Unique Sweets

Review: Sugar High

I have said it more than once.  I’m tired of dessert oriented shows.  I know that a lot of people dig them but for a savory guy they just don’t cut the mustard.  As humorous and charming as Adam Gertler is I really can’t get into Kid in a Candy Store.  I love Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats but it’s spin-off Unique Sweets bores me.  The same for Top Chef  and Top Chef: Just Desserts.  And don’t get me started on Cupcake Wars (worst show on TV).

Sugar High DuffThe one dessert show that I did like was Ace of Cakes which wrapped production last winter.  Let’s face it, Ace was the best and everything that’s come out since is trying to capture the magic at Charmed City Cakes.  But I didn’t dig Ace because of the mind-boggling cake sculptures, although they were cool, I liked it because of the staff at the bakery.  They were very interesting and funny people, devoid of onscreen drama.  Especially the adorable Katherine Hill. Purrrrr.

When a friend at the Network hipped me that Duff had a new show coming out I approached it with mixed feelings.  I, like most Food Network viewers, like Duff a lot.  He is one of the most recognizable stars in the food TV universe and one of the most likeable as well.  But at the same time it was sure to be just another dessert show.  Duff is great but it was his interaction with his staff that made Ace so much fun.

Imagine my surprise when I watched the premiere.  Duff makes an extremely good food/travel host.  It was still Duff, but there is a polish and professionalism to his voice-over narrative that makes him exceedingly approachable.  It isn’t silly nor over the top.  All of the voice-over work is so good it makes me wonder why he hasn’t made a career out of documentaries and commercials.  The voice was Duff, but then again it was someone new.

Then came the interaction with each featured vendor.  There was the old Duff. The joking, the crazy laugh, the quirky sense of humor; it was all there.  So now we have the best of both worlds.  The new, mature host Duff and the old, playful, cake blower-upper Duff.  What a terrific blend.

But what about the content?  It’s still just dessert right, glorified bowls of sugar?  Not for me it wasn’t.  The producers have done a great job of lining up vendors with personalities that compliment the host’s.  It made me care about desserts.  In fact, I’m adding Venice Beach’s Schulzies Bread Pudding to my “must do” list on my next trip to LA.

108 bread puddings?  Are you kidding me?  To me bread pudding is the perfect dessert food.  It can taste like whatever your favorite desserts is.  It’s easy as all get out to make, makes use of left-over ingredients (gotta watch that food cost) and it has tradition.  It has all of the things people look for in a great dessert – complexity of flavor, contrasting textures and luxury that can only come from sugar and saturated fat.  If you ever see me on a reality cooking competition you can bet my dessert course will be breading pudding.  Or Key lime pie.

Okay, back on topic.  I cannot believe how enjoyable I found the show.  Would I like it better if it were Ribeye High?  Probably, I never get tired of seeing a perfectly cooked medium-rare piece of meat,  That being said, I’ll be tuning back in to Sugar High and for me that’s high praise, especially for a dessert show.

Sugar High airs Fridays at at 10:30pm/9:30c on the Food Network.

COOKING CHANNEL JUNE HIGHLIGHTS

Press Release from the Cooking Channel:

