Food Network’s In The Kitchen App at Eats and Apps Bash

by in News, February 15th, 2011
Food Network's Milissa Tarquini demonstrates the recipe search function on the ITK app. (Photo 2011©Alexander Bitar)

Last week was social media week in New York City — a chance for New Yorkers to learn about the latest trends in social, mobile, gaming and more across categories like food, entertainment, music and fashion. At an event called Eats & Apps, put on by MouthoftheBorder, the latest apps were presented to food lovers (professionals and enthusiasts alike). And by apps, we mean -etizers and -lications. Sliders, mac and cheese, veggie chili and fries from build-a-burger joint 4Food were passed as party-goers chatted with the creators of the newest products marrying tech and food. Attendees had the opportunity to try out the new apps and talk to the creative minds who brought them to life, as well as mingle with food writers, bloggers, editors and home cooks. Food Network’s In the Kitchen App for iPad, iPhone and Android was there, joining the ranks of the latest, greatest must-have food and cooking apps of the moment.

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Worst Cooks, Episode 7: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, February 14th, 2011
Carlos was a little timid with the flame...and with the seasoning on his final dish.

After each elimination on Worst Cooks in America this season, chefs Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine share their candid impressions of the booted recruits with the FN Dish. In the last challenge before the finale, they bid farewell to Kelsey from Robert’s Team and Carlos from Anne’s Team.

Anne on Carlos: This is when their families came! It was a little fire; it boosted them. They were really lonely; it had been a long time. I can’t imagine doing what they did, quite honestly. They completely had a breakdown when they saw their family members. Carlos was really cute; his sister came and he cried. We asked them what do they like to eat, and Carlos’s sister said a Thai dish. I gave him a lob; that’s how easy this dish was. I was begging him the entire time: Show us your personality. Let it come out. This is the time to let it rip. I remember saying that to him so many times. He’s like, “I love spicy food,” and then he made the drippiest, personality-less Thai dish. There was no spice, no big flavors. He was great; his mise en place was always so good; his shrimp was cooked perfectly. I really thought for a while that Carlos was going to be my guy.

Kelsey spent the first half of Boot Camp on Chef Anne's team, but really made progress once she moved over to Chef Robert's team — at least that's what he says!

Robert on Kelsey: I was shocked that Anne sent Carlos home. I thought this was going to be her soldier. Kelsey’s husband came. He was deer hunter guy. He loves to hunt, so she wanted to make him venison. She went from burning everything to serving it raw, still bleeding. And it was such a shame because she knew how to cook it. She did well when she moved over to my team; she turned a corner. The pan wasn’t hot when she seared it; all the things that she had been taught, she didn’t do. That was heartbreaking. She was so afraid of burning everything, so she overcompensated.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Worst Cooks recruit in our Fan Vote, up to 10 times per day.

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Kelsey Milos

by in Shows, February 14th, 2011
The Blue Team race between Kelsey and Georg was neck-and-neck. Last week Kelsey's fish took the win, but this week, too-rare venison was her downfall.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I needed to be on Worst Cooks in America because I just got married and I kept screwing everything up! I tried to cook all the time and the outcome was never good. I have: Given my husband food poisoning twice, once from not cooking the turkey burgers all the way, once from old food; blown up a gas grill and burned off my eyebrows, eyelashes and bangs; tried to make seven different kinds of Christmas cookies and ruined every single one; made chicken for two of my close friends and somehow it came out purple; set a whole pan of bread on fire — I mean actual flames! Despite what my husband says, he can’t cook either. We want kids soon and one of us needs to be able to cook or they will starve!

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne or Chef Robert?
The most valuable thing I learned from the chefs is how to dice an onion. Normally when I dice onions I am crying and just trying not to cut off any fingers. It always ends up different sizes and with pieces of the skin in with it too.

What did you take away from the experience?
I have learned so much from this experience. I actually love to cook now! I literally cook three to five nights a week. When I first started this journey, I said my dream is that 10 years from now my husband will have gotten nice and fat and he will say, “I wouldn’t be so fat if Kelsey wasn’t such a good cook!” Just the other day he came out of the bathroom and said he gained 8 pounds which he blames on my cooking. My dream has come true! I feel like we will now be able to start our perfect little family complete with a mom/wife who is a whiz in the kitchen.

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Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Carlos Manuel

by in Shows, February 14th, 2011
Carlos says Boot Camp with Chef Anne taught him, first and foremost, to "let loose and really have fun while cooking!"

