On tonight’s episode of the Chopped Tournament of Stars, four actors entered the competition to take on the reality of competition. They would realize that this wasn’t just another role for them to play; no amount of acting could save a dish from the Chopping Block. Still, only one could walk away as the winner of the round, with a chance to go to the finale and earn $50,000 for charity. These actors learned the competition is a lot harder than it looks on TV. Find out who proved he or she was able to make it through all three courses without throwing in the towel. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Round 4 winner.
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Friends and Berkeley, Calif., locals Ramonn and Mark were disappointed in their neighborhood’s lounge offerings, so they teamed up to open the ultimate swanky concept. Although Mark has vast experience in the restaurant industry, he and Ramonn would be novice owners, so they needed the help of Buy This Restaurant‘s Keith Simpson to track down the ideal location to launch their eatery. After visiting possible spaces in both Berkeley and San Francisco, they selected a prime corner location close to home and soon opened 44 Restaurant & Bar. Read on below for the first exclusive interview with Ramonn and Mark to find out how their business is doing today.
Congratulations on opening 44 Restaurant & Bar! How was the renovation process, and when did you open to customers?
Ramonn and Mark: We officially opened for business March 14, 2014. The renovations were a challenge, but exciting all along the way. We are very pleased with our finished product.
Win a Signed Copy of Martha Stewart’s Cakes: Our First-Ever Book of Bundts, Loaves, Layers, Coffee Cakes, and Moreby Maria Russo in Contests, Shows, March 29th, 2014
Whether you’re celebrating a milestone birthday, you’re recovering from a stressful week or you simply have a sweet tooth that won’t quit, cake-baking is nearly always a good idea, as the finished product delivers tried-and-true comfort every time. Double-layer frosted confections may be a party favorite, but the beauty of cakes is that they can take countless shapes and sizes. On today’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Martha Stewart dropped by to introduce one of her latest publications, Martha Stewart’s Cakes: Our First-Ever Book of Bundts, Loaves, Layers, Coffee Cakes, and More, which is dedicated to both classic and creative desserts.
The co-hosts inducted Martha into Cookbook Club, and together she and Jeff Mauro created an updated version of the traditional icebox cake. Her Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake is an easy yet impressive dessert, boasting layer after layer of decadent chocolate cookies and sweet, fluffy cream. After chilling overnight in the refrigerator, the cookies will have absorbed moisture from the cream and become deliciously tender, so the cake will hold its shape when cut into slices.
Want to check out more of Martha Stewart’s Cakes? You can buy the book here, or you can enter to win a free signed copy from FN Dish. We’re giving away one cookbook each to four lucky, randomly selected fans. To enter, tell us in the comments which recipe from The Kitchen has been your favorite this season (you can find a complete list of recipes from The Kitchen here). You must include the recipe URL to be entered to win.
Start your Saturday morning with Amy Thielen, who’s making recipes that are perfect to bridge the gap from winter to spring. Then on The Kitchen, special guest Martha Stewart stops by to make an icebox cake and she gets inducted into the Cookbook Club. Copies of her newest book, Martha Stewart Cakes, will be given away on FN Dish tomorrow.
Then on Sunday morning, Damaris whips up kid-friendly recipes for her niece and her niece’s friends. Later on, Jeff makes brunch-inspired sandwiches and a special dessert. In the afternoon, watch Buy This Restaurant as Keith helps two friends find a restaurant space in San Francisco. In the evening, watch all-new episodes of Food Court Wars, Chopped — where four actors enter the competition — and Cutthroat Kitchen.
Fans have noticed from watching more than two seasons of Cutthroat Kitchen competition that some sabotages appear simply too evilicious to ever be allowed, and Food Network has heard your curiosities. It turns out, however, that even the most-demanding challenges have been vetted and approved by the show’s culinary team; that’s what makes them acceptable for the contest. Before Alton auctions off any sabotage to competitors, the Cutthroat crew tests it to see if it is, in fact, possible to work with during the allotted 30 minutes. And beginning this weekend, you’ll be able to watch some of those tests unfold in a series of brand-new Web-exclusive videos.
Visit Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen headquarters after Sunday’s episode to watch the first Testing the Sabotage video, then mark your calendars for the below dates to catch even more clips in the future.