Ben Sargent Hosts First-Ever Seafood Series: ‘Hook, Line & Dinner’
New Episodes of ‘The Originals with Emeril’ and ‘From Spain With Love’
Season Premiere of Kelsey’s Essentialsand Summer Kicks Off with “Grilling Week”
NEW YORK – May 16, 2011 – Cooking Channel sizzles into summer with a series and season premiere along with countless new episodes of fan-favorite shows. New primetime series Hook, Line & Dinner reels viewers in on Tuesday, June 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT as host Ben Sargent teams up with local experts to secure the catch of the day and cook it up in the best seaside kitchens during this one-of-a-kind seafood-focused series. Emeril Lagasse highlights the country’s most iconic restaurants in new episodes of The Originals with Emeril on Thursdays at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT, and Annie Sibonney continues her culinary trip through notable Spanish regions in new episodes of From Spain with Love on Saturdays at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT. “Grilling Week”airsSunday, June 12th – Saturday, June 18th from 8pm-11pmET/5pm-8pmPT and features grilling-themed episodes of Cooking Channel favorites, while CookingChannelTV.com offers the ultimate burger guide for summer grilling. And, Kelsey Nixon returns for season two of Kelsey’s Essentials on Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT. Join the Cooking Channel conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
SERIES PREMIERE
By bike, boat, car or surfboard, Ben Sargent embarks on the ultimate coastal road trip in his primetime Cooking Channel series, Hook, Line & Dinner. From Florida and Louisiana to California and Oregon, Ben uncovers the country’s best seafood joints and regional specialties while taking viewers on the awesome journey from sea to table. Crab shacks, lobster pounds, and chowder houses – to Ben, they’re more than just places to get a hot meal. They’re hangouts for eccentrics, where locals swap stories and fishermen share tales from the sea. In each episode, Ben visits a new coastal locale where he teams up with the expert locals to secure the catch of the day, and then he follows that catch straight to the best seaside kitchens.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 7th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – SERIES PREMIERE! – “Bayou Country”
Ben’s first stop in Bayou Country is Bayou Sorrel to meet fisherman Carey Carline. Next, he heads to Breaux Bridge, the ‘Crawfish Capital of the World’ to visit Crazy ‘bout Crawfish and try his hand at making crawfish etouffee. Then, Ben’s off to learn how to boil purged crawfish at Cajun Claw and then finishes his trip with a visit to Café des Amis for Cajun catfish.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 14th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – “Miami & the Everglades”
Ben travels the Miami River aboard Lord of the Tides en route to Biscayne Bay to help harvest spiny lobster, and then he completes the ultimate sea-to-plate experience by sautéing lobster Cuban creole style at Garcia’s Seafood Grille. He whips up ‘down-home style’ frog’s legs at Coopertown Restaurant, and last on the adventure, Ben heads to sea with Lee Noble of Leebo’s Rock Bottom Bar to highlight South Florida’s other famous crustacean – the stone crab.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 21st at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT – “Charleston, South Carolina”
Ben discovers Charleston’s current culinary renaissance with the region’s rustic Lowcountry cuisine and its seemingly timeless union with all things fresh and aquatic. He begins his journey at Bowens Island Restaurant, a local marsh-side oyster house. Then he heads to Husk in historic downtown Charleston for pan-seared sheepshead fish, and prepares stuffed blue crab at T.W. Graham & Company in nearby McClellanville.
  • Premieres Tuesday, June 28th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – “New Orleans”
Ben travels to New Orleans during Mardi Gras and joins shrimper Brian Drury for the catch before whisking the crustaceans into the kitchen with Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, where they specialize in creole gumbo. Then, Ben travels south of The Big Easy to meet Jacques Leonardi of Jack-Imo’s to blacken fish fillets New Orlean’s style. Finally, Ben journeys to the Mississippi Delta to get a first-hand look at oyster beds nearly a year after the oil spill before heading to Castnet Seafood to make a giant oyster po-boy.
FEATURED SERIES
  • Premieres Thursday, June 2nd at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Atlanta”
Emeril ventures to Atlanta to visit Mary Mac’s Tea Room for spicy Cajun shrimp and grits, the Busy Bee Café for fried chicken and Horseradish Grill for char-grilled Georgia mountain trout, braised greens and fried green tomatoes.
  • Premieres Thursday, June 9th at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “New York”
Emeril heads to New York to visit Il Vagabondo for their world-famous Veal Parmesan, King Yum for butterfly shrimp and savory Wonton Soup and Keens Steakhouse for their popular Porterhouse steaks and timeless mutton chops.
  • Premieres Thursday, June 16th at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT“Chicago”
Emeril discovers culinary charms of the Windy City when he visits The Berghoff for a Reuben sandwich, Twin Anchors for Chicago-style ribs and creamed spinach and Gene and Georgetti’s for “garbage salad” and “Chicken Ala Joe.”
  • Premieres Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30pmET/7:30pm PT – “Miami”
    Emeril explores three original establishments in Miami: Joe’s Stone Crab for tasty Key Lime Pie, Casa Larios for “fried cow,” and Tobacco Road for smoked ribs and chicken.
  • Premiering Thursday, June 30th at 10:30pmET / 7:30pm PT – “New Orleans”
Emeril returns to New Orleans to stop by Casamento’s for its fresh oysters, Café Du Monde for beignets and Antoine’s for Oysters Rockefeller and Baked Alaska.
From Spain With Love
  • Premieres Saturday, June 4th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Paella: Tradition in a Pan”
Annie explores all aspects of the traditional Spanish dish – paella. She visits a family in La Mancha to pick saffron and later talks to the “Queen of Saffron,” Chef Maria José San Román, at her restaurant in Alicante. She ends her journey in Barcelona, where everything – including paella – is done with a twist.
  • Premieres Saturday, June 11th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Madrid: Dusk ‘til Dine”
Annie starts her evening in Madrid at the historic Mercado San Miguel in the heart of downtown Madrid and later enjoys the local street food of the city. Annie savors a fantastic multi-course dinner at El Fogon de Trifon, and ends her evening with an early morning treat of hot chocolate and churros.
  • Premieres Saturday, June 18th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Preserves: Keeping the Flavor Alive”
Annie feasts on locally-sourced conservas (canned food) at Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona. She then prepares traditional dried salted cod (bacalao) in Bilbao and explores a range of meat smoking techniques in Catalonia. She also prepares chicken and vegetables in the traditional escabeche style.
  • Premieres Saturday, June 25th at 9:30pmET/6:30pmPT – “Seafood To Die For”
Annie helps female clam diggers of Galicia gather clams before the tides come in and later risks the dangerous surf off of Spain’s “coast of death” in search of percebes (goose barnacles). She enjoys a Galician-style octopus party and works alongside Chef Marcelo Tejedor to cook local seafood in his restaurant in Santiago de Compostela.
SEASON PREMIERE
Kelsey’s Essentials: Season TwoPremieres Saturday, June 25th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT – “Summer Desserts”
Kelsey whips up delicious desserts including Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Icebox Cake; Sugar Cookie Crust Pizza; Watermelon, Ginger and Lime Granita; and Cucumber, Meyer Lemon and Lavender Granita.
ON-AIR “GRILLING WEEK”
Grilling Week: Sunday, June 12th – Saturday, June 18th from 8pm-11pmET/5pm-8pmPT
From healthy hamburgers and scrumptious sides to thirst-quenching libations and delicious desserts, Cooking Channel gets grilling with tasty themed episodes of fan favorite shows offering up expert tips and techniques perfect for summer entertaining.
Premiere and encore episodes of series and specials include: BBQ with Bobby Flay; BBQ Boot Camp; BBQ Circuit; Bitchin’ Kitchen; Ciao America; Eat St.; Everyday Italian; Food(ography); From Spain with Love; Giada’s Weekend Getaways; Hook, Line & Dinner; The Originals with Emeril; Two Fat Ladies; Unique Eats; and United Tastes of America.
ONLINE
From bison burgers and bacon-wrapped meatloaf burgers to crab burgers and Aussie chicken burgers, CookingChannelTV.com has the perfect patty to satisfy every craving, including exclusive recipes from Food Network Kitchens, Hungry Girl’s Lisa Lillien, Fan Fave Chef Kevin Gillespie, and Kelsey Nixon from Kelsey’s Essentials. CookingChannelTV.com also offers up a rare gem: a burger recipe from legendary chef, Julia Child.
NEW EPISODES
In addition to the above series, new episodes of hit Cooking Channel series air throughout June.
Chuck’s Day Off:June 5th, June 12th, June 19th and June 26th at 11amET/8amPT
Eat St.:June 14th, June 21st and June 28th at 8pmET/5pmPT
Unique Eats:June 5th, June 12th, June 19th and June 26th at 10pmET/7pmPT
Unique Sweets:June 19th and June 26th at 10:30pmET/7:30pmPT
David Rocco’s Dolce Vita:June 4th, June 11th, June 18th and June 25th at 1:30pmET/10:30amPT
From the Kitchens Of…:June 12th at 10amET/7amPT

