This past weekend marked the third annual Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, featuring numerous events that showcased the talents of Food Network and Cooking Channel personalities like Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine and The Neelys. With over 30 events, cooking demos and seminars to choose from, I certainly had my hands full. However, over the course of four days, these five moments struck a chord and were most memorable:
1. Watching Guy crown the first-ever female winner, Nicole DiZio, during his popular Cheesesteak Battle on Friday night.
Sunny Anderson sings, Crazy Susan’s cookies and more photos »
It takes more than a monsoon to keep Guy Fieri from presiding over a selection of the best cheesesteaks Atlantic City could pack into the Dennis Courtyard at Bally’s Hotel & Casino last Friday night. Fans of the cheesy sub and the star of the new show Rachael vs. Guy started rolling in, despite muggy temps and sudden storms, and lined up nonstop to sample some classic and fresh takes on cheesesteaks.
Recent contestants on Food Network Star –Mary Beth, Chris, Alicia, Jeff, Susie and Whitney — were also in attendance and in full fan-mode, greeting and taking pictures with fans. Mary Beth had her eye on last year’s cheesesteak winner, Tony Boloney’s, who brought back their gooey American cheese-filled spicy sando and posed a steamy threat to the other eight competitors. With their signature “mustache army” of blue-shirted, beret-wearing staffers, complete with blue and red vuvuzelas (remember those from the World Cup?) and bullhorns, you’d be hard-pressed to not notice — and stand in line for their messy yet tasty sandwich.
The winner and more photos after the jump »
Two of Food Network’s most popular personalities, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, are going head-to-head in a new series premiering this winter, Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. Both Rachael and Guy will serve as coaches and mentors to eight multi-talented celebrities — from an Olympic gold medalist to Grammy-winning artists to a Golden Globe-nominated actor — contestants who are all passionate about food and cooking.
Divided into Team Rachael and Team Guy, the contestants will face intense weekly challenges that are sure to have them working, fighting and laughing as they race against the clock to prepare elaborate meals for up to 150 guests. The winning and losing teams will be chosen by the guest diners and after six episodes, the last celebrity standing will win a cash donation to his or her favorite charity.
Read about the all-star line-up »
Rachael Ray cooked with Graham Kerr, host of The Galloping Gourmet, on a recent episode of the Rachael Ray Show. Graham is known for launching one of the first classic cooking shows and has inspired many television chefs (including Rachael) to follow in his footsteps. Try some of his classic recipes and see the video on AOL TV.
Guy Fieri dished out tips in a video with Extra revealing his three simple rules to follow when dieting. He cites, “Moderation, exercise and eating in courses to ensure that even when surrounded by food you don’t give in to temptation.” Guy makes sure that the food he consumes is “really good” since he doesn’t count calories and tries not to waste them — his guilty pleasure is anything salty. Watch the video on ExtraTV.
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Sandra Lee has agreed to a deal with Hyperion and the Disney Interactive Media Group that would include the publication of five new books. In addition to the books, Sandra will produce a series of 15 online videos expected to launch this fall, around the same time as the publication of her lifestyle book and the first of two cookbooks. Later, she’ll publish two food-themed novels with recipes.
Guy Fieri opened up his garage in a recent interview with AutoTrader.com. His favorite, a ’71 Chevelle, was purchased by saving up money he placed in a boot in his closet for two and a half years — he’s vowed to never sell it. His current garage is filled with numerous cars — find out what they are and what car he’s still looking for on AutoTrader.com.
Videos featuring Robert Irvine, Bobby and Giada after the jump »
Guy Fieri and his dad prefer to spend Father’s Day grilling out in Guy’s Santa Rosa, CA backyard over a restaurant dinner to celebrate their special day. For the Fieri’s, cooking is a multi-generational family affair — Guy’s kids get involved, cooking alongside their dad and grandfather. They plan the menu well in advance, choosing recipes that everyone loves and that everyone can help cook, too. For inspiration, they look no further than Guy’s new cookbook, Guy Fieri Food — now a New York Times bestseller — for recipes spanning Guy’s whole career.
To celebrate dads everywhere (and Guy’s book making the bestsellers’ list) we’re giving away 3 copies of Guy Fieri Food! All you have to do is let us know, here in the comments, how you’re celebrating Father’s Day this year. Do you and dad cook together, or does he prefer a restaurant meal? Do you whip up a special dessert just for him, or grill him a juicy steak? We’re giving away one copy of the cookbook to three randomly-selected, and very lucky commenter’s.
Find out how to enter and read contest rules after the jump »
Anne Burrell will headline the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, May 20 -21 at Ko Olina. The event is in its third year and will include wineries from France and California, along with 15 top chefs that will cook their cuisine at the Grand Tasting and Food and Wine pairing events. Visit Hawaiiwineandfood.com for more information.
Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri were both spotted on the red carpet at the Kentucky Derby this past weekend. Watch their interviews on the red carpet: Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri.
Alton Brown is now on Twitter. Alton has been the most requested twitter address from Food Network Fans by tweeters looking to follow, he can found as @altonbrown. On his first day, over 7,000 followers added his tweets to their own pages and that number continues to grow daily.
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Guy Fieri’s son Ryder loves this turkey chili made with dried pasilla chile peppers, red onions, garlic, ground cumin and cayenne pepper. Make dinner tonight a family event by letting the kids help chop and measure ingredients while you saute the veggies.
Get the recipe: Ryder’s Turkey Chili
Browse more of Food Network’s comfort food recipes.
You’ve seen him on Food Network, he’s authored numerous books, including his newest, Guy Fieri Food, but now Guy Fieri is tackling something more near and dear to his heart than anything he’s done before: Cooking With Kids. He’s created the Guy Fieri Cooking With Kids Foundation, where he’s produced videos, mentored kids of all ages and educated families on the importance of getting kids into the kitchen from the very beginning.
We caught up with Guy earlier this week and listened intently as he talked about why this movement struck his heart, what needs to be done next and how families at home can improve life in the kitchen. He gave us a glimpse into his life at home with his two sons, Hunter and Ryder, and talked about their food habits. He even answered several Food Network Facebook fans questions.
FN Dish: Cooking With Kids — why is it a passion for you?
GF: First of all, I’m a dad, I have two sons. There’s something about people that have kids that make that connection — no matter whose kids they are, you want the best for them. I love talking to them — they call it like they see it.
When you look at kids being deprived, not deprived of food per se, but deprived of something they would like or they need, it bothers me. Knowing how to cook and knowing where food comes from is one of those things. It lays a foundation down in their lives that they will need in order to bridge other pieces together.
Find out what Guy’s two sons eat »
Iron Chef Morimoto is serving up recipes to aid his Japanese homeland in Keep Recipes for Recovery, a 21-recipe cookbook filled with Japanese classics, fusions, haute cuisine and more. Donations start at just $10 –proceeds will go to The American Red Cross to help Japan recover from the devastation of the recent earth quake and tsunami. Last month, Chef Morimoto made his singing debut at The Thousand Hearts benefit concert to raise funds and awareness for the survivors of the tragedy. You can still donate to the benefit through Thousandhearts.org and see his vocal performance on YouTube.
Would you like to meet Chef Aarón Sánchez? In honor of his partnership with Cacique, the largest Hispanic cheese brand in the U.S., you and one lucky friend could have Sánchez “crash and cook” in your very own kitchen! To enter, visit and ‘like’ Cacique USA’s Facebook page from Apr. 13 to Aug. 31, 2011: http://www.facebook.com/CaciqueBrand.
Find out what Guy Fieri is up to »