by Maria Russo in Shows, April 29th, 2015
by Sara Levine in Events, Restaurants, April 29th, 2015
When Robert Irvine arrived at Gigi’s Music Cafe in Sunrise, Fla., he found a restaurant suffering from not just one culinary or staff issue, but a host of problems that had come to plague this three-year-old eatery. Owner Gigi Brown was struggling to recognize the dire situation her business was in, while her daughter Semone Brown-Mobley, who manages the restaurant, was forced to contend with the consequences of her mother’s decisions. They looked to Robert to streamline their financials and improve the scope of service, but perhaps most important was their need for an overhauled menu, as Gigi’s had relied heavily on the microwave. In true Irvine fashion, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team accepted this mission with gusto, working with Gigi and Semone both on land and at sea to give them the second chance they deserved. Read on below to hear from Semone to find out how Gigi’s is faring today.
“Sales have went up 40 percent in this last month,” Semone says, adding that in terms of her and her mother’s responsibilities at Gigi’s, “Me and my mother still have the same roles. She is helping more with the books and payroll. I still maintain the staff.”
by Michelle Buffardi in Recipes, April 29th, 2015
After 24 years in New York City, this year’s prestigious James Beard Foundation Restaurant & Chef Awards — often dubbed “the Oscars of food” — are moving west, to Chicago. More than 2,500 of the country’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food-media people will descend upon the Windy City this weekend, and FoodNetwork.com editors will be there to fill you in on all the action. But the proud, food-obsessed host city has plans that extend well beyond Monday night’s awards ceremony and gala, hosted by our own Alton Brown. Whether or not you’ve got a ticket to the coveted awards, here are some fun ways to celebrate Chicago’s impressive dining scene — all are open to the public, and some are even free.
Need Chicago restaurant recommendations? Check out Food Network’s Newcomer’s Chicago Eating Tour to get our picks for the best burger, pizza, new restaurant and more can’t-miss eats.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, April 28th, 2015
Everyone knows about salmon’s health benefits (salmon is a good source of Omega-3 fats – those are the healthy ones), and about its extreme deliciousness (anyone who’s had grilled salmon, cedar-plank salmon or Buffalo-style salmon knows what I mean). It’s also easy to cook and almost everyone likes it. So why don’t you keep your kitchen stocked with the stuff so you can make salmon any night of the week? Oh, right, because it’s perishable, it takes up a lot of space, and it can be a little pricey.
Or maybe not.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 28th, 2015
Celebrated chefs from around the country have entered Season 4 of the Chopped All-Stars tournament for a chance to walk away victorious. For many it’s not their first time setting foot in the hallowed kitchen, but for others it’s their first attempt at cooking with and transforming mystery basket ingredients. On the line is the largest prize yet, $75,000 for charity. In Part 1 Art Smith, Brian Malarkey, Eric Greenspan and Madison Cowan brought their best game to the competition, but in the end it all came down to the one who dealt best with the baskets. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the Part 1 winner.
Read the interview with the winner
by Food Network Kitchen in Events, April 28th, 2015
Forget about the soggy, egg-logged pieces of French toast you may be used to, because with the help of these best-ever breakfast recipes, you can turn out a hearty morning meal that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. In terms of flavor in your French toast, that largely comes from the custard in which the bread soaks. While a sweetened vanilla mixture is perhaps the most classic, you can dress up the original to include fresh citrus, like Ina Garten does, or add melted chocolate for next-level richness, as is the case in Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe. Read on below for these how-tos, plus more creative French toast picks.
Challah French Toast — Consider this your ultimate French toast workhouse recipe. Ready to eat in a hurry, Ina’s big-batch breakfast (pictured above) is made with thick-cut challah bread and becomes rich and moist thanks to a soak in a citrus-laced vanilla custard. When it comes to toppings, stick with classic maple syrup, or opt for raspberry preserves and a dusting of sugar — or pile on all three fixings for a decadent finish.
by Ricky Smith in Restaurants, April 28th, 2015
By Aaron Hutcherson
The third annual New York International Olive Oil Competition took place this month, where a panel of 15 expert tasters spent three days evaluating nearly 700 different olive oils.