Cooking Channel Turns 1 With New Shows

Press Release from Scripps Network (parent company of Cooking Channel):

COOKING CHANNEL MAY 2011 HIGHLIGHTS

NEW YORK – April 20, 2011 – This May, a birthday celebration is in order as Cooking Channel says “cheers” to its May 31st launch anniversary. Viewers will enjoy two series premieres, a new season and exciting new episodes of favorite primetime and daytime shows. Emeril Lagasse travels across the country to iconic establishments that have outlasted the grueling restaurant industry as he visits “original” institutions in The Originals with Emeril premiering Thursday, May 5th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT. Annie Sibonney explores regions of Spain taking viewers on a culinary road trip through exquisite towns in From Spain With Love premiering Friday, May 27th at 9pm ET/6pm PT. In a brand Chuck Hughesnew season of Chuck’s Day Off premiering Sunday, May 1 at 11am ET/8am PT, Chuck Hughes gives viewers a raw look at what a day off means to a chef as he takes time out of his restaurant reality to cook for his friends, family and staff. Also, May kicks off an epic grilling season on CookingChannelTV.com with a host of hot chef exclusives, original recipes, how to’s and culinary techniques. Plus, Cooking Channel airs new episodes of hit shows including Eat St., Food(ography), The Minimalist and Unique Sweets. Join the Cooking Channel conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
SERIES PREMIERES
The Originals with Emeril
Chef Emeril Lagasse pays tribute to The Originals – iconic food establishments that have helped shape the country’s culinary landscape. While the restaurant industry is notoriously challenging and the life of a restaurant is sometimes short, every city has those cherished institutions that have stood the test of time. Emeril visits a new city in each episode and goes behind-the-scenes at three historic eateries. From uncovering the birthplace of famous dishes like Boston cream pie in New England and the French Dip Sandwich in Los Angeles to revealing Charlie Chaplin’s favorite 1920’s Hollywood hangout and Dr. Martin Luther King’s preferred Atlanta dining spot. This time on the other side of the stove, Emeril takes viewers on an informative and tasty journey through New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, and his beloved New Orleans.
Premieres Thursday, May 5th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT SERIES PREMIERE – “San Francisco”
Emeril samples some celebrated San Francisco treats drinking Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Café, snacking on cracked crab and calamari salad at the Swan Oyster Depot and tasting The Hangtown Fry at the Tadich Grill.
Premieres Thursday, May 12th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – “Boston”
Emeril heads to three of Boston’s timeless restaurants where he samples stuffed lobster and baked beans at Union Oyster House and drinks Sam Adams beer at the first bar to ever serve it, Doyle’s Café. His last stop is Parker’s Restaurant, the place where he began his career as a sous chef in 1979. He whips up Boston scrod and a batch of their famous Parker House rolls and dives into Boston Cream Pie for dessert.

