Tag: Alton Brown

Cooking Without Necessities — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 29th, 2013


While Cutthroat Kitchen judges are quick to taste the food before them in each round of evilicious competition on the show, they don’t know exactly how that dish came to be, what ingredients were used to prepare it and which methods were undertaken to produce it. For help in clarifying the unknown, host Alton Brown sits down with the judges in his Web-exclusive After-Show to break down the ins and outs of the challenges; this week, he and Antonia Lofaso chatted about the latest contest to unfold.

Traditional wonton wrappers may seem like a must-have ingredient for chefs tasked with preparing pot stickers, but in Round 1, three of the four competitors were forced to work with wontons in other forms, like honey-soaked wontons, frozen wontons and wonton soup. Thinking about the offerings she had just tasted, Antonia correctly guessed that Chef Velez was the one fortunate enough to work with the fresh product. Although she was initially hesitant about Chef Miranda’s dish, which was crafted out of frozen wontons and featured cabbage-wrapped bites, Antonia ultimately told the finalist, “I’m not mad at it.” Later she explained to Alton: “When someone says ‘pot sticker,’ you have this idea in your head of exactly what you want. So when I walk over and there’s cabbage, and I’m like, am I going to get that texture on the outside? Am I going to get that little bit of, like, char? And then I really enjoyed it.”

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Hand Masher Gone Wrong and Indoor Campfires — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 22nd, 2013


For the first time this season, Antonia Lofaso took her turn judging four competitors in the latest round of evilicious contest on Cutthroat Kitchen, and because no judge is privy to the bidding for sabotages and cooking, she joined Alton Brown on his After-Show to learn what had gone down.

The chefs had to create gnocchi during Round 1 of the competition; though a hand masher may have been an appropriate tool for the job, it became an obstacle for Chef Gentile when he was forced to have it duct taped to his arm for the duration of the round. “He was looking for garnish that was going to build a dish,” Antonia told Alton, realizing that this impediment is what prevented Chef Gentile from breaking down ingredients and cooking with more precision.

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Hot-Iron Woes and a Chilly Ball of Ice Cream — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 15th, 2013


Having been a judge on the premiere season of Cutthroat Kitchen, Simon Majumdar is no stranger to the tricks and challenges that befall competitors in each round of cooking, but after eating set cheese and soupy ice cream on tonight’s all-new Season 2 premiere, he needed a few clarifications on how the dishes came to be. Host Alton Brown — who’s not only privy to the sabotages, but in charge of auctioning them off as well — filled in Simon during the latest installment of his After-Show.

It turns out that the patty melt-inspired dish that Chef Stratton gave Simon was mushroom-heavy on account of the Freeze Dried Meat product he was forced to work with after Chef Wiginton assigned it to him. “There was no patty in the dish, really,” Simon told Alton. “It was mushroom-heavy, and I guess that’s what he did to try and compensate, but it kind of overcompensated a bit.” This ingredient was so unlike fresh meat that it prevented Chef Stratton from turning it into a traditional patty.

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Watch: Alton’s Video Tour of the Cutthroat Kitchen Set

by in Shows, December 13th, 2013

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Just in time for this Sunday’s Season 2 premiere of Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown is giving fans an insider’s look at the set where all of the competition goes down. No one knows the kitchen quite like Alton, the host of the show and the shameless deliverer of evil sabotages, so he’s the ultimate tour guide. Showing off the infamous pantry, where chefs have just 60 seconds to shop, revealing what’s behind closed doors in the refrigerator, and taking fans behind the stoves and prep tables to see where the competitors face off, Alton’s keeping nothing secret — he’s even revealing little-known tidbits about the set, including the dumbwaiter, which reveals each round’s sabotages.

Click the play button on the video above to watch Alton’s behind-the-scenes tour of Cutthroat Kitchen, and learn insider facts about the set. Then tune in Sunday at 10pm/9c to watch Alton and four all-new chefs on the Season 2 premiere of Cutthroat Kitchen.

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Alton’s Cutthroat Kitchen Survival Techniques

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, December 12th, 2013

Alton's Cutthroat Kitchen Survival TechniquesAs Season 2 of Cutthroat Kitchen approaches (tune in Sunday, Dec. 15 at 10pm/9c), FN Dish thought it was an optimal time to look back on the first season with the host himself, Alton Brown, and some of the best lessons learned. This quickly translated into Alton’s Survival Techniques.

1. Never leave the pantry unless your basket is full. There is absolutely no excuse for not having a full basket — to the brim.

2. Always grab flour and eggs. Even if you think you’re not going to need them, you can make a lot of things with those two ingredients that you can’t make with other things.

Click here for three more survival techniques

Alton Brown Is Bringing Back the Bow Tie

by in Food Network Chef, News, October 21st, 2013

Alton BrownHe may be a famed food-science guru, the longtime host of Iron Chef America and a revered judge-mentor on Food Network Star, but for the first time, Alton Brown is stepping out of the kitchen and designing something other than food. In partnership with hook + Albert, a brand specializing in men’s accessories, Alton’s launched an all-new line of bow ties called The Alton Brown Collection.

