By now you’ve noticed that after Alton announces, “Let the cooking begin,” at the start of every Chairman’s Challenge, he takes his place in his kitchen alongside the rivals as they spend each of their precious minutes prepping ingredients, cooking and plating. Instead of just watching what goes down, however, he interacts with the chefs, questions their plans for their challenge, explains their cooking techniques and comments on ingredients, all while playing cameraman. That small gray box you’ve seen Alton toting this season, propping on top of workstations, inside blenders and above stoves — that’s his very own GoPro video camera, and he’s used it to record behind-the-scenes happenings, rival chef banter and all of the flare-ups and meltdowns that a large camera couldn’t catch.
Since we can’t be in the kitchen with the Redemption rivals, Alton’s video footage is the next-best way to experience exactly what the chefs are thinking, feeling and cooking. Want to watch the challenges from Alton’s point of view? Check out this exclusive video clip (or click the play button below) of Alton chatting with Chef Marcel Vigneron and tasting the rival’s blue cheese ice cream, then browse this photo gallery to find insider images of Alton with his GoPro camera.
Be sure to tune in Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch the finale of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.
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On last Sunday’s episode of The Next Iron Chef, the remaining rivals packed up their knife kits and flew east to Sin City after five weeks of challenges and showdowns in Los Angeles. For the chefs, the move to Las Vegas proved to be a turning point in the competition, a sign that they are one step closer to claiming the only title that matters.
For Alton Brown, however, the move to Vegas was an opportunity to dabble in matchmaking — ingredient matchmaking, that is. With an altar of savory delicacies and sweet confections, he created a series of odd pairs like squid and marshmallows, chicken livers and peppermint candies, and bone marrow and fruit candies, which forced the rivals to think beyond the ordinary and create harmonious marriages out of culinary confusion.
Looking ahead to this week’s episode and the sneak-peek image above, it may seem as though Alton is once again experimenting with something new: flying. It turns out, however, that he is a frequent flier, and not just in the passenger sense. For more than 10 years, he’s been operating his own private airplane and only relies on commercial flights when there’s no other option.
Write your best captions
Wonder how the food for Episode 1 of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption got on the beach? What about the unforgettable auction episode with calf heads, a giant mortadella and paiche fish that sent Chef Falkner home? Or how about what happens to all the leftover food? The culinary team at Food Network gives fans a peek at what it’s like on set from a food perspective. Click the play button above to watch exclusive commentary from Alton, Simon and Geoffrey, too.
Get more fun facts about The Next Iron Chef: Redemption Kitchen Set
After two hard-fought battles between Chefs Madison Cowan and Lee Anne Wong then Chefs Robert Treviño and Duskie Estes, the Next Iron Chef Road to Redemption wraps up tomorrow with a third and final Kitchen Stadium showdown, this time between victors Chefs Wong and Estes. The chef whose cuisine reigns supreme will join nine rival chefs in the journey to claim the ultimate culinary title on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, premiering next Sunday, November 4 at 9pm/8c.
Until the battle begins, however, it seems as though the focus in Kitchen Stadium will be on Road to Redemption host and judge Alton Brown. In this sneak-peek shot from tomorrow’s finale, Alton turns the cameras on himself for a few moments of close-up face time before revealing the Secret Ingredient. Is he simply working on a blooper real, or is this one-man show part of the battle? Will we see the Road to Redemption‘s other judges, Simon Majumdar and Iron Chef Jose Garces, in similar frames?
Before you watch Chefs Wong and Estes face off for Kitchen Stadium glory, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef Road to Redemption fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.
Watch the final battle
Kids who ring Alton Brown’s doorbell on Halloween don’t get the usual fun-size candy bar. Over the years, the Browns have handed out homemade taffy, candied apples, headless marshmallow bunnies — you name it. But of all of Alton’s Halloween creations, nothing tops his candy corn. As usual, Alton and the Good Eats team approached the project as a science experiment: They created the recipe in April but used a dehumidifier in the kitchen to mimic crisp fall air. Alton also tested every imaginable food coloring before choosing gel paste. The resulting recipe, which appears in his latest cookbook, Good Eats 3: The Later Years, is easy — and super impressive, Alton says. “When you tell people you’ve made candy corn, they say, ‘Holy cow, you made your own?!’” Plus, a lot of candy corn haters realize they actually like the stuff when it’s homemade. For the record, Alton will take his candy corn any which way. “I’m not a snob,” he says. “I won’t turn down the store-bought stuff.”
