Sandra Lee

Cheflebrity Death Match – Anthony Bourdain vs. Paula Deen

So it appears that Tony Bourdain and Paula Deen are in a pissing contest.  Well, this should be fun.  FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!

Anthony BourdainAnthony fired the first shot in an interview with TV Guide saying that, “The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she’s proud of the fact that her food is f—ing bad for you. If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks.”

Tony, via Twitter, later said he was slightly misquoted, “My comment was actually‘worst, most dangerous to America cook on FN [Food Network].”  Oh, yeah.  That’s much better.

It was part of an article where TV Guide had asked Bourdain his take on a number of Food Network faves.  He also voiced his distaste for Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee and of course his favorite whipping girl Rachael Ray.  As far as Tony’s thoughts on Paula’s cooking I have to say that I’m a Southern chef who grew up one state over from Deen.  I’ve never cooked like her and I’ve never known anyone who cooked like her.  Most people in the South can’t afford that much butter.

Deen has not been quiet on the subject nor particularly honest saying, “Anthony Bourdain needs to get a life.”  Just today she retorted in an interview with The New York Post. “You don’t have to like my food, or Rachael’s, Sandra’s and Guy’s.  But it’s another Paula Deenthing to attack our character.”  Oh no she didn’t go there did she?  Paula Deen has been sued more times than Obamacare.  Check that out HERE.

She continued saying, “I wake up every morning happy for where I am in life. It’s not all about the cooking, but the fact that I can contribute by using my influence to help people all over the country. In the last two years, my partners and I have fed more than 10 million hungry people by bringing meat to food banks.”

Deen zinged that Bourdain’s only contribution to society is “being irritable.”  I think the folks at Doctors Without Borders would disagree with her.  Bourdain has been one of their most vocal supporters.

Deen was kind of right.  Smithfield donated roughly 150,000 pounds of protein to food banks across the country.  Deen and her boys joined Smithfield in ten cities to help hand out some of the delivery.  If you go by Paula’s “10 million” number then that means each person got about 3 ounces of meat.  Merry Christmas.

Perhaps when she said 10 million what she meant was the dollar amount she’s been sued for, repeatedly.  And for Tony’s part, his harsh words about Paula were nothing compared to his feelings on Sandra Lee, “Pure evil. This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time. She must be stopped.”

Now, discuss it amongst yourselves.  That’s what the comments section is for after all.

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

 

half-assing it

A Guide to Exceptional Table Settings

Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away so I thought I would help you set the mood by helping you set the table.

It might surprise you to learn just how much of what we taste is influenced by the other senses. To prove the point, there is a fad currently emerging called “dark dining.” There are two different approaches to dark dining but both involve the customers being blind for the entirety of the meal. DD enthusiasts claim that food tastes differently when you eliminate one of the senses. For the record the two different approaches to dark are that some restaurants have servers donning commando-style night-vision goggles while the other employees only vision-impaired servers.

The importance of what we see towards what we taste is essential. This is why chefs are so maniacal about their plate presentations. One example that comes to mind is Chef Charles Mereday formerly of the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, AL and a classmate of Tyler Florence at Johnson & Wales University.  A few years ago I did a profile on Mereday for ‘Zalea Magazine. My editor told me that when they photographed one of Chef Charles’ entrees for the article that the photographer took the liberty of rearranging the items on the dish. The chef politely removed the plate and cooked the dish again asking that the picture reflect the way the dish is served.

For the home cook an easy way to set the stage visually is to set the table creatively. One great teacher of how to set a table is Food Network star Sandra Lee. Though many have been critical of the food on the show (Lee admits to using 70% pre-made foods), none can argue that the TV star sets a beautiful table, or what she calls tablescapes.

Lee’s talent for tablescapes has started a whole genre of DYI books devoted to setting the table. Ironically she is the only person who has not published a book on the subject:

Of course treating your dining room table like a Broadway set is not the only way to set the mood. A simple yet elegantly set table can pop by simply putting a little effort into folding your napkins. I have compiled some videos that will walk you through the process.

Inside Look: The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills’ Chef Sasha

Last week kicked off the second season of Food Network’s racy reality show The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills.  At Big City Chefs, Beverly Hills’ premiere private chef placement agency, the only question is who is crazier: the chefs or the clientele? This group of talented chefs is on call 24-7 to cater to the exceedingly over-the-top, wacky, ridiculous and sometimes truly bizarre culinary clientele living the high-life in LA’s poshest neighborhood.

