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The FN Dish – Movin’ On Up

by in View All Posts, October 23rd, 2008

I’m not saying my colleagues are jealous that I get more mail than the USPS from this blog. But, they are taking notice. I’ve started receiving anonymous “stop hogging the blog!” interoffice memos. At Food Network — whether in our offices, kitchens or studios — there is always something going on, and apparently other folks want in on the act.

The good news is that their passion is in sync with your requests for more behind-the-scenes posts, more often. I could ignore my love of programming to join the ranks of bloggers like Perez Hilton (or Jacob from Food Network Addict), but I like my day job too much. Hence, it only makes sense to share the wealth.

My blog is joining forces with the The FN Dish. We’re expanding that web series to include a bigger, more frequent behind-the-scenes blog. You’ll still be able to watch Bruce Seidel‘s weekly web show and get great access to my other colleagues as well. Think more Food Network scoop from more contributors.  I’ll still post as well which reminds me — have you tried the Neapolitan Pork recipe yet?  Did it work out?

Check out our newly-expanded FN Dish right here.

Enjoy!
Bob

Alton Brown — Pounding on Asphalt

by in View All Posts, October 23rd, 2008


Alton Brown and his lovely wife, DeAnna, braved a sunny but cold NYC morning the other day, not far from the Food Network offices. The couple was walking briskly while squeaking in some speed window shopping in the process. They headed up from the quaint West Village into the Meatpacking District, which is home to more than a few high-end retailers and boutiques from Diane von Furstenberg to Catherine Malandrino and Stella McCartney.

It was clear that many of the passers-by were also serious Iron Chef fans. Alton and DeAnna got more than their fair share of rubbernecking tourists, curious stares and whiplash glances. Even in jaded New York City, it’s hard not to be star struck sometimes…

Newly Expanded FN Dish

by in View All Posts, October 22nd, 2008

Welcome to The FN Dish, now expanded at your request. Food Network insider Bruce Seidel will still serve up his hot weekly web show every Monday. Plus, we’ll have great behind the scenes, all-access bites from the Food Network team. Make a date to check in every day for the latest on your favorite shows and stars.

Gold Finger Cocktail

Want to join our celebration with the cocktail pictured here? Get the recipe for Michael Chiarello’s Prosecco Gold Rush. Cheers!

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