summer sanders

Review – Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-off

I have to admit I was filled with revulsion the first time I saw this promo:

Rachael vs. GuyI really like Guy, I adore Rachael but I’m not a fan of has-been celebs who’ll doing anything to get back into the public eye. Hopefully I’m proven wrong and RvG is actually entertaining.  Here’s the lowdown from the FN web site:

Two of the world’s best-known culinary personalities will lead star-studded teams of amateur cooks in a fun, fast-paced culinary fight to the finish on the new Food Network prime-time series Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. The six-episode show is set to premiere on January 1 at 9pm ET/PT.

The show’s all-star lineup with my thoughts in italics:

  • Summer Sanders – Two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and national sportscaster.  She’s hot, that’s about all I know about her.
  • Lou Diamond Phillips – Golden Globe®-nominated actor (Stand and Deliver, SGU Stargate Universe). Chavez Chavez!
  • Aaron Carter – Multi-platinum-selling recording artist and actor (Popstar, Supercross).  Never heard of her.
  • Joey Fatone – Singer, actor, television personality and founding member of top-selling supergroup ‘N Sync.  I think I speak for everyone one when I say, “Joey Fatone – he’s dead, right?”
  • Taylor Dayne – Chart-topping recording star and actress (Broadway’s Aida, television’s Nightman).  Toni Basil wasn’t available I guess.
  • Coolio – Grammy®-winning hip-hop artist.  I don’t care for most hip hop but this cat is cool. . . io.
  • Cheech Marin – Grammy-winning® comedian, screenwriter and actor (Judging Amy, Cars 2).  He said is name was Ralph, man!
  • Alyssa Campanella – Winner, Miss USA 2011 and Runner-Up, Miss Teen USA 2007.  This isn’t the funny chick from the comedy roasts?  Too bad cuz that would have been entertaining.

And here’s what I thought of the show itself:

Well it’s cool that the winnings, $50,000, go to charity.  I’m always for that.  There was also a lot of bragging by some of the celebs.  I’m never for that.

The outfits each celeb wore were cheesy at best – Cheech wearing a tye-dye T, Alyssa Campanella wearing her pageant sash (and desperately in need of a sandwich), Summer was sporting her gold medal but the two craziest were Coolio looking like, well, Coolio and Taylor Dayne, her clothes weren’t bad but the face by Dupont was frightening.  She’d been injected with so much BOTOX® and ass fat her mouth couldn’t hardly move.

Was it as seedy as Bama Glama or any of the garb on MTV?  No.  I’d rank it somewhere between wretched and dreadful, it’s certainly not interesting enough to ever watch another episode.  These folks are not great cooks and I have no interest in watching them butcher recipes, make snide remarks and constantly remind us how famous they used to be (except for Cheech – he’s an icon).

Judging by the comments flying in the Twitter stream at #RvG I’m in the minority.  Then again maybe Operation Repo is on hiatus so the slime that watches that crap just happened onto RvG by accident and saw an automaton, the fourth Jonas Brother and an anorexic cooking so they decided to stick around.  For those of you who like that kind of stuff, enjoy.  For those of you who like to cook and learn about food you might want to switch over to Cooking Channel on Sunday nights.

I guess I should predict a winner.  Since Lou Diamonds Phillips has judged a few episodes of Iron Chef (a real cooking competition), is a co-owner of a restaurant and his charity of choice is Share Our Strength (the favorite charity of Food Network) I’m going to say  Chavez Chavez FTW!

UPDATE:  Tonight was the finale.  So how did my prediction stand up?  I nailed it.  LDP.

ICA: Flay vs. Stone

iron chef america, wannabe tv chef

Epic.  That is the only word to describe the last Iron Chef America of May 2010.  Perhaps this should be called Battle: Celebrity Chef?  Bobby Flay is a master of Kitchen Stadium and he welcomes Cheflebrity Curtis Stone for the second of four consecutive new episodes.

Curtis Stone, Iron Chef, Celebrity Apprentice, Biggest LoserIf, for some strange reason, you are not familiar with Curtis Stone check  out his IMdb profile which documents his more than 100 TV appearances.  The fact that he has a profile at IMdb should tell you he’s a pretty big deal.  Most known for appearances on NBC’s two popular reality series The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Apprentice, Stone has also hosted over 70 episodes of his own shows Take Home Chef (TLC) and My Restaurant Rules (Seven Network, Australia).

But Stone is as much chef as he is celebrity.  He began cooking professionally at the age of 18 at the five-star Savoy Hotel in London.  As a young chef he worked alongside Marco Pierre White at The Café Royal and at Mirabelle.  From there he moved on to the exclusive Restaurant 301.  Stone has also been a part of four top selling cookbooks including Surfing the Menu the companion book to the eight-part mini series Stone filmed with fellow Aussie chef Ben O’Donoghue.  The guy’s got chops.

This episode is tailor-made for the ladies as it pits two of the sexiest chefs in the country.  Flay’s curly red mop and Cheshire grin have long made him eye candy for Food Network viewers while Stone was named one of the sexiest men alive by People in 2006.  Chef Curtis greatly resembles actor Owen Wilson only without the fugly nose.

How cool would it be if Brett Michaels, Summer Sanders and Holly Robinson Peete were the judges?  Well they weren’t.  Judges for Battle: Skipjack Tuna were John T. Edge, Cady Huffman and Jeffrey Steingarten.  A special condition was that each course had to feature a grilled item.  Chef Flay was once again assisted by blond bombshell Sous Chef Rene Forsberg (who I believe oversees Flay’s Mesa Grill outpost in the Bahamas).  Chef Rene was sporting her signature Pocahontas ponytails.  Also adding heat to Flay’s kitchen was the adorable Christine Sanchez, Culinary Director of the Iron Chef’s company, Bold Food.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Flay and Stone have now teamed up for NBC’s new reality competition America’s Next Great Restaurant.

Click HERE for the outcome.

Surfing the Menu

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ICA: Flay vs. Stone – Outcome

iron chef america, wannabe tv chef

SPOILER ALERT: The following information is the outcome of Flay vs. Stone.  If you want information on the combatants click HERE.  If you are only interested in the outcome read on.

Judges for Battle: Skipjack Tuna were John T. Edge, Cady Huffman and Jeffrey Steingarten.  A special condition was that each course had to feature a grilled item.  Chef Flay was once again assisted by blonde bombshell Sous Chef Renee Forsberg (Senior Chef Tournant at Mesa Grill).  Chef Renee was sporting her signature Pocahontas ponytails.  Also adding heat to Flay’s kitchen was the adorable Christine Sanchez, Culinary Director of the Iron Chef’s company, Bold Food.

Flay                    Stone
Taste: 26         Taste: 19
Plating: 12       Plating: 10
Originality: 11  Originality: 8
Total: 49          Total: 37

Winner: Iron Chef Flay

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Flay and Stone have now teamed up for NBC’s new reality competition America’s Next Great Restaurant.

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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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