The Alton Brown Collection“Basically, these are ties I wanted for myself but couldn’t find,” Alton told Food Network of his idea to begin this venture. He’s been a frequent wearer of bow ties for years, but until now, they’ve been designed and styled by others. This look, however, is wholly his own.

Pieces of The Alton Brown Collection include neutral-colored blacks and whites, plus bright hues like blues, oranges and reds, but what makes the bow ties unique is their patterns and textures. They feature a mix of stripes, specks and plaids, and all come together in harmonious looks. “They’re eccentric but wearable and very clothes-friendly,” Alton explains. “What we’ve done with this collection is hopefully made bow ties that will even appeal to guys who have never given bow ties a thought.”

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Frugal Spending, Big Rewards — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 22nd, 2013

It’s no surprise that to be successful on Cutthroat Kitchen competitors ought to come equipped with a strategy for how they’ll approach the contest, as Alton’s culinary mind game requires more of contestants than basic kitchen chops and the ability to work under pressure. For a chef to be victorious, he or she will need a strategy, and this week’s champion ultimately claimed the win thanks in part to a method of restrained bidding. After three rounds and only two wins at the auction, the top chef left with $11,800, a grand sum compared to the small wages some rivals have taken home. Alton and judge Jet Tila dished on such an approach to the contest during the latest installment of the host’s After-Show. “You want to walk out of here with your dough,” Alton explained. Jet added, “You’re not here just to spend, spend, spend to sabotage people.” On several past episodes, chefs have gotten caught up in back-and-forth bidding wars only to “spend their way to victory,” as Alton noted. This week’s victor, however, claimed just two wins at the auction, guaranteeing a take-home sum of $11,800, a large figure compared to the small wages some rivals earn after three rounds of seemingly careless spending. Read more

It All Comes Down to Experience and Meeting Expectations — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 15th, 2013


Coming into Cutthroat Kitchen, the chefs know to expect sabotage, backstabbing and true competition. So the only things they can rely on are their skills and experience, but sometimes in the heat of battle those skills and experience go right out the window. After all, the chefs are racing to finish their plates while also maneuvering sabotages they’ve been dealt that often lead their dishes down a disastrous road.

In the latest installment of Alton’s After-Show, the host and this week’s judge, Jet Tila, dished on the competitors’ seeming disregard for key basics in cooking, such as taste and texture, and their inability to have a dish live up to some sort of standard of expectation.

Taste is No. 1, explained Jet, when talking about Round 1′s spaghetti and meatballs, where one of the sabotages took away the ability to taste from three of the chefs. “You have to have cooked for a phenomenal amount of years to just cook by feel,” says Jet. Alton added that it’s especially true when it comes to making sauce, which often needs many tastings before it’s ready to be served. These chefs were too brash in thinking they didn’t need to taste — and even Chef Davidi who won the auction didn’t manage to put out a flavorful dish. When it came to the wings in Round 2, stuffing them with ingredients that made no sense — like Chef Glick’s celery and carrot batons — just went to show there was no forethought. And the chef’s use of bottled sauce did nothing to show creativity. In Round 3, it all came down to a lack of experience when making the doughnuts. Each chef’s doughnuts turned out to be leaden balls of dough, far from the fluffy, airy confections that anyone would expect.

Click the play button on the video above to hear more from Jet and Alton, and then chat with fellow fans in the comments section below.

Cutthroat Kitchen Look-Back: Memorable Sabotages in Review

by in Shows, September 12th, 2013

Once the competitors on Cutthroat Kitchen complete their brief 60 seconds of pantry shopping, they can’t say for certain what will come next, blissfully unaware of the ingredient swaps, time freezes and utensil prohibitions with which they will be forced to comply when cooking. Host Alton Brown‘s deliciously mischievous competition is just four weeks into its premiere season, yet chefs have already experienced interferences like prepared pie crust in place of pizza dough, the inability to use salt in their taco dishes and the challenge of fashioning their only utensils out of aluminum foil.

Two of the seemingly most insurmountable sabotages, however, occurred in the first two weeks of the series, when Alton revealed French wine and blue cheese, which had to be featured in one chef’s French toast preparation, and bright-green sour apple gummy candies, which were to be used in place of fresh apples when making a dish of pork chops and apple sauce. What happened next in both instances was a no-nonsense bidding war, with several contestants willing to go to great lengths — and exorbitant sums — to avoid cooking with these products themselves.

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Planning Under Pressure — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 8th, 2013

No matter how prepared a chef may be when he walks into Cutthroat Kitchen, or how well-conceived his ideas are for one round’s challenge dish, he can’t say for certain whether he’ll be able to use those skills or his thought-out plan, as a sabotage may ultimately get the better of him. The key to success in this contest is a competitor’s ability to adapt to culinary interferences as he meets them — finding new ways to add flavor to food when salt isn’t an option and learning how to fashion utensils out of foil when traditional devices are prohibited, among them.

But what happens when, whether because of strategic game play or simple good fortune, a chef has the opportunity — the time, ingredients and equipment — to make just what he had intended?

In the latest installment of Alton’s After-Show, the host and this week’s judge, Antonia Lofaso, dished on the competitors’ seeming need to do more and cook more than they ought to have or needed to simply because they could.

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