by Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 29th, 2015
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 28th, 2015
You’ve probably never seen an 11-year-old with better knife skills than Scarlett. Self-taught, this little culinarian was inspired by Food Network and the internet to get cooking because she just wasn’t getting the kind of food she wanted at home. Now after winning Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, she’s gone on to film her own Web series, This Cali Kid Can Cook. But she’s not resting on her laurels. She’s recently been staging at restaurants in Los Angeles, perfecting her craft before she moves on to her next adventure, which may be culinary school or business school.
FN Dish caught up with Scarlett on the set of her Web series to chat about her cooking inspirations, her favorite dishes to cook and the effect of her winning the series.
by Leah Brickley in Recipes, Shows, September 22nd, 2015
After six weeks of challenges that would have been tough even for an adult chef, one kid chef rose to the top on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. Chris, Chandler and Scarlett made it to the action-packed finale, where each had to cook a meal that summed up their Web series’ concept, and then present that dish to a panel of judges — in this case, Chopped judges. All three kids did a phenomenal job, but one in particular showed confidence and poise and cooked a dish that got the judges’ highest praise. Hear from the winner.
SPOILER ALERT: Find out who won.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 22nd, 2015
The Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, was the guest judge for this week’s episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off. And, of course, our contestants had to win him over with amazing sandwiches during the first round. We were so sad to see Sabrina go home with her first attempt ever at a croque monsieur sandwich — but so impressed that she took a chance! If you’re like Sabrina, and never made this classic French sandwich, then here’s a little 101.
by Leah Brickley in Recipes, Shows, September 15th, 2015
On last night’s episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Mondays at 8|7c, Jeff Mauro joined Rachael as a guest judge for the challenges, which focused on creativity. When it comes to food, there’s no such thing as too much creativity; it’s more about finding what works and sticking to it, as Jeff recommends. On his show Sandwich King, Jeff comes up with new and unique combinations, and it’s that lesson in creativity that he came to teach the kids. Another lesson from him: Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. This is true no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s comedy or cooking, notes Jeff, who actually has been able to master both.
FN Dish caught up with Jeff to chat about the episode, the kids and more. Find out his best advice for getting kids in the kitchen at a young age, and what’s the best dish to teach them first.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 15th, 2015
We were so happy that none of the kids on Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off were sent home this week! They all did a stellar job, especially during the immunity round when each competitor had to cook a dish with one of his or her parent’s least favorite ingredients. Juliana was stuck with sardines — her dad’s worst nightmare. She did an amazing job, lightly frying them, and completely converted him into a lover of these oily little fish.
So many of us in Food Network Kitchen love sardines — fresh or canned in olive oil. And we’re sad that they have a bad reputation, because they’re delicious, inexpensive and an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. And because sardines are low on the aquatic food chain, you don’t have to worry about mercury levels.
by Leah Brickley in Shows, September 8th, 2015
On last night’s episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Sunny Anderson joined Rachael to help dole out the challenges and judge the competition. The focus of the challenges was to help the kids develop their storytelling techniques so they can learn to talk about their food fearlessly in front of the camera, which is important for when one of them wins his or her own Web series on FoodNetwork.com. FN Dish caught up with Sunny to chat about the episode, the kids and more. She reveals her best piece of advice for the kid competitors and how she found her own voice in the business.
by Leah Brickley in Recipes, Shows, September 1st, 2015
In this week’s Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off immunity challenge, the remaining contestants could use only five ingredients (not counting salt) to make a sauce for a pasta dish. This is no easy task, but the kids did a great job, especially Scarlett, who won with her earthy mushroom pasta.
But there’s one secret (and free) ingredient we didn’t see in any of the dishes and that’s the pasta cooking water! Just a little of this starchy and salty water can be a real lifesaver. Cooked noodles tend to suck up a ton of sauce, leaving pasta dishes dry. A splash of this magic water can help loosen the sauce up, plus add plenty of body (thanks to the starch) and seasoning, if you salted your water (which we suggest you do). We’ve saved literally hundreds of gloopy pasta dishes in our test kitchen with pasta water — it works like a charm!
by Leah Brickley in Recipes, Shows, August 25th, 2015
This episode of Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off was amazing. YouTube’s popular food critic Daym Drops (Daymon Patterson) was a guest mentor and judge, and we also saw some really innovative dishes from the kids. Our favorite moment was when Christopher kept his cool during the waffle disaster in the elimination challenge. He had started out making a waffle-and-fried-chicken sandwich, but his batter was too thin and leaked like crazy out of the waffle iron. So in a moment of genius, he dipped slices of bread into the waffle batter and made a French toast fried chicken sandwich instead! He even won the challenge and received the highest honor of a Daym Drops’ “5 All Day.”
by Ricky Smith in Shows, August 6th, 2015
We met our eight kid contestants from Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off this week, and the competition is sure to be fun and fierce. Who else was blown away by the contestants’ cooking skills and understanding of flavor pairings? They cooked with ingredients we never expected, like scallops, mussels and smoked salmon.
We loved Olivia’s sweet heart-shaped one-bite creation, and we were super-impressed with her last-minute sweet-to-savory shift. It’s amazing how changing an ordinary food into a fun shape can totally inspire kids (and some adults) to retry a once-refused dish. Or it can just make an old favorite even more fun to eat!
In Food Network’s new series Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, premiering Monday, Aug. 24 at 8|7c, eight junior chefs will put their exceptional cooking chops to the test as they compete for a $20,000 culinary scholarship and their own Web series on FoodNetwork.com. The pintsize competitors will be tested with on-camera challenges and high-pressure cooking obstacles as they attempt to impress host Rachael Ray. But they’re not only gaining the approval of Rachael — they’ll also be competing in front of an all-star guest judge each week, including Sunny Anderson, Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli.
The kids range in age from 11 to 13, but you’d never guess that by the looks of the food they can produce, including out-of-this-world pasta dishes and pastries you have to see to believe. The chefs have their own signature styles, coming from California, Colorado and everywhere in between. Tough challenges will allow the best of the best to rise to the top, but only one can be crowned the champion.
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