Star-a-Day: Martita Jara

by , May 3rd, 2012

Martita Jara

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Today we meet Team Giada’s Martita Jara, 35, an interior designer and passionate home cook who grew up in her family’s Mexican restaurants in Southern California.

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Restaurant Revisited: Mama Lee’s

by in Shows, May 2nd, 2012

Mama Lee'sWhen Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team visited Mama Lee’s soul food restaurant in San Antonio, it had never turned a profit and was just weeks away from closing down. A few months after Robert’s major revamp — he even called in reinforcements from HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins — we caught up with Ken, the owner, to see how business is going.

Four months later, Mama Lee’s is closer to turning a profit. Sales are up 15 percent and Ken is seeing many new customers in addition to his old regulars. With the increase in sales, he is slowly catching up on overdue bills.

Ken still feels reinvigorated as a leader. “We’re holding staff meetings every other Sunday,” he told us, in order to address service issues and discuss customer feedback. “I’m re-energized.” Read more

Full Steam Ahead

by in Food Network Magazine, May 2nd, 2012

steam and dine
These new steamers make it easy to get your veggies.

steam and dineThe Steam and Dine set is ideal for the office: You can fill it with fresh veggies in the morning and cook them in the microwave for lunch, then the whole thing collapses for the trip home. $10; aladdin-pmi.com

 

 

 

lotus steamerUnlike old-fashioned metal steamers, the Lotus is made with silicone and plastic, so it won’t scratch your pots. $17; josephjoseph.com

 

 

More new steamers

Avocados 5 New Ways

by , May 2nd, 2012
avocado mayonnaise

Replace regular mayo with a creamy, avocado-based sandwich spread.

We’ve told you how to enjoy avocados these 5 basic ways—but here are 5 more creative ways you can use them in recipes. Which will you try?

Avocado Halves
Although the fat in this ...

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Top 5 Things Susan Ungaro’s Looking Forward to at This Year’s James Beard Awards

by in Events, May 2nd, 2012

susan ungaro
This weekend, the James Beard Foundation will host it’s Journalism Awards dinner on Friday and Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center on Monday to honor the chefs and restaurateurs who made an indelible impression on the food industry in 2011. While this is a special occasion any year, this year it’s extra special as they celebrate their silver anniversary: It’s been 25 years since the James Beard Foundation officially opened the James Beard House as an American center for the culinary arts.

You’ve heard it before that these two events are like the Oscars of the food world. While we look forward to the food and newest , we wanted to know what Susan Ungaro, president of the foundation, was looking forward to the most.

1. Red Carpet Celebrity Chef Moments: It’s so exciting to greet all the special guest presenters and chef nominees as they arrive at Lincoln Center. Every one of them is a star for the evening. I’m especially looking forward to welcoming our Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Wolfgang Puck, who is being introduced this year by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.

More from Susan Ungaro

Star-a-Day: Judson Allen

by , May 2nd, 2012

Judson Allen

To give you a sneak peek at the personalities of Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada, we’re introducing a finalist per day leading up to the bigger-than-ever Food Network Star premiere on Sunday, May 13, at 9pm/8c. Don’t miss the casting special on Saturday, May 12, at 9pm/8c for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at each finalist’s road to Star-dom, including footage of their final one-on-one auditions with their respective team leaders.

Judson Allen, 30, runs his own catering company in Chicago. Having recently lost 100 pounds, he focuses on healthy food, but also loves to cook with the Creole flavors he learned from his grandfather. Like his team leader, Alton Brown, Judson has a penchant for bow ties.

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How to Eliminate Fish Bones

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, May 1st, 2012

cornmeal-crusted trout

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

Here’s an easy way to expose pesky bones in fish: Lay the fillet over an upside-down small bowl, then run your fingers over it to feel for bones. Pull them out with small pliers or fish tweezers, pressing down around the bone with your other hand so the fish doesn’t tear. Give it a try with this Cornmeal-Crusted Trout from Food Network Magazine.

Fresh Mozzarella: The Good Stuff

by , May 1st, 2012
mozzarella salad

Fresh Mozzarella Salad With Grilled Pineapple, Mixed Fruit and Balsamic

Why do I say “the good stuff?” Because I want to differentiate fresh mozzarella from the mass-produced part-skim and fat-free cheeses that tempt healthy cooks. First,...

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