What to Watch: Celebration Dinners, Guy Cooks With Dean McDermott and Sunday Night Competition

by in Shows, May 31st, 2013

Guy and DeanThis weekend on Food Network, it’s all about celebrating with the people you love, whether it’s with friends, family members or those who put their lives on the line to make a difference.

On Saturday, Ree is cooking up a dinner to welcome friends who are moving back to town. Then Trisha’s cooking a graduation picnic for her niece and nephew. On Giada at Home, Giada’s offering up a taste of barbecue throughout the nation. Then on Sunday, Jamie Deen is cooking a meal for his firefighter friends. And afterward, Guy gets in the kitchen with his Team Guy champion from Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, Dean McDermott. Then on Sandwich King, Jeff cooks up a number of different burgers with his son, Lorenzo, by his side.

On Sunday night, take your seats for a special night of competition. First it’s an episode of Chopped that challenges the contestants to fry up something in each of their dishes. Then it’s the season premiere of Food Network Star with Giada, Alton and Bobby mentoring 12 hopefuls who are competing to win the coveted TV dream job. And last, it’s the finale of Iron Chef America Tournament of Champions with Iron Chef Symon vs. Iron Chef Garces.

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Cookbooks for the Graduating Class and Other Kitchen Freshman

by in Books, May 30th, 2013

Cookbooks for the Graduating Class and BeginnersCookbooks are not the first place one turns to for humor. Funny cookbooks do exist: Peg Bracken’s classic The I Hate to Cook Book (1960) is one; Amy Sedaris’ more recent — and terrific — I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence (2006) is another. But most cookbooks assume people can’t handle too much humor with their how-to. Fair enough.

Cookbooks for rank beginners, however, make up a well-established subgenre that plays by its own set of rules. Rule #1: Keep ‘em laughing. Cookbooks for novices specialize in a very specific form of comic hyperbole, playing up the presumed ignorance of their target reader (usually a recent graduate or a bachelor) who is posited as either starving or idiotic, or both a hapless sloven who has just barely mastered the arts of chewing and swallowing. These books are easy to recognize by their titles: The Bachelor’s Guide to Ward Off Starvation, Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen, and my personal favorite, Your Shirt Is Not an Oven Mitt! (All three, I’m proud to say, have a home in the Food Network Library.)

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Get the Look: Sunny Anderson’s Kitchen

by in Food Network Chef, Food Network Magazine, May 30th, 2013

sunny anderson's kitchen

Pick up some of Sunny’s finds for your own kitchen.

Monstera Leaf Garden Towels
Because she has several cats who like to paw at the curtains, Sunny made hers out of this extra-sturdy barkcloth fabric, in the Monstera Leaf Garden pattern. $17 per yard; islandshawaiianfabric.com

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Taste Test: Salsa

by , May 30th, 2013

salsa
Grab your tortilla chips! I tasted some of the most popular brands of salsa just in time for your summer parties — find out how your favorite brand scored on our list.

The Criteria
Mild versions of jarred salsa were sampled and rated using a 5...

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Star-a-Day: Viet Pham

by , May 30th, 2013

Viet PhamYou 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.

Viet Pham, 34, was born in Malaysia and moved to California when he was a child. This James Beard Award semi-finalist grew up cooking for his brother at home and later graduated from the California Culinary Academy. Now the owner of a Salt Lake City restaurant, Viet was victorious over Bobby Flay in Iron Chef America Battle Ground Meat and is known for creating globally inspired cuisine.

Click the play button on the video below to watch Viet’s casting video.

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Iron Chef Bobby Flay Off the Clock

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 30th, 2013

Iron Chef Bobby FlayI am often asked which Iron Chef is the most intimidating to judge in Kitchen Stadium, and without hesitation, I always reply, “Bobby Flay.” His well-earned reputation, coupled with that calm penetrating stare when a panelist dares to give a negative comment on one of his dishes, is enough to make even the toughest of critics shrivel like a salted slug.

Fortunately for me, he definitely seems to bring his “A” game when I am on the panel, and although he is not always victorious, I am constantly reminded of why he is the chef so many contenders want to test their culinary chops against.

I grabbed a couple of minutes with Iron Chef Flay before battle to ask him these, 10 very important questions.

The Cookery Police are going to raid your house and take all of your books. They allow you to save one. Which would it be?
BF: The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

Who was your culinary mentor(s)?
BF: Jonathan Waxman and Wolfgang Puck

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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