hidden Easter egg? Leave a comment below with the location where you think you saw it on the set of The Kitchen on air. Five lucky, randomly selected fans will win one Easter basket each.
What to Watch: Easter Festivities on The Pioneer Woman and The Kitchen, Plus a Surprise Return on All-Star Academyby Rosanna Talarico in Shows, March 27th, 2015
Start prepping the Easter menu this weekend on Food Network. Tune in on Saturday for Easter festivities and recipes on new episodes of The Pioneer Woman and The Kitchen. Ree Drummond will be making traditional holiday dishes like Hot Cross Buns, Tortellini Primavera, Crudite Basket with Spinach Dip and Crispy Easter Eggs for the kids. Then, the cast of The Kitchen is cooking up classics like stuffed pork loin and leg of lamb. Pastry chef Johnny luzzini stops by to show off his unique carrot cake. Watch to find out how you can enter to win an Easter basket filled with kitchen must-haves (pictured above).
On Sunday, watch Farmhouse Rules and join Nancy Fuller as she makes a delightful lunch of Poached Salmon Salad, Herbed Rice Pilaf and Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce. Then, on Sunday night, stay tuned for Guy’s Grocery Games, All-Star Academy and Cutthroat Kitchen to cheer on the chefs as they battle for victory.
Though Robert Irvine can’t anticipate the exact state a restaurant will be in when he arrives for a Restaurant: Impossible mission, there are a couple of things he’s come to expect at every overhaul: one failing restaurant and one last chance to save it from the brink of closure. His latest mission, in Summerville, S.C., caught him by surprise, though: Upon meeting Robert, Frankie Valentino asked him to transform not just one of his family’s Italian-focused eateries, but both of them. The Valentino family owns both Valentino’s and Italian Bistro, and both businesses were in dire need of support if they were to have any hope of a future. Sure enough, in true Irvine fashion, Robert completed this double-duty mission with roaring success. Read on below to hear from Frankie and find out how both restaurants are faring today.
According to Frankie, business at “Valentino’s is currently up by 30 percent and the Bistro by 20 percent.” He adds that “the new design is working great” and “it looks brighter [and] modern.”