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VOTE: An Iron Chef Italian Dish Showdown — Rival Recipes

by in Shows, October 27th, 2012

NIC rival recipes gnocchi vs. perciatelliA little friendly competition never hurt anyone and the newest season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption is sure to have plenty of it.

With just eight days until the premiere (Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c), FN Dish decided to heat things up and start the competition early. Starting today and continuing each week, editors will present two chefs with their corresponding dishes in what’s called Rival Recipes. Fans will then pick their favorite dish in a poll: the winner gets bragging rights and fans get two delicious recipes (it’s a win-win situation for the reader).

First up are the two newest Iron Chefs: Chef Marc Forgione (Season 3 winner) and Chef Geoffrey Zakarian (Season 4 winner), who is also a judge this season. Both chefs have mastered and revolutionized American-style cooking and here they offer two classic Italian dishes.

We’re pitting Chef Forgione’s Gnocchi With Brown Butter and Sage (from Food Network Magazine) against Chef Zakarian’s Perciatelli With Bolognese. Dumplings versus spaghetti. White sauce versus red sauce. Which will you choose? Vote below.

VOTE NOW: Which Iron Chef’s dish gets your vote?

5 Ways to Spot an Unsanitary Restaurant — Health Inspectors

by in Shows, October 26th, 2012

restaurant table
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors in a restaurant? Starting tonight, Ben Vaughn will scour restaurants and cafes to find out if they come up to par with today’s health standards in Food Network’s newest show, Health Inspectors. Traveling from Louisiana to states in the Midwest, Ben examines and exposes the infractions of establishments and then teaches the owners, managers and staff the tools and procedures to follow in order to stay in business. Will these struggling establishments survive? Their success will depend on how well they follow the advice of our chef, restaurateur and consultant, Ben Vaughn.

Can you spot an unsanitary restaurant? We chatted with Ben and asked him for five tips that customers should be on the lookout for:

1. Restrooms: Check out the restrooms first. Are they clean? Check the floors. Are paper towels readily available and is the soap dispenser full?

Customers should also be on the lookout for these four things

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Alton’s Close-Up — The Next Iron Chef Caption It

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 25th, 2012

Alton Brown
After two hard-fought battles between Chefs Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong then Chefs Robert Treviño and Duskie Estes, the Next Iron Chef Road to Redemption wraps up tomorrow with a third and final Kitchen Stadium showdown, this time between victors Chefs Wong and Estes. The chef whose cuisine reigns supreme will join nine rival chefs in the journey to claim the ultimate culinary title on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, premiering next Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c.

Until the battle begins, however, it seems as though the focus in Kitchen Stadium will be on Road to Redemption host and judge Alton Brown. In this sneak-peek shot from tomorrow’s finale, Alton turns the cameras on himself for a few moments of close-up face time before revealing the Secret Ingredient. Is he simply working on a blooper real, or is this one-man show part of the battle? Will we see the Road to Redemption‘s other judges, Simon Majumdar and Iron Chef Jose Garces, in similar frames?

Before you watch Chefs Wong and Estes face off for Kitchen Stadium glory, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef Road to Redemption fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

Watch the final battle

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The Golden Ticket: Lee Anne Wong’s Clogs

by in Shows, October 22nd, 2012

lee anne wong's golden clogs
Chef Lee Anne Wong has successfully made it to the final round of the Road to Redemption Web-series battle and this past Friday, Chef Estes also advanced, too (relive her battle below).

Making one dish in 30 minutes can be tricky, especially when you don’t know the ingredient in advance and the result has to be good enough to defeat your competitor. This was the situation for Chefs Wong and Cowan — both were seen running around Kitchen Stadium, gathering ingredients at record speeds. In between her mad dashes, viewers may have seen something shiny — Chef Wong’s golden clogs, to be exact. They caught our eye, as well. We recently caught up with her and asked her to dish on her kicks.

Chef Wong: I found a store in Venice, Calif., that does custom clogs. I figured golden clogs were the way to go. I ordered them and ended up waiting more than a month for them to be shipped to me back in N.Y. The first time I wore them I was throwing a party with Joey Campanaro at the Little Owl Venue. Needless to say, they have become my favorite pair of clogs (because I have enough clogs to outfit an entire kitchen of cooks with really small feet). They are a little beaten and worn, so I may need to send them back to get the gold leather refinished.

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Battle Coconut — Road to Redemption Web Series Recap

by in Shows, October 21st, 2012

battle coconut road to redemptionNext up to compete for that final spot in Season 5 are Chef Duskie Estes and Chef Roberto Treviño, both of who know all too well the pressures of competing to become The Next Iron Chef.

Although I was already very familiar with Chef Estes and her well-voiced determination to use local ingredients, this would be my first opportunity to witness the talents of Chef Treviño. I had, however, heard terrific things about his cooking, so knew we were in for a great battle.

The look on the faces of both chefs when Alton Brown revealed that the secret ingredient was coconut was worth the entrance money on its own. They both soon recovered and set about cooking two very different styles of dish. To be exact, Chef Treviño started cooking, while Chef Estes stared at her coconut for a few minutes like it was an alien and then hacked at it with a cleaver.

