Giada De Laurentiis

Food Network Star 9 Finalists Announced

Food Network Star 9

Bobby, Giada and Alton return to mentor a new cast of wannabe TV chefs.

The newest Starsters are: Nikki Dinki (New York), Andres Guillama (Waynesville, NC), Rodney Henry (Baltimore), Chris Hodgson (Cleveland), Connie “Lovely” Jackson (Los Angeles), Russell Jackson (San Francisco), Danushka Lysek (New York), Daniela Perez-Reyes (Haleiwa, Haw.), Viet Pham (Salt Lake City); Damaris Phillips (Louisville, Ky.), Stacey Poon-Kinney (San Diego) and Chad Rosenthal (Ambler, Penn.).

Quick Hitter: Food Network Star Returns May 13th

Season Eight Premiere: Sunday, May 13th at 9pm ET/PT
Food Network Star returns to New York City with a revised format bringing returning favorites Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis from behind the judges table to square off with new regular Alton Brown in a three-way team competition to find the next Food Network Star. Bobby, Giada and Alton, all television producers in addition to being culinary superstars, lead the charge to find and develop the new talent, each picking a team of five finalists, who they will produce and mentor through the ‘Star’ experience to find one winner who possesses personality and culinary chops. In another fresh twist to the series, the viewing audience will vote before the finale to determine who will receive the ultimate prize: their own Food Network show, to be produced by their ‘Star’ team leader.

Review: The Perfect 3

With voice over from Kelsey Nixon and recipes from your favorite Food Network/Cooking Channel stars the Perfect 3 is more than the sum of its parts.  At first glance it may look like they are just piecing together stock footage from past cooking shows.  Not at all.

Kelsey Nixon The Perfect 3In each episode there is a theme recipe (burgers, cake, soup, etc. ) and three different TV chefs demonstrating their favorite interpretation of said recipe.  At the end of each episode Kelsey is joined in the kitchen by a Cooking Channel viewer who’s recipe was chosen from thousands of submissions as the best in the land.

Take for instance the upcoming Burger episode.  Here’s how the Cooking Channel describes how the Perfect 3 tackles the all American burger:

Tyler Florence’s classic version using ground beef brisket, topped with bacon, onions and the works. But wait, on Everyday Exotic, Roger Mooking challenges the classic with a ground lamb burger blended with Chinese 5 spice, finished with cucmber relish. Then Giada de Laurentis’ tuna steak burgers topped with tapenade and roasted red peppers on Everyday Italian is a total game-changer.

As it turns out, my Perfect Bacon Mushroom Burger was one of three finalists for this episode.  The fact that I am allowing myself to do a review of this show should tell that I did not win but heck to have one of the three best burgers in the country is still pretty awesome.

Every time I watch Nixon on one of her hit shows on the Cooking Channel I can’t help but think of how wrong Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson did her on season four of Food Network Star.  She was clearly the best contestant that season.  Her work on the Perfect 3 is just more of what we saw three years ago – bright, engaging and knowledgeable – the perfect host.

The Perfect 3 airs Saturdays at 4:00pm ET on the Cooking Channel.  You can watch the videos of each recipe winner HERE.  Here’s a sample from the Burger episode:

Mother’s Day Recipes From Food Network Moms

In 1908, Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day to honor her mother and for peace. Anna petitioned the superintendent of her mother’s church.  She got her wish as the first Mother’s Day celebration took place May 10 of that year.  Anna then spent the rest of her life protesting people for celebrating Mother’s Day.  She ridiculed florists for selling flowers and even petitioned the US  Postal Service to remove the words “Mother’s Day” from a stamp that also feature her own mother on it.  Apparently she was just a tad bit crazy.

Marcela ValladolidMother’s Day is just around the corner.  Rather than prodding mom into the cattle car that is the Olive Garden lobby how about actually cooking her something?  After learning about the originator of Mother’s Day the idea of you cooking for your mother shouldn’t seem quite as crazy.

The Moms of the Food Network have put together a few recipes to help you show your mom a little love.  Marcela Valladolid (pictured above with son Fausto), Sandra Lee, Paula Deen, Gina Neeley and Giada De Laurentiis help you to make a it a Mother’s Day to remember:

: Cream Cheese Filled Bisquits

: Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

  • 2 cups biscuit mix (suggested: Bisquick)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • Milk, to moisten
  • Flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cut cream cheese into biscuit mix until cornmeal consistency. Add enough milk to moisten.
  3. Place dough-like mixture onto floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Don’t knead too much or your biscuits will be tough.
  4. Roll dough to desired thickness using a rolling pin and cut out with round cookie cutter. Place biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.

Notice this is a Paula Deen recipe without any butter in it.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

: Lazy Sunday Mimosa

: Recipe courtesy The Neely’s

  • 1/2 cup pink sanding sugar
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle brut Champagne
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
  1. Dip the rims of the champagne flutes in water. Dip again in the sanding sugar.
  2. Divide Champagne between 2 glasses. Add half of both juices to each glass and top with orange liqueur.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

: Guac’ with Fresh Baked Tortilla chips

: Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

Guacamole:

  • 4 firm, ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 1/2 medium white onion, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium lime, freshly squeezed (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chips:

  • 12 fresh corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

To make the guacamole:

  1. In a medium bowl, coarsely mash the avocado. Lightly mix in the onion, cilantro and the lime juice. Season the guacamole liberally with salt and pepper.

To make the chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Brush each tortilla lightly with oil. Slice the tortillas into 8ths. Using 2 baking sheets, distribute half the chips onto each sheet, making sure they are evenly spread out and not overlapping. (If the chips overlap they will not crisp in the oven.)
  3. Bake on the top rack until golden and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving bowl. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note: Season your chips with chipotle powder and/or garlic salt before baking for extra flavor.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Mexican

: Sparkling Cider Mimosa

: Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

  • 1 (25.4-ounce) bottle sparkling apple cider
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and pour into chilled champagne flutes.

Preparation time: 2 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Italian

: Jade’s Mini Pancakes with Blueberries

: Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix (recommended: Krusteaz Buttermilk)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pint blueberries
  1. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the pancake mix and water until just blended and slightly lumpy. Melt the butter on the griddle. For each pancake, add 1 tablespoon of batter to the griddle. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes each side until golden brown.
  3. In a clean bowl, using an electric hand held mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream until thick. Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping until the cream forms stiff peaks.
  4. Top the pancakes with whipped cream and fresh blueberries.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 8 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

 

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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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