When I was in my twenties, going out to brunch was one of my favorite weekend activities. I loved every part of the ritual, including waiting for a table, choosing between sweet or savory and dividing up the check with a happily full belly.
Though eating brunch on a Saturday or Sunday morning is still a beloved pastime, I’ve found that my preferred venue has changed. These days, I’m all about brunch at home. It’s cheaper, the temptations are fewer and it can be prepared and eaten while one is wearing pajamas.
Because I can far too easily default to the same three brunch dishes (scrambled eggs with turkey bacon, whole-grain pancakes or leftover stuffed omelets), I do try to seek out brunch recipes that are outside my norm. Some weeks (and much to my husband’s delight), I bake a coffeecake. Others I bake up a frittata in my trusty cast-iron skillet (though some claim that I am too heavy-handed with the kale).
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed at the prospect of entertaining a houseful of party guests or cooking a meal for your opinionated relatives, then you can begin to imagine the pressure under which home cooks find themselves on Bobby’s Dinner Battle, Bobby Flay‘s newest show that challenges three teams of home cooks to prepare three-course dinner parties for this professional chef and restaurateur. Although they don’t have formal culinary training, the contestants are not simply kitchen novices. They consider themselves to be some of the best home cooks in their area and pride themselves on their ability to craft full-flavored, restaurant-quality meals using advanced techniques in their kitchens at home.
Each week, Bobby will travel to a different city where new groups of home cooks must put their best culinary chops forward in themed challenges to create event menus with limited time and money. Bobby will be joined by a special guest in each city, and these esteemed dinner party guests will help judge the competitors on the taste and presentation of their offerings, plus how well they’ve embraced the given theme.
Tune in to the series premiere of Bobby’s Dinner Battle on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10pm/9c.
On Bobby’s Dinner Battle, Bobby Flay‘s brand-new show premiering Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10pm/9c, this professional chef and restaurateur visits teams of experienced home cooks across the country. These cooks are challenged to create themed three-course dinner parties to be judged by himself, a special guest and fellow competitors in the ultimate at-home cook-off. While some teams rely on advanced cooking techniques to showcase their star power, others turn out favorite classic recipes, but they all must learn to cope with the pressure of cooking for such a high-profile dinner-party guest as Bobby.
Imagine for a moment that you are one of the home cooks on Bobby’s Dinner Battle. What meal would you serve to such a famed food star, one who’s inevitably enjoyed meals from some of the very best chefs in the country? Would you opt for a no-fail crowd-pleaser that you’ve made countless times, or would you offer him an elegant feast of the finest dishes? Since Bobby is the master of all things barbecue, might you rely on sticky, saucy ribs to win him over? Would you try to impress him with your take on one of his own recipes, or would you simply direct him to your stove and saute pan and politely ask him to cook for you?
Last week, FN Dish introduced Rival Recipes, a weekly series that pits Next Iron Chef rivals, judges and standing Iron Chefs against one another in themed battles to find out whose recipe reigns supreme. In our first installment, Iron Chef Marc Forgione went head-to-head with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian in an Italian Dish Showdown. In the end, Chef Zakarian’s pasta with bolognese bested Chef Forgione’s gnocchi with brown butter, but only by a few dozen votes. Didn’t get a chance to vote last week? There’s still time to pick a plate.
This week’s mashup features Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, and they’re leaving behind Italian classics and focusing on Thanksgiving favorites. With Turkey Day just a few weeks away, everyone wants to know: dressing or stuffing — which side pairs better with the bird? The chefs themselves are divided on the issue. Chef Flay is bringing an earthy, smoky Sourdough, Wild Mushroom and Bacon Dressing to the battle, while Iron Chef Symon opts for Cornbread Stuffing made moist and luxuriously rich thanks to heavy cream.
The vote is in your hands — are you a loyal stuffing lover or do you prefer the simplicity of dressing? When it comes to bread, does crusty sourdough strike your fancy or will you reach for golden, crumbly corn bread? Vote below.
When Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis took the stage at New York City’s Times Center, it didn’t take long for these longtime friends and colleagues to start passing playful, well-meaning jabs to one another. The two joined Julia Moskin of The New York Times as part of a series of TimesTalks during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, and what followed was a lighthearted conversation about food, Food Network Star and their early days on the network. Never one to miss a beat, Bobby jokingly told the audience, “As you know, Giada invented Italian food,” while Food Network’s resident Italian superstar took the dig in stride before returning the favor to Bobby. She told the story of how he claimed on national television to have discovered a secret pasta-making strategy, when in fact it was she who deserved the credit.
In no time, their chat turned to the most-recent season of Food Network Star, in which Justin Warner, mentor Alton Brown’s Rebel With a Culinary Cause, scored the most votes from at-home viewers and was crowned Food Network’s newest star. Bobby and Giada, also mentors to teams of Star contenders, looked back on the season and agreed that while other contestants may have turned out better food, Justin “is a talented entertainer” and “has a real chance to make some noise” now that he has claimed the top prize.
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.
In honor of the newest season of The Great Food Truck Race, we asked Food Network stars, as well as some familiar faces from Cooking Channel and Travel Channel to share with us their vision for the ultimate food truck while FN Dish was at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Click the play button on the video below to hear what Marc Forgione, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Aarón Sanchez had to say.
Talk to us: What kind of food truck would you open?
In suburban Chicago, Brendan O’Connor and three of his best friends desperately needed Bobby Flay’s help to make their restaurant dreams come true at Big Guys Sausage Stand. With just three days until the grand opening, Bobby tackled clashing personalities, unimaginative toppings and a depressing interior to help the guys create a sausage spot that impressed even the toughest of critics: Chicago’s Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro.
But what happened when Bobby headed home, leaving the guys to fend for themselves? We checked in with Brendan to see how Big Guys is doing a few months after Bobby’s intervention.
Brendan is happy to report that Big Guys is off to a great start: They are averaging $1,500 per day in sales and their numbers are growing daily thanks to neighborhood buzz, good local press and many repeat customers.
Bobby Flay brought in the big guns not once but twice this episode as he took on his next project: Cove Lounge in Harlem, New York. With just three days to open, Alyah and Gloria found themselves knee-deep in bills, as well as dealing with a series of staffing and kitchen issues in their quest to open an upscale lounge. Bobby relied on the legends of Harlem’s food industry and Nina and Tim Zagat to help guide Alyah with constructive criticism. The ladies picked the perfect neighborhood for their venture, but that was only a small part of it.
Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the Cove team fix these four crucial issues: staffing, menu, food quality and cocktails.
The signature cocktail, “The Cove,” has been created, and the French fries seem to be perfect. Alyah waited three years for this dream to come true, but did it all work out? One lesson we’re sure she learned was to proofread everything. We checked in with her and Gloria to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.