Robert Irvine Reflects on 100 Episodes of Restaurant: Impossible

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 4th, 2014

Robert Irvine and the Restaurant: Impossible TeamThe nature of Restaurant: Impossible is such that Robert Irvine doesn’t know what he’s going to walk into when he begins his missions at eateries across the country. This week marks the show’s 100th episode, and while he’s found filthy kitchens and ruthless employees at some business, he’s stumbled upon disjointed menus and disjointed decor at others. But no matter the condition of the business when he arrives, he and his team have always used their two days and $10,000 budget to give restaurants the best second chance at success possible.

Just in time for Wednesday’s special episode, airing May 7 at 10|9c, to celebrate the 100th show, Robert looked back on the nearly eight seasons of renovations and reflected on some of his most-memorable missions to date. Read on below to hear from Robert in an exclusive interview and find out what he’s learned along the way, as well as his top tips for business owners.

What’s been the single most-rewarding moment from 7+ seasons of Restaurant: Impossible?

It’s impossible to just choose one moment. The restaurants that we visit on the show are not just “missions,” they are like children to me. Each has its own challenges, personalities and outcomes. Each family will always be special and hold an important place in my heart — even the really difficult ones.

What’s one thing you have learned from or experienced on this show that you didn’t expect to when you first began it?

I began the show focused on fixing businesses but quickly realized that, more important than food cost and menu changes, the families and relationships involved need to be fixed first if anything we do is going to remain a success. That’s why you may have noticed the change in dynamic from the first season to now, where I evolved too, from business consultant to being more of a counselor.

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One Recipe for Brownies, Five Fun (and Easy) Ways to Jazz Them Up

by in Recipes, May 3rd, 2014

One Recipe for Brownies, Five Fun Ways to Jazz Them UpBrownies: Whether cakey or fudgy, milk or dark chocolate (or blondies), they’re a treat even the pickiest of eaters can get behind. The next time you whip up a batch, think outside the box. Use your favorite brownie recipe (or try one of Food Network‘s) and check out these five ways to keep brownies the main event at the dessert table.

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Marcela Valladolid’s Cinco de Mayo Must-Haves

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, May 3rd, 2014

Tres Leches CakeThis morning’s episode of The Kitchen was largely dedicated to Cinco de Mayo — plus mayonnaise at times — so the co-hosts came together to host a celebratory fiesta complete with warm, sweet churros, more than 50 types of tacos and a colorful pinata. While on the set of the show recently, FN Dish caught up with Marcela Valladolid to get her take on Cinco ahead of Monday’s holiday. Read on below to learn her tips for pulling off a Mexican-themed bash at home, and find out how she puts her signature spin on traditional eats and drinks, then check out her top-rated recipe for Tres Leches Cake (pictured above).

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your home?
Marcela Valladolid: I don’t. … Nobody in all of Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo. … Many folks on this side of the border confuse it with Mexican independence day, which is actually Sept. 16. … I didn’t really start getting into the holiday until I moved to the U.S. about five years ago, to San Diego. ‘Cause in downtown San Diego, it’s huge. It’s margaritas all over the place. Growing up in Mexico, I was like, it’s so crazy that they’re even celebrating, but now I like to embrace the fact that they’re just celebrating Mexican culture, and there’s such wonderful beauty about that.

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POLL: What Are Your Breakfast Habits?

by in Food Network Magazine, Polls, May 3rd, 2014

Food Network Magazine is on a mission to find out how America eats breakfast. Vote in the polls below and tell FN Dish about your morning routine.

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Brown Sugar-Strawberry Shortcakes — Down-Home Comfort

by in Recipes, May 2nd, 2014

Strawberry ShortcakesPerhaps the most-famous shortcake dessert is strawberry shortcake. Depending on where you are in the United States, shortcakes can either be sponge cakes or sweet biscuits. These shortcakes are split and the bottoms are covered with a layer of strawberries and whipped cream. They are divine down-home comfort.

What’s the secret to a light, tender shortcake? This is where down-home comfort meets food science. Wheat flour contains two proteins, glutenin and gliadin. When you combine flour with water, the proteins create a strong and elastic sheet called gluten. Flours vary in their protein levels, which affects the texture of baked goods. Gluten gives structure to yeast breads but is not recommended for tender sponge cakes, biscuits and quick breads. All-purpose flour milled in the South is from soft red winter wheat, which has less gluten-forming protein. It is typically bleached, which makes it whiter, but this does not affect the protein. My family has always used White Lily flour, a staple across the South; another dependable Southern brand is Martha White.

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Louisville’s Top Spots for Breakfast, Sweets and Drinks for Derby Weekend

by in Events, Food Network Chef, May 2nd, 2014

If you’re heading to Louisville this weekend for the Kentucky Derby, look no further for food-and-drink recs. The most-recent Food Network Star winner, Louisville resident Damaris Phillips, recently took Food Network on a tour of her hometown favorites, including picks for breakfast, dessert and refreshing libations. Click play on the video above and be prepared to salivate.

Keep Watching: Get Damaris’ Top 5 Cocktails in Louisville

Brisket Tostadas — The Weekender

by in Holidays, Recipes, May 2nd, 2014

Brisket Tostadas - The WeekenderWe have friends who host an annual Cinco de Mayo party. Because of my book tour schedule, we’re not going to be able to make the hour plus drive out for the festivities this year. I’m sad to miss the chance to catch up with them and to dig in to the exceptionally good spread of food they always cook up.

Since we’re missing out on carne asada and the largest bowl of guacamole I’ve ever seen, I’ve been plotting a substitute meal. It won’t be as festive and community-oriented as our gathering of friends, but it will calm the worst of the Tex Mex cravings.

As my starting place, I’m using Ree Drummond’s recipe for Brisket Tostadas. She has you marinate and then braise a large hunk of brisket until it’s tender and shred-able. Once the meat is ready, layer it on toasted corn tortillas with cheese, black beans, salsa and cubed avocado. Perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration and your very next Weekender.

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Pop Goes the Popcorn Aisle

by , May 2nd, 2014

popcorn
Have you noticed all the popcorn snacks popping up on supermarket shelves? Some might even merit a spot in your shopping cart. This whole-grain snack (yes, corn qualifies) is naturally gluten-free and filled with fiber, protein, iron and antioxidant...

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What to Watch: Bobby Flay Visits The Kitchen and Geoffrey Zakarian Judges America’s Best Cook

by in Shows, May 2nd, 2014

Bobby Flay on The KitchenWhether you’re planning a Cinco de Mayo party or you simply want some foolproof Mexican recipes, tune in to Food Network this weekend for a bit of both. Nancy Fuller, Damaris Phillips, Guy Fieri and the co-hosts of The Kitchen are all cooking Mexican dishes. Bobby Flay even stops by The Kitchen, as does Food Network Magazine’s editor, Maile Carpenter. Also tune in for three hours of competition Sunday night, starting with a new episode of Food Court Wars, then America’s Best Cook and Cutthroat Kitchen. It’s a special brunch challenge on America’s Best Cook, which will be judged by guest tastemaker Geoffrey Zakarian.

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