Unwrapped

Food Network May 2011 Highlights

Press Release from Food Network:

Food Network Crowns Cake Cavalier on ‘Last Cake Standing’ Season Finale and Names BBQ King in New Series ‘Best In Smoke’
Season Premieres: Paula’s Best Dishes, Guy’s Big Bite, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, Chopped
On-Air and Online “In the Kitchen” Theme Weekend: Mother’s Day

NEW YORK – April 21, 2011 – This May, Food Network smokes out the Guy Fiericompetition with a series premiere, a season finale, four new seasons, a Mother’s Day theme weekend and countless new episodes of hit shows. Viewers get a tasty primetime package on Sunday, May 8th from 9-11pm with the Last Cake Standing season finale at 9pm and the Best In Smoke series premiere at 10pm – it’s a lineup not to be missed. New episodes of fan favorite daytime shows honor mothers around the world with the Mother’s Day theme weekend on Saturday, May 7th from 7am-2pm and Sunday May 8th from 7am-12pm with complementary ideas and recipes at www.foodnetwork.com/mom. Food Network fans will also enjoy four season premieres: Paula’s Best Dishes (April 30th), Guy’s Big Bite (May 1st), Chopped(May 3rd) and Diners, Drive Ins and Dives (May 9th). Join the Food Network conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
FEATURED FINALE
Last Cake Standing: Premieres Sunday, May 8th at 9pm –“$100,000 Cakes”
After five grueling weeks pitting talented pastry chefs against each other in intense cake battles with crazy twists, the final cake designers are ready to create an unforgettable wedding cake for an engaged couple. The cakes must be inspired by one of the themed wedding rooms at the world famous Little White Wedding Chapel. Just as the competitors think that they are have completed their final task, one more awaits: make a cake that tells the story of their one hundred thousand dollar dream. At the end of this marathon competition, one winning cake designer receives $100,000 and bragging rights because they have the Last Cake Standing.
SERIES PREMIERE
Best In Smoke: Premieres Sunday, May 8th at 10pm
Hailing from cities across the United States, six of the best barbecue masters meet in New York to face off for a $50,000 grand prize and the right to claim the title of Best In Smoke. Hosted by Bryan Caswell (season three contestant on The Next Iron Chef), this competition tests the competitors’ endurance and skill as they take on multiple challenges in a day with limited resources and cook for vastly different audiences. From barbecue desserts to single bite hors d’oeuvres, no food is off limits. Contestants show off their personal style and quick wit throughout the competition, but a final mad dash to three separate venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn will determine which competitor will be awarded the coveted title of Best In Smoke.

·         Premieres Sunday, May 8th at 10pm –“Best Bite in BBQ” (*Note special time)
Host Bryan Caswell kicks off the competition by challenging the six teams to create their best “single bite” for the judges. Once the clock starts, it’s an all-out scramble to the meat truck, and the competitor who cooks up the best “single bite” wins immunity from elimination and joins the judging panel for the next round. Then, the competitors devise the ideal BBQ hors d’oeuvre for an upscale art gallery opening. The fate of the finalists hangs on the opinions of the gallery guests who decide which competitor is safe from elimination.
·         Premieres Sunday, May 15th at 9pm – “Unorthodox BBQ and Birthday Party”
The competitors must create a BBQ-inspired salad and dessert from pre-determined ingredients, so only their skill will separate them from the pack. After two hours of cooking, the judges’ favorite gets a special advantage going into the next competition. For round two, the competitors have three hours to whip up an appetizing BBQ snack for a children’s birthday party, but the twist is no burgers or hot dogs allowed. At the party, each kid picks their favorite dish to decide who will be safe from elimination.
·         Premieres Sunday, May 22nd at 9pm –“Vendor Wars”
The four remaining competitors take it to the streets, operating vendor carts and serving up hot BBQ to tourists. For this challenge, their assistants are off the hook, so competitors pair up and work together in teams. At the park, the tourists purchase their choice BBQ dishes with tickets. The team with the most tickets wins and will participate in the final judging of the other team, while the competitor with the least tickets will say goodbye.
·         Premieres Sunday, May 29th at 9pm – “Season Finale”
The final challenge tests the limits of the remaining competitors’ culinary knowledge, as well as their stamina, by having them cater three different events in one day. Each location will showcase a different element of the New York lifestyle including ballparks, Broadway and bars. Each finalist must feature brisket in at least one of their meals, which can take up to twelve hours to cook. After catering three distinct events, the most well-rounded pit master is named “Best In Smoke.”
SEASON PREMIERES

·         Paula’s Best Dishes: Saturday, April 30th at 11am ET/PT – “Fantastic Fiesta”
·         Guy’s Big Bite: Sunday, May 1st at 10:30am ET/PT – “Guy’s Lean Green Chili Machine”
·         Chopped: Tuesday, May 3rd at 10pm ET/PT – “The Icing On The Steak”
·         Diners, Drive Ins and Dives: Monday, May 9th at 9pm ET/PT – “Bar Food And Bon Bons”
FOOD NETWORK “IN THE KITCHEN” THEME WEEKEND

