The Great Googa Mooga. Googa what? That was my exact reaction when I heard the name for the first ever “amusement park of food and drink” that is taking place this weekend at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Roots, Fitz & the Tantrums and Hall and Oates. These names are enough to draw in thousands of people to the newest food and music festival added to the roster of so many, but a first for New York City.
However, the true stars this weekend and what I believe was the biggest draw were the 75 food vendors, 35 brewers and 30 winemakers that dished out food ranging from barbecue to burgers, pizza and seafood and pastrami and ice cream. If you were craving it, you could buy it. While you might have to wait in multiple 30 minute lines, it was worth it — the food produced at this festival set a new standard for all festival food.
We spoke with organizer Jonathan Mayers, who launched Bonaroo and he said, “It’s time for food to get top billing.” He did just that. Included in those 75 food vendors were restaurants Spotted Pig, Roberta’s Pizza, Momofuku Milk Bar and Hill Country Barbecue. Special guests, demonstrators and chefs also included were Food Network’s own Michael Symon, Pat LaFrieda, Marcus Samuelsson, Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Ruth Reichl and even Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari. (For more with Michael Symon, click the play button above.)
Iron Chef Michael Symon — the unofficial mayor of Cleveland — tells Food Network Magazine what to eat in his hometown.
Roasted Pig Head from The Greenhouse Tavern
Michael is known for his love of unusual cuts of meat, so it’s no surprise that he digs into half a pig’s head at least once a week. “It’s a lot of pig face,” he admits. The pig is seasoned with a spicy Southeast Asian style barbecue sauce and served with lettuce cups. Michael often stops at this spot after work: It’s next to his restaurant Lola, and the chef, Jonathon Sawyer, is an old friend. $31; 2038 East 4th St.; thegreenhousetavern.com
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Last night we watched four chefs, each with a win under his or her belt, face off in the finale of the Chopped All-Stars tournament. In the four previous rounds, Michael Symon reigned supreme among the Iron Chefs, Penny Davidi prevailed against her fellow Food Network Star alums, Jeffrey Saad bested three other globetrotting show hosts and Marcus Samuelsson out-cooked his Chopped judging cohorts. But it all came down to the final battle: Only one of these chefs would win $50,000 for their charity.
If you missed the show and recorded it, don’t read any further — we’re about to break down the episode and chat with the winner. You can catch the full episode here.
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Yesterday on FN Dish, we broke down the first episode of Chopped All-Stars for you, including an interview with runner-up Marc Forgione.
Today, we’re chatting with the first-round winner and Iron Chef extraordinaire, Michael Symon.
What was it like competing against your fellow Iron Chefs?
MS: It’s always flattering and an honor to compete against chefs that work at such a high level. It’s also so much fun.
Which basket did you have the most trouble with?
MS: Dessert. I’m not a huge fan of rum.
More from Michael after the jump
Chopped All-Stars is back for a second season, and this year’s tournament kicks off with some very heavy hitters. On Sunday night at 9pm/8c, four Iron Chefs will do battle outside their Kitchen Stadium comfort zone. Cat Cora, Marc Forgione, Jose Garces and Michael Symon are all determined to cook their hearts out and take home the win. Of course, only one of them will advance to the final round for a chance to score $50,000 for their charity of choice. Check out our list to see which charity each chef is playing for.
Needless to say, this round should be a nail-biter for judges Scott Conant, Aarón Sanchez and Geoffrey Zakarian. Who won’t make it past the appetizer round? Which two will go head-to-head on dessert? Tune in to watch four seasoned competitors throw down in the Chopped Kitchen this Sunday at 9pm/8c.
Join the #Chopped conversation on Twitter during Sunday’s episode.
The James Beard Foundation announced today that one of Food Network’s favorite personalities and multiple James Beard Award winning celebrity chef Alton Brown will host the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards on May 7 in New York City.
He won’t be the only Food Network chef making an appearance on stage. On Friday, May 4, James Beard Award winning chef and Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon, along with four-time James Beard Award winning correspondent Martha Teichner, will co-host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner.
Read the entire press release »
“Burger Bash is where it’s at,” Michael Symon said as we started our interview. It’s arguably the most sought after-ticket at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, drawing in crowds by the hundreds. Food writers, bloggers and burger enthusiasts travel from far and wide to watch their favorite chefs vie for the title of Best Burger. (And eat them, of course.)
Last year, event sponsors Allen Brothers provided each of the 26 vendors with meat; this year, they increased that number to 32 — that’s right, 32 burgers (see the full list here).
There are three awards to be had for the night: People’s Choice, Judges’ Favorite and the Heinz Best-Dressed Burger Award. While they are all coveted, there is one in particular that each chef has their eye on: The People’s Choice — the award where the guests get to choose their favorite. How do they vote? As you enter the tent, everyone receives one token. Next to each of the chefs’ booths is a box. Once you pick a favorite burger, you drop your token into the box.
Find out who won
Things take a turn for the sweet on this week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. The eight remaining rival chefs are challenged to concoct all-star dishes using common confections, forcing many of them far beyond their comfort zones.
In this behind-the-scenes shot, Iron Chef and judge Michael Symon gets up close and personal with one chef’s dish, closely inspecting it for all discernible scents. Will he and the other judges appreciate the fragrance of the dish or be put off by pungent aromas?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to see what Michael smells, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.
Who’s your favorite rival chef so far? Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.
Jason Cameron and Tony Siragusa of the DIY Network show Man Caves believe that every guy deserves a space of his own. Together, they have given men across the country luxury rooms to match each one’s personality and passion. Recently, Jason and Tony stopped by Iron Chef Michael Symon’s suburban Ohio neighborhood to build him an in-house fitness center, complete with state-of-the-art exercise machines, a walk-in steam room and a juice bar. Not just a master of the kitchen, Michael rolls up his sleeves to lend a hand with the power tools and construction of his basement cave.
Tune in to Man Caves on DIY Network on Sunday’s at 8pm/7c and don’t miss Michael in the new season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs on Sunday’s at 9pm/8c on Food Network.
Get behind-the-scenes photos »
So you’re in Kitchen Stadium, competing against a fierce challenger who is prepared and ready to make five camera-worthy dishes featuring a secret ingredient in just one hour. As an Iron Chef, how would you face the battle? Do you have a go-to signature dish or flavor profile that you’d use? Are you a calm and organized Iron Chef, or do you thrive on impulse and take risks? Would you be sure to stay away from that pesky ice cream machine, or would you embrace its creative possibilities?
Iron Chefs Michael Symon, Masaharu Morimoto, Marc Forgione, Bobby Flay, Jose Garces, Mario Batali and Cat Cora all welcome the challenges of Kitchen Stadium, but each has his or her own unique style and culinary point of view.
Head over to Food Network’s Facebook page, find The Next Iron Chef tab and take our quiz to answer Which Iron Chef Are You Most Like?
Tune in to The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs on Sunday, October 30 at 9pm/8c to watch 10 all-star chefs battle it out for a spot in Kitchen Stadium and the ultimate culinary title.