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Modest Diplomatic Proposal

by in View All Posts, March 13th, 2009

(image courtesy Gothamist)

From the transcript of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s speech at CSIS yesterday:

“We have worked together to manage complicated and tough regional hotpot issues…”

Well, that’s just fantastic. In the spirit of international collaboration, we’re happy to assist with any regional hotpot tastings; we’re particularly fond of the Sichuan variety, but can try to be unbiased.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Food & Finance – Protein

by in View All Posts, March 13th, 2009

Hi there readers!  I’ve completely recovered from my hunger-induced mania at the warehouse club.  I still don’t know whether I’ll ever get through all of the crackers that I bought; so I keep a big stack on the counter to remind myself of the consequences of “shopping while starving.” ☺

Today I’m addressing protein –  beef, pork, chicken, fish – because protein is often the most expensive component of a meal. In these challenging economic times, you may think that you have to eliminate, or severely restrict your purchase of protein sources in order to stretch your food dollars.  Here are some tips to help you avoid having to make a choice between delicious meals(and good nutrition) and fiscal responsibility!

Continue for money-saving tips on protein.

Congrats to Cat!

by in View All Posts, March 12th, 2009


Just last week Secretary Confidential mentioned the baby boom happening in the Food Network offices…and then THIS week, our own Iron Chef Cat Cora announced that both her partner, Jennifer Cora, and she are expecting as well! Cat shares that they’ll be adding two more boys to their exisiting fam — that’s right their two sons, Zoran and Caje, will be big brothers to more brothers. You can check out Cat’s Myspace Blog for more deets.

Congrats, Cat and Jennifer!

Rachael
Associate Producer, The FN Dish

Talent, Talent EVERYWHERE!

by in View All Posts, March 11th, 2009

Casting Director and Producer, Karen Berrios
Hey Everyone!

Update here from a really great talent test I managed in the kitchen last Thursday and Friday. First of all I have to admit that my favorite place to shoot is in the kitchen. I think you get so much more out of the chefs as far as personality and the producers/directors get a real look into their ability to work in an uncontrolled environment.

When I asked Rob (Bleifer) if the kitchen was available for us to shoot in his response was “yes, as long as my team can go on doing their work”. Of course they could and they did! In the background we heard the bam-bam-bam of tenderizing chicken breast, food processors mixing on high, pans deglazing with a loud sizzle – it was amazing and I’m pretty sure everyone agreed (even Curt, our Audio Engineer).

Here are a few images I managed to snap.

1. Karen Berrios, Producer and Casting Director — main photo.
2. Eggs!!! I told you we scrambled a ton of these.
Talent Test -- Eggs Exam
3. Camera view. See! This isn’t intimidating in the least!
Talent Tests, camera view

As for our Studio A, the fabulous Ms Sunny Anderson is back.

Cheers and till next time!
Kendra, Operation Foodie

With a Red Hot Poker

by in View All Posts, March 10th, 2009

I’m an FCI alum and I go back several times each year to judge final exams or enjoy a meal in the dining room. The last time was quite interesting. The food was quite good, but what proved to be most memorable were a pair of new cocktails.

FCI has an in-house mad scientist, David Arnold, who is reviving the centuries-old practice of heating drinks with a red hot poker. Once upon a time, bars literally had irons in the fire to warm drinks for weary travelers. Now, there’s a contraption that looks as though it came off the set of some 1950′s sci-fi epic.

It was a blast to watch the cocktails get made, and quite enjoyable to drink them. The bartender dons flame-proof gloves and a pair of goggles (the alcohol ignites when the 1000+ degree poker enters the glass, and flames rise at least one foot tall). The cocktails are much lighter than standard cocktails, as so much of the alcohol burns off, but the flavors are more complex. Perhaps it was our minds playing tricks, but I swear we were able to taste some caramelized sugar from the intense heat of the probe and the flaming alcohol.

Rob Bleifer, Executive Chef

Slow and Steady Wins the Taste

by in View All Posts, March 10th, 2009

If you find yourself with a wide stretch of free time on a cold Sunday afternoon, I can recommend no better activity than spending the day playing around in the kitchen. Winter cooking is a breed of its own, and dishes that are braised, slow-cooked, and roasted are just what the doctor ordered on frigid days. So when I found myself in this situation last weekend, I decided that I’d finally test out Anne Burrell’s Pasta Bolognese recipe that was featured in the premiere episode of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. The recipe has been in my binder ever since I saw that episode, but because it lists its total cooking time at 4 ½ hours, it’s not exactly a weeknight dinner, so I was waiting for the right opportunity to tackle it.

Continue reading “Slow and Steady Wins the Taste”