“Mother’s Day” (Saturday, May 7th from 7am-2pm and Sunday, May 8th from 7am-12pm)

Whether it’s a special breakfast in bed or a brunch with friends, Food Network chefs share their favorite family recipes for Mother’s Day. Food Network offers up premiere and encore episodes of daytime favorites designed to help moms stay out of the kitchen and let their loved ones treat her to a day of delicious dishes. Online at www.foodnetwork.com/mom, Food Network serves up recipes for crustless quiche and gives viewers a look at photos of fan-favorite chefs and their moms.
·         Big Daddy’s House: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 9am – “It’s All About: Classics”
Big Daddy is bringing back the classics with a fit-for-a-king meal including a Shrimp Fra Diablo Appetizer, Chicken Francaise, Red Sangria and White Sangria.
·         Mexican Made Easy: PremieresSaturday, May 7th at 9:30am –“Mami’s Day Brunch Party”
Marcela serves up the perfect Mother’s Day menu with a Fruit Bowl with Mex-Granola, Chicken Enchiladas, Chorizo Hash Browns and Pecan and Caramel Candies.

·         5 Ingredient Fix: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 10:30am – “Breakfast in Bed For Mama”
Claire makes a special brunch for her mom including Chocolate Hazelnut Stuffed French Toast, Turkey Fennel Sausage Patties, Mint Lemon Syrup, Granola Topping and Hot Vanilla Malted.

·         Paula’s Best Dishes: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 11am – “Breakin’ For Breakfast”
Jamie and Bobby Deen are in the kitchen today cooking up a delicious breakfast feast for their mom including Easy Blueberry Skillet Cake, Cream Cheese and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Syrup, Fruit Salad with Cream Cheese Pecan Topping and a Piña Colada Smoothie.
·         Down Home with the Neelys: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 11:30am – “Let’s Hear It For The Moms!”
Pat and Gina cook up Quiche Tartlets, Sweet Potato Hash, Watermelon Salad and Flowers for Mom Cocktail for Gina’s mom and their dear friend Brenda.
·         Secrets of a Restaurant Chef: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 12pm – “The Secret To Beef Bourguignonne”
Chef Anne Burrell breaks out French recipe tricks for her favorite Beef Bourguignon and Palmiers cookies.
·         Dessert First: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 12:30pm – “Blue Ribbon Pies”
Anne Thornton’s mom, Maureen, joins her to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie; Mama Thornton’s Peach
Pie; and Almond, Pear and Cherry Pocket Pies.
·         Giada at Home: Premieres Saturday, May 7th at 1:30pm – “Celebrating Mom”
Giada De Laurentiis invites her mother Veronica and sister Eloisa over for an outdoor Mother’s Day luncheon with Crispy Chicken with Rosemary-Lemon Salt; Sun-dred Tomato, Olive and Lemon Pasta; and Espresso and Chocolate Jellies.

·         Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day: Premieres Sunday, May 8th at 9am – “Make A Double Batch”
Rachael cooks up Double-Batch Classic Bolognese; Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs; Lamb And Rice Stuffed Peppers; Sausage, Kale And Lentil Soup; and Roasted Tomato and Roasted Garlic Puttanesca.

·         Hungry Girl: Premieres Sunday, May 8th at 10am – “Comfortably Yum”
Lisa whips up a HG version of a fan’s macaroni & cheese recipe as well as ‘Cue the Pulled Pork and PB n’ Chocolate Bread Pudding Bonanza.
·         Guy’s Big Bite: Sunday, May 8th at 10:30am – “Mama Fieri’s Sunday Roast”
Guy Fieri gets the stamp of approval from special guest, Mom Fieri, with his Family Style Pot Roast, Acme Buttered and Figs in a Blanket.
·         Cooking for Real: Sunday, May 8th at 11am – “Fish And Grits”
Sunny Anderson cooks up traditional southern fare including Catfish Nuggets, Creamy Cheesy Grits, and Simple Blueberry Apple Pie.

FEATURED NIGHTS AND MARATHONS
“Grilling Week” Kickoff(Sunday May 29th from 8-11pm)
Food Network’s grilling season officially kicks off with the Best In Smoke finale at 9pm followed by Iron Chef America “Battle Hot Dog” featuring Iron Chef Michael Symon vs. Cooking Channel’s host of Everyday Exotic, Roger Mooking at 10pm.
Bobby Flay’s Memorial Day Marathon (Monday, May 30th from 10am-4pm)
Food Network serves up a day full of outdoor fun and tasty recipes with back-to-back episodes of Grill It! with Bobby Flay and Throwdown with Bobby Flay. From specialty hot dogs and award-winning hamburgers to spicy competitions and fiery rematches, Bobby takes on all facets of grilling to get viewers ready to “throw down” at their own Memorial Day celebrations.
FOOD NETWORK NEW EPISODES
Food Network premieres all-new episodes of Iron Chef America, Food Network Challenge, and 17 additional primetime and daytime shows.

