After four tumultuous rounds, four celebrity competitors have emerged as the best in their class and will move onto the Chopped Tournament of Stars finale. Star athletes, Rachael vs. Guy veterans, comedians and actors have competed and shown that any one of them can cook transformative meals out of mystery baskets. But only one will walk away the champion and winner of $50,000 for the charity of his or her choice. Who will it be? Watch the finale on Sunday, April 6 at 9|8c to find out. But until then, fans, here’s your chance to show your support in the fan vote.
In Houston, the dangerously dirty kitchen at gratifi kitchen + bar was just one of the major issues with which Robert Irvine was to contend during his latest Restaurant: Impossible mission. The eatery’s owner, Kevin Strickland, was notably arrogant and struggled to work well with his employees — and Robert. It took the Restaurant: Impossible team two days and $10,000 to overhaul gratifi kitchen + bar and transform Kevin’s brashness before they would ultimate relaunch the business. FN Dish has the first exclusive interview with Kevin since filming wrapped; read on below to hear from him and find out how gratifi is doing today.
“Most customers, whether new or old, think it is fantastic,” Kevin says of the interior overhaul on gratifi. He and his employees are pleased with the update as well, he says, adding of staff, “They see that it is a much nicer restaurant and they dress appropriately for it.” He adds, “The bar is 10 times better. It’s not only beautiful but now functions like a real bar.“
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient of quick-cooking grits. When you’re in a pinch, a box of grits comes in handy for a fast, creamy side dish, but in this case the grits are used for something entirely different. In this Butter-Roasted Chicken with Grit Waffles recipe, the grits add a nice crunch to waffles. And instead of frying the chicken, as is done traditionally with chicken and waffles, this recipe features roasted dark meat with a bit of sweetness and a kick. Your family will be excited to try this modern version of the classic Southern comfort food dish.
Who Needs Privacy? Whether you adore eating with strangers or abhor it, communal tables that compel you to do just that are increasingly common in restaurants. They’ve come “full circle from the utilitarian cafeteria to the gourmet dining room and back to mainstream casual fast food restaurants and cafes,” writes Adee Braun in The Atlantic. Restaurant owners like them because they allow for more diners and create a sense of shared energy. But, warns Adee, “Diners and drinkers will only tolerate being squished around a table with strangers if they can choose from this menu of situations: a) if booze is involved, b) if there is interesting food to entertain them or c) if it’s entirely acceptable to ignore their tablemates.” What do you think about sharing elbow space with strangers in restaurants? [The Atlantic]
Search Trick Helps You Compare and Contrast: Want to compare apples and oranges, or pasta and rice, or ice cream and chocolate chip cookies? Google has a search feature that lets you do side-by-side comparisons of the calories, carbs and sugars in, as well as other nutritional information about, almost any two foods you type in preceded by “compare” and separated by “and” — or in some cases, without the “compare” and simply separated by “vs.” A Redditor discovered the nifty search trick and shared the news a few weeks ago, prompting one commenter to remark that celery vs. cake yields no chart. If you have to ask. [Reddit via NPR’s The Salt]
In Kitchen Casino, premiering Monday, April 7 at 9|8c, four chefs must not only know how to cook, but also how to play the game. The set of the show features a slot machine, poker table and oversized roulette wheel on which the chefs cook. From a platform above the competition space, two judges watch the chefs play the casino-themed games, doled out by host Bill Rancic. The set truly feels like a casino right out of Las Vegas in the ’60s. Get an exclusive tour below, and watch the premiere this coming Monday.
“I want to feel really good after I eat,” Frank Stitt says. “I have always tried to work in a way to concentrate flavor without adding lots of extra fat. I’ve always used vegetables — our Southern vegetables of the seas...
Notice something different on Food Network this morning? Today, Food Network and Cooking Channel are participating in the Autism Speaks: Light It Up Blue campaign, an annual global initiative that raises awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. That means we’re taking our logos you see on television and turning them blue for a day.
Autism Awareness Day has partners in 100 cities across North America and 40 countries around the world — and they’ll all turn iconic landmarks blue for the day (like New York City’s Empire State Building), as well as colleges, hotels, sporting venues, museums and bridges.
Food Network invites you to Light It Up Blue today: find out how here.
Sometimes looking through the fridge or pantry for last-minute dinner ideas can be daunting — almost like looking into a Chopped basket. Never again let the question, What’s for dinner? stump you. Here’s introducing The Chopped Cookbook, which features secrets for combining pantry staples to make exciting meals. Just as each basket on Chopped has many tasty possibilities, so too do the contents of your refrigerator. The creative forces in Food Network Kitchen have come up with more than 180 recipes to show readers and fans how to spin their favorite ingredients. From salad dressings and pan sauces to our market baskets that can go in many tasty directions to ideas for reinventing pasta dinners, mealtime victory is in sight for every night of the week.
To celebrate the launch of the cookbook, FoodNetwork.com is giving fans a sneak peek of the book by previewing a selection of the recipes. Click through the gallery here to get the recipes now.
You can buy a copy of The Chopped Cookbook here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of The Chopped Cookbook, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite recipe featured in The Chopped Cookbook preview (find them all here). You must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win.
When you clean out your fridge or pantry, some things obviously need to go. That old cheese that’s sprouted a greenish-black tuft of hair? That ancient container of broccoli that smells like something you’d rather not describe — or ever smell again? Those clearly belong in the garbage can — outside — several yards away.
But what about the foods that look and smell fine, but have “sell-by,” “use-by,” “best-by,” “best-before” or “enjoy-by” dates that have come and gone? You should probably pitch those, too, right?
Not so fast. While most of us probably treat the dates on our food packaging as gospel, they are, it turns out, highly unreliable indicators of freshness. “Basically made up,” Smithsonian Magazine says. “Unclear” and “useless,” the Washington Post sniffs. “Inconsistent and confusing,” Climate Progress notes.
In a report released in September 2013 by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council, “The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America,” the authors point out that dates on food labels that purport to tell us whether its contents are fresh, or — uh — not so fresh, are “surprisingly under-regulated.”
When cold cereal and buttered toast just aren’t cutting it for breakfast anymore, reach for a comforting morning treat: freshly baked blueberry muffins. The beauty of muffins is that just one baking session yields several days’ worth of breakfasts — or any-time snacks — and they’re endlessly pleasing to both kids and grownups alike. Check out Food Network’s top-five easy-to-make blueberry muffin recipes below to find a mix of classic and dressed-up takes on this timeless pick from Ina, Giada, Alton and more Food Network chefs.
5. Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins — Ready to eat in less than 40 minutes, Ina’s light, fluffy muffins are made with tangy sour cream, which she says “makes [them] really moist.”
4. Blueberry Lemon Muffins — Fresh lemon zest adds a refreshing flavor and bright scent to these fuss-free beauties, best topped with sugar before baking.