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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Adam Gertler is a “Kid in a Candy Store”

Food Network’s new sweet treat, Kid in a Candy Store, is set to debut July 12 with NFNS 4 alum Adam Gertler playing the part of a real life Willy Wonka.  To help publicize the series the folks at FoodNetwork.com did a great interview with Adam that touches on his NFNS days and what he’s done since the show ended.  Here’s a taste:

Where are you living and working now?

Kid in a Candy Store Adam Gertler on WannabeTVchef.comI’m currently living in Venice Beach, Calif., which has led to much ridicule from my East Coast friends for being a “sellout.” I will accept this moniker in exchange for the weather and being six blocks from the beach. I work (if one could call it that) all over the country in any given city on any given day.

What have you been up to since NFNS?

I began my Food Network show, Will Work for Food, right after NFNS4, and I feel like I’m still stuck in the whirlwind. I did a special for FN called Extreme Sweets, followed by a series of “Freaky” specials for Fine Living Network, including Freakiest Festivals, Freakiest Foods and Freakiest Vacations. These have all been travel shows mostly involving the world of food throughout the country.

I recently participated in episodes of Food Network Challenge and Chefs Vs. City, both of which were incredibly fun and educational experiences. Most recently I began working on Kid In A Candy Store for The Food Network. This is a show where we travel the country to discover the most delicious, creative and unusual desserts out there, which reminds me I have to call my dentist today and schedule an appointment.

What was your favorite thing about being on NFNS? And your least favorite?

I met some friends that I plan on having for the rest of my life. I got to bring the two things I love to do most in this world together and somebody put it on camera. It would be an understatement to say that being on the show was a life-changing experience. My least favorite thing about being on the show was watching the mistakes that I made on TV and just kicking myself. I often found myself saying, “Dude, did you really just do that?”, “What were you thinking?”, “Why weren’t you thinking?” and many other incredulous reactions to my behavior.

Do you keep in touch with other finalists?

I do still keep in touch with several of the finalists from my season. In the past few months I’ve hung out with Lisa Garza, Kevin Roberts, Shane Lyons and, of course, Big Daddy himself, Aaron McCargo Jr., who is just the coolest, truest, most talented dude. I’d be on his team any day.

What was the funniest/coolest/weirdest (or worst!) incident to happen behind the scenes?


Ted Allen – the Thinking Man’s Foodie

Originally posted at Paper Palate on August 19, 2008.

Ted AllenThough some of Ted Allen’s fans may remember him from his days as the restaurant critic for Chicago magazine, most of us know him from stints on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Iron Chef: America, and Food Detectives. But Allen has been a nationally respected food and wine expert since joining the editorial staff of Esquire magazine eleven years ago.

Ted studied psychology at Purdue University, where he received a B.A. He also has an M.A. in journalism from New York University, as well as an advanced certificate from NYU’s Science and Environmental Reporting Program.  His 2000 Esquire article “This Man Survived Breast Cancer” was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the magazine equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize.

Allen’s culinary talents and literary acumen have never been better emulsified than in his 2005 Clarkson Potter book The Food You Want to Eat: From Créme Brulee to Cocktails: Delicious Recipes for Entertaining and Everyday.  In The Food You Want to Eat, Ted rethinks calssic recipes like Old School Caesar Salad and Mustardy Barbecued Spareribs. One must-try among the 100+ recipes is the Pan-Roasted Salmon with Tomato Vinaigrette and Thai Green Chicken Curry with Vegetables.

Allen’s book has a number of fans, too: check out some of the star-studded reviews:

The Food You Want to Eat is the book you need to own. Ted Allen is your personal guide to easy entertaining, from thirst-quenching cocktails to classic desserts with a twist, and everything in between.” —Bobby Flay

The Food You Want to Eat is a great first cookbook for anyone and everyone. Ted knows his stuff—which are the best ingredients and what are the smartest, simplest, and tastiest ways to prepare them. More important is his friendliness—he demystifies the daunting mysteries of good cooking, wine pairing and fine dining.”  —Sara Moulton

“When I first picked up Ted’s book, I thought, ‘Ha! How can this man possibly know what I want to eat?’ Then I read it … OK, so he does know what I want to eat, but I bet he can’t make it the way I like it. Then I cooked from the book and … OK, somehow he does know. Accessible, tasty, educational and effortlessly elegant (think Carey Grant), this is the kind of kitchen guide you’ll want to give to all your friends. Just never lend out your own copy.” —Alton Brown

Ted recently answered a few questions for Paper Palate:

Paper Palate: You have worked in both Chicago and New York – how do the restaurant scenes differ?

Ted Allen: New York is the big stage, the biggest stage in America for a chef.  It is a tough market to succeed in because of the competition.  Chicago has a lot of important restaurants and the national press is finally catching on.

PP: What currently has your attention, culinarily speaking?

TA: Barry (Barry Rice, Ted’s Partner) and I have been really getting into the food at this Senegalese restaurant nearby.  I can’t think of the name, but it is very exciting.

PP: You are a renowned food and wine expert, your partner is an accomplished interior designer, and your list of associates includes Padma Lakshmi, Alton Brown, and Carson Kressley – what are your dinner parties like?

TA: Very casual.  We do lots of braises, roasts, and BBQ.  I try to do as much advance work as I can so I can have fun.  Our guests are usually nice, diverse, crazy, funny, and quirky.

PP: Do you have another book on the way?

TA: I just had a meeting this morning to discuss some future projects.  I have a few irons in the fire.

Photo courtesy of chicagobusiness.com.

Food Network Makes Up For Snubbing Kelsey Nixon, Sort Of.

Originally published December 11, 2008.

Although Kelsey Nixon officially finished fourth, FOURTH! on the Next Food Network Star, she was overwhelmingly the fan favorite blowing away all other competitors in the FN web poll. Anyone who watched the show knows that Kelsey was far and away the best chef. Well, Food Network is finally making it up to her with a web show.  Sarah East has the scoop on Nixon, Ted Allen, Rachael Ray and a handful of other FN happenings:

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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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