Food & Wine

The Best of SoBe Wine & Food 2012

The events at SoBe are mammoth.  For those not in the know that is the nickname of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and it has turned into one of the premiere events, gastronomical or otherwise, in the world.  It is the Sundance of food.

Hang out with all the top Food Network, Cooking Channel stars all weekend long. All your favorite hosts and chefs were here: Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Melissa d’Arabian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Nadia G, Marc Forgione, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Rachel Ray, The Neelys, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more!

Take a look back at the best that Miami had to offer as Food Network recaps a weekend of sun, sand, BBQ, small bites, sweet treats and tons of starving fans:

Hang out with all the top Food Network, Cooking Channel stars all weekend long. All your favorite hosts and chefs were here: Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Melissa d’Arabian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Nadia G, Marc Forgione, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, Rachel Ray, The Neelys, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more!

Take a look back at the best that Miami had to offer as we recap a weekend of sun, sand, BBQ, small bites, sweet treats and tons of starving fans.

MasterChef Season 2 Casting Call

Gordon Ramsay on WannabeTVchef.comFOX has ordered a second season of Gordon Ramsay’s newest culinary competition series, MASTERCHEF, it was announced today by Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

“Gordon Ramsay is an incredible talent and the biggest culinary star on television today, so we’re very happy to have Gordon and MASTERCHEF back for another season on FOX,” said Darnell. “MASTERCHEF has resonated with viewers this summer, and we look forward to seeing where Gordon takes the show in Season Two.”

“It’s amazing and refreshing to see how much passion and raw talent there is from amateur home cooks across America,” said Ramsay. “It’s extraordinary the amount of energy and excitement the show brought in Season One, and I’m thrilled to be back at FOX for a second season.”

“The amazing reception for MASTERCHEF on FOX has been hugely rewarding for all of us at Shine Group,” said MASTERCHEF executive producer and Shine Group Chairman and CEO, Elisabeth Murdoch. “As the creators of this unique global franchise, we’re thrilled to see the U.S. audience love this show as much as we do. We are looking forward to building on this early success with an even broader, bigger search in Season Two, and to seeing the brand grow as it continues to do so in Australia, the U.K., France and around the world, breaking viewing and ancillary records as it goes.”

MASTERCHEF is the No. 1 new program of the summer among Adults 18-49, outperforming the next highest-rated show by +14%.

For those that believe they are the next MASTERCHEF please visit fox.com/masterchef.

ICA: Garces vs. Pomeroy

Someone call the FBI and cancel the APB on Jose Garces!  Last year’s Next Iron Chef winner makes an appearance with just his third battle as an Iron Chef.

Naomi Pomeroy on WannabeTVchef.comChef Naomi Pomeroy comes to town to do battle from her acclaimed restaurant Beast in Portland, Oregon.  Beast is a six-course prix-fixe restaurant that celebrates the glories of meat.  The menu changes based on what is in season with one exception, a footnote that reads “Substitutions politely declined.”  Amen!

Fresh off an appearance on the Cooking Channel’s Food(ography) in June, this one-time vegetarian now boasts a meat-centric menu that recently landed her in O Magazine as one of “10 Women on the Rise.”  In 2009 Food & Wine honored Pomeroy with a Best New Chef Award for the cuisine she calls “refined French grandmother.”  In 2008 Portland Monthly magazine named her, Chef of the Year.  That same year she was one of six ladies featured in a Food & Wine article entitled Women Chefs: The Next Generation and the restaurant she co-owns with Micah Camden, Beast, was named co-Restaurant of the Year by Diner.

Chef Naomi is a genuine individual crediting neither apprenticeship nor culinary school for her success but rather reading.  She is obsessed with cookbooks and food history.  She attributes Richard Olney, Larousse and Harold McGee for her culinary education.  She is famous for her Smoky Tomato Soup with Maple-Candied Bacon.  Her cuisine was once described by Karen Brooks of the Oregonian as being like, “a blind date between Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain.”

Pomeroy’s appearance should squelch rumors that Jose Garces is no longer on the show.  Or does it?  In a June interview at OregonLive.com Pomeroy reveals that the episode was actually shot in October of ’09.  Probably around the same time that the other Garces battles would have been taped.  So again the questions pops up, “Is Garces still an Iron Chef?”  Why are they doing The Next Iron Chef 3?  The plot thickens.

The judges for Battle Truffle were Jose Andres, Karine Bakhoum and Jeffrey Chodorow.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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ICA: Cora vs. Kostow

After last week’s battle of the salads between Morimoto and Amanda Cohen hopefully there will be some meat on the menu in the second-to-last ICA of season 8.  With Cora doing battle this week, we once again are left wondering Where’s Jose Garces?

Chef Cora’s challenger this week is rising star chef Christopher Kostow.  Oddly enough, Kostow has a full bio on the Food Network web site, a rarity for a one time challenger.  Could there be something in the works?

Christopher Kostow on WannabeTVchef.comWho could blame the Network for wanting to enlist Kostow after the hullabaloo surrounding the talented young chef the past few years.  A Michelin-starred chef by age 30, Chef Christopher was named to Food & Wine‘s list of Top Ten Dishes of the Year in 2007 and San Francisco Chronicle named Christopher a 2008 Rising Star Chef.  It was also in 2008 that he arrived at The Restaurant at Meadowwood in Napa Valley after a lofty and unconventional journey.

Rather than spending years shut away in some culinary school, Kostow opted to instead earn his way to chef by working at some of the most notable restaurants in the world.  He got his education old school when he left his hometown of Chicago to work for the likes of Trey Foshee and Daniel Humm.  Afterwards he did the rounds throughout France to learn the tricks of the trade in traditional French bistros.

Kostow describes his approach, “I embrace food memories — traditional combinations that work together — and then distill those flavors into something that is very much different, and very much stands on its own.”  Cat Cora has created a few food memories herself.

The judges for Battle: Oatmeal were Liliana Cavendish, Ryan D’Agostino and Nina Griscom.  There was also a Top Chef sighting as both competitors had sous chefs from that “other cooking contest” in tow, Richard Blais and Ed Cotton.

Click HERE for the outcome.

If you haven’t already please check out the interview of Cat Cora done recently by Lindsay Mott of MS Digital Daily.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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