The Other Side of the Chopping Block: One Chopped Judge Moves On, Three Say Goodbye

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 30th, 2012

chopped judges
Last night we watched one of the most anticipated Chopped All-Stars episodes of the series. Four Chopped judges — Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy and Chris Santos — took their place on the Chopping Block to compete for the fourth and final spot in the finale and $50,000 for their charity.

If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode, divulge the winner and chat with the runner-up.

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Star-a-Day: Philip “Ippy” Aiona

by , April 30th, 2012

Philip "Ippy" Aiona

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 highlight Team Giada’s laid-back Hawaiian native, Philip “Ippy” Aiona. At 23 years old, this executive chef is the baby of the Season 8 finalists.

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Star-a-Day: Justin Warner

by , April 29th, 2012

Justin Warner

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, meet Team Alton’s 27-year-old culinary daredevil, Justin Warner. A self-taught cook, he’s the chef-owner of a Brooklyn restaurant.

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Star-a-Day: Nikki Martin

by , April 28th, 2012

Nikki Martin

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 it’s Team Bobby’s turn in the spotlight as we meet Nikki Martin, a spunky 31-year-old food and beverage consultant from West Hollywood, California.

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Fish Tacos — The Weekender

by in Holidays, Recipes, April 27th, 2012

fish tacos
I have a dear friend who loves to perfect recipes. While I’m content to try something once and then move on to the next cooking project, Cindy will make a dish over and over again until she’s absolutely nailed it. Her pursuit of excellent food has benefited me many times over in the years I’ve known her, because I’ve often been one of her food testers.

There was a spaghetti Bolognese year, a winter of beef stew and a six-month stint during which she served a lot of cioppino. My very favorite was the summer when she was trying to make the perfect fish taco.

My sister and I were at her house the night she declared the winning fish taco. Served in warm corn tortillas, the fish was lightly breaded and fried and topped with a quick coleslaw and a spicy, creamy sauce. There were slivers of avocados for garnish and limes for a hint of acid. Whenever I eat fish tacos, I remember that warm night in her back garden.

Though I love fish tacos, I rarely end up making them at home, because of the frying step. My kitchen has no range hood, just a feeble exhaust fan that helps spread greasy splatter all over my cabinets. Recently, someone pointed me to Bobby Flay’s recipe for Fish Tacos, which has you grill the fish instead of frying it. I had to try it.

Before you marinate the fish, here are a few things you should know:

Pizza 101

by in Recipes, April 27th, 2012


A no-fail meal that is guaranteed to please even the pickiest eater, pizza is a family-favorite dinner choice. This weekend, instead of ordering expensive and greasy delivery, bake up a pizza at home with your family. Once the easy-to-prepare dough is made, most pies take just minutes to assemble and bake, and can be customized to everyone’s tastes. And don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy pizza paddle or stone — everyday baking sheets work perfectly. Check out our roundup of basic, non-traditional and sweet slices below then tell us what is your favorite pizza topping.

Just the Basics:
You can’t have pizza without a crust to support it and you can’t have a deliciously chewy, slightly crispy crust without making the right dough. If you’ve never attempted from-scratch pizza dough, making Food Network Kitchens’ Basic Pizza Dough is a great place to start. It’s a no-fuss, easy-to-follow recipe that uses just a handful of ingredients. Plus, one batch of dough yields two pizzas, so you can freeze one to have ready for later.

Spice up classic pies by dressing them with the Ultimate Pizza Sauce from Food.com. Made with concentrated tomato paste, fresh aromatics — garlic, celery and onion — dried herbs and just a bit of butter, this smooth, flavor-packed sauce is the ideal canvas on which to showcase your favorite toppings, like crumbled Italian sausage, creamy mozzarella cheese, salty kalamata olives and more.

A go-to pizza that is as traditional as it is tasty, Food Network Magazine’s Pizza Margherita (pictured above) boasts a light, simple sauce and classic cheese and basil toppings. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy slices of this tried-and-true pie.

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Is It Healthy: Sushi?

by , April 27th, 2012
sushi

Is sushi a good idea for lunch today?

My husband and I make a weekly sushi lunch date.  It’s quick and easy to do in the middle of a busy work day and sushi is made with fish, veggies and rice, so it’s a healthy choice . . . or is it?

Yes?
Sushi...

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Star-a-Day: Yvan Lemoine

by , April 27th, 2012

Yvan Lemoine

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’re heading over to Team Giada to meet Yvan Lemoine, a 30-year-old New York chef who’s originally from Venezuela.

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Chopped All-Stars Caption It: What Did We Get Ourselves Into?

by in Shows, April 26th, 2012

alex guarnaschelli and chris santos
In possibly one of the most anticipated Chopped All-Stars episodes of the series, four Chopped judges — Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, Marc Murphy and Chris Santos — will take their place on the Chopping Block to compete for the fourth and final spot in the finale. Pictured above, all-star chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Chis Santos look curiously at each other as they enter the kitchen. Will the judges be pleased with their colleagues efforts or will their dishes leave more to be desired?

The winner of this episode will join Iron Chef Michael Symon, Cooking Channel’s Jeffrey Saad and Food Network Star finalist Penny Davidi in the grand finale for a chance to win their charities $50,000.

Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the action unfold, we’re challenging you, Chopped All-Stars fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.