Premieres Thursday, May 19th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – “Los Angeles”

Emeril travels to the City of Angels to visit three classic eateries. He munches on a Hickoryburger and apple pie at the Apple Pan, samples Scottish beef pie at the Tam O’ Shanter and discovers the secrets behind the French dip sandwich at Phillippe’s.

Premieres Thursday, May 26th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT – “Dallas”

Emeril explores the landmark restaurants that made Dallas great stopping at Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse for hickory-smoked Texas barbecue and The Mecca for cinnamon rolls and “migas,” a southwestern egg-and-tortilla specialty. His last stop is El Fenix where he enjoys authentic Tex-Mex cuisine.
From Spain With Love
From Spain with Love explores the diverse culinary culture of Spain through the eyes of passionate gastronomad and host Annie Sibonney. Using food as a window into Spain and its many characters, the series uncovers the rich contradictions of the country. From the food mecca of San Sebastian to the quaint fishing villages of Galicia, and from cosmopolitan Barcelona to the bustling excitement of Madrid, the series explores the deep-rooted connection between the land, the farmer, the fisherman, the ingredient, the home cook and the chef across Spain’s many regions.

Premieres: Friday May 27th at 9pm ET/6pm PT SERIES PREMIERE! – “Basque Country”

Host Annie Sibonney visits the Basque Country in Spain, a fiercely independent region with more cooks per capita than anywhere else in the world and its own style of inventive cuisine that put Spain on the culinary map. Annie breaks through barriers at a men’s only gastronomic society; indulges in her favorite Basque dish, cod kokotaxas; enjoys a Basque-style tapas crawl; and cooks alongside the “godfather” of modern Basque cuisine, chef Juan Mari Arzak.
SEASON PREMIERE AND EXCLUSIVE WEB SERIES

Chuck’s Day Off : Premieres Sunday, May 1st at 11am ET/8am PT – “The Bouncers”

In the season three premiere, Chuck invites two of his employees, Fred and Eugenio, to a delicious meal to remind them of why people are lining up down the block to get a taste of what Garde Manger has to offer.
Also, online at www.CookingChannelTV.com, fans get a glimpse of “Chuck’s Day On” – a peek into his world running the Montreal hot spot, Garde Manger. In the four-part web series, Chuck takes viewers through a full day – from the morning meeting to delivering impressive dishes until every customer is satisfied. He also offers up helpful hints to the at-home cook in this behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant world.
ONLINE PACKAGE

CookingChannelTV.com serves up sizzling original content to kick off grilling season.

Kelsey NixonKelsey Nixon (Kelsey’s Essentials) shares five original burgers and irresistible sides to kick start summer.

Chef Kevin Gillespie (co-owner of Atlanta’s Woodfire Grill) debuts 8 exclusive webisodes and original recipes on grilling and summer entertaining.

Rock star, Los Angeles-based butchers, Lindy & Grundy, share secrets and tips on handling and grilling the best meats and proteins for summer including perfect burger blends.

Award-winning pit master, and former cop, ‘Big Lou’ Elrose shares his secrets and tips to grilling perfection.

Cooking Channel’s roster of star bloggers serves up fresh new recipes and innovative ideas from grilled breads (ZoeBakes.com) to easy and elegant entertaining (MattBites.com) to southern grilling staples (DixieCaviar.com).  And, food writer Corky Pollan offers up tried and true seasonal summer tips.

Food Network Kitchens shares a full plate’s worth of exclusive new burger and slider recipes.
NEW EPISODES
In addition to the above new series and season, Cooking Channel premieres all-new episodes of:
David Rocco’s Dolce Vita:May 1st, May 14th, May 21st and May 28th at 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT
Eat St.: May 2nd at 9:30pmET/6:30pm PT and May 10th, May 17th, and May 24th at 8pm ET/5pm PT
Food(ography): May 1st at 9pm ET/6pm PT
From the Kitchen’s of…:May 22nd at 10am ET/7am PT
The Minimalist: May 8th, May 15th, May 22nd, and May 29th at 10:30am ET/7:30am PT
Unique Sweets: May 15th, May 22nd, and May 29th at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT

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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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