Just in time for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, Food Network Star winner Damaris Phillips, a lifelong southerner with a knack for baking and the host of Southern at Heart, is demystifying biscuit making so that you can skip the store-bought tubes of dough and make your own buttery beauties at home. This Kentucky native is known for enjoying her biscuits with gravy for breakfast, and just last month she took the stage with fellow Food Network Star alum Justin Warner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival to fuse her classic recipe with another morning favorite: bagels and lox. She walked fans through the step-by-step of creating this hybrid breakfast while chatting about basic biscuit-and-gravy how-tos, like simple tricks for cutting biscuits and the importance of cooking the flour in the gravy roux. Read on below to get Damaris’ top-six tips, then try her recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Pork Loin, Apple Mustard Butter and Salad.
1. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter at home; a round glass will do the trick.
2. There are two kinds of biscuits: flaky and cakey. Damaris prefers the cakey variety, as they’re better suited for sopping up gravy, so consider this if you plan on serving your biscuits with gravy as well.
3. When making the roux for the gravy — the mixture of fat (here, butter) and flour — it’s important to let the flour cook for a bit so it loses its raw flavor. The more you cook it, the darker the roux will be.
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For a self-professed “chick singer who cooks,” Trisha Yearwood has been more than successful — much more. She’s on her fourth season of hosting Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, and, after two best-selling cookbooks, she’s back in the kitchen working on another. Yet despite her double dose of fame (and high-profile marriage to Garth Brooks), the Georgia native is as grounded as ever, evinced by her answer-any-question demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Here, our top takeaways from her event:
1. The slow cooker is her secret weapon. “I’m all about easy. If it’s hard to do, I pretty much won’t do it,” she says. “I grew up making stuff in the Crock-Pot. Things like chili, stews or soups — anything that could cook all day long.” Lately, one of her favorite ways to use it is for turtle candy. “Making dessert in the slow cooker is the coolest thing ever and it’s super, super simple,” she says.
2. She’s a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. It’s all about the big voice for Trisha. Growing up, her music hero was Linda Ronstadt; these days, it’s Clarkson. “Her voice is so powerful, amazing and emotional,” she says. She’s such a fan, in fact, that she worked with Clarkson (and country legend Reba McEntire) on a special Christmas album, which debuted in October.
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You know him for his trademark bleached hair, for flame-covered cooking gear, and, of course, his monster hit shows Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite and now Guy’s Grocery Games. But there’s plenty more that you don’t know about his royal dudeness, Guy Fieri. Read on to discover a few surprising insights the Food Network star shared during his cooking demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival.
1. He doesn’t believe in kid-friendly recipes. “What do your kids like to eat? That’s a good kid-friendly recipe,” he says. Even better: Ask them to help in the kitchen. “Get them involved with whatever you cook. Let them feel something!” It’ll turn picky eaters into enthusiastic ones, Guy says.
2. He’d take a wok over the grill any day. “The wok is one of my favorite things to work with when I’m camping,” he says. “Outdoor cooking is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers. There are so many styles of food you can make.”
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Alex Guarnaschelli puts her culinary chops on display daily at her New York City restaurants Butter and The Darby, but she also knows a thing or two about entertaining a crowd (especially during the holidays). When FN Dish caught up with her at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, she was throwing a jazz brunch in the newly renovated Butter, featuring dishes from her debut cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food. Though the event was small and intimate, her entertaining ideas work for any occasion — big or small:
Mix up the menu. You don’t have to serve an entire buffet of right-out-of-the-oven hot dishes. A mix of both hot and cold bites not only keeps the menu interesting, but it also gives you more time to mingle with guests. Try putting out an assorted meat plate with some dried fruits, toasted nuts or a mix of cheeses. It’s an elevated way to serve a wider variety of food without making more work for yourself. Alex recommends pancetta, culatello ham, mustela loin and capocollo Calabrese. Don’t forget to set out grilled bread or pita too.
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Given the chilly weather, shorter days and darker nights, comfort food season is at the top of everyone’s mind lately, and while many look to mac ‘n’ cheese or casseroles for hearty satisfaction, most forget that risotto is every bit as rich and decadent as those classic picks. This creamy, cheesy, Italian rice-based dish has been given a bad rap — some claim it’s too tedious to prepare at home — but Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is on a mission to dispel that culinary rumor once and for all.
