All Posts In View All Posts

Blood and Iron II

by in View All Posts, July 16th, 2009

Oh, Otto, you’ve done it again:

YouTube Preview Image


Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

WINNERS: Bobby Flay Limerick Throwdown

by in View All Posts, July 15th, 2009

You guys really went all out for our Bobby Flay limerick contest! We recieved over 300 entries on and It was a hard choice, but below are the three submissions that stood out to us:

#1 – Jeremy found our FN Dish contest on Facebook and submitted this witty limerick:

There once was a cow who was stricken
With the need to make us eat more chicken
But one fateful day
The cow met Bobby Flay
And now she thinks beef’s finger-lickin’!

#2 – We felt that Karen captured the soul of Bobby’s burger outlook:

“A burgers just a burger” you’ll say
Until you’ve found Bobby Flay.
The meat you’ll be grilling
And the fixins’ make them thrilling
“A burgers just a burger? – Not Today!”

#3 – Ah, the Sherwood family. Their full-family participation (mother, father and daughter) really impressed us. Here are four of the twenty limericks they submitted, starting with Sherwood Father, Terry, after he apparently realized his wife was spending all day coming up with limericks for our contest:

There once was a blogger named Rose,
Who obsessively tried to compose,
Five limericks a day
About Bobby Flay,
Will she win only Food Network knows!


My husband thinks he’s the grill master,
But Bobby Flay cooks so much faster.
He grills meat with heat
And his burgers are treats.
My spouse is becoming a true bastard.


There once was a husband and wife
Who sat up all night in strife.
With no time to play,
It was limericks All Day!
Obviously, they had no life.

– Laira (Sherwood Daughter)

Thank you FN for all of the fun.
We’ve played the game and had a good run.
It’s Bobby’s last wish
That we should finish.
Flay’s burgers have certainly won!

– Terry and Rose


Hope everyone had as much fun writing these limericks as we did reading them. Should we do more contests like this? Shout out your suggestions!

If We Build It, They Will Come.

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, July 15th, 2009

In promos, sometimes our chefs share the spotlight with surprising co-stars: the graphics. The Viva Daisy! spot is no exception, as we’re hoping you’ve already seen on-air. I casually stalked Senior Designer Christopher Clarke and Writer/Producer Steve Tardio paparazzi-style from start to finish as they collaborated and created this promotional piece. Now I am excited to share my roomy front-row seat with you…

[pickle url=”″]

steve-and-christopherChristopher and Steve first brainstorm graphics ideas while reading over the script. The overall concept they developed highlights Daisy’s “spice” and “flourish” through the dynamic movement of the camera, as it twists and turns through Daisy’s world. Christopher creates the graphics portion of the promo, and Steve pulls show footage from Viva Daisy! to incorporate into the spot.



Blood and Iron (and Gyros)

by in View All Posts, July 15th, 2009

Between this video from the NYTimes (embedding is needlessly difficult, but I promise it’s worth the click-through) and the ongoing confirmation hearings, I’m starting to realize that Otto von Bismarck was right.

Then again, the last time that happened, things didn’t end terribly well

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Food Network Magazine’s New Issue

by in View All Posts, July 14th, 2009

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.


What is Bobby Throwing Down?

by in View All Posts, July 13th, 2009


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?