When you imagine brunch at an Iron Chef’s house, you might picture a lavish affair complete with an overflowing spread of all manner of croissants, made-to-order omelets, thick-cut French toast and the bubbliest Bellinis. But according to Geoffrey Zakarian, “less is more” when it comes to this midmorning meal, and it can be surprisingly easy to execute. As he explained, “Everything at brunch is done the day before.” FN Dish recently caught up with Geoffrey in Miami as he hosted his own brunch event, and we chatted with him about what it takes to pull off the ultimate crowd-pleasing meal. Read on below to learn his top tips for entertaining and thoughts on classic brunch picks like eggs, waffles and mimosas.
What’s a go-to rule of thumb to remember when preparing brunch?
Geoffrey Zakarian: I always say less is more. What people do with brunch is they overwhelm you with too much stuff that’s, like, throwaway. They pile breads and pastries and all this stuff, and no one eats it anyways. You end up throwing it away. So I say just be very focused and really edit what you’re going to do. Do seven, eight things maximum. Make people just eat those things, and make them really delicious and different, and it’ll be a very successful brunch.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient escarole. Most often used in Italian cooking, escarole is a slightly bitter lettuce that you’ll commonly see in soups and sometimes salads. But there’s more to this leafy green than meets the eye. A quick saute in some oil and garlic turns it into a simple side dish, but using it in these Escarole Quesadillas along with cheese transforms it into main dish territory. Try making them for your family the next time you have Tex-Mex night at home.
Much like you probably prepare to cook an important meal by stocking up on any ingredients and specialty tools you may need, so, too, do the culinary teams on Food Network shows before filming begins. Shopping for goods to stock the pantry and refrigerator is up to them. For the all-new series Beat Bobby Flay, the team was tasked with readying the kitchen with enough food and equipment for not one round of cooking, but two, and the selection had to be great enough to ensure that the guest chefs and Bobby would be able to make whatever dish they wanted.
FN Dish was on the set of Beat Bobby Flay recently and caught up with the show’s culinary producer, Danielle LaRosa, to find out more about what it takes to make the series happen. Read on below to see insider photos of the kitchen and learn some of the most-popular ingredients on set from Danielle.
“We have at least 200 items in our pantry daily for both contestants and Bobby to have access to,” Danielle said. “Some of these 200 items include 30 kinds of spices (plus more as the season has gone on), 80 items in the dry pantry (including breads, vinegars, dried fruit, etc.), [and] 45 different kinds of fruits and vegetables.”
Change — or a lack thereof — was at the foundation of Robert Irvine‘s mission at Mama Della’s N.Y. City Pizzeria in Baton Rouge, La., a Big Apple-style parlor specializing in family recipes. While Robert indeed identified several issues with the menu at Mama Della’s and noted that its interior decor was “very nondescript,” perhaps the most-critical problem plaguing the business was owner Barry Kalt, who Robert deemed “one of the most-cantankerous owners I have ever come across.” Given his long-standing beliefs in how true dishes and ingredients should be prepared and served, Barry was hesitant to make any meaningful updates to his business practices, which ultimately resulted in his son Andrew, a former cook at Mama Della’s, leaving the restaurant. It took a serious lesson from Robert for Barry to fully realize the error of his ways, and he soon committed to improvements in the future. After two days of renovations on a $10,000 budget, the Restaurant: Impossible team reopened Mama Della’s, and FN Dish has the exclusive update from Barry on how his business is faring today.
“Mama Della’s saw a significant increase in customer traffic for the one-month period after the shoot,” Barry said. “Sales have increased by 30 percent over the same period in 2013.”
For years Marc Summers was the face of Food Network’s Unwrapped, pulling back the curtain on some of your all-time favorite snack foods and exposing just how they come to be in the factory. But come this spring, he’ll go one step further in the world of munchies by judging a snack food showdown on Rewrapped. Just in time for next month’s premiere (on Monday, April 21 at 8|7c), FN Dish caught up with Marc to learn a bit more about his own cooking habits, plus some of his favorite foods and go-to late-night bites. Read on below to hear from Marc, then find out more about the host of Rewrapped, Joey Fatone.
Do you cook at home? If so, what’s your signature dish?
Marc Summers: I do, but my wife is a better cook than I am, so, not that we’re ever in competition, but she’s just so darn good at it that I don’t do it much. When I’m in California … I like to barbecue. So I’m the king of barbecue in L.A., but the rest of the time my wife is cooking.