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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

by in View All Posts, June 11th, 2010
FN-Fans-Stephanie-Petersen-Painted-Bread
Who would you want to break bread with? Photo by Facebook fan Stephanie Petersen.

Facebook fans, we love you! We asked you which chef, real or fictional, alive or dead, you’d most like to set a place for at your dinner table. More than 3,000 of you wrote back!

Find out the dinner-guest favorites »

Fan-tastic!

by in View All Posts, June 9th, 2010

You’re our fans. Or you like us — whatever Facebook is calling it these days, we want you to know that we like you back. And we’re huge fans of the fabulous food photos you post on our wall. Take Layla’s Vegetarian Sushi, for example. It looks incredibly delicious (reminds us a bit of the veggie sushi Chef Morimoto created for Food Network Magazine) and we love her step-by-step instructions on her website.

Way to go, Layla. You rock. Keep sharing, we’re hungry for more.

Layla's Vegetarian Sushi
Layla's Vegetarian Sushi

This Farmer’s a Star

by in View All Posts, June 8th, 2010
Farmer Jones is this blogger's newest Facebook friend.

Celebrity chefs are everywhere these days, but I think I’ve just met my first celebrity farmer. Farmer Lee Jones supplies vegetables to top chefs all over the country, but he’s a star in his own right, always decked out in his signature bow tie-and-overalls ensemble. Check him out on Facebook—he’s got 4,832 friends!

If you caught Battle Cauliflower on Iron Chef America a couple of weeks ago, you may recognize Farmer Jones. He provided the secret ingredient straight from the farm, and also joined in on the judges’ panel. Chefs Michael Symon and John Fraser produced some incredible cauliflower creations, using not just the familiar white florets, but also Farmer Jones’s purple, orange and romanesco varieties. Notoriously finicky judge Jeffrey Steingarten called it “the most amazing battle ever.”

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The Plaza Food Hall

by in View All Posts, June 4th, 2010

Today marks the opening of the first-ever food hall in a New York City hotel. Chef Todd English is heading up the new operation at The Plaza. The hall features local and seasonal foods at 8 stations: The Grill, Pizza, Sushi, Noodles & Dumplings, The Bakery, Cheese & Charcuterie, Ocean Grill & Oyster Bar and The Wine Bar.

We ventured over from Food Network HQ to grab the first shots of the space. Take a look:

Plaza Food Hall

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Star Power

by in View All Posts, June 2nd, 2010

Season 6 Finalists
Do you know what Sunday night is? Come on, we’ve been promoting it like crazy! In case you’ve been living inside a bubble, Sunday night at 9pm/8c is the two-hour season premiere of the best competition show on television – the one, the only – The Next Food Network Star. No, I’m not just saying that because I work for FN, I honestly feel it’s the best. Where else does a foodie have the opportunity to become a national celebrity, have access to build their own brand and all the while do what they love – cook? The concept of the show is amazing!

The peeps who have made it to this season’s competition have a passion for food. And, of course, we dig that! Now, sure, not all of them have the defined culinary skills, point of view or TV presence to win a show on the network, but our judges (Bobby, Susie and Bob) would never question their passion for food itself. The judges just need to find that one person with a little “sparkle” to go along with that passion (i.e., Guy Fieri).

Have you checked out who the 12 finalists are this season? Have you read their bios, watched their videos? Seriously, you must! You need to see what true characters these people are. Char-ac-ters, I say! Once you read and watch, let us know what you think! Write us here, tell us on Facebook, or chat with us – yes, chat!

On Sunday (and every week after that), we will be hosting a live chat during the Star broadcast. So before you settle in on the sofa to watch the show, grab your laptop! We’ll be starting at 9pm/8c at FoodNetwork.com/Star. It will be a weekly date, so don’t stand us up.

What Are You Cooking This Weekend?

by in View All Posts, May 28th, 2010
classic lemon bars
Twitter Talk: Thursday was all about lemons and you love these bars as much as we do.

We love asking you what you’re cooking and we never tire of reading your responses. Many of you are grilling for Memorial Day weekend, and not just burgers and ‘dogs — over on Facebook you’re talking about hickory grilled spareribs, whole butterflied chicken injected with jalapeno butter, bacon-wrapped shrimp, sweet potatoes, grilled pizza, Coca-Cola baby back ribs, corn on the cob, peaches and pineapple (served with ice cream, we presume).

