On the new show All-Star Academy, premiering Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c, Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon mentor teams of home cooks to find the nation’s single best cook, who will leave a champion and $50,000 richer. These mentors are known for their rival personalities, competitiveness and talent — traits that they will look for in the cooks when choosing their teams in the premiere episode.
While Miami may indeed be in the southern United States, its cuisine is known more for its hearty Cuban flavors and just-caught seafood than any comfort-food influences from down-home states like Tennessee or Georgia. That all changed this weekend when Trisha Yearwood was in town to host her Southern Kitchen Brunch at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. In an elegant ballroom at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Trisha and other chefs from Florida, New York City and beyond came together to dish out the best of what the true South has to offer, like savory chicken and waffles, fluffy biscuits, and rich and creamy grits.
Three big-city chefs from the Midwest and Northeast brought fried chicken to the party: Chef Art Smith from Chicago’s Table 52, as well as Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth from New York City’s Root & Bone. While Chef Smith’s Southern-style fried chicken was served with his thick Saw Mill Gravy, the Root & Bone team featured its chicken (pictured above) atop a fluffy cheddar waffle with bright pickles.
A competition like Cutthroat Kitchen can surely be a transformative undertaking for the chef contestants, as they’re almost always pushed beyond their culinary comfort zones. But their ingredients, too, are often forced to become something they’re usually not in order to satisfy a challenge — that’s where Testing the Sabotages comes in. Before Alton Brown could auction off a test to, say, turn potato chip crumbs into gnocchi, as he did on tonight’s all-new episode, the Cutthroat culinary crew had to attempt the conversion firsthand to make sure it was both possible and fair within the time limits.
Just minutes into starting his test, food stylist Hugo Sanchez struggled to work with the gnocchi dough, and he admitted, “The chips in it are preventing it from binding as a normal dough would. It’s actually turning out to be a bigger deal than I expected.” Nevertheless, he soon managed to roll the dough into a log and lob off bite-size dumplings, and in the spirit of evilicious cooking, he said, “It may not taste like gnocchi, but it’s going to look like gnocchi.” Sure enough, after a quick boil and pan-fry, he served up a simple yet presentable gnocchi offering, though he wondered if chefs could use their imagination to create an even better rendition. “It’s definitely something you can play with,” Hugo noted. “Maybe some bacon, some sour cream — call it a baked potato gnocchi.”
So, you’ve baked the cake and now it’s time to frost it. While you could opt for the traditional white or chocolate variety, a special occasion — or, perhaps, just a chilly snow day — calls for a pop of color. That’s where this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week comes in.
Thanks to Food Network Magazine’s handy guide to DIY frosting colors, it’s now possible to tint your topping with more than just the usual red, yellow, green and blue dyes. Follow the easy system to know just how many drops of coloring it takes to turn out an entire rainbow of frosting colors, including Orange Soda (bright orange), Bubble Gum (hot pink) and Grasshopper Pie (a cool mint green).
For more baking inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.
Get the Details: Frost by Numbers: How to Make Frosting Colors from Food Network Magazine
On day three of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, after back-to-back nights of indulgent alfresco feasting and over-the-top burgering, hungry fans wanted more, and for that, they turned to Guy Fieri. The host of Triple D and Guy’s Grocery Games isn’t known for doing anything on a small scale, and last night’s Meatopia: The Q Revolution was no exception, as he hosted this 30-plus-chef extravaganza that for the first time combined The Q, a longtime festival favorite, with Meatopia, a festival all its own, to create an all-new party at South Beach. From sticky ribs and tender pulled pork to hearty rib-eye steaks, moist brisket, and even veal, lamb and chicken hearts, the competing chefs at this all-out meat brawl brought their best bites in the hopes of taking home the Judges’ Choice trophy or the Fan-Favorite Winner guitar.
As Blues Traveler was jamming on stage, the crowds lined up on the beach at each station to sample the dozens of beefy dishes on display last night, and after a few hours of indulging — and, perhaps, the expected meat sweats — Guy proclaimed The Cecil the judges’ pick of the night. Chef JJ Johnson’s BBQ oxtails, bathed in a spicy tamarind sauce, earned him a whopping $1,000 check and a flame-wrapped trophy.
