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Ace of Cakes is “LOST” on Saturday

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, May 8th, 2009

Calling all Lost and Ace of Cakes (AOC) fans — this Saturday, May 9th, the latter is coming to a close at 9:00 PM ET/PT. (Not permentantly, of course…we’re speaking about the AOC season finale).

Hurley (Jorge Garcia), the jolly Lost fellow whose prime island coping technique is finding the concealed sweets and an avid fan of AOC, secured a delicious dessert for the show’s 100th episode celebration – (check out his blog post about it). With quality taste in mind, Garcia called his fave bakery to make a unique creation.

Duff and his crew not only answered the call, but headed out to visit the Aloha State set to hand deliver the party favor. Sadly, SC didn’t get to join the expedition, but she did get to ask all the probing questions to Charm City Cakes. Find out how the extreme bakery handled getting “lost”:

What Lost character on the cake was the most difficult?
Richard Alpert – his head melted off from the humidity and was then eaten.

Who is the biggest Lost fan on Ace of Cakes?
Lauren! She leaves work early to catch it and invites people over to watch it with her only if they SWEAR to not talk during the episode.

What was the most exciting thing you got to see while on the Lost set?
The props department! The propmaster Rob pulled out items used on old episodes – we saw darma beer, darma soap, Aaron’s cradle, airplane puke bags, luggage, everything. AND he gave Kate’s toy airplane to Erica!

What was your favorite part of the cake?
The characters were definitely our favorite part, and we think the best part. Anna and Elena were able to recreate the cast into sugar form perfectly. The Daniel Faraday figure looked so much like him, it was amazing.

The production company for Ace of Cakes also put together this extended video of their visit to the Lost set. It’s a must see. Super cute:

Charm City Cakes also launched a spiffy new website this week with virtual tours of their store, a blog, and a super chic gallery. Between their new website and the finale this Saturday, all AOC fans will be sure to get their sweet fixes!

Eat Well
Secretary Confidential

Food & Finance: Taking In and Dining Out

by in View All Posts, May 7th, 2009

I’m sure that some of you are surprised by this week’s topic. After all, this is a blog about saving money on food, and we all know that it’s cheaper to cook at home than it is to tote dinner home in a (recyclable) bag or go out to eat at a restaurant.

But everyone deserves to take a break without breaking the bank, and sometimes you just don’t feel like turning on the stove, striking up the grill or even reheating yesterday’s leftovers. Test out the tips below for saving on take out and restaurant visits – just in time for Mother’s Day.

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Wine Manifestos: Importers

by in View All Posts, May 7th, 2009

I’ve been saying for ages that the easiest way to make a wine-store buying decision is to memorize a short list of importers whose taste you trust. Slate‘s Mike Steinberger has done a substantial amount of the necessary legwork with his fantastic guide to wine importers, which also comes with a handy pocket card for on-the-fly consultations.  Well done, sir — and I’m not just saying that because we have similar taste in importers.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Runaway Cows: 2 is a Trend

by in View All Posts, May 6th, 2009

The hottest ticket in town…

by in View All Posts, May 6th, 2009

So I’m standing about 5 feet away from Mario Batali, both an Iron Chef and one of the most successful restaurateurs in New York City. I go up to him and say, “Excuse me, where did you get that hot dog?”

And do you know what he says? “Over there.” Mind you, this guy can cook dishes like fennel dusted sweetbreads with his eyes closed, and yet there he stood, eating a hot dog like we were at a Mets game.

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The Day Food Network Skips Lunch

by in View All Posts, May 6th, 2009

Skip lunch, you say? At Food Network? Blasphemy! But don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause. Every year, our office participates in the “Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger” event that benefits City Harvest, an innovative local NYC food charity. In their own words: Now serving New York City for over 25 years, City Harvest is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women and children.

What they do is quite cool: City Harvest’s fleet of trucks rescues perfectly edible food that would otherwise be thrown out at restaurants, event venues, farmers markets, office buildings and grocery stores, and then redistributes that food to soup kitchens and food pantries across the city.

In fact, our own Food Network Kitchens participates in City Harvest food donations every Friday — you see them in action at Food Network by going here. City Harvest has a lot of other great programs, and they’ve teamed up with Food Network’s official charity partner Share Our Strength(SOS) to provide SOS’s “Operation Frontline” nutrition and cooking education classes in New York (which I’m actually a volunteer for!)

The Skip Lunch, Fight Hunger fundraising idea was dreamed up by Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine and one of City Harvest’s board members. The premise of the idea is simple: brown-bag your lunch for a day, then take what you would have spent on lunch and donate it to City Harvest. Lunch in New York is rarely a cheap proposition, especially in our temple-to-gourmet-food office location of Chelsea Market. One can easily spend $10 here on just a sandwich and a drink. But according to City Harvest, that $10 would help feed seven children for a week.

This year’s fundraiser is today, May 6th, and many of our employees will be chipping in their lunch money to help support City Harvest’s efforts to make sure no New Yorker goes hungry. If you’d like to learn more about the fundraiser or would like to make a donation online, visit www.skiplunch.org.

Sandra’s Saving You Money

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, May 5th, 2009

Take a visit to the set of Sandra Lee’s new series, Sandra’s Money Saving Meals premiering this Sunday, May 10, at 12pm/11c.

Now available in Regular, Extra-Crispy, and Halal

by in View All Posts, May 4th, 2009

The Atlantic Food Channel brings us word that KFC is launching a trial run of halal fried chicken in a few branches in London. No word what that’ll mean for the UK’s thriving world of non-Kentucky Fried Chicken; it remains to be seen whether Dallas Fried Chicken, Euro Fried Chicken, New York Chicken and Ribs, Americana Fried Chicken, or Mississippi Fried Chicken will follow suit. (That said, to be quite honest, I have a strong suspicion KFC is the follower, not the leader, on this front).

(There’s actually a whole book on Britain’s everywhere-but-Kentucky fried chicken phenomenon. Sure, I might be a little obsessed, but clearly someone is more obsessed than I.)

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Behind the Scenes with Feimster

by in View All Posts, May 4th, 2009

Welcome to the first installment of Feimster’s Filming… This is my coworker Michael Feimster, Associate Producer in our department, Creative Services.

Hi Feimster!
Hey everybody!

A part of Michael’s job at Food Network is to shoot behind the scenes footage of talent for our department. Recently, Michael filmed on Guy’s Big Bite’s set.

Michael, can you explain what this particular footage will be used for?
We use this backstage b-roll [additional shots to cutaway from or cover up a main interview or video story] when we’re trying to jazz up the Upfronts [talent or show reels for advertisers]. Or, it can also be used for any [Creative Services] producers who need backstage footage for their promos [on-air commercials]. I shoot about 2 hours worth of b-roll per talent, sometimes more.

Yikes! So you’ve been tapped as the official behind the scenes guy for our department. Which means that you’ve gotten to go to some very cool shoots for exciting & new (sings) upcoming Food Network seasons. Just between us of course, give me the on-set scoop!
I got to meet Guy [Fieri]. He was really fun to shoot, and he’s a well nice well guy and a really nice individual. He’s really professional when the camera’s on, and when the camera stops he can joke around, [but] as soon as the camera starts rolling again he’s back on.

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