Cleveland.com reported that Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro earned its first AAA 4-diamond rating, the second highest award given to hotels and restaurants. Chef Symon had made it a goal to receive this honor and was excited to learn he achieved it. Also, a new location of B-spot, his burger restaurant, is now open in Strongsville, Ohio. The Strongsville Patch reported crowds gathering for opening day and excited customers eager to sample the chef’s award winning burgers. A third B-spot location at Crocker Park in Westlake is scheduled to open in July, as the chef continues to expand his culinary presence in the Cleveland area.
Guy Fieri tweeted about a special meal he was preparing and asked his fans on twitter to guess the name of the honored guest at a surprise birthday dinner for a “Hall of Famer”. He later posted photos of the event celebrating John Madden’s 75th birthday, with Madden dressed in one of his signature knuckle sandwich chef jackets.
Find out what Aaron McCargo Jr. and Tyler Florence are up to »
- Meet Nadia G., Cooking Channel host and South Beach reporter extraordinaire
At this year’s South Beach Food & Wine Festival, Cooking Channel’s Nadia G. — the hilariously irreverent host of Bitchin’ Kitchen — was on the ground chatting it up with everyone from Duff Goldman to our newest Iron Chef, Marc Forgione. Check out some footage from this Canadian rising star’s whirlwind weekend down South.
At the Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach party, Nadia posed a question that’s bound to get any chef fired up: What’s the worst thing you ever ate?
During the day, Nadia chatted with Guy Fieri about cooking with kids, a subject near and dear to both of these personality-packed chefs, who also share a penchant for tattoos.
Then Nadia hung out backstage during Guy’s standing-room-only cooking demo, which truly looked like a rock concert. Check out her guest appearance on stage — it was a surprise to everyone, including Nadia!
Want to see more Nadia G.? Check out more videos from South Beach on our sister blog Devour and catch Bitchin’ Kitchen on Wednesdays at 10:30pm/9:30c on Cooking Channel.
- Louie and the Redhead Lady in Mandeville, LA celebrated its DDD appearance with this tasty tribute to Guy. Image courtesy Louie and the Redhead Lady.
It’s not news to anyone that Guy Fieri is a total rock star. His “Chef-Dude” magnetism has been chronicled by the New York Times: It all started with his win on The Next Food Network Star; then came Guy’s Big Bite and soon after, the wildly popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. More recently there’s been Tailgate Warriors, a game show and cooking demonstrations that rival sold-out pop concerts. When Guy’s yellow Lamborghini went missing a couple of weeks ago, it was national news.
- Diners at Louie and the Redhead Lady watch Guy's visit to the restaurant on a continuous loop.
But Guy’s rock-star status was never more evident to me than when I stumbled upon a mom-and-pop restaurant in Mandeville, Louisiana (a suburb across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans), that had received a visit from Triple-D. The episode featuring Louie and the Redhead Lady aired this winter, and Chef Louie and his wife Ginger (a.k.a., you guessed it, the Redhead Lady) are still flying high from the experience — and the huge boom in business that it set off.
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- Guy and Matthew rocked it out on the bongos between takes on Guy's Big Bite.
What’s one of People magazine’s sexiest men alive doing playing the bongos and making soy-glazed green beans on Guy’s Big Bite? Turns out, Guy and Matthew McConaughey are buddies—they’ve cooked together several times, and one day at Matthew’s house they decided it would be fun to do so on Guy’s show.
Don’t miss the special one-hour episode tomorrow night, December 18, at 8pm/7c. Matthew loves to cook—he’s all about healthy, flavorful food—and brings along some recipes of his own, like Malibu Oysters and JKL Peso Pork, named for his charity, the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation.
Check out our behind-the-scenes gallery of Guy and Matthew on set, and don’t miss the episode tomorrow night at 8pm/7c.
Two Next Food Network Star winners ham it up on Guy’s set in L.A.
Guy’s Big Bite is back with all new episodes starting this Sunday, and that’s season 6 Next Food Network Star winner Aarti Sequeria hanging out with him on set. You’ll see her “stopping by” on Sunday’s episode—and no, this was not staged!
Guy‘s show was filmed in Los Angeles this year so he could be closer to his California home, and one morning L.A. native Aarti decided to stop by to say hello to him and the production team. They’d met during NFNS season 6 and got along instantly. Before she knew it, Guy had asked Aarti to cook with him on camera.
Sunday’s show is all about one of Guy’s favorite activities: Tailgating. We know Guy is a major Raiders fan…does Aarti also have football loyalties? Don’t miss Guy’s Big Bite this Sunday at 11am/10c to catch the two Star winners making game day grub.
Do you know what Sunday night is? Come on, we’ve been promoting it like crazy! In case you’ve been living inside a bubble, Sunday night at 9pm/8c is the two-hour season premiere of the best competition show on television – the one, the only – The Next Food Network Star. No, I’m not just saying that because I work for FN, I honestly feel it’s the best. Where else does a foodie have the opportunity to become a national celebrity, have access to build their own brand and all the while do what they love – cook? The concept of the show is amazing!
The peeps who have made it to this season’s competition have a passion for food. And, of course, we dig that! Now, sure, not all of them have the defined culinary skills, point of view or TV presence to win a show on the network, but our judges (Bobby, Susie and Bob) would never question their passion for food itself. The judges just need to find that one person with a little “sparkle” to go along with that passion (i.e., Guy Fieri).
Have you checked out who the 12 finalists are this season? Have you read their bios, watched their videos? Seriously, you must! You need to see what true characters these people are. Char-ac-ters, I say! Once you read and watch, let us know what you think! Write us here, tell us on Facebook, or chat with us – yes, chat!
On Sunday (and every week after that), we will be hosting a live chat during the Star broadcast. So before you settle in on the sofa to watch the show, grab your laptop! We’ll be starting at 9pm/8c at FoodNetwork.com/Star. It will be a weekly date, so don’t stand us up.
- Competitor Michael Cohen's Northern Italian Trattoria Burger
Any food-lover knows that burgers are all the rage these days, showing up on menus everywhere from dives to fancy four-star restaurants. Food Network chefs are all about them—Bobby Flay just opened up his fifth Bobby’s Burger Palace, this one in Philadelphia, where fellow Iron Chef Jose Garces also has a terrific burger joint. On Ultimate Recipe Showdown this week, the competitors showed that home cooks can also make some killer burgers.
The burger episode was even more intense thanks to a heated battle-within-a-battle: Father versus Son. Michael Cohen went up against his dad, Harold, the reigning champ of last season’s burger showdown.
The eight burgers presented were diverse in their toppings and flavors, and the judges pronounced many of them excellent. Today Katherine Alford, Vice President of Food Network Test Kitchen and URS judge, shares her expert insight on how to achieve burger perfection at home.
FN Dish: Many of the burgers in this competition had a lot going on, from salsas to dressings to herb butter to grilled lettuce. For you, what are the key components of a great burger?
Katherine Alford: For a classic, it’s all about perfectly cooked, juicy, full-flavored quality meat. You need a bun that contrasts with the meat’s texture but doesn’t get in the way and holds up to a mess of personalized toppings.
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- Competitor Julie Merriman's Chipotle Rubbed Steak Tacos Mole
The heat is always on in the Ultimate Recipe Showdown kitchens, but it got even hotter this week with the Hot & Spicy competition. The contestants’ fiery flavors spanned the globe, from Thai chicken soup to Indonesian salad to Mexican tacos.
Once again, we sat down with Katherine Alford, VP of Food Network Test Kitchen and veteran URS judge, to get her tips on cooking (and eating) spicy foods.
FN Dish: Is a dish ever “too spicy” for you? Were you worried at all that one of the contestants might overdo the heat in this round?
Katherine Alford: Yes, a dish can be too spicy, if it’s hot just for the sake of being hot and taking your head off. The best spicy food has more than just incendiary heat. Even dishes that use habaneros, the hottest chile, should be balanced to play up its fruity quality. A good hot and spicy dish should have enough going on so that the heat is part of a larger taste.
FN Dish: The dishes in this round represented many diverse cuisines. What are some of the best international cuisines for spicy food lovers to experiment with?
KA: Of course the first that comes to mind is Mexican, as well as a wide range of Asian cuisines such as Szechuan, Vietnamese and Thai, Indian…or Indonesian like our runner-up. But what is interesting is that spices and chiles can be found in many cuisines…one of my favorite peppers is the Aleppo pepper that is used in Turkish and Lebanese food. It’s smoky, almost meaty, and it packs a punch.
Try Bobby Flay’s recipe for Tuna Crusted with Aleppo Peppers.
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The mood was festive on Ultimate Recipe Showdown Sunday as four competitors showed off their best party recipes. This week’s personalities were as fun as the food—we had a black-belt Grandma, a young clothing designer who poured himself a cocktail during the competition, a TV news reporter and a former rocker. Throwing a party with the four of them—plus fun-loving URS host Guy Fieri, of course—would surely be a good time.
Like last week, we sat down with Katherine Alford, Vice President of Food Network Test Kitchen, to get her take on the Party Food theme.
FN Dish: What makes party food a little more special than everyday meals?
Katherine Alford: This is when you pull out all the stops. You want a little wow and are willing to go the extra mile to make your friends feel special. Cooking for friends is such a generous act.
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Ultimate Recipe Showdown Season 3 kicked off with the Comfort Food round on Sunday, and we’re already quite jealous of the judges. While host Guy Fieri runs the show and checks in with the competitors, these three folks with esteemed palates get to sit back, watch the live cooking action and taste eight dishes perfected by home cooks. Who wouldn’t want that job?
After each episode this season, we’re sitting down with Katherine Alford—Vice President of Food Network Test Kitchen and URS judge—and asking three questions about the week’s theme. Today she shares her insights on comfort food.
FN Dish: What makes a dish “comfort food”?
Katherine Alford: Something that hits an emotional cord, soothing, nurturing and generous. Comfort also can be inspired by who cooks for you, like a favorite friend or relative. Comfort food can come in a myriad of forms… but most likely at its base it’s got a serious carb thing happening, like mac and cheese, grilled cheese, or my favorite, a buttery baked potato. Read more »