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Ina is Back to Basics

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, October 22nd, 2008

The FN Dish takes you inside Ina‘s new barn, new show, and new book, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.

To win an autographed copy of Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, enter your favorite, “basic” cooking technique in the comments below. Thanks to all who submitted cooking techniques — CONTEST ENDED on 10/27 — winner will be contacted via email!

Kelsey Shares Family Secrets

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2008

Kelsey Nixon (The Next Food Network Star, Season 4) stopped by the offices during a visit to NYC last week. Her recipe card has been full but she always takes time for friends.

Believe it or not, she actually got married after the whirlwind of TNFNS4 — only a mini-Martha like Kelsey could have pulled off planning in that time crunch. She shared this adorable picture of her new hubby, Robby, from their big day:

Pass by Bob Tuschman’s office, and you’ll even see the pic posted up on his wall!

Kelsey revealed that Robby isn’t a huge cook but enjoys baking when she does drag him into the kitchen. She also shared her special tradition of gathering the whole family together every Sunday night, to dine on breakfast for dinner. It’s unclear what the Nixon clan actually eats in the morning… Her famed secret weapon is thick-cut French Toast with warm Maple Pecan Syrup.

Check out Kelsey’s website and her retro blog, The Retrospective Kitchen.

Warning: Baking Yeast is For Baking

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2008

A month ago, I decided to experiment in the Food Network kitchen and take my first stab at brewing. I chose to make mead, one of the oldest — and, by all accounts found online, easiest – brewing methods around. The basic technique is to combine water, honey and yeast, allow the yeast to eat the sugars in the honey, convert them into alcohol and ta-da! You have a tasty meady treat to drink outside on mellow Saturday afternoons.

After careful research I pulled together ratios for honey to water to yeast from various brewing websites, then went searching in the kitchen for the needed ingredients. 3 pounds of honey…… ok, found a pound of lavender honey, should taste good, then 1.5 pounds of clover honey, tastes good to me; then the last half pound was more problematic… Maple syrup, why not? It’s sweet and sugary and might lend an unexpected twist to the final product. Tea. Apparently the tannins in tea are good for mellowing the sweetness of the honey. Fine. I steal two bags of Russian Country (tannic, smoky, fun) from under Jake’s desk; he’ll never know. Finally yeast. Well, yeast is yeast right? Great, there’s baking packets in the bakers’ pantry. Done.

All is mixed together and after two months of painstaking care and twice daily releasing the nonstop production of carbon dioxide (or rather begging my co-workers to do so while I’m away shooting Tyler Florence for three weeks), the mead is ready. Yay! A glass for everyone!

No, really, that's mead.
Tastes like bread… but gives you a good buzz!

But leave the baking yeast in the baker’s pantry, unless you want everything to taste like bread.

Charlie Granquist, Food Stylist

Some Changes for the Library

by in View All Posts, October 20th, 2008

This is a small corner of our library, admirably manned by research librarian Jonathan “Jon the Plumber Librarian” Milder:

No, none of those people are Jonathan.

The following, however, is a library in La Gloria, Colombia, where librarian Luis Soriano and his two donkeys Alfa and Beto bring via “biblioburro” a rotating selection of 4800 books to about 300 people in a remote corner of the country.

Photo: Scott Dalton for the New York Times

Photo: Scott Dalton for the New York Times

We think our library could only benefit from a couple helper burros. We just don’t know where we’d keep them at night. What do you think?

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

All-Access at the NYC Food Festival

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, October 20th, 2008

The FN Dish brings you behind the velvet ropes for a VIP look at two sold-out events from the first annual New York City Wine and Food Festival: The Grand Tasting and SWEET, hosted by Ace of Cakes’ Duff Goldman.

