Tonight an all-new season of Chopped All-Stars began, and what better way to kick things off than pitting Food Network stars against their Cooking Channel counterparts? Stars dashed to deliver dishes before the clock ran out, and competitors bumped into each other, putting one chef’s dish at risk. Needless to say there was no shortage of drama.
If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — FN Dish is about to break down the episode and chat with the runner-up.
SPOILER ALERT: Our exclusive interview with the runner-up
It was a just a matter of time until Michael Symon’s three-time People’s Choice-winning streak was broken. And no one wanted to claim that victory more than Bobby Flay. For years, Rachael Ray has said that Michael has taken the win, but with Bobby just a few short votes shy (sometimes just one or two).
Last year Bobby told FN Dish that he’d rather come in tenth place, than be second to Michael once more. “He only wins because of his laugh,” Bobby jokingly told FN Dish last night. He continued to say that if he didn’t win this year, he might just hang his hat up. No need for that. Even though Bobby was up against 33 other burgers, his Green Chile Burger, crunchified of course, was the ultimate combination of savory, salty and fatty.
What’s the secret to this winning burger? “We let Michael Symon win three years in a row. This year we broke out the roasted poblano chiles. Game over everybody,” proclaimed Bobby.
Before the pressure of Burger Bash and Best of the Best really set in Friday night, Spike Mendelsohn gathered some of the best chefs for some friendly competition in his first-ever Let’s Get Spiked Volleyball Tournament on the beach. Comprised of four teams, there was no shortage of smack-talking, interesting uniforms and creative team names:
Team Dolphins: Josh Capon, Andrew Zimmern, Chuck Hughes and Kris Wessel
Team Love Machine: Justin Warner, Pat LaFrieda, Jr., Tim Love and Adrianne Calvo
Team Goose Dies in the End: Jeff Mauro, Stephanie Izard and Curtis Stone
Team Beach Cutlets: Johnny Iuzzini, Todd Erickson, Spike Mendelsohn and Edward Lee
Rumor had it that the chef to watch out for was Curtis Stone, but after the tournament got underway, my eye was on Tim Love, who would dive for the ball just about every set.
It’s no surprise that Jeff’s a big football fan. Though his home team (Chicago Bears) didn’t make the playoffs this year, he’s still excited to celebrate the upcoming big game.
Here are 5 things you can catch Jeff either watching, eating or drinking during the Super Bowl:
1. Commercials: I love watching the one-up manship of these mini movies. Some are very clever and entertaining, sometimes even more so than the game.
2. I eat and make sandwiches (obviously). They’re minimal-cleanup necessary and their one-handed operation permits high-fiving and remote-controlling. It’s also an easy and economical way to feed a bunch of people.
3. I’ll be drinking a lighter beer so my tiny tummy doesn’t fill up so quickly, thus being able to enjoy much more of my personal game-day trifecta: salt, meat and carb.
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We recently caught up with Jeff and asked him about the recent baskets featured on the second episode of Chopped Champions. Just like with Justin, Melissa and Sunny, everyone has ideas about what they would do if they were given the baskets themselves. But what if you were faced with an ingredient that you detested in one of the baskets? That’s what Jeff would have encountered in the dessert round when the basket consisted of Mitmita, Sauternes, cottage cheese and cream-filled snack cakes. So which ingredient keeps Jeff 10 feet away?
“Cottage cheese holds the number one place on my personal no-no list. I’ve never consumed it and never will. My brother Frank loves the stuff and he used to chase me around the house with a near-empty bowl of it. Just the sight of those few remaining curds in the bowl would send me screaming into the bathroom, where I would frantically lock myself in.”
So what would Jeff do if he were given this specific Chopped basket? “Needless to say, I would throw in the towel on this one!”
Now it’s your turn: What’s the one food you won’t touch? Do you share Jeff’s feelings about cottage cheese? Share your answer in the comment section below.
During the eight days of Hanukkah, we’ll be celebrating the festival of lights with essential recipes for parties, nightly dinners, desserts and using up leftovers (after all, those leftovers deserve a second chance). Today, latkes are making another appearance, this time as one of the most clever vehicles to date that Jeff Mauro has used to make his sandwiches.
Potato latkes become the foundation for this towering creation. Whether you make them fresh or utilize leftovers, each latke sandwiches lean corned beef and homemade apple and sour cream slaw.
Get the recipe: Latke Corned Beef Sandwich With Apple and Sour Cream Slaw
Watch the Sandwich King makes this sandwich
Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your Thanksgiving leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way. After all, those leftovers deserve a second chance. This recipe from Jeff Mauro stays true to the ingredients but assembles them in an unexpected way.
Stuffing becomes the foundation for this towering dish. It’s formed into patties and seared in bacon fat. Each patty gets topped with leftover turkey meat, gravy, cranberry sauce, crispy bacon and fried sage leaves.
Get the Open Faced Turkey Stuffing Patty With Gravy and Cranberry Sauce recipe
When it comes to consuming Thanksgiving leftovers, my parents are of two fairly divergent schools of thought. My mother likes to enjoy replicas of the original meal for a night or two after the event, after which she gracefully transitions to open-faced turkey sandwiches and, eventually, a large pot of soup.
My father’s approach is a bit messier. As soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are washed, he begins to anticipate a full week of a dish we’ve taken to calling “Mo’s Turkey Mash.” He layers diced turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, any remaining green beans and puréed squash in a serving bowl, adds a generous pour of gravy and microwaves the whole thing until suitably warm. Then he works it with a soupspoon until it reaches a homogenous distribution. Then it’s ready to eat.
As far as leftovers go for me, I have a limited capacity to eat the exact same thing over and over again. I like a replay of Thanksgiving for lunch on Friday, but then I’m ready to start reimagining the leftovers into something wholly different. Some years, I’ve opted for a creation I like to call “Turkey Pot Shepherd’s Pie.” It’s essentially the insides of a pot pie, topped with mashed potatoes instead of a pastry crust. Other times, I’ve done a thick turkey chili with the leftover meat.
Here are a few tips to get you started
There are two absolutes at the end of Thanksgiving Day: a food coma that has you so stuffed you might not want to see a turkey again, and a seemingly endless array of leftovers that you have no idea what to do with. Luckily, Food Network can help you out with ideas for that last part. Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your turkey day leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way that will actually have you excited about eating again.
Forget the same old cold turkey sandwich; try this sweet and savory version hot out of the oven. Jeff tosses sliced leftover turkey with a BBQ sauce made with cranberry sauce and serves it up on a hoagie roll with Fontina cheese and fried shallots.
Get the Cranberry BBQ Turkey Sandwich recipe
The countdown is official: Thanksgiving Live! is just nine short days away. Before the live show starts at noon, Food Network will serve up a three-hour Thanksgiving Live! webcast at FoodNetwork.com with the one-and-only Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, serving as the digital correspondent. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET, the site will stream a pre-show featuring Jeff taking viewers behind the scenes in Food Network Kitchens, catching Alton, Giada, Bobby, Aarón, Alex, Sunny and Ree getting ready for the live broadcast.
Stick with us during the live show and then go to FoodNetwork.com during commercials. Jeff will be featuring viewers’ tweets (don’t forget to use hashtag #ThanksgivingLive), taking more questions and — knowing Jeff — I’m sure the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is coming your way, too.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask Jeff? Whether it’s about the way the way he celebrates Turkey Day or tips for the ultimate turkey sandwich, we’ll handpick a selection of your questions and ask him live during the show. Leave your question in the comment section below, or submit it via Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #ThanksgivingLive.