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Food & Finance: Navigating the Supermarket

by in View All Posts, April 23rd, 2009

Most of us enter the supermarket with only the best of intentions. You have your list (If you don’t customarily bring a shopping list, do not take a cart or even step into the supermarket — return to the inaugural Food & Finance column immediately!). You have your cash. You’ve planned for a shopping expedition with the kids and have a backpack full of snacks, projects and distractions. And then you walk through the supermarket door and are confronted by the produce section. The beautiful gleaming grapes, strawberries and mangoes are beckoning. Peppers in a multitude of colors, lettuce, 10 varieties of mushrooms – fiscal prudence goes right out the window and you start filling those little plastic bags with everything in sight.

You’ve got to know the rules of the game in order to succeed. So here are my rules….

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Drinking at Home Done Right

by in View All Posts, April 23rd, 2009

I’ve switched from baseball mode to cocktail mode (yes, for work, why are you looking at me that way), and just came across this fantastic home bar primer by the SF Chronicle’s Jon Bonné and cocktail legend Gary Regan. If you’re looking to get a handle on cocktail basics, you could do far, far worse.

Also, because why not, watch Regan (and rising star barman Phil Ward) make a Blue Blazer:

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Happy Earth Day – Join our compost party!

by in View All Posts, April 22nd, 2009

When you hear the word “compost”, do you think of crazy hippies or back-to-nature enthusiasts? Well believe it or not, composting has joined the mainstream. It’s easy and rewarding for anyone, and in fact our very own Food Network kitchens has a compost operation to handle the multitude of food scraps that they generate daily. As you can see from the photos, they have small compost bins at each of the kitchen workstations, and then these small pails get emptied into the larger bin at the end of the day. You can find a similar bin at the Food Network Store here. Shows like Ask Aida and Guy’s Big Bite have also started including a compost bucket in their show.

So what is composting, exactly?

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Yankee News Roundup

by in View All Posts, April 21st, 2009

Press mentions of our concession stands are slowly starting to trickle in — check out here and here from Major League Baseball (who, incidentally, share our office in Chelsea Market), and we’re alluded to in this thing here in the New Yorker.

On a side note, my favorite moment in every game I’ve worked at thus far occurs with remarkable regularity about halfway through and a few beers in, when the guys in our downstairs picnic-y section delightedly realize that directly above them is the press box, and hence Paul O’Neill (brother, of course, of former NYT food columnist and prolific cookbook writer Molly O’Neill, but pretty sure that’s not why they’re excited).

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Next Iron Chef Logo

The Rumors Are True…

by in View All Posts, April 21st, 2009

Yes, I am here to tell you that Food Network WILL, in fact, be premiering an entire series with Brian Boitano this August.

Yes, Brian Boitano the figure skater.

Yes, THIS Brian Boitano:

Image Credit: www.skateworld.co.uk

The series is tentatively titled, What Would Brian Boitano Make? You may be thinking to yourself, “that sounds vaguely familiar…” And, I’m here to confirm that YES, the inspiration came from the famous South Park song, “What Would Brian Bointano Do?” (There is no official confirmation yet, but I’m pretty sure there will be less cursing from the Food Network version.) Here’s the description from our programming department:

WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO MAKE?
Everyone knows Brian Boitano won an Olympic gold medal in figure skating. What they don’t know: Brian is an accomplished cook who loves to entertain! In this new series, Brian takes viewers on a reality cooking adventure as he creates amazing food for a new event in each episode. Funny, knowledgeable and irresistible, Brian brings himself and so much more to What Would Brian Boitano Make?

And now that I have your full attention (and in some cases, full confusion), check out the rest of the 2009-2010 Food Network line-up that was announced just this afternoon:

CHEFS VS CITY (WT)
Premieres: July 2009
Acclaimed chefs Chris Cosentino and Aaron Sanchez are pitted against two local foodies in a winner-takes-all race through a different city each week, through the most fascinating, unusual food locations. Each team begins with a clue leading them to their first food challenge. Challenges could include everything from wine stomping to the eating the spiciest chili west of the Mississippi to diving for sea urchins! The five challenges take the chefs and foodies on an adrenaline-charged, food-lovers tour of each city, and once complete, it’s a sprint to the finish line to see if the locals can protect their home turf or if the Food Network chefs can conquer a new city.

EXTREME CUISINE WITH JEFF CORWIN
Premieres: September 2009
Renowned for his expertise in wildlife and conservation, Jeff Corwin sets his sights on exploring human culture through regional cuisine in his first Food Network endeavor: Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin. With an open mind (and mouth), this thrilling primetime series follows the passionate foodie and anthropologist as he tears through countries like Thailand, Mexico, Greece, and Peru on radical culinary adventures. Learning from the natives, he samples the exotic foods and local customs that mold each community. Jeff enjoys countless surprises and unforgettable flavors during this fun-filled culinary quest – all in a day’s work!

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Next Food Network Star — Shoot revealed

by in View All Posts, April 20th, 2009

By now, you must have all seen the new Next Food Network Star (NFNS), Season 5 promo running – if not, take a minute to get caught up:

    Well, my lovely department, Creative Services, oversaw the entire shoot (video and photo) for the ENTIRE promotional campaign of NFNS 5.

    So, for all you Next Food Network Star junkies out there, impatiently counting down to June 7th, here is a play by play of the shoot day (from a secret inside source) to tide you over!:

  • 6:20a – Arrive at Chelsea Market to assist making sure that the crew gets in and set up. The market is actually quiet. The production company, Mrs.K, starts setting up.
  • 7:30a – The first four contestants, Teddy, Jen, Katie, and Michael arrive.

  • 8:00- 10:00a Separate and label the clothes for the contestants. Go through shirts with Michael, contestant, finally, decide on a shirt. Make sure that the contestants are in the right outfit at the right time, in the right place, throughout the day. Walkie talkie starts to weigh down whole body.
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Didn't Know They Were That Discerning

by in View All Posts, April 20th, 2009

Any lingering doubts about the theory of evolution appear to have been laid to final rest by a new study from two Scottish psychology professors and a panel of bonobo food critics.

Klaus Zuberbuhler and Zanna Clay, studying the gastronomic proclivities of the bonobos, found that these simian sybarites rate foodstuffs on a system of 5 vocalizations that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever visited a sports bar: from bark (awesome!) to peep-yelp (aahrrrmph!) down to grunt (self-explanatory)—a system, it seems, actually superior in nuance to a NYTimes restaurant review and only marginally less articulate than a Zagat’s guide.

Listen here. And bark if you love figs!

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Everything’s Coming Up Daisy’s

by in View All Posts, April 17th, 2009


Click picture to enlarge!

Hello, FN Dishers!

So, I always thought I’d spot my dream home while flipping through Better Home and Gardens. Imagine my shock when I came across it last week on a trip “to get the mail” (wink, wink). I just happened to stumble onto the new Viva Daisy! set. Oops!

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Bacon Inspiration

by in View All Posts, April 16th, 2009

You know a recipe is going to be a hit when the crew is inching towards the kitchen island, waiting for the director to yell “cut!”, prepared to lunge forth and get a bite as quickly as possible.  You also know it’s going to be a hit when the crew then goes home for the weekend and comes back to set on Monday saying that they all cooked it at home. This is the most talked about, most eaten, most craved, and probably most crew-cooked recipe of the whole run of our newest show 5 Ingredient Fix, featuring our newest star Claire Robinson.  Luckily for all of you, that very recipe will appear on this Saturday’s episode “Rise and Shine”, April 18 at 9:30 AM ET/PT. 

What is this mysterious recipe? 

CONTINUE READING

Just Another Day at the Office

by in View All Posts, April 15th, 2009

For me and Ashley:

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager