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Food Network Introduces Special Series “Cupcake Champions”

FOOD NETWORK’S FAMED BAKERS RISE TO THE OCCASION IN CUPCAKE CHAMPIONS

Former ‘Cupcake Wars’ Winners Compete in Premiere May 13th at 8pm ET/PT

PLUS Food Network Introduces Food Network Cupcakes! App for iPad® at the end of April

Cupcake WarsNEW YORK – April 9, 2012 – The crème de la crème of the cupcake world take their skills to the next level when they return to Food Network for the sweetest competition yet in five-part special series Cupcake Champion premiering Sunday, May 13th at 8pm ET/PT.  Each week, four previous Cupcake Wars winners face off in three tasty elimination challenges until only one decorator remains and wins the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes at the winning gig.  For the four winners from each episode, the competition for the coveted title of Cupcake Champion and a $50,000 cash prize culminates in the finale on Sunday, June 10th at 8pm ET/PT. These decorated bakers pull out all the stops to impress judges Candace Nelson (owner, Sprinkles Cupcakes) and Florian Bellanger (chef and co-owner, MadMac).

“The flavors, creativity, and artistry that our Champions unleashed in this high stakes competition took cupcakes to a dazzling new level,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Food Network.

Over the course of five exhilarating episodes, the finest?and Cupcake Wars approved?baking masters use their cupcake creativity competing to earn the Cupcake Champion title.  In the series premiere, bakers use their “Spidey” senses to channel the famous superhero and be the star attraction at a VIP party for the hit Broadway show, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.  Episode two brings the lovable characters of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wantedto life, with a special twist for the final two teams having their own Hollywood special effects designer to give their display some movie magic. In episode three, bakers aim to hit a high note with their school lunch-inspired cupcakes to serve at a wrap party for the Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning show, Glee!.  Episode four showcases the all-stars’ cupcakes for a party at Pixar Animation Studios, where bakers use Scottish-based ingredients inspired by the new Disney-Pixar movie BRAVE and create a royal castle filled with cupcakes.  In the star-studded finale, the champion bakers create a cupcake work of art inspired by the brightest Food Network stars. Guest judges (and Food Network Star regulars) Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson look for the “it” factor and the winner’s cupcake concoction is presented to Food Network Star mentors, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay at the Food Network Cupakes! app for iPad® launch party.

Food Network’s Cupcake appFor cupcake fanatics, Food Network will also be launching Food Network Cupcakes! app for iPad® available on iTunes at the end of April.  Food Network Cupcakes! appfeatures over 100 delicious and creative cupcake recipes including many from Food Network stars like Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Anne Burrell and more!  The app also includes over 30 all-new exclusive cupcake recipes from the experts at the Food Network Kitchens.  Not only can cupcake lovers access recipes to satisfy their sweet tooth, but they’ll have exclusive decorating how-to videos at their fingertips. iPad® users can download Food Network Cupcakes! App for $2.99. For more information visit www.foodnetwork.com/cupcakes

Food Network Cupcakes! takes Cupcake Champions fans into the kitchen to bring inspiration to life,” said Bob Madden, General Manager/SVP, Digital – Food Category, Scripps Networks Interactive. “Our fans of all ages look to Food Network for entertainment and ideas, and Cupcakes! is the first of many new apps that’ll give consumers fun, interactive know-how whenever and wherever they need it.”

Food Network Cupcakes!

Country Star Trisha Yearwood is Coming to Food Network

Food Network Press Release:

Grammy-Winning® Music Superstar And Best-Selling Cookbook Author Trisha Yearwood Shares Family Favorite Meals And Down-Home Recipes In Trisha’s Southern Kitchen

Six-Episode Daytime Series Premieres Saturday, April 14th at 10:30am ET/PT

Trisha YearwoodNEW YORK – March 7, 2012 – Music superstar and best-selling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood brings her family-inspired recipes and food traditions to Food Network this spring, with the premiere of the new daytime series Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on Saturday, April 14th at 10:30am ET/PT.  The series invites viewers into the kitchen with Trisha for her favorite meals, nostalgic stories and visits from family and friends.

Themed shows range from preparing traditional dishes from her childhood to planning a baby shower and a family reunion barbecue to offering tips on lightening up standard Southern recipes. Shot in Nashville, the six-episode series features Trisha’s unique how-to tips and techniques for down-home dishes like Barbecued Chicken, Uncle Wilson’s Grilled Onions, Chick-less Pot Pie and Sweet and Saltines.

“Trisha’s best known as a music legend, but her talents don’t stop there.  She’s a passionate and talented cook, whose down-to-earth style, winning recipes, and southern hospitality will charm and inspire viewers,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network.

“For me, cooking is very connected to my family and friends,” said Yearwood.   “Every recipe on the show carries wonderful memories with my loved ones and I can’t wait to share my meals, stories and family photos with Food Network viewers.”

Trisha Yearwood, who has won three Grammy Awards®, two Academy of Country Music Awards, three Country Music Association honors and had 19 top-ten singles, released her first best-selling cookbook “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter) in 2008.  Her second book “Cooking for Family and Friends (Clarkson Potter) followed in 2010.  Both books reached the #1 position on the New York Times best-seller list in the Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous category.

For more on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen check out the interview she did with CBS HERE.

