Congratulations to Ted Allen and Chopped on James Beard Journalism Awards

by in Events, May 5th, 2012

james beard journalism awardsFriday night while guests dined on Alex Guarnaschelli’s delicious organic chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, among other tasty courses, the food industry celebrated Food Network’s very own. The awards, which were emceed by JBF award winners Michael Symon and Martha Teichner, celebrate excellence in food media. Chopped won the award for best Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location, category and Ted Allen took home the award for best Media Personality/Host, also for Chopped.

Ted thanked the 9 judges that he works with on Chopped including Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag and Scott Conant, who were also in attendance. He said, “The judges on our show are so much a part of what our show is … these are the people that make me look smart and teach me things.” After winning his second award of the night he mused, “Having one is nice but when they clink together …”

Congratulations to all of the 2012 James Beard Award nominees and winners.

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Quinoa, 5 Ways

by in Uncategorized, May 5th, 2012
quinoa

Quinoa With Shiitakes and Snow Peas

Quinoa-a-holics have been sprouting all over the nation. If you’re looking for some new, creative quinoa recipes—we’ve got 5 you’ll love!

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A Cinco de Mayo Simple Soirée

by in Drinks, Holidays, May 4th, 2012

margarita and sangria for cinco de mayo
Cinco de Mayo is my favorite food holiday. I know I probably say that for every food-related holiday, but let’s be honest — Cinco de Mayo really is the best.

Growing up in Arizona meant a few things. The most important one is that you absolutely must throw a giant Cinco de Mayo party every single year regardless of what day of the week the holiday falls on. We Arizonans take our Cinco de Mayo parties pretty seriously, too. There is never a shortage of freshly made margaritas or sangria and there is always guacamole.

This year I’m going to be in Los Angeles for the holiday and while L.A. is all well and good, there is really nothing like being home in Tucson for a fun fiesta. But never fear, I’m still going all out for Cinco de Mayo this year. These two cocktails will be making an appearance for my fiesta and you should absolutely make them, too. Based loosely on two cocktail recipes from a few of my favorite Food Network stars, I’ll be whipping up a jalapeno-infused margarita and a strawberry raspberry sangria.

Get my variations

All-American Down-Home Patriotic Meatloaf Sandwich — The Weekender

by in Recipes, May 4th, 2012

patriotic meatloaf sandwich
In the mid-eighties, before the nightly news scared my mom into switching to turkey, my family ate a lot of ground beef. It was on the menu at least a couple nights a week. Sometimes it was crumbled into tomato sauce and served over spaghetti noodles. During the summer, we had it scrambled with vegetables and rice and packed into overgrown zucchini.

On particularly harried nights, my mom would season a pound while still in the package, divide it into four patties and plop them into a pan. When burgers were prepared thusly, they were always served with carrot and celery sticks, with ranch dressing on the side for dipping.

The best nights were when the ground beef was mixed with oatmeal, an egg or two, chopped onion, garlic powder and a squirt of ketchup and packed into a loaf pan. I loved my mom’s meatloaf with a passion, mostly because she always made enough for sandwiches the next day. I have always been something of a fool for a good meatloaf sandwich.

In those days, my meatloaf lunch wasn’t a complex affair. It was always a half sandwich, made on whole-wheat bread spread with ketchup and mustard. Packed with one of those frozen disks to keep it all cool, it was the best thing to be found inside a canvas lunch bag.

Before you start assembling your sandwiches, read these tips

Derby Day for the Kiddies: Virgin Mint Juleps

by in Drinks, Holidays, May 4th, 2012

derby daySince Derby Day traditionally happens in the beginning of May, I always associate it with the beginning of summer. Is it because the horse race is affectionately referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports?” No, it’s because I love so many of the traditions that come with it. I love that the winner is presented with a “blanket” of 554 roses. I love fiddling with a version of “burgoo,” a beef and pork stew traditionally served on this day. Burgoo is one of those recipes that can be left open to interpretation. It is traditionally made with whatever meats (beef or pork) and vegetables (lima beans, corn or okra) are available. My best results came from braising some cubed-up brisket and stirring in some corn, fava beans and peas to give it that touch of spring. With all this cooking, a cooling drink seems only fitting. The mint julep happens to be one of my favorites. It reminds me of a snow cone, the fruity, icy cone I used to get from ice cream trucks as a kid. This provides a fun drink for kids instead of a more traditional Shirley Temple.

Get the recipe

Make Your Own Croissants

by in Uncategorized, May 4th, 2012
croissant

Fill store-bought puff pastry with fruit, chocolate, cheese or lemon curd.

I’m always looking for something to liven up brunch menus. Try these buttery bite-sized treats at your next get-together.

Nutrition Facts
An average size plain croissant has...

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Chatting With Alton Brown, Master of Ceremonies for the 2012 James Beard Awards

by in Events, Food Network Chef, May 3rd, 2012

alton brown
This coming Monday, the James Beard Foundation will host its annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center to honor the chefs and restaurateurs who made the food industry unforgettable in 2011. This year, the foundation has asked Food Network’s own Alton Brown to host the awards. A true entertainer and culinary superstar, Alton’s no stranger to hosting gigs. Between Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America and previous seasons of Food Network Star, the James Beard Foundation should rest easy knowing they have a pro on stage.

Last year,  Alton Brown was awarded the Best TV Food Personality Award for Good Eats. Prior to that, in 2003, he was awarded the Book Award in the Reference category for his first book, I’m Just Here for the Food (2002).

We recently caught up with Alton to ask him about this honor, especially since the foundation will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

 

You’ve hosted numerous shows on Food Network, but this somehow seems different. What are you doing to prepare? Are you nervous?
Prepare? Absolutely. A couple of jokes and an escape route. Nervous? Let’s say I’m appropriately aware.

More from Alton after the jump