Food Wishes

2011 WTVC Food Blog Awards

WTVC Awards
Welcome to the very first Wannabe TV Chef (WTVC) Food Blog Awards.  These awards are my way of recognizing some of the best foodie sites on the Online.

Some of the people awarded I have had the pleasure to meet in person and others probably don’t know me from Adam.  Now sit back and meet the winners of the 2011 WTVC Food Blog Awards:

Best Site by a Professional Chef: Big Jones Blog by Chef Paul Fehribach

Best Site by a Home Chef: Average Betty by Sara O’Donnell

Best Lifestyle Site: Jolene’s Trailer Park by Jolene Sugarbaker

Best Health & Fitness Site: The Bikini Chef by Susan Irby

Best Instructional Site: Food Wishes by Chef John Mitzewich

Best Outdoor Cooking Site: Deep South Cooking Outfitters by Gene Fox

Best Food Writing Site: Ruhlman.com by Michael Ruhlman

Best Celebrity Chef Site: Alton Brown (just a lowly cook) by Alton Brown

Best Niche Site: Happy Little Bento by Sheri Chen

Best Dessert Site: Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater

Best Site With a Cause: Bloggers Without Borders – A Fund for Jennie

Best Branded Site: Bitchin’ Kitchen by Nadia G

Review: The Pioneer Woman

I have been really excited about one of Food Network’s newest shows, The Pioneer Woman with fellow food blogger Ree Drummond.  Like millions I have Ree Drummondbeen a fan of Ree’s uber-popular blog also entitled The Pioneer Woman.  Ree’s tale is about how she made the switch from, “spoiled city girl to domestic country wife.”

Sure her story is interesting.  Her early days were spent enjoying a cosmopolitan lifestyle – high-end restaurants, boutiques and day spas.  But then she met a cowboy.

Now when I say she met a cowboy it’s not a euphemism for fella and I certainly don’t mean she hooked up with some Yankee who relocated to Texas because that’s where all the jobs are.   Ladd Drummond is an honest to goodness hat wearing, boot sporting, horse riding, gun toting cowboy.  That in and of itself makes the show worth a watch but that wasn’t what drew me to it.

Being filmed in the middle of Oklahoma miles from the nearest town of any size and considerably further from any town of perceived consequence is refreshing.  Most cooking shows are produced in cities with access to virtually any ingredient one can imagine.  Guess what – you’re not likely to find durian or harissa paste in Wichita, Kansas.  It makes for a nice change of pace but that’s not why I was excited about The Pioneer Woman either.

No, my interest was predicated on the fact that Ree is not a chef lucky enough to live within a cab ride of Chelsea Market.  Nor is she a pampered New England socialite who’s only credential is being Martha Stewart’s pal.  Ree is a food blogger from middle America.  Food Network is finally starting to get the picture that cyberspace is a largely untapped Eden of foodie talent.

The Pioneer WomanAs I’ve said before – mainstream viewers would much rather watch the comical antics of Average Betty’s Sara O’Donnell as opposed to the butter battered butter deep fried in butter of Paula Deen if only given the chance.  They can learn far more about food from the brilliant Jadan Hair of Steamy Kitchen than they will the culinary atrocity that is Extreme Chef.  There’s more genuine cooking going on in a single episode of Food Wishes than in an entire season of Semi-Homemade.  And the best part of all – this online talent have established brands with built-in fan bases.

The Pioneer Woman wholly captures what it is like to be a foodie.  I know those who do not follow food on the net may think to themselves, “who does that?” whenever Ree pauses to take pictures of each meal she prepares.  The answer is I do, Sara does, Jaden does, Aarti does, Aida does, Chef John does and as we know Ree does.  I love that the show offers a glimpse of what being a professional foodie is like.  I also like that it shows that TV execs are starting to get the picture that the future of food TV is already established on the web.

After years of shows shot in New York or LA it’s nice to have one that is shot miles from Suburbia.  Now if they could film a show in a midsize town (like say Mobile, AL) that would be perfect.  The Pioneer Woman is great food porn with ample teaching moments.  It also airs Saturday mornings at 11:30 Eastern Time/10:30 Central time on Food Network.

Video Recipe: Embarcadero Barbecue with SFQ Sauce

Chef John Mitzewich is the Michael Chiarello of Internet chefs who stars in the two-time Tasty Award winning web series Food Wishes.  In January I met up with Chef John at an event in Los Angeles and during that time he told me that his wife, Michele, had invented a new barbecue sauce called SFQ Sauce.  Michele had realized that for all of San Francisco’s grand heritage in food that there was no definitive style of BBQ to represent the City By The Bay.  Well she fixed that.

SFQ Sauce is a truly amazing sauce.  It has that whole Northern California influence with the inclusion of dark chocolate and coffee.  It would be easy for someone to take a base BBQ sauce recipe and just add some chocolate and coffee to sound all froo froo and fancy but in this case these non-traditional ingredients are spot on.

When you first sample SFQ you won’t taste the chocolate or the coffee what you will taste is something that is far more complex than your standard BBQ sauce.  SFQ has nuances and layers of flavor that are simply unheard of.  There is something familiar about SFQ, it is at it’s base a Kansas City style that is sweet and smokey.  I sampled the sauce with chicken and it was quite good.  The sauce would lend itself really well to beef like brisket or smoked beef ribs.

But I decided to get the full Frisco experience I needed to BBQ something that screams Golden Gate – salmon.  So watch as I prepare Embarcadero BBQ Salmon with Lobster Scented Brown Rice and Pepper Jack Broccoli.  Recipes follow the video.

Recipe: Embarcadero BBQ Salmon

Ingredients

  • 2 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste
  • SFQ Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Rub the skin side of each fillet with olive oil then season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic.
  2. Making sure your grill grates are clean, hot and oiled up, place the fillets skin side down and cook for roughly 7 minutes. If the fish sticks it is usually a sign it is not ready to be flipped.
  3. Once the skin is brown and crispy it should release from the grill easily. Turn the fillets over, paint with SFQ sauce on the skin side only and cook roughly two minutes more.
  4. Serve immediately.
http://sfqinfo.blogspot.com/

Recipe: Lobster Scented Brown Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick cooking brown rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lobster stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring water and stock to a boil.
  2. Add the bay leaf and rice then season with salt.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for roughly five minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Recipe: Pepper Jack Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 slices Pepper Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Add the water to a medium-high pan.
  2. When it begins to boil add the broccoli and cook, stirring frequently until the water has boiled off.
  3. Add the olive oil and season to taste sauteing until the broccoli is heated through but still firm.
  4. Top each serving with a slice of cheese then serve.

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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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