You know the old commercial: How many times would you have to lick a lollipop in order to reach the coveted center of a Tootsie Pop? One, two, (crunch) three? Although it ended with the wistful assertion that “the world may never know,” science has finally provided an answer: about 1,000.
Cleverly avoiding the vexing issue of the premature bite, researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Florida State University immersed hard candy in a water current, formulated a theory for how flows cause dissolving and shrinking, and made a few calculations to come up with their lollipop-lick estimate.
Like peanut butter and jelly and mashed potatoes and gravy, spaghetti and meatballs are two parts of a seemingly unbreakable culinary marriage, and in many homes, these Italian superstars are often the shining component of Sunday supper. Geoffrey Zakarian showcased his version of this timeless comfort food, featuring tender rosemary-laced meatballs simmered in a tomato-basil sauce for bold flavor and served with classic spaghetti, on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen. The secret to his moist meatballs is the meat blend he’s chosen: a combination of ground pork and veal, plus pork sausage.
FN Dish wants to know, when you make spaghetti and meatballs at your house, which half of this dish is your favorite? Are you a lover of all things pasta, no matter its shape, or do you prefer the melt-in-your-mouth taste of a meatball cooked just right? Do you prefer to gently twirl the noodles on your fork or slice open the meatball in one fell swoop? Vote in the poll below to tell us whether you prefer the spaghetti or meatballs element of Sunday supper more.
By Alia Akkam
A tower of pancakes — hotcakes or flapjacks, if you prefer — glistening under a sheen of sticky syrup is as much a comforting symbol of weekend mornings as the diner’s roving coffee pot. Whether strewn with blueberries, made with tangy sourdough or served in their naked buttermilk state, here are some of the country’s tastiest iterations of the carb-laden breakfast favorite. Check out the full gallery for all 12 wake-up-worthy spots. Read more
With dozens of flaming-hot grills set up in the sand, hundreds of hungry guests filling the tents and a cool ocean breeze wafting through the air, the scene was set for South Beach Wine & Food Festival‘s most-anticipated event: the ninth annual Burger Bash. In true festival fashion, your favorite Food Network stars, as well as local and national chefs, delivered a whopping 30 burgers in over-the-top form, each piled high with classic and creative toppings. Once again, Burger Bash veteran Rachael Ray was on hand to host the sold-out soiree as familiar faces like Iron Chefs Jose Garces and Masaharu Morimoto came together to cook up signature between-the-bun offerings and judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Katie Lee and Chrissy Teigen, among others, welcomed the meaty challenge of sampling every burger and deciding which reigned supreme.
While the judges dug into their burger offerings, fans, too, were bellying up to chefs’ tasting stands to get their hands on some of the most-craveworthy bites of the night, including Shake Shack’s Roadside Shack, Emily’s Emmy Burger and STK Miami’s lil’ BRGs. Everyone was given one token upon entering the event, and with that came the power to vote for the People’s Choice winner.
After a few hours of indulgent burgering, Rachael, the judges, and the Schweid and Sons team came together to announce the winners, and sure enough, thanks to his fail-proof Bash Burger, Josh Capon of Miami’s Lure Fish Bar earned the Judges’ trophy this year. Capon’s now-infamous patty topped with sweet, savory and welcomingly rich bacon-onion jam has become a good-luck charm of sorts for the chef, as it’s earned him several Burger Bash titles at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, and tonight it clinched his first-ever victory in South Beach. “I’ve always wanted South Beach so bad, baby. So bad,” Capon exclaimed on stage. “Burger Bash forever!”
Feeding a crowd doesn’t need to be a prim and proper affair involving napkin rings and fancy flatware. In fact, easy entertaining is the name of the game, and Ree’s easy chili night menu doles out casual cold-weather comfort for a crowd. Complete with easy sides, a meaty queso and a skillet cookie sundae, this is the chili-night spread you should be tucking into with your crew.