11 Things You Didn’t Know About Aarón Sánchez

by in Shows, May 29th, 2013

Aaron SanchezYou’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.

In addition to his judging duties on Chopped, Aarón Sánchez is the co-host of Food Network’s Heat Seekers with Roger Mooking. But when he’s not appearing on TV, Aarón is the chef/owner of Kansas City’s Mestizo and the culinary visionary behind Crossroads at House of Blues nationwide and Tacombi Taqueria in New York City. Aarón is also the author of two cookbooks, including Simple Food, Big Flavor. But what you might not have known about Aarón is that if he hadn’t become a chef, he might have been a mariachi singer. Find out more interesting facts about Aarón in his Q&A.

Read Aarón’s Q&A

Let’s Get Grilling — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in How-to, May 29th, 2013

Sweet Cola RibsMemorial Day signaled the unofficial start to summer, so it’s only natural that the next part in The Good Cook series should be about grilling and barbecuing. Here’s a quick primer to get you started.

Direct Heat vs. Indirect Heat: The first thing to think about when grilling is how long your food will take to cook and that all depends on what you’re making. Quick-cooking items like sausage links, steak and shrimp cook best when placed directly over the heat source (i.e., flame or hot coals). This is called direct-heat cooking.

Brisket and ribs, on the other hand, need a long cooking time to become tender, so you want to use an indirect cooking method. This simply means the coals are piled, also called “banked,” on one side of the grill, or just the outer gas burners are turned on. The food is placed on the rack, away the flame or hot coals, and cooks from the radiant heat. It’s akin to turning your grill or barbecue into an oven. With this cooking method, you’ll also need to keep the grill closed to maintain a consistent cooking temperature.

Gas vs. Charcoal Gas Grills

Star-a-Day: Stacey Poon-Kinney

by , May 29th, 2013

Stacey Poon-KinneyYou heard it here first: Food Network Star is kicking off an all-new ninth season on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, and returning judge-mentors Alton BrownBobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will be there at the helm. This year the mentors are tasking 12 hopefuls with weekly Mentor and Star Challenges in the ultimate multi-month interview for the chance to earn their dream television job: their own show on Food Network. While the contestants bring with them a mix of backgrounds — including culinary school, restaurant management, private chef and food blogging — they have but one dream, which is to become the next Food Network Star. From now until next month’s premiere, Star Talk will introduce one finalist a day until you, Star fans, meet them on camera during the show.

Having grown up cooking in a food-focused family, Stacey Poon-Kinney, 34, became familiar with the restaurant scene at a young age, thanks to her great-grandfather and great-grandmother, who worked as a chef and a diner owner, respectively. She eventually pursued her passion for dance and performance, but she later teamed up with her father to open The Trails restaurant, which was featured on Restaurant: Impossible. This mother of two now lives in San Diego and runs The Trails.

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Kumquats — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

by in News, May 28th, 2013

KumquatsYes, clearly kumquats are a fruit you’ve seen in the market or on our shows, but many still have no idea what to really do with them. I truly love them. They have a huge, explosive orange flavor, but with the tartness of a lemon or lime. The entire thing is edible, from rind to flesh to seed (though I personally don’t enjoy eating the seeds), and they are great used in dishes ranging from savory to sweet.

But now I think it’s time to share an outstanding flavor combination with you all. This is something I’ve been making for years. I always thought it would be the signature at my dream restaurant/bar — the cocktail that would put me on the map.

Kumquats and cola. Really, no joke. Just cut a kumquat in half, squeeze the juice into the cola and then drop the fruit in. Give it a gentle stir and enjoy.

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Star-a-Day: Russell Jackson

by , May 28th, 2013

Russell JacksonYou heard it here first: Food Network Star is kicking off an all-new ninth season on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c, and returning judge-mentors Alton BrownBobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis will be there at the helm. This year the mentors are tasking 12 hopefuls with weekly Mentor and Star Challenges in the ultimate multi-month interview for the chance to earn their dream television job: their own show on Food Network. While the contestants bring with them a mix of backgrounds — including culinary school, restaurant management, private chef and food blogging — they have but one dream, which is to become the next Food Network Star. From now until next month’s premiere, Star Talk will introduce one finalist a day until you, Star fans, meet them on camera during the show.

Owner of a San Francisco underground supper club, Russell Jackson, 47, competed against Iron Chef Jose Garces in Iron Chef America Battle Rhubarb. He’s been cooking since he was 3 years old, when he first experimented with applesauce in the kitchen. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Russell now specializes in using local, seasonal ingredients to inspire unconventional meals with individual style.

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