the perfect 3

Cooking Channel’s Big September Premieres

Cooking Channel September Highlights:
Series Premiere of Easy Chinese: San Francisco
Plus: Three Specials and an On-Air/Online Theme Week

Ching He HuangNEW YORK – August 18, 2011 –This September, Cooking Channel heads to the West Coast to get a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine in its original series Easy Chinese: San Francisco hosted by popular Cooking Channel face, Ching He-Huang. Ching shares tips on how to prepare tongue-tantalizing Chinese dishes including at-home recipes for takeout favorites and traditional dishes with a modern twist.

Cooking Channel also serves up three specials including Cooking School Confidential, which takes viewers behind-the-scenes to see what it takes to survive real-life trials at Johnson and Wales Culinary School Sunday, September 4th at 8pmET/5pmPT, and A Culinary Coup: The Launch of Ku De Ta follows Chef Dan Segall in Singapore as he puts together a staff and a menu in only two weeks airing Sunday, September 18th at 8pmET/5pmPT.

Cooking Channel also dives into the lives of individuals that obsessively hoard food in its special Food Hoarders premiering Sunday, September 25th at 8pmET/5pmPT. Celebrating food from around the world, Cooking Channel offers “Go Global” week Sunday, September 18th – Saturday, September 24th from 8-11pmET/5-8pmPT, and complements with ‘World’s Fare’, an online package dedicated to showcasing authentic cuisine from around the world.

Cooking Channel gets back on the road in September for its cross-country frozen treat tour celebrating its first birthday, join the fun and track the truck to a city near you. Be a part of the Cooking Channel conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and share photos of your favorite frosty, frozen ice cream treats on


Easy Chinese: San Francisco– Saturday, September 10th at 1pmET/10amPT
Cooking Channel explores Chinese cuisine with a contemporary, regional spin in the new 13-episode, half-hour original series Easy Chinese: San Francisco Ching-He Huang. Armed with her friendly style and vast knowledge, Ching is on a mission to show viewers how to prepare mouth-watering Chinese dishes with local, readily-available ingredients – using San Francisco’s vibrant Chinese community as a backdrop for the myriad options available. From Bay area outdoor markets and traditional noodle houses to San Francisco’s colorful Mission District, Ching hunts for the best fresh ingredients in each episode and then provides how-to tips to help any home cook prepare delicious, traditional dishes with a modern twist.

·         Premiering Saturday, September 10th at 1pmET/10amPT – “Wok Skills & Simple Stir Fries”
Ching brings her skills to Chinatown’s Wok Shop where she picks out, seasons and cleans a wok. After sharing a meal with the shop’s legendary owner, she heads to the Berkeley Bowl grocery store to pick up Chinese ingredient basics and whip up more quick dishes in her brand new wok. Recipes: Ginger, Grated Carrot, Sesame Green Beans; Three Cup Chicken with Garlic Spinach; Vegetable Lettuce Wraps; Yangzhou Fried Rice
·         Premiering Saturday, September 17th at 1pmET/10amPT –“Fast Food and Street Food”
Ching takes fast and easy food to the streets with treats like Paper-Wrapped Crispy Salt-and-Pepper Chicken. She teams up with the Chairman Bao Bun food truck to serve up grub the heart of San Francisco. Then, she scouts a prime spot for a friend-filled picnic beside the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge. Recipes: Paper Wrapped Crispy Salt and Black Pepper Chicken; Braised Pork Belly Bao with Peanuts; Golden Gate Chili Ribs; Jasmine-Lemon Iced Tea
·         Premiering Saturday, September 24th at 1pmET/10amPT – “Sichuan Spice”
Father and daughter restaurateurs, Kathy and Peter Fang, invite Ching to their restaurant for a Szechuan feast. Inspired by the duo, she brings the heat with her own Szechuan-Style Crispy Shrimp. Then, at the San Jose Farmer’s Market, she gets her hot chili on with Kung Pao Beef and a spicy chocolate pick-me-up. Recipes: Mapo Dofu; Szechuan-Style Crispy Shrimp; Kung Pao Beef; Spiced-Chocolate Covered Fresh Fruit.

