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Battle Peanut — Road to Redemption Web Series Recap

by in Shows, October 14th, 2012

road to redemption battle peanuts

This season of The Next Iron Chef is all about redemption.

Nine of the coveted places in the competition had been filled. The Chairman, however, had decided to leave one spot open, to be filled by the winner of a series of sudden-death cook-offs. It was a deliciously fiendish idea.

I was pleased when I received a call asking me to help judge this Web series. I was even more pleased when I heard that my co-judges would be Iron Chef Jose Garces and Alton Brown. I was also genuinely thrilled that the first two challengers were the immensely talented Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong, who had impressed the Chairman with victories in Kitchen Stadium previously.

When Alton announced that the mystery ingredient was peanuts, both chefs went straight to their happy places: in Chef Wong’s case, to her skills with Asian cuisine and in Chef Cowan’s case, exuberant Caribbean cookery.

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What to Watch: Sandra’s Restaurant Remakes

by in Shows, October 13th, 2012

sandra lee and scott conant
Have you ever tried a dish at a restaurant and wished that you replicate the same tastes at home? Sandra Lee’s new series, Sandra’s Restaurant Remakes, explores the secrets behind those mouthwatering meals. In her new show, Sandra learns how to make signature dishes from famous establishments across the country and then takes the knowledge back to her own kitchen. Sandra puts her classic touch on every dish and shows viewers how they can make the meals simply and efficiently for themselves. Watch and learn as Sandra travels the country visiting restaurants, bakeries and bars.

Tune in every Sunday at 10am ET/PT starting October 14 to find out how you can enjoy restaurant-quality meals without leaving your home.

Restaurant Revisited: Valley Inn

by in Shows, October 10th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible
Valley Inn restaurant in Palos Hills, Ill., is a 40-year-old eatery with a history of success. Recently, however, the restaurant had fallen on hard times, and owner Dennis Ristucci needed Robert Irvine’s help to restore Valley Inn to its former glory. In only two days, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team tackled a dark, dirty dining space and low-quality food before reopening to a line of hungry customers. We checked in with Dennis to see how his business is doing a few months after its renovation.

Since Robert left, sales at Valley Inn have increased nearly 85 percent. Dennis tells us that the revised menu and updated decor “have drawn new interest from the neighborhood.” Among his favorite aspects of the remodel are the more inviting entry space and improved flooring.

Today, Valley Inn’s menu is a mix of the restaurant’s original dishes and those that Robert created, and Dennis says that “customers like the combination.” Additionally, he notes that the restaurant is no longer using any frozen food. Dennis tells us his staff are “more attentive to customers” and welcome diners “with big smiles and stories about the show.” He adds that “everyone has been doing their part and cleaning, too.”

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What to Watch This Weekend: Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson and Halloween Wars

by in Shows, October 5th, 2012

home made in america with sunny anderson
Beginning this Saturday, October 6, you can watch Sunny Anderson embark upon a new journey in her second show, Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson. Follow Sunny as she travels through Baton Rouge, La., Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas and New York tasting delicious home-cooked creations as she moves across the country. Sunny demonstrates that there is more to food besides preparation and flavor — there is also a story. Throughout the season Sunny will not only try the most-celebrated recipes in the cities she visits, but she will also meet the cooks behind the creations. These cooks will share their inspirational stories and also their own secrets and tips. Tune in to this daytime series at 9:30am ET/PT on October 6 so that you can be a part of the journey.

Get the recipes from the most recent episode of Home Made in America.

Keep reading about Halloween Wars

Restaurant Revisited: Whistle Stop

by in Shows, October 3rd, 2012

Restaurant: ImpossibleWhen Robert Irvine arrived at Whistle Stop restaurant in Hot Springs, Ark., he found an outdated dining space and dirty kitchen in desperate need of a makeover. Linda Todd, employee-turned-owner of Whistle Stop, needed Robert’s help to transform her restaurant into a profitable business and effectively manage her staff. We checked in with Linda to see how the restaurant is doing a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible renovation. Hear from the owner below then take a photo tour of the restaurant and see before-and-after snapshots of the Whistle Stop’s dining room and buffet station.

Since Robert left, the restaurant has begun breakfast service, which Linda says “is doing pretty well” so far. “We started doing breakfast a little over 2 weeks ago and it is doing pretty well. Hopefully it will continue to grow.” She also notes that Brett does not work at Whistle Stop anymore.

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What to Watch: Chopped, No Kidding!

by in Shows, October 2nd, 2012

ChoppedWhat do you get when you put four teenagers in the kitchen and ask them to make a three-course dinner with out-of-the-basket ingredients? The answer might normally be chaos, a slew of questionable plates and a mess, but not on tonight’s all-new episode of Chopped. Four teen cooks are taking to the Chopped kitchen to prove that they aren’t simply culinary novices, but rather passionate, ambitious amateurs who know their way around a chef’s knife and sauté pan.

