The Sting of Elimination for a Judge — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 19th, 2014

It’s no secret that Cutthroat Kitchen judges are secluded from the sabotages taking place during competitions and forced to evaluate the dishes based solely on what’s in front of them — such a strategy guarantees the focus remains on the food at all times. But on tonight’s all-new Alton’s After-Show, judge Jet Tila revealed that after learning what one chef had endured in the name of sabotage, he felt a tinge of guilt — especially after his decision led to the contestant’s elimination.

“You feel so bad after the fact. Now I realize,” he admitted after Alton spoke of how Chef Alex had to use only kitchen tongs to cut her wrap ingredients. “I was dinging so badly on her just horrible knife cuts. They literally looked like she’s just tearing things apart. But now I get it.” Alton went on to explain that because the judges are blind to the sabotages, they’re forced to evaluate on “flavor, presentation and ‘does it remind me of the thing it’s supposed to remind me of.’” But he admitted, “It doesn’t mean they’re all equally weighted. The truth is is anybody’s who’s a chef is going to more heavily weight flavor above all.”

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Robert Irvine Wins People’s Choice Award at Sandwich Showdown

by in Events, October 19th, 2014

From Cuban-inspired meatballs to IPA-braised pork belly, the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s fifth annual Stacked event featured some serious gourmet fare served between two pieces of bread. During this walk-around lunchtime soiree, guests sipped on moonshine-spiked cocktails while contemplating their most-recent bite and strategizing which dish to try next. And while some of the lines were long, taste testers didn’t seem to mind. Participating in the competition were more than a dozen of today’s top chefs who take the concept of a sandwich very seriously. Restaurant: Impossible’s Robert Irvine was both the host of the tasting as well as a contender in the sandwich showdown.

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Velvety Banana Cream Pie — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 19th, 2014

Banana Cream PieWhen you think of cream pie, or even dessert, you’re likely not imagining it to be healthy — but that’s exactly the case with this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Ellie Krieger’s easy-to-make and velvety Banana Cream Pie (pictured above). This crowd-pleasing sweet treat boasts a buttery graham cracker crust, a two-part filling of fresh bananas and pudding, plus a simple topping of fluffy whipped cream, and best of all, it’s all surprisingly light.

For more good-for-you dessert ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

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The Cast of Chopped Awards the Best Bloody Mary in America

by in Events, Shows, October 19th, 2014

Chopped Brunch

Brunch, that between-breakfast-and-lunch mealtime, is the perfect opportunity to enjoy both sweet and savory dishes, sometimes all in one dish. And when it comes to the perfect accompanying drink, Bloody Marys are a popular choice. At this Saturday’s Chopped Best Bloody Mary Brunch at the New York City Wine and Food Festival, the judges from Chopped gathered to taste offerings from 12 finalists in Absolut’s nationwide search for the best Bloody Mary. Also on hand were former competitors from the show, who presented food pairings that ran the gamut from tried-and-true brunch classics to fusion dishes.

The award of the day, chosen by the Chopped judges, went to David Wakefield of TenOak in Texas.

Read on to get the winning drink combination

The Kitchen Celebrates Great NYC ‘Cue at BBQ and the Blues

by in Events, October 18th, 2014


When it comes to great barbecue, our thoughts usually travel south – to Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, the Carolinas. But last night at the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s Barbecue and the Blues, New York made a strong case for itself as a barbecue powerhouse. More than a dozen spots from around the Big Apple served up their best smoked meat and sides to hungry ‘cue fans, including the cast of The Kitchen: Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid, Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee.

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What’s So Wrong with Brunch?

by in News, October 18th, 2014

What's So Wrong with Brunch?Who knew brunch — that seemingly innocuous meal that ambivalently straddles the line between breakfast and lunch, that daytime gathering opportunity for those who stay out late and sleep in on weekends, that blood-sugar boon for those enamored of eggs Benedict and fancy frittatas, Bloody Marys and mimosas — could spark such controversy?

“Brunch Is for Jerks,” The New York Times declared on Friday (just before the weekend’s brunch-eating commenced), in a headline atop an opinion piece in which writer David Shaftel declares that he’s “through with brunch” and gripes that the hybrid meal has “spread like a virus from Sunday to Saturday” and “jumped the midafternoon boundary.”

The simmering “brunch backlash,” Shaftel observes, broke through to the mainstream after Strokes front man Julian Casablancas blamed brunch (and those who eat it on Saturdays) for his departure from New York City for parts less urban.

Oh, ho, ho, Shaftel, a former brunch admirer who traces his conversion to hitting 40 and having a kid, has some choice words for brunch. He calls it “a twice-weekly symbol of our culture’s increasing desire to reject adulthood” by throwing three-meal-a-day convention to the wind and “reveling in the naughtiness of waking up late, having cocktails at breakfast and eggs all day.” It is, he says, “the mealtime equivalent of a Jeff Koons sculpture.”

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Grab-and-Go Sport Snacks

by , October 18th, 2014

trail mix
Being a recreational athlete means you take your sport and training seriously, but you have other priorities as well, such as work, family, and friends. Multiple demands can create a hectic schedule, and result in imperfect fueling choices for train...

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Feeding Souls: My Challenge for You This Week

by in Food Network Chef, October 18th, 2014

Lentil Quinoa SaladI was chatting with one of my girlfriends on the phone a few days ago. She’s expecting her first baby in a few months and is balancing that with a full-time career — two big tasks that I know from experience can exhaust even the most-energetic person. I had a sense of wanting to jump through the telephone line (and across the 2,500 miles that separate us) to bring her dinner. Yes, it would take a task off her plate, but more than that, preparing food for someone sends a message of love. Food nourishes both body and soul, which is why a shared meal comforts when we grieve, celebrates when we are joyful and is the catalyst for getting acquainted (think how many marriages began with a dinner date). Food connects us.

Why not connect with someone this week?

We’ve all heard the timesaving advice to “cook once, eat twice” before, which refers to making double dinner and freezing half for a future meal. But what if this week you cooked once, ate once and gave the other half to someone whose day could use a little lift? Maybe you happen to know of a new mom who would rather get an extra hour of sleep than cook, or perhaps you read about a neighbor who just lost a loved one and would appreciate the thoughtfulness. But more likely, you don’t have someone top-of-mind who you know needs a meal. Think a little harder. Because almost everyone is going through something, and everyone loves to feel connected, even if it’s just on a stressful day when the kids are out of control, or traffic was extra-awful or the electricity bill was through the roof.

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Burger Bash 2014 Winners: Marc Murphy and Josh Capon

by in Events, October 17th, 2014

Marc MurphyWith views of the Hudson River to the west and the bright lights of the Big Apple to the east, dozens of A-list Food Network stars on hand, and the sweet summertime smell of grilled burgers wafting through the autumn air, the scene was set to kick off the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s much-anticipated Burger Bash atop Pier 92 in Midtown Manhattan. This marks the seventh-annual celebration of all things between the bun, and in true Festival fashion, there was no shortage of eats, drinks or chefs as the walk-around tasting unfolded. Once again, Rachael Ray hosted the sold-out event as fellow Food Network favorites like Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Robert Irvine joined her to show off their signature offerings, and Anne Burrell and Andrew Zimmern, among others, judged the 30 burger offerings enticing the hundreds of fans.

After hours of deliciously meaty indulgence, guests’ votes were tallied and Marc earned the judges’ pick of the night with his Lamb-Marc burger (pictured above). The first-time winner wowed the panel with a tender lamb patty and a fresh mint chimichurri on top.

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