Catching up with fans at the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival last month, Geoffrey assuaged fears of cooking risotto from scratch — something he’s deemed “the final frontier” — explaining, “It’s nothing more than rice …. It’s not that much work …. It’s just a technique.” He broke down that technique during his live culinary demonstration preparing a mushroom-lobster risotto, and he noted that the payoff promises versatile recipes and can-do results. Read on below to hear from Geoffrey and learn his top tips for mastering risotto at home.
10. If you’re new to cooking risotto, stick with a basic recipe featuring chicken stock, cheese and olive oil.
9. Opt for a pan that offers enough surface area to cook the rice. Whether you use a large skillet or deep pot, just be sure there’s ample space for the rice to meet the heat.
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You’ve surely seen him on television as a Chopped judge and as an Iron Chef America superstar in Kitchen Stadium, and you may have even seen him in person at some of his restaurants. But come tomorrow you can hear from Geoffrey Zakarian in one of the most unlikely of places: the radio. For only the third time ever, Geoffrey is teaming up with SiriusXM radio to host a Food Talk broadcast, and the latest show premieres tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7am EST on Stars Channel 106.
This past weekend brought together the most renowned names in the culinary industry at the sixth annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, and Geoffrey kicked off the celebration last Friday by bringing together some of your favorite Food Network stars, including Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro, plus his fellow members on the Chopped panel, for relaxed chats — and plenty of laughs. Huddled in a studio at the SiriusXM headquarters high atop Manhattan, Geoffrey and his guests munched on sweet and savory bites from his restaurant The National, and dished about some of the most-talked-about topics in the food industry today.
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Tyler Florence’s San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern, fills its menu with a variety of seasonal and local produce. So what better way for Tyler to share his California kitchen than to fly in the freshest vegetables from the west coast straight to New York City for the Wine & Food Festival?
When it comes to judging a competition, there’s no better group of discerning taste-testers to turn to than the cast of Chopped. At this Sunday’s Absolut Best Bloody Mary Brunch during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, the cast of Chopped gathered to host an elegant sit-down event, which featured food stations manned by former Chopped competitors and drink stations run by the eight finalists in Thrillist’s Search for America’s Best Bloody Mary, sponsored by Absolut Vodka. Attendees voted for the best bloody Mary and the Chopped cast picked three winners: best dressed, most creative and most original/exotic.
The big award of the day went to Kristin Alfandre from Mason’s Grill in Baton Rouge, La., wining a trip to serve at next year’s South Beach Wine &Food Festival in Miama, Fl. Her drink, called the Bloody Mason (Burn Baby, Burn!) used the classic Bloody Mary mix with Absolut Peppar vodka, horseradish, Sriracha, lemon, lime and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces. Toppings included bacon, beef jerky straw, celery, okra, cocktail onions and a green bean.
FN Dish was on hand to capture the best brunch creations — and drinks. Read on to find out more about the winning drinks and which dishes were the standouts from former Chopped competitors.
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FN Dish caught up with Bobby, Giada, Guy, Jeff, Justin and the entire cast of Chopped judges at the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival
. Click play on the video above
to relive the biggest events and most memorable moments featuring your favorite Food Network stars.
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Tacos are having a moment in New York City right now, and it was on full display at Bobby Flay‘s fourth annual Tacos & Tequila party. This can’t-miss event has become a Saturday night staple of the New York City Wine & Food Festival. This year, nearly 30 of Bobby’s NYC chef “brothers and sisters” served up their tastiest tacos, and there were even stations from a few out-of-town friends.
Pier 92 was packed with taco-loving fans — including Food Network stars like Giada De Laurentiis, Chopped judge Aarón Sánchez and newly minted Star winner Damaris Phillips — eager to sample the offerings and sip Olmeca Altos margaritas.
FN Dish asked Bobby what makes up his perfect taco. “The perfect taco should be spicy, sweet, sour and crispy,” the event host told us, as he manned his Bar Americain station and chatted with hundreds of fans. Bobby’s own taco certainly met his criteria: He served a pork, pineapple and pomegranate taco wrapped in a crisp radicchio leaf for a refreshing flavor-packed bite.
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