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I definitely belonged on Worst Cooks for several reasons. I am the youngest of 6, live alone, and do not have the comfort of my “mommy” to cook me dinner. Most of my family is in Michigan, where I was born and raised. I moved to Atlanta in hopes to find a better career and prove not only to myself, but to my family that I am a self-sufficient adult who is not afraid to follow his heart. I miss my entire family; all of my loving brothers and sisters, my hilarious cousins, and my adorable nieces and nephews. The main thing that kept my family together was the dinner table! My mother loved cooking. She made three meals a day, enticing my entire family to come over and eat. Since she was always in the kitchen, there was no reason for me to be. Now that I have moved away, it’s time for me to pick up a knife and learn to cook!

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Anne?
Learning to let loose and really have fun while cooking!

What did you take away from the experience?
I realized that I wasn’t alone; lots of people struggle with the same things I do. And most importantly there is always someone worse! I had such a great time, it really helped me learn to relax and loosen up in the kitchen.
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Food Forecast: City Edition

by in News, February 10th, 2011

Homemade marshmallows, like these from the Barefoot Contessa, will be a Twin Cities food trend this year, reports MetroMix.

During our time hunkered down in the Food Network Kitchens research labs formulating our 2011 FNK Forecast, we rounded up dozens of previews and predictions from all over the web, ranging from the thoroughly focused grouped and methodologically rigorous to the wildly guessed at and purely intuitive. Food trends, like food itself, are a subject nearly everyone has an opinion about. And round about the New Year, everyone, ourselves included, starts speaking up. Now that the year is beyond its New Year’s hangover, what food trends are popping up in your neck of the woods?

While for our own purposes we wanted to keep our focus national and our trends fairly general, we took a particular interest in those prognosticators who worked a local angle and taught us something about the burgeoning culinary scenes in cities around the country. We enjoyed these so much, we thought we’d share them to give you an idea of what to expect for the rest of 2011.

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Cupcake Wars: Love, Wine, Flowers, Chocolate!

by in Shows, February 9th, 2011
Marilyn's winning cupcakes

Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about last night’s episode, Valentine’s Day.

I love Valentine’s Day. A holiday devoted to love, wine, flowers and CHOCOLATE seems just too good to be true. And what could be sweeter than a Valentine’s Day episode of Cupcake Wars devoted to just those themes, plus a little cheese? Add Fabio as guest judge and you’ve got the perfect, romantic setting for our contestants to bake their hearts out!

Fabio joined Candace and Florian as guest judge for this episode.

And so they did. Both Marilyn and Bill impressed me from the start. Marilyn with her complex yet delicate cupcake of white wine, pineapple, ginger, goat cheese and sugared almonds… and Bill with his simple and yummy chocolate-Pinot Noir with goat cheese buttercream. But Krista ran into trouble in round one. She had trepidation about her cupcake because she doesn’t drink and was unfamiliar with the challenge ingredients, but what sent her home was a technical baking issue: The cake was missing body and literally sunk under the weight of the frosting.

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Pretty in Pink: Valentine’s Day Brunch

by in Recipes, February 8th, 2011
Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon on a pink hot salt plate makes for a pretty Valentine's Day presentation.

Every Valentine’s Day I try to make an elaborate dessert for my sweetheart, but this year I have been invited to a Ladies’ Valentine’s Day brunch. Instead of bringing chocolate love, I am going to take a savory approach to the food, with beautiful bubblies alongside for sipping.

I am making Blinis with Crème Fraiche and Smoked Salmon from the elegant brunch master, Ina Garten. This petite platter will includes my favorite Norwegian smoked salmon from the local fish market, a dollop of crème fraiche, cucumbers and a green scallion or dill garnish. To dress up the salmon I plan to serve  it on a pink hot salt plate creating a very pretty-in-pink Valentine’s Day presentation that will surely impress the ladies.

A few dazzling daytime sparklers I’m considering that’ll pair well with the foods are Tyler’s classic Cranberry Champagne Cocktails and Giada’s prosecco Bellinis.

What are you making for Valentine’s Day?