“Go Global” – Sunday Sept 18th – Sept 24th from 8-11pmET/5-8pmPT
Cooking Channel celebrates global cuisines and exotic locations with a full week of premiere and returning specials and episodes of fan-favorite Cooking Channel shows.

To complement the on-air programming, launches “World’s Fare” in mid-September, a complete collection of the best recipes, menus, tips and videos from cuisines around the globe. Dive into Italian favorites, Vietnamese specialties, Indian spices and curries, Chinese wok dishes, easy French fare, and the very best from the Caribbean. It’s a global party, with the best, most authentic dishes from around the world.


Cooking School Confidential – Premiering Sunday, September 4th at 8pmET/5pmPT
Cooking School Confidential follows four students as they pursue their culinary dreams at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. The students include a mother of three with a full-time job, an Army veteran hoping to win an internship at the prestigious Alain Ducasse Culinary School in France, a forty-something chasing her passion for food and a professional cyclist attempting to juggle racing and school.

A Culinary Coup: The Launch of Ku De Ta – Premiering Sunday, September 18th at 8pmET/5pmPT
Singapore’s skyline has been transformed. The Marina Bay Sands resort now towers
over the city, and perched on top, Singapore’s most exciting new signature restaurant is slated to open. With only weeks to go, there’s no staff – just one man: Executive Chef Dan Segall, who will form a team and menu entirely from scratch. The clock is ticking, but Ku De Ta must open on time.

Stuffed: Food Hoarders – Premiering Sunday, September 25th at 8pmET/5pmPT
This special profiles the lives of three individuals that obsessively hoard food to debilitating degrees.


Brunch @ Bobby’s
Premiering Saturday, September 3rd at 2pmET/11amPT – “A Royal Brunch”
Premiering Saturday, September 10th at 2pmET/11amPT – “Brunch on the Go”
Premiering Saturday, September 24th at 2pmET/11amPT – “Brunch Americana”

Everyday Exotic
Premiering Saturday, September 3rd at 12:30pmET/9:30amPT – “Jerusalem Artichoke”
Premiering Saturday, September 10th at 12:30pmET/9:30amPT – “Tahini”
Premiering Saturday, September 17th at 12:30pmET/9:30amPT – “Pistachio”
Premiering Saturday, September 24th at 12:30pmET/9:30amPT – “Salt Cod”

Premiering Tuesday, September 6th at 9pmET/6pmPT – “Bar Food”
Premiering Tuesday, September 13th at 9pmET/6pmPT – “Sugar”
Premiering Tuesday, September 20th at 9pmET/6pmPT – “Greek”
Premiering Tuesday, September 27th at 9pmET/6pmPT – “Las Vegas”

Kelsey’s Essentials
Premiering Saturday, September 3rd at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Indoor BBQ”
Premiering Saturday, September 10th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Small Plate Party”

The Perfect 3
Premiering Saturday, September 3rd at 4pmET/1pmPT – “Chicken”
Premiering Saturday, September 10th at 4pmET/1pmPT – “Sandwiches”
Premiering Saturday, September 17th at 4pmET/1pmPT – “Potato”
Premiering Saturday, September 24th at 4pmET/1pmPT – “Exotic”

United Tastes of America
Premiering Tuesday, September 6th at 10pmET/7pmPT – “Chicken Wings”
Premiering Tuesday, September 13th at 10pmET/7pmPT – “Noodles”
Premiering Tuesday, September 27th at 10pmET/7pmPT – “Beer”

Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day
Premiering Saturday, September 3rd at 3pmET/12pmPT – “Mexican Make Ahead”
Premiering Saturday, September 10th at 3pmET/12pmPT – “Make it Work”
Premiering Saturday, September 17th at 3pmET/12pmPT – “Fresh Start”
Premiering Saturday, September 24th at 3pmET/12pmPT – “Dinner and Dessert”

Review: The Perfect 3

With voice over from Kelsey Nixon and recipes from your favorite Food Network/Cooking Channel stars the Perfect 3 is more than the sum of its parts.  At first glance it may look like they are just piecing together stock footage from past cooking shows.  Not at all.