Daytime: 5 Ingredient Fix, 30 Minute Meals, Barefoot Contessa, Big Daddy’s House, Dessert First, Down Home with the Neelys, Mexican Made Easy, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Primetime: 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Chopped, Good Eats, Kid in a Candy Store, Meat and Potatoes, Outrageous Food, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Unwrapped

Review: FoodCrafters

I finally got a little quality time with the Cooking Channel so I am attempting to review several of the shows I have not seen.  This time around FoodCrafters.

aida mollenkamp on WannabeTVchef.comFoodCrafters is what Road Tasted wanted to be.  Super sexy Aida Mollenkamp travels the country trying the best artisanal foods to be found.  This is not a profile of the partially synthetic, highly processed foods featured on shows like Unwrapped and Food Tech but rather a testament to the small business owners who chose their course not because of profitability but out of passion.

Mollenkamp, who’s stand and stir show Ask Aida always seemed stiff, is completely at ease in this vehicle.  And why not?  She is a genuine foodie – a certified chef, blogger, editor for mega food site CHOW, TV host and world traveler.  FoodCrafters is like tagging along with Mollenkamp on a road trip.  Her graceful yet hip attitude is tailor-made for for this show.

The production value on FoodCrafters is sleek, like a really well made documentary.  The food porn is among the best you will see on television.  The lighting and cinematography are as good as I have seen on a show of this nature.  It’s a great looking show.  Mollenkamp’s sultry look and modern sensibility only accentuate the quality of the production.

FoodCrafters stylish approach to it’s subject makes it far superior to the aforementioned Road Tasted.  The later always had good core content but never seemed to flow well.  Whether hosted by the Deen’s or the Neeley’s the transitions were always equal parts clumsy and corny.  FoodCrafters on the other hand is food porn at it’s best.

Review: Food(ography)

I finally got a little quality time with the Cooking Channel so I am attempting to review several of the shows I have not seen.  This time around Food(ography).

This is another rehashing of a tried and true formula – the food documentary.  It is much in the vein of Food Tech and Unwrapped, though decidedly better than either since it does not promote the mechanization of food as a positive development.

Food(ography) on WannabeTVchef.comThe show is hosted by comedian Mo Rocca (more on him later) and a handful of food writers, food anthropologists, professors and other learned people.  In an episode entitled “Outdoor” one of these great food thinkers, Frances Lam of salon.com, gave one of the best quotes ever about our fast food nation, “You go to your fast food place and you go through the drive-thru and you know what?  It’s never any faster than if you just park the car, walk inside and ask for your cheeseburger to go.”  Lamb continues, “It’s a perversion of the beauty of the drive-in.  The drive-thru is enslavement; the drive-in was freedom.”

There is a reason that Rocca has never been more than a B-list entertainer; it’s the same reason he is only serviceable as a the host of Food(ography) – his voice is terrible.  It’s a shame really because he possesses a dry, quick wit.  He drops a few great one-liners each episode but after a while his voice starts to grate.  I think that is why the producers intertwine so much footage of the aforementioned food experts, to give the viewers’ ears a break.

From a production stand point Food(ography) doesn’t particularly stand out as it uses a ton of stock footage.  Some of it good, some of it not so much.  But it does pack a lot of great information into 60 minutes from a plethora of knowledgeable experts like Lam, Dr. Krishnendu Ray (Professor, Food Studies, NYU) and Southern Folkways Alliance director, the esteemed food writer John T. Edge.

Food(ography) is a very informative show that is entertaining with a ton of upside.  I can easily see killing a rainy day with a Food(ography) marathon.

Review: Kid in a Candy Store

Adam Gertler on WannabeTVchef.comThis is going to be a very short review.  Because the show isn’t any good?  No, not really.  It’s because the newest show from Food Network, Kid in a Candy Store, isn’t new.  Adam Gertler is just as charming as he was when he (and three other people) should have beaten out Aaron McCargo Jr. on NFNS 4.  It’s the format of the show.  There is nothing really new about it.

If you liked Food Finds, Will Work For Food, Unwrapped, Food Tech, Road Tasted (with either the Neely’s or the Deen’s), Man vs. Food, FoodCrafters, Unique Eats, Follow That Food or How’d That Get on My Plate? then you’ll like Kid in a Candy Store.  It is pretty much those shows.  Only it’s just about desserts.  I’m sure for those of you with strong sweet teeth it will be a fun variation of a tried and true formula with an amusing and talented host.  As for me, I’m not a big dessert guy.  My idea of the perfect dessert is a second cheeseburger.

It is certainly better than Cupcake Wars.

Be sure to check out this recent interview with Adam Gertler.

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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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