Seven hundred olive oils? Yes. A lot of variations exist in the world of oil. The first kind that likely comes to mind is “extra virgin,” which signifies more nutrients, less refinement and a more nuanced flavor. Many experts liken olive oil to wine in terms of its breadth of flavor. Olive oil can range from sweet to bitter or smooth to astringent, and it can have any combination of floral, fruity or grassy notes.
Here are a few things I learned at the competition that will help you shop for, store and cook smarter with oil:
by Duff Goldman in Shows, April 27th, 2015
Does the local pizza joint know your order the second they realize it’s you on the phone? It might be time to branch out and try something out of your comfort zone. After all, pizza comes in lots of different styles. From Chicago’s deep and cheesy to the classic New York slice, we’ve got your ideal pizza style.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 27th, 2015
Hey, baking fans! It’s spring and it’s time to … bake? Yeah, that’s what I said too! I bake all year long and mark my calendar by the treats that are coming out of my oven. I know it’s time to start buying presents when I have baked the last pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I know it’s Super Bowl time when I bake my brother’s birthday cake. Spring, though, I had to think about. It’s not as obvious as Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hanukkah. But as I prepared for Spring Baking Championship, I started seeing some really familiar desserts, and that got my wheels turning.
Chiffon cake, buckle, lemon anything, rhubarb, trifle, pavlova — all these desserts are the pastry chef’s expression of baking in the spring. They are all light, with delicate textures and fruity flavors that are perfect for shrugging off that winter coat and getting ready to be outside a lot more. These were the challenges that the bakers faced in creating these sweets, and Lorraine Pascale, Nancy Fuller and I we were super excited to be tasting flavors and textures that we ourselves were gearing up to use.
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 26th, 2015
While breakfast for dinner may be part of the usual suppertime routine in many homes, you most likely look to a standard stack of pancakes or a platter of eggs and bacon to get the job done. But the options for morning meals at dinner indeed go beyond the traditional. Think Food Network Kitchen’s cinnamon-scented Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole, Food Network Magazine’s Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs laced with nutty Gruyère cheese, or the Scrambled Egg Subs (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine.
Instead of featuring scrambled eggs alongside toast, this quick-fix recipe has them stuffed inside buttered hot dog buns for a heartier dish. The secret to turning out soft, fluffy scrambled eggs — and not tough, dry ones — is to not overcook the eggs. Here the eggs come together over medium heat, so they’re not scorched right away, and only when they’ve begun to set is it time to add the fresh herbs and melty cheese, like Havarti or Muenster, for over-the-top gooeyness. A handful of fresh scallions in the eggs promises a subtle, welcome bite, while a cool side salad of radishes and celery rounds out the fuss-free meal in a hurry.
By now Cutthroat Kitchen superfans know that when it comes to evaluating the plates before them, judges assess just three elements of the offering: its taste, its presentation and whether or not it reminds them of the challenge dish at hand. While that indeed seems simple enough, Alton Brown and Jet Tila discussed a common mistake chefs make when facing off in battle: muddling their dishes with non-essential components.
During tonight’s installment of the After-Show, the two looked back on Heat 2 of the Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious tournament and a sabotage that introduced what Alton deemed to be “a distraction” to chefs’ dishes. The sabotage at hand afforded one chef sole control over the ingredients needed to make chicken-fried steak and another chef control over the required tools. It was up to them to share both sets of items, considering what they wanted to keep for themselves and what they’d be willing to part with. As for the cornmeal Jet found within the ingredient basket, Alton explained, “That’s a distraction, ’cause what it says is ‘Hey, make a side.'” Jet agreed, adding that the distinction between what’s required of the test at hand and what isn’t is a key to success in this contest. “That is a huge tip,” Jet noted. “Make the challenge and don’t go crazy.”