On tonight’s Chef Wanted, chef/partner Ryan Poli and managing partner Alfredo Sandoval were looking for a new executive chef to take over the reins of Tavernita, a tapas restaurant in Chicago. Since Chef Poli would be moving on to oversee more restaurants, he needed a chef with great technique who could work well and lead the current staff — and specifically they thought the restaurant would provide a good place in which a young chef could grow. Anne Burrell brought in four candidates for the job opportunity, but only one was offered the position. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winning chef.
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Robert Irvine may be known for rescuing America’s most dire eateries from the brink of failure on Restaurant: Impossible, but this fall he’s on a new mission: to find the most promising budding entrepreneur among a crop of restaurant hopefuls.
On his all-new series, Restaurant Express, Robert will challenge nine finalists to survive a culinary road trip across the West by proving not only their fearless culinary chops, but their business-savvy mindset, as well, if they want to keep their seat on the Restaurant Express bus. Week after week, it’s up to the contestants to demonstrate their staying power and impress Robert — a notoriously no-nonsense chef and experienced entrepreneur — by excelling in the host’s demanding challenges, both in the kitchen and out.
At the end of the journey, only one contestant will still be on the bus, and that person will have earned the title of executive chef and a leadership position on the team at the flagship restaurant The M Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas.
After Hours battles task Chopped judges with the same rules and restraints as the competitors — identical basket ingredients, limited time on the clock and the stipulation that they must use every mandatory product in some way — which means that when they take to the kitchen, they’re bringing with them the experience of judging hundreds of rounds of competition. They often remark on the show that a contestant’s dish lacks seasoning, is overcooked or is too simple, but when it’s their turn to cook, will they be able to succeed where others have failed, and will they deliver on the frequent requests they make of the competitors?
On tonight’s all-new episode of Chopped After Hours, Amanda proved that she can indeed walk the walk, if you will, in the kitchen, when she decided to bake a cake for her dessert. “I’ve always wanted everyone to bake,” she told Ted, “so I find it only fair for me to bake.” Her dish, like Aarón’s and Marcus’ dishes, had to feature chicken-themed ingredients, including chicken suckers, farm-fresh eggs, fruitcake and chicken feet, but she didn’t let the oddity of these products stop her from the mission. After a quick 30 minutes, she ultimately proved that it’s possible to bake — and bake well — in the Chopped , as her fruitcake with a sweet marshmallow mousse “melts in your mouth, ” according to Aarón. “I want to put my money where my mouth is. I am always begging the chefs to bake … so I baked,” she told her peers when presenting the dessert.
On this past Sunday’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the three remaining teams rode into the Windy City and discovered that all three of them would be making it into the finale, which started right away. Day one began with a Truck Stop challenge, which had the teams cooking deep-dish pizzas for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In a second Truck Stop challenge on day two, the teams sold Chicago-style sausages that were provided by Mike Ditka’s restaurant and later met the NFL Hall of Famer himself. Only one team won the advantage, which was leaving for the next city with a five-hour head start.
When you think of Chicago, deep-dish pizzas and Chicago-style dogs immediately come to mind, but Chi-Town has much more to offer in the way of casual eats and fine dining. Just browsing through these listings you’ll discover the city’s international appeal mixed with Midwest comfort food eateries. And of course there are those restaurants whose claim to fame is the deep-dish pizza or Chicago-style dog. FN Dish has rounded up a sampling of the endless eating opportunities from Food Network’s On the Road guide. Check them out below.
On Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, Rachael and Guy coach teams of talented kid chefs to culinary victory. Here on FN Dish, we’re serving up some of the mentors’ best family-favorite, cook-together recipes in a friendly face-off. Whose dish scores more points with your family? Cast your votes below!
This week, Rachael and Guy each serve up two different meals made with a staple family dinner ingredient: chicken. First up, they’re showcasing their spins on crunchy homemade chicken tenders. Vote for your top pick and cook it up for the kids instead of frozen nuggets.
It’s no surprise that to be successful on Cutthroat Kitchen competitors ought to come equipped with a strategy for how they’ll approach the contest, as Alton’s culinary mind game requires more of contestants than basic kitchen chops and the ability to work under pressure. For a chef to be victorious, he or she will need a strategy, and this week’s champion ultimately claimed the win thanks in part to a method of restrained bidding. After three rounds and only two wins at the auction, the top chef left with $11,800, a grand sum compared to the small wages some rivals have taken home. Alton and judge Jet Tila dished on such an approach to the contest during the latest installment of the host’s After-Show. “You want to walk out of here with your dough,” Alton explained. Jet added, “You’re not here just to spend, spend, spend to sabotage people.” On several past episodes, chefs have gotten caught up in back-and-forth bidding wars only to “spend their way to victory,” as Alton noted. This week’s victor, however, claimed just two wins at the auction, guaranteeing a take-home sum of $11,800, a large figure compared to the small wages some rivals earn after three rounds of seemingly careless spending. Read more
On tonight’s episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the three remaining teams were surprised with news that the finale had already begun. Tyler informed them that in a Food Trucks first, all three teams would be participating in the finale, an 800-mile race through six states. But the teams wouldn’t know yet where they would be going. Tyler told them to expect anything: Speed Bumps, Truck Stops and a surprise elimination up ahead. And, of course, there would be more cities in which to sell.
What to Watch: Cowboys on The Pioneer Woman, Wrestlers on Cupcake Wars and Food Trucks Enter Chicagoby Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 20th, 2013
This weekend, Food Network has all new episodes, sure to get your creative juices flowing and your competitive spirit going. On Saturday, watch The Pioneer Woman, Heartland Table and a special wrestling-themed Cupcake Wars.
Then on Sunday, the kids on Rachael vs. Guy are inspired to create menus based on a new animated film. On The Great Food Truck Race, the remaining teams roll into Chicago and find themselves getting judged by the mayor and Mike Ditka in two difficult challenges. Then on Cutthroat Kitchen, the chefs must deal with problems that arise from the culinary sabotages that are dealt by their competitors.
On tonight’s Chef Wanted, corporate Chef Ivy Stark and vice president of marketing Donna Rodriguez were looking for a chef de cuisine for the Las Vegas location of Dos Caminos, a Mexican restaurant with six locations on the East Coast. They needed someone with a strong culinary side who could also be the face of the brand on the West Coast. Anne Burrell brought in four candidates for the job opportunity, but only one was offered the position. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winning chef.
Chris Santos, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant may be revered judges on Chopped and three of the most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in New York City, but when they come together in the Chopped kitchen for a friendly face-off, they don’t hesitate to let their sillier sides show. On tonight’s all-new Chopped After Hours, the guys, led by host Ted Allen, were greeted with leftover ingredients — lasagna, a hamburger, a fortune cookie and steamed broccoli — and only 20 minutes on the clock to give these precooked dishes a second chance on a plate. While Chris, Geoffrey and Scott surely let their culinary chops shine in making such inspired dishes as a breaded lasagna bite, an Italian-focused sandwich and a family-friendly frittata, respectively, they weren’t shy about having fun with each other.
Just minutes into cooking, Ted and Chris took advantage of the opportunity when Scott was away from his station to playfully mess with the chef, hiding from him his chopped burger patty. “Someone stole my hamburger!” he exclaimed later, before Ted advised him to check beneath his station to find his missing ingredient.