Kelsey Nixon The Perfect 3In each episode there is a theme recipe (burgers, cake, soup, etc. ) and three different TV chefs demonstrating their favorite interpretation of said recipe.  At the end of each episode Kelsey is joined in the kitchen by a Cooking Channel viewer who’s recipe was chosen from thousands of submissions as the best in the land.

Take for instance the upcoming Burger episode.  Here’s how the Cooking Channel describes how the Perfect 3 tackles the all American burger:

Tyler Florence’s classic version using ground beef brisket, topped with bacon, onions and the works. But wait, on Everyday Exotic, Roger Mooking challenges the classic with a ground lamb burger blended with Chinese 5 spice, finished with cucmber relish. Then Giada de Laurentis’ tuna steak burgers topped with tapenade and roasted red peppers on Everyday Italian is a total game-changer.

As it turns out, my Perfect Bacon Mushroom Burger was one of three finalists for this episode.  The fact that I am allowing myself to do a review of this show should tell that I did not win but heck to have one of the three best burgers in the country is still pretty awesome.

Every time I watch Nixon on one of her hit shows on the Cooking Channel I can’t help but think of how wrong Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson did her on season four of Food Network Star.  She was clearly the best contestant that season.  Her work on the Perfect 3 is just more of what we saw three years ago – bright, engaging and knowledgeable – the perfect host.

The Perfect 3 airs Saturdays at 4:00pm ET on the Cooking Channel.  You can watch the videos of each recipe winner HERE.  Here’s a sample from the Burger episode:

Recipe: The Perfect Bacon Mushroom Burger

So recently the Cooking Channel held a contest for the best burger recipe in America as part of their new series The Perfect 3 hosted by Kelsey Nixon.  Tens of thousands submitted recipes and though my recipe did not win My Perfect Bacon Mushroom Burgerit was one of the top 3.  Below is the recipe as I submitted it to the Cooking Channel.  Included are both my picture (right) with burger cut in half and the burger that the Cooking Channel test kitchens made to make sure my recipe actually worked (below).

By putting the mushroom inside the beef patty, not in chunks mind you, but a whole portabella mushroom cap, I ensure you get a good bit of mushroom in every single bite. Instead of topping the burger with soggy strips of bacon, I use crispy lardons of pancetta then cover the whole thing with aged Swiss cheese on a properly griddled bun for the Perfect Bacon Mushroom Burger.

The Perfect Bacon Mushroom Burger
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Serves: 4
  • 4 small portabella mushroom caps, roughly 3-inches in diameter or trimmed to 3-inches in diameter
  • Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh ground 80-percent lean chuck
  • 1 (8-ounce) piece pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 Kaiser rolls, split
  • Unsalted butter, softened (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 slices aged Swiss cheese
  1. Preheat a grill for direct heat cooking and preheat the broiler. Rub the mushroom caps with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook, turning once, until softened, about 5 minutes. Cool.
  2. Divide the beef into 4 equal amounts and working with one portion at a time, form into a very thin patty. Place the mushroom cap in the center and fold the beef up and around the mushroom pressing the beef around the edges of the cap until the mushroom is completely covered. Season the mushroom-beef patties generously with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crispy and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Generously spread the butter on both sides of each roll and place under the broiler until toasted.
  4. Place the cooked burgers on a rimmed cookie sheet and evenly top with the crispy pancetta bits and a slice of Swiss cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is just melted.
  5. Build the burger by putting the patty on the bottom of a toasted bun. Add your favorite toppings and condiments then add the top half of the bun. Enjoy.

