Noah Starr crashes a photo shoot with Sunny Anderson, Aida Mollenkamp, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Anne Burrell for the August/September issue of Food Network Magazine.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was really excited to put together our online Breakfast feature. After the pancake explosion I created for Mother’s Day, I tried to focus mostly on bacon and eggs for this one. But the carb-lover inside me couldn’t resist adding French toast and sticky buns. (I love to watch Bobby struggle with baking in Throwdown: Sticky Buns)
And, of course, I added muffin recipes. Muffins are a great grab-and-go breakfast treat, and they usually freeze well, so they can be a cheap, healthy, home-made frozen pastry. Ina’s Blueberry Muffins look like the most-loved on FoodNetwork.com, but Sunny’s Sunny Morning Muffins caught my eye.
Did anyone catch this mornings Rachael Ray Show? Rachael invited Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Rocco DiSpirito, and Adam Perry Lang to have a round table chat on summer entertaining.
My favorite part was seeing Bobby and Rachael debate over burger patties. Not sure who won the debate, as both Rachael and Bobby stuck to their guns, but I’m curious to hear your guys’ take on the dispute. This is the disagreement:
Bobby Flay puts nothing INSIDE his burger patty. No chopped onions, no garlic, no bell pepper, not even salt and pepper. He liberally puts salt and pepper outside the patty, but nothing inside. (Here are Bobby’s perfect burger rules).
Rachael Ray likes to mix every ingredient combination possible in her burger patties: from worcestershire sauce to fennel seed to chipotles, and of course, salt and pepper.
Bobby’s argument: When Bobby wants a burger, he wants a burger….not meatloaf.
What side are you on?
The Food Network lobby is a happening place. A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting for the elevator, and a golden-blonde woman was pacing in the waiting area. When she turned around, it was Sandra Lee, aka Aunt Sandy. She was obviously awaiting a meeting (probably about her new show Sandra’s Money Saving Meals), and I knew she would not be joining me on my elevator ride to the 1st floor.
But this reality of sharing the lobby with talent, or passing them occasionally in the halls, means that odds are higher than normal, of taking an elevator ride with them. Usually this Food Network Lobby elevator:
I must confess: I took a vacation this weekend, and still thought about work. You see, I went down to Austin, Texas for a friend’s wedding, and while perusing through a neat art gallery there called Yard Dog Art, I happened to do a double take on these interesting pieces for sale by former Austinite, Mike Miller.
When we shot the Food Network Tour video, I remember noticing this same art from Sunny Anderson’s Cooking for Real set, and here they were again creeping up in my vacation (perhaps to remind me to get back to the office?). Can you spy the art I’m talking about behind Sunny? I’ll give you a clue: It’s right above the big, red arrow I pasted on the image:
When I first looked at these pieces on Sunny’s set, I even remember saying to myself, “Oh that art is neat,” but I had no idea the history behind the pieces….until now!
Continue reading about Sunny’s set art.
Being a northern gal, I don’t have any family fried chicken recipes passed down to me, so I’ve never had the impetus to make it at home. But when I saw Sunny Anderson make her Cider-Brined Fried Chicken on Cooking For Real, I knew I had to try it. Naturally Sunny makes everything she cooks sound delectable, but I could tell this recipe was going to be special.
Coincidentally, I also happened to have the Emerilware by T-fal Deep Fryer in my kitchen, a sample that the vendor had sent about two years ago and one which, I’ll sheepishly admit, I hadn’t ever used. (I’ll also sheepishly admit that I’m somewhat afraid of deep frying things because of the high potential for disaster, even though I know the Emerilware fryer makes it virtually foolproof.) Sunny’s recipe has glowing reviews on our site, and Emeril’s fryer is one of the most popular products in the Food Network Store, so I decided that these two were a match made in heaven, and that it was time to kill two birds with one stone and inaugurate the fryer by testing out the fried chicken recipe.
Continue for Emily’s frying results.
Update here from a really great talent test I managed in the kitchen last Thursday and Friday. First of all I have to admit that my favorite place to shoot is in the kitchen. I think you get so much more out of the chefs as far as personality and the producers/directors get a real look into their ability to work in an uncontrolled environment.
When I asked Rob (Bleifer) if the kitchen was available for us to shoot in his response was “yes, as long as my team can go on doing their work”. Of course they could and they did! In the background we heard the bam-bam-bam of tenderizing chicken breast, food processors mixing on high, pans deglazing with a loud sizzle – it was amazing and I’m pretty sure everyone agreed (even Curt, our Audio Engineer).
Here are a few images I managed to snap.
1. Karen Berrios, Producer and Casting Director — main photo.
2. Eggs!!! I told you we scrambled a ton of these.
3. Camera view. See! This isn’t intimidating in the least!
As for our Studio A, the fabulous Ms Sunny Anderson is back.
Cheers and till next time!
Kendra, Operation Foodie
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Have you ever been surprised when you find out your work friends (the friendly people you have water cooler time with) have a life outside of work? I really don’t like the work phrase “in my prior life,” but sometimes you run across those rare peeps that really had an interesting prior life. Neil Perry, FN Sound Designer/ Music Composer, is the perfect example of this.
Click ahead to see what celebs Neil HASN’T worked with.
Sunny Anderson gets the behind-the-scenes dish from the “Hometown Favorites” episode of Ultimate Recipe Showdown.
Do any of you FN Dishers have the ultimate recipe? Food network is now taking submissions for the next season of Ultimate Recipe Showdown, so be sure to ENTER YOUR RECIPE HERE!