But even with their determination and savvy kitchen skills, can these four teens cook up a meal that impresses all-star Chopped judges who are used to tasting dishes prepared by professional chefs? Tune in tonight at 10pm/9c to find out which teen will survive the Chopping Block and take home $10,000.

On the Road: Boston Restaurants With Mass Appeal

by in Shows, October 2nd, 2012

on the road boston
The final two teams of The Great Food Truck Race cruised into Boston, which was the first leg of a three-city tour they had to conquer on the road to the grand prize. Boston is already filled with great food trucks, so the town was extremely welcoming to Nonna’s Kitchenette and Seoul Sausage. Tasked with a Truck Stop to come up with a “wicked-awesome lobster dish,” Nonna’s left the city with a $500 credit for their lobster cakes and Seoul was left to shuck six bushels of clams. While the credit gave Nonna’s an advantage, it was short-lived. After a three-city finale, Seoul Sausage took home the grand prize.

For our final Food Trucks city-by-city guide, compiled by the On the Road app and website, we’re exploring the best that Boston has to offer.

Flour Bakery
Whether you want a quick sweet before you start the day or a place to while away a Sunday morning, Flour is great for either. Get there early to make sure you’ll have your pick of the sticky buns that beat out Bobby’s in a Throwdown.

Keep reading for more picks

You Get To Choose: Chopped Basket Ingredients

by in Community, Shows, October 1st, 2012

chopped basket
Food Network fans are being given an unprecedented opportunity: Choose which mystery basket ingredients competing chefs on Chopped will face. A special episode of the hit show will feature three baskets, each with mystery ingredients selected solely based on fan recommendations from Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

How to participate: Each week, fans will be able to nominate their choice of mystery ingredients on a different social media platform.

  • Week 1 (October 1-7): Thanks to all our fans who voted via Food Network Facebook Timeline, voting is now closed.
  • Week 2 (October 8-14): Pinterest voting is now complete. Thank you to all the fans who shared their mystery ingredient ideas.
  • Week 3 (October 15-21): Send us your Chopped basket mystery ingredient nominations via Twitter using #MysteryIngredient.

What ingredients would you put inside the Chopped mystery baskets? We can’t wait to see what our fans come up with!

By participating in this fan vote, you are agreeing to Food Network’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Nonna’s Kitchenette Says Goodbye — The Great Food Truck Race

by in Shows, October 1st, 2012

food truck teams
The third season of The Great Food Truck Race hit the road with eight rookie food trucks — and not one of the teams had ever worked, cooked or driven in a food truck up until that point. Fast forward seven weeks and this team of determined ladies can certainly say they walked away from the finale having learned the ropes of the food industry. Every Sunday we saw Nonna’s Kitchenette pull out all their team’s tricks to stay in the game, but ultimately, only one truck could win. Tonight, Nonna’s lost by just $103 and was the final team to return their keys to Tyler.

Tyler said your team is a “force to be reckoned with” and we agree. Nothing stopped you from giving it your all. What was the team’s most memorable moment of the competition?

Holding hands at eliminations and never knowing if we were going home or moving on to the next city, and then the feeling of relief after finding out from Tyler that we were safe. Winning the challenges in Arkansas and Boston were also an indescribable feeling. There was so much more at stake this season — we really had to hand in the keys to the truck that we never wanted to give back, and that was tough. Proving to ourselves that we can successfully run a food truck business, however, was a dream come true for us.

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Watch Out, L.A.: Here Comes Seoul Sausage

by in Shows, September 30th, 2012

seoul sausage
The third season of The Great Food Truck Race hit the road with eight rookie food trucks with a grand prize of $50,000 and the chance to keep their truck. Every Sunday we saw each truck pull out all their team’s tricks to stay in the game. But ultimately, one truck said goodbye each week. Tonight it was down to the final two: Seoul Sausage and Nonna’s Kitchenette. Both battled multiple Truck Stops and Speed Bumps in three different cities that constantly kept them on their toes. In the end, it came down to a difference of $103.

All season long we saw these three friends give it their all in an effort to prove to their parents that they had what it takes to be successful in the food truck industry. With their clever menu names, irresistible fried kimchi rice balls and unmistakable ambition, Seoul Sausage walked away with the grand prize — Los Angeles, welcome your newest food truck!

For seven weeks, we’ve watched you sell the fried kimchi rice balls. Where did that idea come from and why do you think those were so popular?

It came out of both necessity and coincidence. You have to remember the first week we were thrown off guard — all of a sudden we couldn’t make sausages anymore. In Flagstaff, Ariz., Chris had to think on the fly and create a new dish that could really encapsulate what Seoul Sausage the food truck was all about. He did that perfectly and it was just a fun food item that people ate up.

Keep reading our exclusive interview