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Food Network Magazine’s New Issue

by in View All Posts, July 14th, 2009

fnmag-cover-image
The August/September issue of Food Network Magazine is on newsstands now, with over 132 new, amazing recipes (all online, here) and tons of behind-the-scenes dish.

fnm080109girlsnightout006_s4x3_al Remember the “girls night out” photo shoot that Noah Starr crashed? Here’s the story to go along with the photos, complete with cocktail and finger food recipes. Also, check out Sandra’s swanky South Beach get-together.

And, featured below, food writer Alan Sytsma tours the set of Guy’s Bit Bite with Guy Fieri himself. Get the scoop on Guy’s custom kitchen, the rock-and-roll toys and all that California, hot rod style.

CONTINUE READING

What is Bobby Throwing Down?

by in View All Posts, July 13th, 2009

Throwdown

We recently spotted Bobby Flay in the Food Network kitchens shooting Throwdown. You know the beginning of each episode where he trains with his sous chefs, Miriam and Stephanie? Well, we caught them in the midst of culinary boot camp for an upcoming Throwdown and managed to snap a couple pics for your guessing pleasure.
Throwdown2 Since Bobby hasn’t surprised his next suspect yet with a Throwdown, we can’t disclose what’s behind the blurred circles. However, we would love to hear your theories on The FN Dish! What dish hasn’t made it on the show that you think is worth “throwing down”? Here’s a list of past Throwdown dishes to help you out.

Tales from Tales

by in View All Posts, July 13th, 2009

Am just back from New Orleans, where I spent the last couple days as a guest of Tales of the Cocktail, the annual cocktail conference that brings together bartenders, drink historians, liquor companies, and cocktail aficionados for a 6-day extravaganza that I heard referred to more than once as “spring break for bartenders.” As can be imagined, morning seminars were slightly more sparsely-attended than evening ones, and were accompanied by no small amount of hair of the dog.

I was down from Friday through Sunday, and spent the majority of my time geeking out on cocktail history, which was to be had in abundance – presentations on that front ranged from a roundup of forgotten 19th-century bartenders to a discussion on how best to resurrect historical cocktails, as well as a threatened (but not performed) experiment to see whether navy gin (thus named because it’s high enough proof that, if you spill it on gunpowder, the gunpowder can still be lit, making it a good thing to have on ships) does in fact live up to its name.

Other highlights included the annual Spirit Awards, naming the best bars, products, and bartenders in the industry. It’s rare that this happens in any field, but frankly, I agree with almost every one of their picks, most especially the Best American Cocktail Bar (Pegu Club), Best Cocktail Writing (Dave Wondrich), American Bartender of the Year (Jim Meehan), and World’s Best Cocktail Bar (PDT, where Jim Meehan is not-coincidentally the heart and soul behind the bar). Best New Product was Bols Genever – I’m always happy to see more gin, and traditional gin at that, hitting the market, and the Bols was featured in one of my favorite drinks of the conference, the Genever Collins, demonstrated at a feisty panel, where, among other notable quotes, punch was referred to (in contrast to the austerity of a martini) as “the extravagant drag queen of the gin cocktail world.”

Brief outtakes from other moments: Phil Greene demonstrating the proper form for an airborne absinthe wash (performed pre-Sazerac, and while wearing a rain poncho to protect his suit); a raucous limoncello demo with Danny DeVito and John Besh, broadcast live on New Orleans’ legendary Chef and the Fatman radio show; a fake-mustache-involving*, only-somewhat-successful attempt at a Harry Johnson-style stacked glass pour; a homemade bitters contest and tasting, with more than one participant copping to having procured the necessary herbs at “the hippie herb store;” a short history of Bourbon street’s burlesque bars, presented in part by two former dancers now in their 80s (Wild Cherry and Evangeline the Oyster Girl); and a really remarkable, The Game-style presentation, the last of the conference, about how best as a bartender to manipulate your guests into doing what you want them to.

All told, Tales was a fascinating experience, and a highly-recommended one — and, even though I’ll probably spend the next week slowly sipping water while simultaneously avoiding bright lights and sudden noises, it was worth every sip.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

*Mustaches were a recurring theme at the conference, both in the context of historical bartenders (that they all had them) and modern bartenders (them too) – but honestly, I think I saw just as many Hawaiian shirts as I did mustaches. I’m wondering whether Tales 2109 will involve people ritualistically, only semi-ironically putting on Hawaiian shirts the same way this year’s non-mustachioed presenters did mustaches.