Alton says the candy corn tastes better after a few days: It dries out a little and becomes chewier, and the flavor intensifies. Find out how to make it with this step-by-step.
Last week FN Dish announced the return of Thanksgiving Live!, a two-hour call-in show hosted by turkey master Alton Brown on Nov. 18 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., featuring Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Aarón Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Sunny Anderson and Ree Drummond.
Before the live show starts at noon, Food Network will serve up a three-hour Thanksgiving Live webcast at FoodNetwork.com. Beginning at 11:30am ET, the site will stream a pre-show featuring celebrity chef interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Alton and the cast preparing for the big day.
Do you have a question specifically for Alton or Bobby? Whether it’s about a technique they use at home or a tip for the perfect gravy, we’ll handpick a selection of your questions and ask them live during the pre-show. Leave your question in the comment section below, or submit it via Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag: #ThanksgivingLive.
In just 90 seconds, FN Dish uncovered the best bites of 2012 (so far) from Food Network stars and Cooking Channel champs at the recent New York City Wine & Food Festival. Get a taste of their dining and at-home experiences: Click play on the video above for exclusive interviews with Bobby Flay, Jeff Mauro, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, Robert Irvine, Alton Brown, Bobby and Jamie Deen, Marc Forgione, Marcel Vigneron, Ted Allen and the Neelys.
What’s the best bite you’ve had in 2012, whether it’s something you’ve made or had out? Tell us in the comments below.
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Recently, Alton’s been taking to his Twitter account to answer fan questions via yellow sticky notes. His answers are full of wit, humor and culinary lessons and sometimes include drawings. But it was an answer to a question last Friday that caught our eyes.
@CraftingGeek asked: “What would be your dream secret ingredient on Iron Chef?” The answer was in pure Alton fashion, unique and typically captivating: “Frozen broccoli with the judges being kids.” I bet fans of the show wouldn’t mind seeing that, as well.
What would your dream challenge be? Tell us in the comments below.
[Photo credit: Alton's Twitter account]
Redemption: That’s what the newest season of The Next Iron Chef is all about. You’ll see 10 familiar chefs battling it out again, proving they’ve got the skills to win the ultimate prize: the title of Iron Chef. Watch week after week as Alton Brown returns to host this series through an array of challenges that takes the contestants through Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Putting their reputations on the line one more time for a chance to join the ranks of chefs including Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon and Geoffrey Zakarian in Kitchen Stadium are:
- Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag, Eric Greenspan and Jehangir Mehta from The Next Iron Chef Season Two
- Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli and Spike Mendelsohn from the cast of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs
- First-time Next Iron Chef competitors Tim Love and Marcel Vigneron
Find out who the tenth slot will go to
Biscuits hold a special, fluffy, buttery place in Alton Brown’s heart. His grandmother made the best biscuits every day for more than 50 years, and re-creating those legendary biscuits took him 10 years of science projects, oven temperature readings and failed attempts.
So it’s only fitting that he kicked off this weekend’s International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., with a talk on all things biscuit, including how he finally cracked the recipe and what you should and shouldn’t (read: yogurt) mix into your biscuit dough.
“Biscuits aren’t food, they’re currency for the soul,” Alton says. That’s because they’re all about tradition. After trying literally everything — including mimicking the barometric pressure and humidity of his grandmother’s mountain home in his Atlanta-area residence — to re-create the family biscuits, Alton finally learned that a difference in technique was ruining batch after batch. His grandmother kneaded with her fingers straight, while he kneaded with bent hands. For this reason, he says, “You can only learn biscuits from a direct transfer of one to another.” (Watch Alton make biscuits with his grandmother.)
No biscuit-savvy grandmother in the family? Continue reading for some of Alton’s tips to baking better biscuits.
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