Cooking Channel Burger Pic


The Perfect 3 Highlights Top Recipes in 13 Categories
Plus: Viewers showcase their perfect recipes in exclusive online videos 3 Season Premieres of Cooking Channel Classics and New Episodes of Hit Series.
NEW YORK – June 14, 2011 – July is all fireworks on Cooking Channel with its brand new series The Perfect 3 premiering Saturday, July 23rd at 4pmET/1pmPT. This series joins together the three best recipes from fan-favorite chefs in 13 categories and gives viewers the chance to highlight their perfect dishes in an exclusive online episode featured on alongside Kelsey Nixon (Kelsey’s Essentials). Diving in for more, Cooking Channel serves up four premiere episodes of Hook, Line & Dinner on Tuesdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT while traveling with Emeril on his cross-country quest for iconic restaurants on The Originals with Emeril airing Thursdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT. Annie Sibonney continues her Spanish odyssey in premiere episodes of From Spain With Love on Saturdays at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT.Two Food Network classics Alex’s Day Off and Ace of Cakes make their Cooking Channel debuts, and season premieres of Cooking Channel originals Everyday Exotic, Food(ography) and United Tastes of America round out a robust summer line up. In case that’s not enough, viewers can fill up on premiere episodes of Cooking Channel favorites throughout the month. Join the Cooking Channel conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
The Perfect 3 (I was actually a finalist to be on this show, drat the luck)
Food Network and Cooking Channel chefs spotlight the perfect three dishes in 13 classic categories, from burgers and brownies to sandwiches and salads. Each episode then throws to for a webisode featuring a viewer paired with Kelsey Nixon (Kelsey’s Essentials) showing how to make his or her online recipe submission that was voted as category favorite by fans.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 23rd at 4pmET/1pmPT –“Cakes”
It’s time for dessert with cake recipes from Ina Garten, Giada De Laurentiis and Paula Deen.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 30th at 4pm ET/1pmPT – “Pancakes”
Tyler Florence, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Sunny Anderson put their culinary spin on pancakes, a breakfast classic.
Everyday Exotic: Season 4 Premieres Saturday, July 9th at 12:30pmET/9:30amPT – “Chipotle”
Chef Roger Mooking uses chipotle to turn a gringo style tortilla and cheese meal into the real deal. He redefines refried beans, creates two unique and fresh salsas and cools it off with a refreshing watermelon drink.
Be sure to check out Roger on his new Food Network series Heat Seekers as he and Aaron Sanchez take viewers on a flaming hot journey around the nation in search of the country’s hottest dishes premiering Friday, July 22nd at 10pm ET/PT.
Food(ography): Season 3 Premieres Tuesday, July 12th at 9pmET/6pmPT –  “Beer”
On tap for this episode, viewers learn the brew basics along with the ultimate beer and food pairings. Beer-inspired culinary creations include: German beer pizza, malt-flavored blondies from the Baked Bakery and a bottled up specialty from the Brooklyn Brew Shop.
United Tastes of America: Season 2 Premieres Tuesday, July 12th at 10pmET/7pmPT – “Sushi”
Sushi, an in-the-raw import, has become an American success story. Jeffrey Saad does the legwork to learn what happened when sushi washed up on American shores and find out why this Japanese classic is still on a roll.
In addition to the above series, new episodes of hit Cooking Channel series air throughout July.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 5th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“Oregon”
Ben visits the coastal town of Newport where he helps with the winter harvest by re-baiting traps. He then visits The Saffron Salmon to cook crab cakes before teaming up with Chef Eric Bechard to catch ling cod in Depoe Bay. He then heads to Gilmore Fish Smokehouse after the annual sturgeon catch before meeting ‘Sockeye Suzy’ on the banks of the Columbia for a fish fry.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 12th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“San Francisco”
Ben heads up to Drakes Bay for an oyster farming lesson and then rides Swan Oyster to try oysters on the half shell before heading to Tadich Grill for farmed Scottish salmon. Ben then heads out for halibut on the Lovely Martha before ending his day with cioppino,a fish stew made from the catch of the day.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 19th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“Santa Barbara”
Ben experiences life on a trawler dragging for halibut and marches his catch straight to Brophy Brothers Restaurant where they sauté his fish. Ben takes his pile of rockfish to The Hungry Cat before heading to Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. He finishes his trip with a sunset dinner with restaurant owner, Adam White.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 26th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“San Diego”