Melissa d’Arabian Set to Drop 5 lbs with Good Housekeeping

Cooking Channel Press Release:

NEW YORK, NY – December 7, 2011 – Cooking Channel kick-starts the New Year with two new series designed to help viewers lose weight and change their eating habits. In Not My Melissa d'Arabian and Aarti SequeiraMama’s Meals, premiering Wednesday, January 4th at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT, Bobby Deen takes his mother’s (Paula Deen) recipes and transforms her southern comfort food into lighter, leaner, yet still delicious versions of her dishes, with special guest appearances by Paula Deen, Daphne Oz, among others. Emphasizing small changes that deliver big results, Drop 5 lbs with Good Housekeeping premieres Saturday, January 21st at 11am ET/8am PT. Based on the magazine’s popular weight loss column, the series is hosted by Melissa d’Arabian (Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian), and also features expert advice from fitness guru Ashley Borden, Good Housekeeping Nutrition Director Samantha Cassetty and Aarti Sequeira (Aarti Party).

“After a season of over-indulging, January is the perfect time to introduce Cooking Channel viewers to Not My Mama’s Meals and Drop 5 lbs,” said Bruce Seidel, Senior Vice President, Programming, Cooking Channel. “Both shows emphasize healthier foods that are still delicious – with expertise from Bobby Deen, who prepares his mother Paula’s world famous dishes with a lighter touch, and tips from Good Housekeeping’s Drop 5 lbs ‘small change, big result’ philosophy.”

Each week on Not My Mama’s Meals Bobby Deen will recreate some of his mother’s famous meals with healthy substitutions that cut down on calories and fat, but still deliver on taste. Bobby begins his culinary quest by putting a unique spin on two of his mom’s dishes, her Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse Pie, by whipping up a Fresh Fruit Bread Pudding and Frozen Chocolate Pie. The Bag Lady herself (Paula Deen) makes a surprise visit to help Bobby lighten up two dishes that go way back – her Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and Gooey Butter Cake.

Designed to make weight loss easy and manageable, Drop 5 lbs with Good Housekeeping episodes are filled with cooking and shopping tips, workout techniques and dining out do’s and don’ts. From slimmed down versions of indulgent dishes like Fettucini Alfredo and Sesame Shrimp Stir Fry to fat blasting fitness plans and nutritional advice, this series offers a new approach to eating better, getting healthier and getting the most out of life.

Not My Mama’s Meals is produced by Follow Productions.

Drop 5 lbs with Good Housekeeping is produced by Scripps Networks, in partnership with Good Housekeeping.

Update on Aarti’s and Jeff’s Shows

Jeff and AartiAfter scanning a few web sites and Facebook statuses I decided to reach out to Food Network itself about the status of the last two Food Network Star winners Aarti Sequeira and Jeff Mauro.  I chatted with Krista one of the network’s PR agents.  Here’s what I asked and her response.

Is Sandwich King still in production and if so when will new episodes air?

Information regarding Sandwich King is not yet available, though you may contact us around the middle of December and we hope to have an update available.

That sounds grim right?  The ratings were extremely good.  I wonder if there are other factors at work.  Jeff hasn’t updated his web site since late August but in that post he said:

Shooting a cooking show is the most mentally taxing performance art I’ve ever attempting.  The juggling of mental and physical requirements left me exhausted at the end of the day.  One flub and you have to do another take.  As the days went on, I did get more comfortable, so hopefully, by next season (if they give one) I’ll be even better.

Til’ then, it’s back to recipe development, sandwich research (eating), and maybe a little vacation with the family.

So will there be a second season?  I have to admit that after speaking with Food Network it sure didn’t look like it.  Jeff’s dormant web site and that last post didn’t help.  So I did a little digging, talked to some other cast members from season seven and they sent me to a post by Jeff on his Facebook page just this past Saturday:

Things are really starting to move along with Sandwich King Season 2. It will be similar, but more of what worked and less of what didn’t. Regardless, it will feature amazing sandwiches and fantastic locations. I’ll keep you posted when we start shooting in December. Look for it airing sometime in January. I think I smell an Emmy..local Emmy.

Is Aarti Party still in production and if so when will new episodes air?

New episodes are not scheduled for Aarti Party as those just finished airing in September. Her show is airing on our sister network, The Cooking Channel, though an episode will air on our network on November 26th and December 3rd at 8:00am ET/PT.

Aarti remains busy and has maintained her web site as she has done for years.  It’s where she got her start.  Though Krista’s answer seemed a little vague I think the picture we get is that new episodes of Aarti Party are all but done.  Old episodes will rerun on Cooking Channel.  Aarti did announce the other day that she has a super secret new show that just started production; more on that project HERE but be forewarned, it isn’t much more.

Guy Fieri Food Network StarBut now we are back to an issue that has plagued Food Network Star since it’s inception – it’s inability to produce sustainable hit shows. With this revelation that means that, at the moment anyway, only three of the seven winning shows are still in production – Sandwich King, Guy’s Big Bite and Ten Dollar Dinners.

In terms of the volume of shows Big Daddy’s House had the longest run of any show except Big Bite; it was recently canceled.  I cannot understand what goes on at Chelsea Market sometimes.  Big Daddy’s House had poor ratings because, quite frankly, it was not a great show yet it got 60+ episodes while Aarti Party had solid ratings but only got 30.  I think I have a better shot at figuring out the complexities of the female mind than I do the complexities of food television but admittedly the prospects don’t look good for either.

There you have it.  Now talk amongst yourselves.  That’s what the comments section is for.

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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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