Chef Sasha from Private Chefs of Beverly HillsLast spring Chef Sasha Perl-Raver dropped by WTVC to answer 7 Questions (HERE) and thus gave us our first taste of the gang at Big City Chefs.  We learned that Chef Sasha at age 16 no less started her own catering business.  Since then she has graduated from USC with a minor in cinema, guest starred on the Lifetime drama Strong Medicine, was crowned Miss San Francisco, baked Lindsay Lohan’s 18th birthday cupcakes, been a senior writer for a Hollywood gossip web site and been named “funniest in LA” by a newspaper in New York.

So with season two under way there’s no telling what trouble our heroes will get themselves into.  To help give us an idea of life in the Big City (Chefs) the ginger goddess returns to provide us with an inside look at The Private Chefs of Beverly Hills.

1. What emotions did you experience the first time you saw the camera crew at one of your catering assignments.

Abject fear. Then horror. Then fear. Then panic. Then excitement. And then fear again.

Cooking is such a delicate art. Having someone there to document the vicissitudes can be really tricky. One of the most important parts of cooking is failure, because that’s when you learn or are forced to be the most creative. But when you’re on TV, who wants to look bad? And then there’s just the fact that you’re being filmed, period. I still can’t watch the show to be totally honest. Whenever I see myself on TV, all I can think is, “Is that really me? Do I really look like that and sound like that? Yeesh!”

2. Can you contrast the demands of a regular catering client and the catering that Big City Chefs’ clients request?

They’re one in the same. The only thing I’ve noticed is that occasionally people will tone down their bad behavior on the show because they know they’re on TV and they don’t want to make a bad impression on the audience. So you’re catching people on a good day. How scary is that? Hahah!

3. Have you been “glamping” lately?

Oh hell no! I hate camping. Always have, always will. The happiest moment of my year was driving away from that camp ground and toward civilization. I’m not a “Roughing It” kind of girl.

4. Last season was quite successful, how is life different today than it was 12 months ago?

Nothing’s changed to be totally honest. I’m still cooking, still writing, still working hard. I do, however, get nervous when I head into a grocery store to buy something crappy like Marshmallow Fluff or Lucky Charms. I’m always afraid that’s the moment someone will recognize me. The shame. The shame of my Marshmallow Fluff habit.

5. Because of your duties with Big City Chefs you get to weave in and out of the Tinsel Town glitterati – who have you met that you never thought you would and who would you still like to meet?

Between my writing work and cooking work, I’ve been very lucky when it comes to that kind of stuff. I’ve interviewed everyone from Meryl Streep to John Malkovich, I’m friends with a few folks in the biz, and every now and again I’ll have a totally random but really rad celebrity experience thanks to an assignment, like last month I got to go to New York for The Social Network premiere and this morning I got to work out with Dan Clark who was Nitro on American Gladiators. That was awesome! I’ve also cooked and done parties for tons of big names. I remember once seeing Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Jeremy Piven and Jon Voight all chowing down on my food in one room. It was like Night of a Thousand Stars with J Names. I guess I’d love to cook a very private dinner party, if you get my drift, for Keanu Reeves or Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood. But probably the only celebrity I’d do just about anything to meet is J.J. Abrams. That guy rocks my world. Felicity and Lost?!?! I mean, are there even words for that level of genius?

6. So what’s a typical Private Chef’s shoot like?

When you were a kid, did you walk up to Santa Claus at the mall and pull his beard off? If I answer that question, it would be like seeing Dolly Parton before she gets her face on in the morning. Sometimes a bit of mystery is a good thing.

7. I know Manoushka has designs on her own stand-and-stir show.  Would you be interested in doing an old fashioned cooking show?

Not only do I want my own show, I want cookbooks, a magazine, pots and pans, knives with my name on them, a line of packed foods, my own Girl Scout cookie; I want to be the next Martha or Mario. Obviously. We all do. I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school to say that it’s safe to assume all the chefs on PCOBH would love to have their own cooking show. Duh. Who doesn’t? Look at the people who compete on Next Food Network Star or Next Iron Chef. Having your own cooking show and becoming the next Rachel Ray is the new American dream it seems.

8. If someone wanted to cyber-stalk you where should they go?

They should check out my blog, www.myhollywoodbites.blogspot.com, my website, www.sashaperlraver.com, read my writing on NBC.com or SheKnows.com, or go to old-faithfuls like Facebook and Twitter. But I highly doubt anyone wants to stalk me. I can’t even get a boy to ask me out on a date. Sad face…and cheap ploy for more date invites. Ha!

Be sure to check it out as fellow PCO90210 chef Manouschka Guerrier answers 7 Questions HERE.

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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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