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America’s Next Great Restaurant with Bobby Flay

AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT

CELEBRITY CHEFS BOBBY FLAY AND CURTIS STONE ARE MIXING IT UP ON NBC’S NEW REALITY COMPETITION SERIES ‘AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT’ PREMIERING TONIGHT

Competition Series Hits the Road On Cross-Country Bus Tour in Search of Unique Restaurant Ideas with Open Casting Calls in New York City, New York, Raleigh, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Kansas, Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California.

Be sure to check out my review of the show HERE.

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – March XX, 2010 –Critically acclaimed celebrity chef/restaurateur Bobby Flay (“Iron Chef America: The Series”) is the first of five important restaurant and business leaders to join NBC’s new reality competition series “America’s Next Great Restaurant” (working title) premiering next season. Flay will be an investor, judge and sometimes mentor to the zealous contestants who are vying for arguably the biggest prize in reality show history — the opportunity to open a new restaurant chain in three cities across America.

Open casting calls for the series are set to take place March 19 – April 5 in New York City, New York (March 19, 20), Raleigh, North Carolina (March 22), Nashville, Tennessee (March 24), Columbus, Ohio (March 26), Chicago, Illinois (March 28), Kansas City, Kansas (March 30), Denver, Colorado (April 1) and Los Angeles, California (April 5).

The reality competition series is from Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, the Emmy Award-nominated producers of “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.”

Flay will kick off the first open casting call in New York as casting teams set out on a cross-country bus tour to scour the nation for potential contestants. Participants do not need to have any cooking or restaurant experience — just a great idea for a unique restaurant concept.

Flay joins a select panel of some of the most important names in both the dining and business worlds who will ultimately select the winner. These individuals will invest their own money in the final restaurant chain, and will have a huge stake in the game’s winner. These larger-than-life personalities will offer the hopeful restaurateurs their expertise, support — and the kind of tough love it will take to overcome great odds. Ultimately, after much-heated debates, the panel will choose the winning concept and decide which idea will become America’s newest restaurant.

Thousands of ideas will be narrowed down and then each week the investors will put the chosen few through rigorous challenges to discover which contestant’s plan has the greatest potential for success. The stakes have never been higher for the contestants and the investors.

Flay, star of “Iron Chef America: The Series” and “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” shows his culinary versatility in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a chef/restaurateur, award-winning cookbook author and television personality. However his first priority always remains with his restaurants.

Interested applicants for the series should log onto nbc.com/casting to pre-register for an open casting call at one of the eight stops on the nationwide casting bus tour. Along with a filled out and signed application and a photo-ID, casting teams want applicants to bring anything they feel would help pitch their restaurant concept. Elements could be visual, edible or even wearable and applicants will have a limited time to pitch their idea.

Visitors also can follow the bus tour on Twitter @magicalelves with photos and video on nbc.com/america’s-next-great-restaurant.

The audition dates and locations follow:

NEW YORK
Friday, March 19 and
Saturday, March 20
NBC Experience Store
30 Rockefeller Plaza
10am – 2pm

RALEIGH
Monday, March 22
6102 Falls of Neuse Rd
Raleigh, NC 27609
10am – 2pm

NASHVILLE/FRANKLIN, TN
Wednesday, March 24
Nashville Film Institute
The Factory at Franklin
230 Franklin Road
Franklin, TN 37065
10am – 2pm

COLUMBUS
Friday, March 26
4750 Morse Rd
Columbus, OH 43230
10sm – 2pm

CHICAGO
Sunday, March 28
28251 Diehl Road
Warrenville, IL 60555
10am – 2pm

KANSAS CITY
Tuesday, March 30
6864 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202
10am – 2pm

DENVER
Thursday, April 1
2760 South Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80222
10am – 2pm

LOS ANGELES
Monday, April 5
135 E. Palm Avenue
Burbank, CA 91502
10am – 2pm

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Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip . . . with Recipes!

Originally posted on Edible TV on October 30, 2008.

After winning the second Next Food Network Star, Guy Fieri has done something no other NFNS winner has done… actually become a star. First there was his grand prize, his own show (Guy’s Big Bite), then there was Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives, Ultimate Recipe Showdown, guest spots on Dinner: Impossible, NFNS, and finally Off the Hook. Guy also wrangled an endorsement for fern bar chain TGIFriday’s. He now has five restaurants in his home state of California. So what’s next for the guy named Guy?

His first cookbook. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip . . . with Recipes!, has a title as big as his bite. For years now, Guy has been running the roads in his ‘67 Camaro tasting (and apparently writing down the recipes to) the best grub in the country. Fieri’s offering is co-written by Ann Volkwein who has written or co-written several books about regional food including The Arthur Avenue Cookbook. The Triple “D” book features some of the best recipes that Fieri has sampled on his romp through the back roads of America.

Wednesday morning Guy was a guest on ABC’s Good Morning America talking about the book and preparing his “Mac Daddy” Mac & Cheese:

Yield: 8 servings Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 to 50 minutes

Inactive prep time: 1 hour Ease of preparation: Easy

Ingredients:

2 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 pieces bacon, diced, cooked, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon fat
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound penne pasta, cooked
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place shallots and garlic in a small aluminum foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from foil and chop. In a large sauté pan, reheat reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add roasted shallot and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in heavy cream and thyme. Reduce by a third.

Todd English Calls Off Wedding to Erica Wang

Boston’s foremost celebrity chef is still a bachelor. Todd English, of Olives and Bonfire fame, was supposed to marry Erica Wang, his girlfriend of almost two years, at the St. Regis in New York on Saturday night, but the pair canceled the wedding at the last minute.

English’s reps say the decision was mutual and that the couple’s family and friends were notified of the split a few days in advance, but some guests tell us they were already en route to New York City when they heard the wedding was off. Insiders tell us the news wasn’t a shock. Apparently, English and Wang’s relationship was a turbulent one.

According to the New York Post, Wang gathered her family and friends on Saturday night for a condolence party, making use of the food and drink that had already been purchased for the ill-fated affair. She wore all black, but kept the crowd dancing. English’s reps would only make one official comment yesterday: “No wedding took place this weekend. We appreciate your respect of Todd English’s privacy at this time.” Those reps didn’t shed light on why English and Wang’s registry on the Tiffany’s website lists their wedding date as June 1, 2009. Perhaps this isn’t the first time the party was canceled? (For the record, the couple had registered for some clocks, frames, and $475 salt and pepper shakers.)

It seems the weekend wasn’t ruined for English’s friends, who wound up in New York City with nothing to do. John Henry’s wife Linda Pizzuti Henry and Boston nightclub owner Ed Kane, who are pals of English, said on Twitter that they were spending Saturday night at NBC watching Ryan Reynolds and Lady Gaga on “Saturday Night Live.” Not a bad Plan B, right?

UPDATE: Erica Wang was ultimately charged with with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon after she allegedly attacked Chef English prior to the wedding.  The attack prompted him to call off the relationship.  Purportedly English tried to keep the matter quiet but Wang chose to play out the dispute in the media.  Wang’s publicity-mongering only lends credence to the psycho-bride opinion that swarms this whole affair.  Neither does the fact that Wang through a $150,000 bash at the St. Regis and danced the night away at what was supposed to be the couple’s reception.

with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon

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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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