Ben brings sea urchins to Baci Ristorante to feast on Pasta con Ricci. He then joins Elena Rivellino on a sardine boat as Elena watches as he learns to grill sardines on a stick. Ben finishes his trip at Bull Taco Café.
·         Premiering Thursday, July 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“New Orleans 2”
Emeril heads to New Orleans to visit Domilise for fried shrimp and roast beef sandwiches, Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor for their famous cannolis and ices and The Commander’s Palace for their signature turtle soup.
·         Premiering Thursday, July 14th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“Los Angeles 2”
In Los Angeles, Emeril travels to El Cholo for green corn tamales and chile rellenos, Pink’s Hot Dogs for a specialty hot dog, and Musso & Frank Grill for charbroiled steaks and a martini.
·         Premiering Thursday, July 21st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“New York City 2”
Emeril heads to the Big Apple to visit Lombardi’s Pizza for their famous White Pizza and Clam Pizza, Katz’s Delicatessen for their corned beef and pastrami, and 21 Club for Dover Sole.
·         Premiering Thursday, July 28th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT –“New York City 3”
Emeril visits Grand Central Oyster Bar for fresh oysters, Papaya King for fresh homemade juices and hotdogs and Peter Luger Steakhouse for instruction on prime meat selection.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 9th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT –“24 Hours in Barcelona”
Annie takes viewers on a whirlwind eating tour of Barcelona with breakfast in Boqueria market, lunch at Cinc Sentits and dinner at legendary seafood restaurant Suquet de L’Almierall.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 16th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – “Playing with Fire”
Annie explores the many ways the Spanish cook meat, fish and even ice cream over fire, using wood, coal and grapevines.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 23rd at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT –“Granada: Culinary Crossroads”
Annie explores Granada and cooks traditional Moroccan dishes, enjoys Granadian classics at the Mirador de Morayama and dines on dried octopus at BAR FM.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 30th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – “Olive Oil: Liquid Gold”
Spain produces and distributes more olive oil than any other place in the world, and Annie hooks up with a range of experts who demonstrate the versatility of olive oil.
Chuck’s Day Off:July 10th, July 17th and July 24th at 11amET/8amPT
From the Kitchens Of…: July 10th at 10amET/7amPT
Eat St.: July 5th and July 7th at 8pmET/5pmPT
Kelsey’s Essentials: July 2nd, July 9th, July 23rd and July 30th at 2pmET/11amPT
Unique Eats: July 3rd, July 10th, July 24th and July 31st at 10pmET/7pmPT
Unique Sweets: July 3rd, July 10th, July 24th and July 31st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT
Eden Eats: Premieres Sunday, July 17th at 8pmET/5pmPT
Eden Grinshpan takes viewers around the world in her 24-hour food adventure without ever using her passport. She arrives in Austin, Texas to highlight the city’s global cuisine where she’s invited into kitchens to discover how people from around the world have re-created their lives and culture through food. From Chef Piroshka’s famous Hungarian Spaetzle at the European Bistro to Malek the Baker’s Lebanese Pita making machine, every step leads to another country without leaving the city limits.
Alex’s Day Off
In Alex’s Day Off, Alex Guarnaschelli, professional chef, working mom and passionate home cook invites viewers along for a unique culinary journey. Playful, poetic and downright funny, she thinks about food and cooking in a whole new way. For Alex, cooking is sensual, personal and pleasurable, and she wants to share that passion. Her recipes are down-to-earth, sophisticated and a bit sassy – just like her.
·         Premiering Saturday, July 9th at 11:30am ET/8:30amPT –“Brunch”
Alex begins her favorite meal of the week with Popovers topped with creamy Homemade Ricotta. Next, she fries up Blended Pork Sausage and Fried Eggs and tops it off with a Salty Dog, a grapefruit and vodka cocktail.
Ace of Cakes
By shaping cakes with drill saws and blow torches and staffing his bakery with fellow rock musicians, Duff Goldman is not your typical baker. Yet he’s one of the most sought after cake makers in the country. From a tilted Dr. Seuss-like-seven-tiered wedding cake to an almost perfect replica of Wrigley Field, he and his team of artists dish up sugar and spice in the most unexpected and entertaining ways.
·         Premiering Tuesday, July 12th at 9:30pmET/1:30amPT –“Triple Crown Cake”
Duff and his staff crank out 21 decorative cakes in one week including a special cake for the Preakness, one of the biggest horse races in the world, but delivering the cake to the Maryland Jockey Club’s VIP tent in the infield will be no easy feat.

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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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