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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.).

HFCS Producers Revamping Disinformation Ads

The Corn Refiners Association, makers of those humorous but scientifically unfounded “Sweet Surprise” commercials are changing their approach.  In their first barrage of commercials meant to confuse the public about the many harmful effects of their product, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), they ran ads featuring two attractive 30-somethings engaging in a conversation that went something like this:

Actor 1: You want a soda?

Actor 2: Are you kidding?  That has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.  You know what they say about that stuff right?

Actor 1: No what?

Actor 2: Er, uh. [shrugs]

The gist of those first commercials was that if you didn’t know about the dangers that extensive scientific research has uncovered about the effects of HFCS on the human body then it must not exist.  That’s a heck of an argument to make about the safety of your product isn’t?  “Oh, you didn’t know that Duke University research indicates HFCS leads to liver ailments similar to those suffered by long term alcoholics and that a Princeton study has found that subjects that consume HFCS show considerably more weight gain than those who consume an equal amount of table sugar?  Well, then it must not be true since you didn’t know about it.”

Since putting the big bucks into those ads meant to confuse the facts, the Corn Refiners Association has seen some disturbing results – for them anyway.  The public wasn’t fooled and food manufacturers are responding to the cry for foods without HFCS.  Hunt’s Ketchup is now the only major ketchup brand to not contain HFCS.  The Jones Soda Co., makers of premium carbonated soft drinks, does not use HFCS in any of their products.  Jones even has a list of links to the multitude of scientific research that debunks the claims of the HFCS manufactures that their product is safe and natural.

Dr. Pepper with sugarThen the big bomb was dropped this past summer.  Dr. Pepper, one of the most popular soft drinks in the US, announced in a July press release that to celebrate their 125th anniversary that they were replacing HFCS with sugar.  Other factors have lead to soft drink makers to move away from HFCS and back to sugar like proposed changes to SNAP program regulations that would prohibit food stamps from being used to purchase soft drinks.  This is long overdue.

With the failure of their Sweet Surprise campaign they have shifted gears but are still employing the same tactic of subversive disinformation.  Their first move, as reported by AP, is that they are changing the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar.  This clever ploy will allow products to claim they have no HFCS when in fact they do.

They have asked for an official name change from the FDA.   They even went and started a new web site www.cornsugar.com.  Too bad because the FDA already has an established definition for corn sugar and it is not the same as HFCS.  No doubt, having an inside man in the FDA (Obama-appointed, Monsanto-lobbyist Michael Taylor) will undoubtedly lead to a redefining of the phrase “corn sugar.”

The new commercials feature actors pretending to be concerned parents who are confused about the effects of HFCS.  They plug the disinformation web site and even pretend that the scientific information listed there is from independent sources rather studies paid for by the the Corn Refiners Association to produce favorable findings.

I would like to post one of those commercials here for you but for some reason the Corn Refiners Association doesn’t want these commercials being embedded on other sites.  That seems odd that you want your message getting out there and here someone is willing to put your commercial on their site for free and you refuse to let them.  Kind of leaves you wondering what they are hiding doesn’t?

If you want to view the new spot you can venture over to the youtube and check the HFCS Disinformation Ad out yourself and do what I did – vote it a thumbs down and then flag it for being a scam. Or don’t, suit yourself.

“Come Dine With Me” Comes to US

Come Dine With MeCome Dine With Me – the UK’s #1 food series – is coming to the US!

And they are searching for the BEST Dinner Party Host in the NYC / NJ area.

The show features four amateur cooks who take turns hosting dinner parties and score each other on atmosphere, entertainment and a three-course meal – appetizer, main course and dessert.

The person with the highest overall score not only gets to boost their ego, but is also awarded a CASH PRIZE.

We are looking for men and women of any age, profession and social class – just have the passion to create YOUR version of the perfect dinner party for 4!

The perfect contestants:

** Love to host people in their home and show them a great time.

** Love attending dinner parties in other people’s homes.

** Enjoy creating your favorite dishes for your friends and family.

** Love to create themes and the perfect atmosphere for their guests.

** Live within an hour of downtown Manhattan NY. (So we are looking for contestants in NY and NJ).

You will judge (and be judged) on many factors that will include:

  • Theme: Overall / Table Presentation, etc..
  • Food: Preparation / Creativity / Originality, etc….
  • Ambiance: Mood / vibe during your dinner party, etc…
  • And overall hospitality skill.

Contestants assign points to each other in each category – the contestant with the most points at the end of the final dinner party – wins the CASH PRIZE!

If you are interested we need to hear from you right away!! Email them at: ComeDineWithMeUSA AT gmail(dot)com

Send:

1. Your details: Full name / phone # / LOCATION (this is very important) /

2. Your photo (several if you can).

3, Tell us what your theme would be – describe what you might cook – and any other details about the dinner party for four that you would create.

Be creative – they need your “A” game on this so impress them!  Remember this can be any type of dinner party:

Casual / formal / over the top or relaxed…

YOU are in the drivers seat – anything (within reason) goes!

Everyone has an idea of what THEIR perfect dinner party would be like – describe YOURS!

For more on Come Dine With Me check out this press release from BBC.

**Disclaimers**
1. You must not be a professional chef or work directly in the food / food hospitality industry as this would create an unfair advantage.
2. We will consider ANY size / style of home or apartment – BUT – your kitchen and entertaining area MUST be big enough for a four person crew and producer and of course you and the 3 other contestants!
3. Only one person per household can participate on the show.

ICA: Symon vs. Okuwa

An amazing match-up for this 4th of July. This week’s challenger is Chef Makoto Okuwa who ventures into the unfriendly confines of Kitchen Stadium to take on Iron Chef Michael Symon.  Now generally Kitchen Stadium is a place of intimidation for a challenger but not for Okuwa-San, he ran the sushi bar at Morimoto, New York having  spent years as a sous chef of Iron Chef Morimoto including 13 battles with the dean of Iron Chefs.

makoto okuwa on wannabetvchef.comChef Makoto began his career in Japan at the age of 15.  After years of perfecting his art he immigrated to the US where he worked at the famed Washington DC sushi bar, Sushi Taro.  It was while working in the nation’s capital that he first caught the eye of Iron Chef Morimoto who soon recruited the young chef to join him at the Morimoto flagship in Philadelphia.  When his mentor opened his second restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District he tapped Okuwa to oversee the sushi menu.

Today Makoto-San balances the traditions of Japanese cuisine with the sophistication and flash demanded from American diners at his own restaurant Sashi in Manhattan Beach, California.  It is at Sashi where the apprentice has become master and asserted his independence by asking himself each morning, “What’s possible?”  This Independence Day he collides head first with the bold new American flavors of Iron Chef Michael Symon.  This battle has all the trappings of a culinary Rube Goldberg Machine.  The episode airs tonight at 10pm/9c.

The judges for Battle: Uni (sea urchin) are Nina Griscom, Sam Haskell and Tia Carrere.

Click HERE for the outcome.

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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.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99

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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