Susie’s Answers – Episode 5

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, July 10th, 2009

Ask Susie – Episode 6

by in View All Posts, July 10th, 2009

Want to know what Susie really thought about The Next Food Network Star, Episode 6? Now you can ask her!

Susie will pick a few of the best questions entered in the comment section of this post and answer you directly via vlog next Friday, July 17.

- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 1
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 2
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 3
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 4
- Watch Susie’s Answers – Episode 5

Big Daddy is in the House

by in View All Posts, July 9th, 2009

aaronmccargoI’ve totally been wrapped up in The Next Food Network Star (NFNS) these last few weeks. (Who’s your fave?) While watching this season, I started wondering what was up with last season’s winner, Aaron McCargo Jr. Well, Big Daddy is in the house!

Yesterday I snagged Aaron for some water-cooler chat about his new season of Big Daddy’s House and the current season of NFNS.

*****

SECRETARY CONFIDENTIAL: You’re about to hit your one-year anniversary here at Food Network. Looking back over the past year, is there anything you didn’t expect would be a part of the experience?

AARON: I can’t say there have been any real downs, but I will say that I didn’t understand the flow of everything at first, the demand of my time. I hope to speak to The Next Food Network Star winner at some point, and offer what I’ve learned through all my bumps and bruises, as well as share my high fives. But I can’t call this work–it’s so much fun.

SC: Have you been keeping up with this new season of NFNS?

A: Oh, yes! I’ll be honest with you, it’s kind of tough to watch. It’s so surreal for me. My wife sits there with the kids watching with me, I look over, and I catch her tearing up all over again. I always tell people, it’s night-and-day different from doing NFNS to Big Daddy’s House. On NFNS you don’t have a clue as to what you’re going to do, what the challenge will be, or whether you’re going to be sent home. You can never relax. At Big Daddy’s I can now relax and enjoy it.

SC: So, if you were competing this season, who do you think would be your biggest competition?

CONTINUE READING

Cannery Row

by in View All Posts, July 8th, 2009

Great piece today in Salon by Sarah Karnasiewicz, formerly of Saveur (and Salon too, actually, I think), about the resurgence of home canning, and whether we’re all deluding ourselves about homesteading being a logical response to a down economy.

As an avid home canner with a serious and legendary spatial-vision problem (which is what got me into home canning in the first place, as I brought home 15 pounds* of peaches entirely by accident a couple years ago), I’ve long since hit the acceptance stage, but those of you needing more justification would do well to read.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

*They really seemed like 5 pounds. Not only do I have no spatial vision, I also clearly don’t know my own strength.

What’s Shooting Now – REVEALED

by in View All Posts, July 8th, 2009

REVEAL UPDATE:
We came so close to fooling you smarty pants with this addition of “What’s Shooting Now,” but in the end…. you guys reigned supreme! Here is the reveal….

clueanswer_signThis is the final tally from all of your submitted votes.
(Accumulated from both Facebook and here on FN Dish):

Iron Chef America = 37 votes
Chopped = 30
The Next Food Network Star = 4
30 Minute Meals = 1
Giada at Home = 1
Chef vs. City = 1
The Next Iron Chef = 1

*****

cluanswer_stadiumA view from Kitchen Stadium above the lighting grid as the crew and culinary department make final touches on the set.

CONTINUE READING

What!?

by in View All Posts, July 7th, 2009

I have a real weakness for imitation Herzog in pretty much any form, but in cooking show form? Yes, please.

YouTube Preview Image

For earlier forays into Herzogian food media (made, incidentally, by legendary filmmaker Les Blank, who himself has a food-film background), here. [via]

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

What’s Shooting Now?

by in View All Posts, July 7th, 2009

As a reminder, here’s how the “What’s Shooting Now?” game works: We give you a collection of image clues, and after examining the evidence, you make an educated guess as to what show is shooting in the Food Network studios at this very moment. Tomorrow, I’ll let the official cat out of the bag for the big reveal.

CLUE COLLECTION:

Clues