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What to Watch: Bobby’s Dinner Battle

by in Shows, January 15th, 2013

Bobby's Dinner BattleIf you’ve ever felt overwhelmed at the prospect of entertaining a houseful of party guests or cooking a meal for your opinionated relatives, then you can begin to imagine the pressure under which home cooks find themselves on Bobby’s Dinner Battle, Bobby Flay‘s newest show that challenges three teams of home cooks to prepare three-course dinner parties for this professional chef and restaurateur. Although they don’t have formal culinary training, the contestants are not simply kitchen novices. They consider themselves to be some of the best home cooks in their area and pride themselves on their ability to craft full-flavored, restaurant-quality meals using advanced techniques in their kitchens at home.

Each week, Bobby will travel to a different city where new groups of home cooks must put their best culinary chops forward in themed challenges to create event menus with limited time and money. Bobby will be joined by a special guest in each city, and these esteemed dinner party guests will help judge the competitors on the taste and presentation of their offerings, plus how well they’ve embraced the given theme.

Tune in to the series premiere of Bobby’s Dinner Battle on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10pm/9c.

10 Interesting Facts About Scotch Whisky

by in Drinks, Shows, January 14th, 2013

Iron Chef America Battle Scotch WhiskyLast night’s Iron Chef America battle between Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Chiarello brought one of my favorite tipples to the forefront: Scotch whisky. Instead of breaking down the ingredient like I usually do, here are 10 interesting facts that you may not know about this Secret Ingredient:

1. The term “whisky” is actually derived from the Gaelic words uisage beatha, which in turn came from the Latin Acqua Vitae or “water of life.” It’s thought that the name refers to the fact that these spirits were first used by monks for medicinal purposes.

2. The oldest reference to the production of whisky is not in fact in Scotland, but in Ireland, where it is believed that monks began distilling spirits as far back as the fifth century. The first reference from Scotland is found in the Exchequer rolls, the accounting records for the royal finances in 1494, where an allowance was made for “eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae.”

Keep reading for more facts

What to Watch: Chopped Champions

by in Shows, January 14th, 2013

Chopped ChampionsNo strangers to mystery baskets, unusual ingredients or opinionated judges, four previous Chopped winners are putting their reputations on the line one more time tomorrow night as they compete in the first round of the five-part tournament of Chopped Champions. While these chefs may be returning to familiar settings in the kitchen, they’ll face more pressure than ever as the stakes are now higher than they were in their last battles — on the line this time is a $50,000 prize and the ultimate Chopped title: Grand Champion. Since all of the competitors know what it takes to avoid the chopping block and are used to the sweet taste of victory, each must bring his or her A game if they want to be crowned a two-time champion and score a coveted seat in the grand finale.

Chefs Sylvain Harribey, Kenneth Johnson, Sean Scotese and Lish Steiling are the first four contestants to face off in the tournament, and they’re bringing with them memories of past battles and grand plans for showcasing their culinary chops once again. Flip through this photo gallery to find out more about the Chopped Champions contestants, and be sure to tune in Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 10pm/9c to find out which of these chefs has earned a place in the finale.

An Interview With the Latest Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Castoff

by in Shows, January 13th, 2013

Dean and Cornelia
Rachael vs. GuyEvery Sunday night, FN Dish gives you the exclusive exit interview with the latest castoff from Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the competition show that features celebrities cooking their way through challenges for a chance to win the title of Cook-Off Champion and $50,000 for their chosen charity. This season will have the celebrities facing real-life situations — far from the glamour of the red carpet — and will test more than just their cooking skills.

On tonight’s episode, the seven remaining celebrities took a trip to Underwood Family Farms. The challenge required them to cook a meal for the farm’s employees utilizing freshly picked produce. The one catch? The celebs themselves would have to pick the vegetables directly from the fields. As expected, not all of them were happy to trade in the red carpet for fields of dirt, but some took to the challenge surprisingly well. Two strong competitors, however, ended up in the bottom two.

Find out which celebrity was eliminated

Guy Fieri Talks to Fans of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off on Facebook

by in Shows, January 12th, 2013

Guy Fieri
Rachael vs. GuyEarlier this week, FN Dish caught up with Guy Fieri for a Facebook chat about the new season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Guy answered questions about the competition, the celebrities, working with Rachael, what it’s like to be a part of the show and more.

Jennifer Suraci Tavella: Whose cooking skills surprised you?
Guy Fieri: I have to tell you that Johnny Weir’s cooking skills — from the way he said he could cook to the way he actually cooked — really surprised me. The guy has a great palate.

