Get to Know Charles Stiles, the Host of Mystery Diners

by in Shows, June 18th, 2013

Charles StilesOn Food Network’s Mystery Diners, Charles Stiles and his team of mystery diners go behind the scenes with hidden cameras to find out what restaurant employees are up to when the boss is not around. What they discover just goes to show how bad customer service can get when employees don’t put the success of the business first. What you might not know is that Charles’ company has been servicing businesses in need of help for the past 18 years. Business Evaluation Services uses undercover mystery shoppers and diners to get to the root of an establishment’s problems.

FN Dish recently chatted with Charles to find out more about his company and what it does for restaurants and retail shops around the nation. He talked about how his company came to be, how people can become mystery shoppers and how to prevent the failure of a business. Read the Q&A with Charles and watch the new season of Mystery Diners on Fridays at 10pm/9c.

Get to know Charles Stiles in his Q&A

One-on-One With Guest Judge Alex Guarnaschelli

by , June 18th, 2013

Alex Guarnaschelli on Food Network Star Season 9No one may know the pressures of reality cooking competitions better than Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. She’s a force in Kitchen Stadium and arguably one of the most-straightforward Chopped judges at the table. Beyond competitions, she’s a chef who has been wowing patrons for years at her restaurants. Simply said: Alex knows her stuff and can probably describe it better than anyone else.

This past Sunday, Alex joined Alton and Bobby at the judges’ table for a special Chopped-themed episode of Star. Star Talk recently caught up with Alex and asked her about her time on the show, including her reaction on Danushka’s infamous “bored” comment.

Your face was priceless when Danushka revealed her “boredom” during the challenge. What was your initial reaction to hearing that? Was that a Chopped first for you?
AG: Standing on the middle of the subway at rush hour, waking up late for a final exam or frying an egg for the queen of England would be less stressful than that kitchen. I think boredom is a curious reaction. I also think if you know you’re bored, and cooking is such a demanding profession, it might not be a good fit.

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Participate Tomorrow: National Dine Out Day

by in Events, June 18th, 2013

National Dine Out DayTake a break from cooking tomorrow night and dine out for a cause. National Dine Out Day, June 19, benefits the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. A percentage of the revenue from more than 3,000 participating restaurants will be donated to the Relief Fund to assist in its mission to raise and distribute funds to organizations that provide long-term assistance to the people of New Jersey still struggling in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Don’t live in New Jersey? Click here for a complete list of participating restaurants around the country.

For more information on National Dine Out Day, please visit NationalDineOutDay.com or join the conversation on Twitter. Dine out and make a difference!

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Grate Your Garlic

by in Food Network Magazine, June 18th, 2013

grated garlicHot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

If you’re using raw garlic in a dish, grate the cloves on a fine grater. It’s much faster than mincing, and you’ll end up with a mix of garlic juice and tiny bits of the clove that distribute evenly in salsas, dressings and other uncooked dishes. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about biting into a big chunk.

(Photograph by Julia Cawley/Studio D)

Short Rib Burgers, Indian Favorites and Chicken Pie on Triple D Tonight

by in Shows, June 17th, 2013

Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesTonight on the all-new episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (10pm/9c), Guy’s taking it across the country for some mean meat dishes. Missed last week’s episode? Stay tuned for the marathon that will leave you hungry for a road trip.

This week Guy throws it back in Denver with an old-school short rib burger and a tart apple strudel pastry with a savory twist. Guy ventures to the Arizona sunshine to find a Pakistani spot dishing out authentic goat. The festival of flavors continues with the Tempe, Ariz., restaurant’s Tandoori chicken roasted with insane spices. Next, Guy will fall for the flavors in the city of brotherly love. One local Philadelphia joint is crankin’ out chicken pie without the pot and grillin’ up Triple D-worthy fresh octopus.

Join Guy on his coast-to-coast journey starting at 6pm/5c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes, then try your hand at the recipes.

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VIDEO: Danushka’s Not Impressed

by , June 17th, 2013

One of Food Network Star‘s most-contentious finalists ever, Danushka Lysek provided plenty of camera-worthy drama in her brief three-week run in the competition. She sparked rivalries among finalists, delivered unapologetic smirks, stares and eye rolls, and she even stupefied the Selection Committee with her seeming indifference to the challenges at hand. “My goal with doing this competition was knowing I’m not like anyone that’s on the Food Network,” Danushka said after being eliminated, and indeed she proved to be one of a kind.

Click the play button on the video above to watch Danushka’s best, most-hilarious reactions during her time on Star and see a mashup of some of her now-notorious faces. Do you think Danushka deserved more time to prove her commitment to the competition, or were the mentors justified in sending her home? Tell Star Talk what you think in the comments section below.

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Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, June 17th, 2013

Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour CreamIf you’re new to vegetarian eating, the key to embracing meat-free recipes is knowing how to prepare a meatless dish that’s every bit as satisfying as one with meat. When you remove something like beef, pork or chicken from a recipe, it’s important to replace it with not just equally hearty ingredients so that you feel full after eating, but also with intense flavors and a mix of textures to keep the dish appealing. This will prevent you from getting bored with the same vegetarian standbys and allow you to experiment with new takes on classically meaty favorites.

In her 30-minute recipe for a Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream (pictured above), Sunny Anderson replaces beefy proteins with hefty black beans, flavorful vegetables and bold spices. After sauteing onions and bell peppers until they’re sweet and tender, she adds fresh seasonal corn and pinches of red pepper flakes and cumin for subtle heat and smoky taste. Tossed with fragrant cilantro, this simple mixture becomes the base of the quesadilla filling, which is rounded out with spreads of refried black beans on the insides of the tortillas, plus a generous sprinkle of pepper Jack cheese. The secret to pulling off Sunny’s quesadilla is using 10-inch flour tortillas — those often reserved for burritos — so you can be sure the stuffing won’t escape when the quesadilla is flipped during cooking. Slice the quesadilla into eat-with-your-hands wedges, and serve each slice with creamy, cool sour cream laced with zesty lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Click the play button the video below to watch Sunny make her top-rated quesadilla.

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Restaurant Revisited: Sink or Swim at Pier West Restaurant

by in Shows, June 16th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleDespite the picturesque view from its waterfront location, Pier West Restaurant in Twin Lakes, Wis., couldn’t escape serious issues indoors, among them considerable debt and drab decor. With just $10,000 and two days to work, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team relaunched owner Chip Walmsley’s business with a new menu and an updated design, plus gave Chip the support he needed to manage the restaurant and the foundation to mend his relationship with his family. FN Dish checked in with Chip a few months after the renovation to find out how the eatery is doing today.

“Business has been great since the filming [of the show]. We have definitely seen about a 25-percent increase in food sales,” Chip tells us. “We are taking things one week at a time … [and] following the standards Robert set up for us.”

Chip says “not one single customer misses the old look” of Pier West, and in terms of the new space’s features, his favorites are “the lighting and the floor.”

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