—Reena Mehta

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in News, February 8th, 2011
Pretty Sweet Treats - Image Courtesy

HEARTy Plates: Instead of traditional heart-shaped Sugar Cookies this Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetie to a decadent dinner of braised Vermont beef heart ravioli or duck heart tartare next Monday night. That’s right, this Valentine’s Day restaurants across the country will serve up more than just heartfelt portions of oysters and chocolate cake. Supper in Philly and Incanto in San Francisco are among those restaurants featuring blue plate organ specials on their Valentine’s Day menus. In our opinion, however, if you want to keep your Valentine around until spring, you better stick with flowers and chocolates.  []

Introducing: Hand-Held Lasagna: Just when you think we’ve already transformed all possible foods into their bite-sized counterparts (I mean, how can you top Edy’s Dibs?), an LA catering company is cooking up Lasagna Cupcakes. These savory treats aren’t frosted but rather filled with classic Italian cheeses, vegetables, and béchamel sauce. Matt Poley, a partner in Heirloom-LA, says that “As long as they aren’t scalding hot, you can eat them with your hands. In fact, we encourage it. You might get some spillage, but not a lot.” []

Every Day is Meatless Monday: Last February, one self-proclaimed “hard-core omnivore” took the plunge – into veganism. Oregonian Grant Butler initially committed to a one-month challenge, but one year later, he is still embracing his protein-packed vegan recipes. Find out here how he fared during a trip to his meat-loving hometown outside of Kansas City, MO. And as Butler says, “No meat, no eggs, no dairy? Turns out it’s no problem.” []

Let’s Hear it for the Boys: The New York Post is reporting that thanks to Food Network’s popularity and the current economic climate, more NYC men are donning chef hats in their own kitchens. Some local women are finding themselves won-over by these eligible foodies, what with their ultra-fierce knife skills and culinary creativity. Definitely can’t argue with that!  [ via]

Worst Cooks Exit Interview: Ty Miller

by in Shows, February 7th, 2011
"I took away from the experience that cooking can be fun when you're not burning everything," says Ty.

Why did you need or want to be on Worst Cooks in America?
I was the worst cook in America because when I cooked no one enjoyed it, me included.

What was the most valuable tip or piece of advice that you received from Chef Robert?
I learned that not cooking everything on high will not burn the food.

What did you take away from the experience?
I took from the experience that cooking can be fun when you are not burning everything.

Will you continue to work on your culinary skills?
I will continue to cook and get better and better. You may see me on The Next Food Network Star soon.

If you could have a do-over of the challenge that sent you home, what would you do differently?
I would not change a thing about my last dish. I cooked it with love and had a good time making it.

When you presented your final dish, how did you feel about it?
I felt great about my last dish because when I got to boot camp, I never could have made it.

What advice would you give to future Worst Cooks competitors?
The advice I would give to future competitors is to relax, have a good time and enjoy the experience as much as possible. And listen to your chef.

What was the first dish or meal that you attempted to cook back at home after being eliminated? How did it go?
When I got home, I made fried fish and potatoes with steamed broccoli. My whole family actually ate it! Priceless.

What was your most memorable or funniest moment while shooting the show?
My best feeling during taping was making football dishes and talking with the Jets players. They liked my food, so I liked them. Also, Joshie eating the seafood. That was hilarious because he was scared of the shrimp.

Find out more about Worst Cooks in America and catch the show on Sundays at 9pm/8c.

Worst Cooks, Episode 6: He Said, She Said

by in Shows, February 7th, 2011

Kat was "traded" to the Red Team mid-season. "If I had her from the beginning, she might have won," says Chef Anne.

After each elimination on Worst Cooks in America this season, chefs Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine share their candid impressions of the booted recruits with the FN Dish. This week, they bid farewell to Kat from Robert’s Team and Ty from Anne’s Team.

Anne on Kat: When we had to swap team members, I was really scared about Kat. She had done terribly before that. And all of a sudden, she came on my team and suddenly she turned a corner. Now I feel good about having her on my team, and I had really high hopes for her. If I had her from the beginning, she may have won. I did not have enough time with her. She made a big transformation on my team. Sometimes she’d just give up. In the game day challenge it was profiteroles she was making and she was going to give up; I told her she had enough time. She didn’t get sent home on that one. In the seafood challenge, the funniest moment was when Kat was cleaning the calamari and the little fish fell out! It was giant dirty calamari; they must have gone to the ends of the earth to find the dirtiest calamari that they could. This little fish came flying out and I happened to be standing there right when it happened. It was hilarious. I was bummed to send her home.

Ty's food failed to impress Chef Robert in last week's game day challenge, but the football players saved him. This week's undercooked okra was his final downfall.

Robert on Ty: Some women can deal with women better than they can with men. Kat was much more comfortable with Anne and much more confident with Anne. Ty, this guy wouldn’t shut up! I get the team-building and cheerleading and all of that, but come on. He was a character; he was funny. He was saved the week before because the football players actually liked his food. When you get six or eight big dudes liking your food, who’s going to argue with a football player?

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Worst Cooks recruit in our Fan Vote, up to 10 times per day.