Old School and New School in One Night

by in View All Posts, October 17th, 2008

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Two nights ago I had the opportunity to eat the food of two great chefs. Started the night at Chanterelle in Tribeca, the restaurant of Carol and David Waltuck. They threw a party for their new cookbook, with some good food being passed around, but some of the guests were like vultures, they wouldn’t let the waitstaff make it 5 inches from the kitchen before their trays were empty. Kicked back some bubbly and heard what David Waltuck had to say before getting out of that packed place. While listening, I realized that the lady standing next to me trying to stay away from the crowd was my girl Martha — Martha Stewart that is. She rocks.

We left the old school, on to the new school. Govind Armstrong, who is opening his restaurant Table 8 in the new Cooper Square Hotel, hosted a tasting. Went up the elevator and next thing I knew I was in a sweet loft apartment with endless amounts of good food. Didn’t stay long because I was still recovering from the NYC Food and Wine Festival, like most of New York is. That’s all I got.

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

Vendy Awards 2008!

by in View All Posts, October 16th, 2008

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So, for the past couple of years, I’ve been on the board of the Vendy Awards, a celebration of street vendors, an Iron-Chef-style cookoff, and the major fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit organization that helps out vendors legally and politically.

It’s this coming Saturday in Brooklyn Bridge Park, from 3pm – 7pm. Vendors have already been nominated, so all that’s left is the showdown. (And, for the first time, we’ve added a People’s Choice dessert category, made up of all the new dessert trucks now dotting the NYC landscape.)


Tickets can be bought here, and include both all the cart food you can eat as well as beverages to wash it down.

Hope to see you there!

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Grand Tastings for All

by in View All Posts, October 15th, 2008

This weekend, the first annual New York City Food Network Food & Wine Festival was in full swing with samplings of fantastic food and drink from talented chefs and restaurants as well as special events from Food Network hosts and celebrity chefs, including Guy Fieri, Tyler Florence, The Neelys, Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray. From Burger Bashes, Cocktail Clinics, Grand Tastings and late night parties, the fun, food, and drink just kept on coming. Spirits were high and stomachs were full while attendees enjoyed the spectacular New York City fall weather while supporting hunger relief programs offered by Share Our Strength, a Food Network partner, and The Food Bank for New York City. 100% of the money raised over the three days supports much needed community based programs.

Food Network’s newest talent Alex Guarnaschelli dishing up Cavatappi pasta with Spicy Lamb Sausage and Yellow Tomato Sauce at the Grand Tasting

Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer

Apples with Maddy

by in View All Posts, October 15th, 2008

It’s October, and when you live in the Northeast and have an almost 4 year old, that means apple picking. We picked Northern Spy, Macoun and Ida Red apples. While the picking and farm was lots of fun, my daughter was really excited about what happened after the farm — pie!

If you’ve ever tried to bake a pie with a preschooler, you know it’s a lesson in patience. There’s really no telling them that if you squish the dough too much the crust will be tough. We used the Northern Spy apples for the pie because they have a nice balance of sweet and tart and hold up well when baking. My daughter liked using them because she thought the name was funny. Slightly tough crust aside, the pie turned out great. What else are we going to do with the bushel of apples we have? Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

  • The Ida Reds will be made into applesauce for little brother (he’s 9 months).
  • The Macouns into butternut squash and apple soup that will be for dinners, the lunchbox, and the freezer for those days when I can’t possibly get dinner on the table by 6:30.
  • Some peanut butter yogurt (plain yogurt, honey and peanut butter) to dip fresh apple slices in for snacks.
  • And lastly, an apple slaw with a hoisin glazed pork loin.

Any apples left after all that will come to work and be up for grabs.

Jill Novatt, Executive Culinary Producer

Rachael Ray’s Burger Bash

by in View All Posts, View Video Only, October 13th, 2008


Deep in the heart of Brooklyn, twenty of the country’s greatest burger chefs compete for the grand prize at Rachael Ray’s Burger Bash.

CONTEST ENDED OCTOBER 20th
WIN A 10-PIECE COOKWARE SET: The FN Dish is giving away one Rachael Ray 10-Piece Cookware Set. To win, post in the comments a short description of your own winning burger recipe. It must be creative, original, and delicious!

By posting a comment, you agree to these contest rules.

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