Alex Guarnaschelli is no stranger to Food Network Star. We’ve seen her dish out her opinions on the judging panel of two Chopped-themed episodes during seasons 8 and 9. But this past Sunday, Alex took off her judge’s hat and took to the kitchen. During the Star Challenge, the remaining finalists were tasked with taping a 15-minute demo explaining how to make a simple dish with pantry ingredients in a separate prep kitchen. So where’s the twist? Iron Chef Guarnaschelli was in Star Kitchen watching their demos in real time, attempting to make the same dish, as Bobby, Giada and Alton looked on.
Star Talk caught up with the Iron Chef right after the show to talk about being in the kitchen versus being a judge, and what Bobby, Giada and Alton are really like.
This is your third time on Food Network Star, and this time they put you into the mix of cooking, and you even said that you feel like you’re a part of the cooking audition yourself! Alex Guarnaschelli: It’s true. I’ve been through a number of shows and I’ve done a lot of this stuff before, so theoretically this is not my first or even my fifth rodeo, but it feels as nerve-racking and as fresh as the first time. And when you realize that, you catch a glimpse into what the stakes are like for these competitors. I mean, they’re standing in front of a trio of people that have enough producing and camera experience to catapult you all the way to the top. How much can you sort out? How much can you really hear them? How do you separate yourself from the pack? On top of being on camera, they have to cook for Bobby, Giada and Alton. I mean that — that’s some cherry and whipped cream on that sundae right there, right?
Alton loves his steak, and with summer looming, now is the perfect time to get out that barbecue and start grilling. As Alton mentions in his latest YouTube video, his favorite type of steak to grill is the skirt steak. Heated directly on coals, this succulent meat needs no marinade except for some salt.
Alton also experiments in the kitchen, however, with a number of ways to eat steak. Here are five more:
1. He creates a spicy marinade with pepper flakes and Mexican brown sugar in this Skirt Steak recipe.
Pasta can be the ultimate comfort food — digging into chewy, succulent pieces of flour mixed with exciting sauces like carbonara and pesto provides a soothing experience that is akin to snuggling in with your favorite blanket. Still, the scorching summer weather can leave you wanting to ditch the heavy, piping entrees and opt for something a bit lighter and cooler. Bring on the pasta salad.
In this Mediterranean Pasta Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchen, the heavy pasta sauce is replaced by a tangy dressing infused with vinegar and mustard. The salad is then topped with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, olives, oregano and a spicy pepper called pepperoncini. To add even more flavor to the dish, two types of cheeses are used to bring the flavors together — traditional creamy feta cheese and a more modern pungent Romano cheese. The combination of the two gives a hearty feel to an otherwise light and cool dish.
Tess Masters is the first to admit she’s not a trained chef, but she has been experimenting with food for as long as she can remember. As a smoothie-obsessed teen, she started exploring the various virtues of the blender as a food prep tool, a...
Food Network Kitchen Atlanta, a grab-and-go market, is now open at Terminal D in the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Serving up classic dishes with a local Georgia twist, this new venture from Food Network will feature a fresh selection of salads, soups, and cold and toasted sandwiches made with local and organic ingredients. The Kitchens have also utilized local products like jams, jellies and relishes. The market will also serve signature items like the Big Peach Ham and Brie sandwich made with local honey and thyme on an H&F Bread Co. ciabatta roll (pictured above).
All of the items are offered alongside a selection of American wines, local beers and locally roasted coffees.
With the first challenges behind the them, the remaining 11 finalists took to Star Kitchen and were hit with two big surprises this week: teaching Alton how to prepare two of his favorite dishes (Green Bean Casserole and Chicken-Fried Steak) in the Mentor Challenge and having Alex Guarnaschelli follow along their live cooking demos in the Star Challenge.
Overcoming one of these challenges would be enough for anyone, but proving these hopefuls can communicate and cook (especially at the same time) is a requirement of the job.
If you haven’t yet watched the episode, don’t read any further. Star Talk is about to break down the ins and outs of the episode and reveal who was sent home.
Bobby Flay puts a flavorful twist on the classic milkshake for Food Network Magazine in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week by combining gooey marshmallow fluff with cold heavy cream. He then blends creamy milk with scoops of chocolate ice cream, resulting in a refreshing summer treat.
For more indulgent summer recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Grill board on Pinterest.