Janice Miller: How do you deal with a celebrity that can’t cook at all?
GF: Everybody loves food. Food is the common denominator of all people. To say someone can’t cook at all — I don’t know if that’s really true. They just may not have that much experience or practice. If you give them some techniques, it’s amazing what people can do. They just have to believe in themselves and try.

Read on for highlights from the Facebook chat with Guy

Pin the What on the What? Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Caption It

by in Shows, January 11th, 2013

Team Rachael
Rachael vs. GuyThis season of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off takes the celebrity contestants to all different places for each challenge. Last Sunday the competition started out on the red carpet, moved to the kitchen and then ended at the theater. For this Sunday’s episode, things are a bit more down to earth than that.

In the above sneak-peek photo it appears that the remaining members of Team Rachael are pinning something onto a scarecrow. What could they be doing in the next challenge that has them looking so perplexed? Will the team step up to the challenge or will the new location trip them up?

Write your best caption

What to Watch: A Weekend of New Adventure and Competition

by in Shows, January 11th, 2013

Iron Chef America Judges and The ChairmanThis weekend, Food Network has a bunch of new episodes that capture the spirit of adventure, the willingness to try new things and the sense of competition.

On Saturday watch Barefoot Contessa and Giada at Home. Ina and Jeffrey travel through Napa Valley on their California adventure. Giada shows you how she likes to mix things up for dinner on Monday nights by going meatless.

On Sunday night, there are three competitions back-to-back. First, on Sugar Dome, different artists are challenged to create displays inspired by the ’80s. On Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the stars head to a farm outside of Hollywood to convene with the sources of the food they must cook. And on Iron Chef America, it’s a rematch between Iron Chef Zakarian and challenger Chef Michael Chiarello, with special guest judge Neil Patrick Harris.

Read about the shows

Enter for a Chance to Win a Lasagna Pan and Turner Set by Rachael Ray

by in Contests, Shows, January 10th, 2013

Rachael Ray Lasagna Lover and Turner SetTo celebrate season 2 of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, which airs Sundays at 9 pm/8c, FN Dish is giving away this stoneware lasagna-lover pan and turner set in green by Rachael Ray to one lucky reader.

You can buy your own Stoneware Lasagna Lover and Turner Set from the Food Network Store, or enter below for a chance to win the items. To enter: Tell us in the comments which celebrity on Team Rachael you want to win. The contest starts at 12 p.m. EST today, and ends on Wednesday, January 16, at 12 p.m. EST.

Read official rules before entering

Top 10 Genius Inspiration Interpretations From Seasons 1 and 2

by in Shows, January 10th, 2013

Sweet Genius, Season 2By Ron Ben-Israel, contributions by Kate Kenny and Nikki Junda

Ron Ben-Israel has raised the bar on the newest season of Sweet Genius with more unusual techniques and inspired flavor combinations. That made the Sweet Genius team think back to the previous seasons. After revisiting the best moments from old episodes and the 10 best ingredient inventions, they also decided to narrow down the 10 best inspiration interpretations from Seasons 1 and 2.

1. Mauricio Santelice
Dessert: Chocolate Unicorn Emerging From an Ostrich Eggshell With Pate a Choux Swans
EPISODE 101/Disco Genius
Inspiration: Unicorn

When Chef Mauricio Santelice presented me with an entire mythological scene of dessert creations inspired by a unicorn, I knew that he was an ambitious and talented chef. Chef Mauricio’s dish, with its chocolate unicorn leaping from an open ostrich eggshell and scrumptious pate a choux swans, made me feel as if I were given an edible surrealist painting. Inspired by my vision of a fantastical unicorn, Chef Mauricio’s dessert transported me to another place.

Get the top nine moments

The Perfect Midnight Snack — Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off

by in Shows, January 9th, 2013

Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri
Rachael vs. GuyOn this past Sunday’s episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the bottom two celebrity contestants, Kathy and Gilbert, competed in a midnight-snack cook-off to determine who was to go home. Kathy made a hummus that both coaches raved about. Though Gilbert’s second attempt at a peanut butter sandwich was better than the one he made for the dinner theater challenge, it wasn’t good enough to save him.

Which midnight snack do you think is better: Kathy’s hummus with toasted pita chips or Gilbert’s peanut butter and banana sandwich? Vote in the poll after the jump.

More from Rachael vs. Guy:
Photo Highlights from Episode 1
Rewatch Episode 1

As many of you may know, midnight snacks are often the only way to satisfy late-night stomach rumblings, especially when they wake you up. Whether it’s leftover pizza, cookies, a PB&J or hummus and chips, eating something — anything — seems like the only way to get back to sleep.

VOTE for whose snack is better and SHARE your favorite snack