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Let the Cook-Off Begin: Rachael vs. Guy Returns for Star-Studded Season 2

by in Shows, October 21st, 2012

Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri

It’s once again time to roll out the red carpet because FN Dish is announcing for the first time the star-studded cast of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Season 2. Just like last season’s competition, this year’s showdown will feature two of Food Network’s culinary A-listers, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, leading teams of celebrities as they battle it out over the course of seven weeks for top Hollywood honor and a sizable donation to the charity of their choice.

Competing in the Season 2 cook-off is a straight-from-Hollywood lineup: Chilli from the pop/R&B group TLC; actor and comedian Gilbert Gottfried; designer, author and philanthropist Cornelia Guest; actor and reality television star Dean McDermott; actor Kathy Najimy from Sister Act; former NFL player, Super Bowl champion and MVP Hines Ward; singer Carnie Wilson from Wilson Philips; and two-time Olympic figure skater and three-time U.S. National Champion Johnny Weir.

Not your average cooking show competitors, these eight finalists are amateur cooks, having spent far more time singing, acting or performing for fans than braising or grilling in the kitchen. But what it lacks in professional experience and advanced culinary know-how, this group surely makes up for in energy, charisma and downright charm.

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Trisha Yearwood 2.0: The Return of Southern Flavor

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, October 19th, 2012

Trisha YearwoodTrisha Yearwood is back with even more Southern charm in season two of her show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. Join Trisha and her family in Oklahoma as they enjoy great music, delicious food and nostalgic stories. This season will be themed around celebrations such as Southern brunch, Sunday dinner and holiday gatherings.  The show will feature old family-favorite recipes like Miss Mickey’s Peanut Butter Balls, a No-Baste No-Bother Roasted Turkey and even lighter dishes like Corn Flake Chicken With Apple Ambrosia that are light in calories yet still full of flavor. Tune in tomorrow at 11am ET/PT to watch Trisha create delicious meals and tell great stories while surrounded by family and friends.

We caught up with Trisha to get the scoop on upcoming episodes and she told us that looking ahead, viewers can expect the return of everything they enjoyed about her first season: simple, relaxed food and plenty of family and friends in the kitchen. She’s especially looking forward to preparing dishes like a Thai-inspired salad and Black Bean Lasagna for her husband, musician Garth Brooks.

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Sweet Genius Surprises to Come in Season 3

by in Shows, October 18th, 2012

ron ben-israel sweet geniusBy Ron Ben-Israel, contributions by Kate Kenny and Nikki Junda

In this new season of Sweet Genius, the chefs I invited into my kitchen really raised the bar with unusual techniques and inspired flavor combinations. Candied vegetables? Champagne candies? Pizza dough Rocher? Why not.

The path to genius is never ordinary.

And speaking of unusual techniques, smoking ingredients isn’t just for barbecue anymore. Some of the chefs in my kitchen found imaginative applications for my smoke machine in their desserts. My palate will never be the same.

The competition is fierce and so are my inspirations. Find out what wild new wonders I have in store for the chefs this season. It will be anything but tame.

Being a pastry chef is hard work, but when I’m in the kitchen I like to have fun too. Tune in this season to find out what inspired me to wear a tutu and red nose.

New Season Premieres Thursday, October 18 at 10pm/9c.

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Next Iron Chef Rivals Unite at New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, Shows, October 18th, 2012

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption
With just two weeks to go until the premiere of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, eight of this season’s rival chefs, Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag, Elizabeth Falkner, Eric Greenspan, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jehangir Mehta, Spike Mendelsohn and Marcel Vigneron, joined Alton Brown and reigning Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Marc Forgione, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and Jose Garces for a night of competition-free cooking at the New York City Wine & Food Festival. Though the competition will certainly be fierce once the battle kicks off Sunday, November 4, last weekend’s Next Iron Chef event was all in good fun, the Iron Chef hopefuls coming together to chat with fans, watch sneak-peek clips of the first episode and dish out late-night party bites worthy of Kitchen Stadium.

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Restaurant Revisited: Oleander Bar & Grill

by in Shows, October 17th, 2012

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible
For Kelli Truman and Abby Grabow, owners of Oleander Bar & Grill in Olean, N.Y., Robert Irvine’s visit to their restaurant was a much-needed effort to save the business they opened just six months earlier. This mother-daughter duo needed Robert’s help to transform the dark dining room into a comfortable space, rethink their tired menu and improve their strained relationship if Oleander were to have any chance at lasting success. We checked in with Abby a few months after Oleander’s Restaurant: Impossible overhaul to see how the business has been doing since Robert left.

In the first two weeks after the renovation, Oleander saw sales increase nearly 50 percent.

The restaurant’s updated decor has been well received by diners who “love the fresh, clean, modern look of the design,” Abby says. She also notes that “the serious burger, shrimp tempura and crab bisque are the best-selling items that Robert added” to Oleander’s revamped menu.

Though Jaye no longer works at the restaurant, Abby says that “the staff that remains is very loyal and everyone has been working together to rebuild business.”

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