“Food Network Star Finalists, I Support You in Pursuing Your Dreams:” A Letter from a Former Winner and Guest Judge

by , June 16th, 2015
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Melissa d'ArabianOn Sunday night, I judged a challenge on Food Network Star. Returning to where it all started for me is more emotional than one might expect. I arrived at my hotel well after 1 a.m., exhausted from a full day of work. I set my alarm for 5:15 a.m. and...

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It’s All About Burgers on Top 5 Restaurants — Vote for Your Favorite

by in Shows, June 16th, 2015

Brindle Room BurgerIf there’s one food Americans seem to love endlessly, it’s a burger. On last night’s premiere of Top 5 Restaurants, Food Network narrowed the search for the country’s best burgers. Hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian brought the burgers to you in a countdown while taking a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurants — and what exactly made their burgers big, juicy and delicious enough to top the list.

Vote for Your Favorite

Dominique Ansel’s New Innovation: Burrata Ice Cream

by in News, Restaurants, June 15th, 2015

Dominique Ansel's New Innovation: Burrata Ice CreamReady to salivate? Three words: burrata ice cream. The Italian-cheese-inspired soft serve is one of two flavors just introduced by mash-up master Dominique Ansel at the walk-up ice cream window of Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York’s West Village.

The creamy Burrata Soft Serve — which Ansel calls “a new alternative to vanilla” — comes in a homemade “honey tuile cone” with a whole-strawberry confit inside and is topped with balsamic caramel and fresh micro basil. “The flavors are simple and subtle, but so, so good,” DAK’s Instagram page boasts.

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Watermelon Gazpacho — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, June 15th, 2015

Watermelon GazpachoDuring the summer months, biting into a juicy piece of watermelon can feel like you’re drinking a tall glass of cold water. Crisp and refreshing, the fruit not only quenches thirst but, better yet, can satisfy a midday sweet tooth. Instead of slicing up watermelon as a side or serving it as dessert this summer, take Tyler Florence’s lead and use it as the base for Watermelon Gazpacho (pictured above).

Although gazpacho is traditionally a cold Spanish soup that combines tomatoes, vegetables and spices, the watermelon in this version gives it an unexpected twist while retaining that classic red color. Perhaps the best part about this dish is that there’s no stove necessary. Simply prep the ingredients, puree in a blender and it’s ready to serve in just 15 minutes. In addition to the two cups of fresh watermelon that act as the star in this soup, Tyler adds a dash of red wine vinegar — this acidity helps offset some of the sweetness — and half of a serrano chile for a spicy kick. Add tomato, red onion and cucumber for your veggie element. Before serving, garnish with fresh dill and crumbled feta cheese for contrast in color and a tangy bite.

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Get Ready for Some Burgers, Brew & ‘Que This Summer with Michael Symon

by in Shows, June 15th, 2015

Michael SymonMichael Symon’s taking viewers on a road trip to find the best burgers, brews and barbecue in the nation. Premiering Friday, July 17 at 10:30|9:30c, Burgers, Brew & ‘Que has Michael eating his way through Cleveland, Nashville and New York City; he’s on the lookout for mouthwatering burgers, cold brews and slowly smoked, fall-off-the-bone barbecue, stopping by a number of all-American spots to get his fixins.

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5 Ice Cream Sandwiches to Make (and Eat) ASAP

by in Recipes, June 15th, 2015

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesIs there anything better in this world than an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer afternoon? From the classic straight-from-the-truck sandwich with slightly melted vanilla ice cream and cakelike chocolate cookies to more adventurous pairings like red velvet or oatmeal cookie sandwiches, it’s easy to mix and match your favorite flavors for different combinations all summer. Here are five of our favorites, plus an extra to try if you’re feeling like a challenge.

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Drop a dollop of butter pecan ice cream between two oatmeal-raisin cookies and roll the edges in chopped pecans for an ice cream sandwich with a little bit of crunch. Raisins not your thing? Feel free to swap in chocolate chips — lots of chocolate chips. As with all homemade ice cream sandwiches, make sure to cool your cookies completely after baking before you begin assembling sandwiches.

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“You’re a Beast:” Avoid This Phrase, and 6 Other Savvy Rules of Star — Jeff’s Star Report

by , June 15th, 2015
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“You're a Beast:” Avoid This Phrase, and 6 Other Savvy Rules of Star

We begin this episode Christina-free. That first elimination is always quite humbling; you realize quickly that anyone at any time can easily have a bad day and, in turn, get the ol’ boot. Nobody wants to be the first gone, and now that the remain...

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“He Sabotaged Himself” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, June 14th, 2015

In a Cutthroat Kitchen episode where the name of the game was The Best of the Worst, in which Alton Brown was to unleash a flurry of the most-diabolical sabotages ever created, it was expected that chefs would fall to these downright evilicious — and hilarious — challenges. While that was indeed the case a few times tonight, in Round 1 a chef stumbled not entirely because he’d been sabotaged. In fact, it was due to his own poor shopping that he faced an early elimination.

The task was to cook an all-American breakfast, and as Alton explained, “Chef Joe came out of the pantry without eggs and without meat.” For judge Jet Tila, who learned of this misstep on the host’s After-Show, the question was simply, “What was he thinking?” Both he and Alton agreed that in this case, it wasn’t the challenges that took the chef down, as they said in tandem, “He sabotaged himself.” And Jet noted of Chef Joe’s decision, “If you’re going to call something French toast and not have an egg custard, you’re done in my book.”

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One-on-One with the Latest Food Network Star Finalist to Go Home

by , June 14th, 2015
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Food Network StarIt's the nature of the Food Network Star beast that even though no matter how badly finalists want to achieve their dreams of stardom, ultimately only one can win the coveted title, and with that, 11 finalists will be going home. Every week Star Talk...

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Avocado Toast Is New York’s Most-Popular Food. What’s the Top Dish Where You Live?

by in News, June 14th, 2015

Avocado ToastNew Yorkers love their avocado toast. Kentuckians crave country ham. Indianans apparently have an abiding love for lemon rice soup. (Pucker up and slurp.) And Californians, it seems, cannot get enough Chinese chicken salad.

What’s the most-popular food in your state? Foursquare has come up with an interactive map of the most-popular food and drink in every U.S. state (plus the District of Columbia, where a lot of people are seriously into Ethiopian food). The mobile app’s data crunchers factored in menus, tips, ratings and other criteria, and then teamed up with Mapbox to turn it into a clickable state-by-state guide to the particular taste preferences of each and every state. The map also includes information about the best places to eat a state’s favorite food.

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