And to our fans who report broken grills or thunderstorms in the forecast, we’re truly sorry! The weekend’s not lost though, you can still grill inside like Bobby.

We also shared Food Network Mag’s 50 bonus burger recipes on Facebook and you topped our ideas with dozens of your own — feta-stuffed burgers, seafood burgers, burgers topped with mango and jack cheese and turkey burgers with pesto. But major props go to Missi H. who made 5 of the 50 burgers so far. Let us know when you get to 50!

Twitter talk on Thursday was all about lemons, and it turns out you love lemon bars as much as we do. We shared our favorite tips, like rolling lemons on the counter before squeezing for more juice, and you offered a suggestion back: microwaving them for 5 seconds to soften them for even more juice.

Care to share more of your weekend food plans with us?

Bobby’s Memorable Memorial Day Burger

by in View All Posts, May 26th, 2010
Watercress is the key ingredient for Bobby's L.A. Burger.
Watercress is the key ingredient topping Bobby's L.A. Burger.

I have to admit I haven’t made many burgers in my life, but in preparation for Memorial Day I wanted to try grilling one up at home. I typically partake in the eating activities at barbecues rather than participating in the grilling. But at some point a person with my burger appetite should have a few recipes and techniques on hand for whenever the craving strikes.

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What Are You Talking (to us) About?

by in View All Posts, May 21st, 2010
Food Network Magazine's restaurant-inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a recipe you've been begging for!     Food Network Magazine's restaurant-inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a recipe you've been begging for!
Food Network Magazine's restaurant-inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a recipe you've been begging for!

We know you’re talking about Food Network, and yes, we are listening! We read your Facebook wall posts, your tweets, your comments on recipes and blog posts, and your blogs as well, and while we’d love to chat back and answer each question, there’s just not time to give you the individual love you deserve.

What we can do is meet here to discuss hot topics and trends, your likes and dislikes, popular questions and debates — in social media.

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Dining In With Ina and a Not-So-Perfect Pavlova

by in View All Posts, May 11th, 2010

Ina's Berry Pavlova
Mixed Berry Pavlova from the Barefoot Contessa

One of the most seasonally delicious things about spring is the abundance of fresh berry desserts found on so many restaurant menus. Fortunately, I live a few blocks away from perennial NYC hot-spot Balthazar which serves a Berry Pavlova just as elegant as the ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova, for whom it was named. It is a fluffy delight for any sugar addict, like myself. However my patience for making a dinner reservation is not always in line with the timing of my confectionery craving, so why not try Ina Garten’s Mixed Berry Pavlova at home? Read more

Sampling an Iron Chef’s Burger

by in View All Posts, May 7th, 2010

Jose Garces makes a mean burger

Jose Garces has a big Iron Chef America battle coming up Sunday night, but he’s already a winner in my book. Our newest Iron Chef hails from Philadelphia—a city I love dearly (I went to college there). Garces opened his first restaurant, Amada, in Old City just a few months before I graduated, but it quickly became one of my favorite spots. His mini-empire has proliferated since, with restaurants all over Philly and one in Chicago.

Just a couple of months ago, he opened up a new gourmet market/cafe called Garces Trading Company, and he’s got more ventures in the works. You may have seen him this week on Nightline, talking about Cinco de Mayo and his Latin roots. With all this plus his Next Iron Chef win last fall, I’d say Garces has experienced a pretty successful five years.

On a recent trip back to Philly, I was psyched to lunch at one of his latest ventures, Village Whiskey. While all of Garces’s other restaurants are Latin-inspired (Amada does tapas, Distrito is Mexican, Chifa has Peruvian influences…), Village Whiskey is unapologetically American. Think burgers. Pulled pork sandwiches. Lobster rolls. Chicken-fried steak.

Inside, the narrow space has a speakeasy feel, with white-tiled walls, dark leather banquettes and wooden fans spinning overhead. Obviously, there’s a long list of bourbon and Scotch. But we came for the food. Specifically, for the burger—the Philadelphia Inquirer has called it the city’s best.

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