Lou Diamond Phillips

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/Symon vs. Morimoto/Cora

NewICAHeader ICA: Flay/Symon vs. Garces/Forgione

There are few things better than an Iron Chef on Iron Chef show down.  Tonight on a special Iron Chef was the last year’s Battle: Thanksgiving with Bobby Flay and Michael Symon teaming up to take on the team of Masaharu Morimoto and Cat Cora.

The judges for Battle: Thanksgiving were Tiki Barber, Donatella Arpaia and Lou Diamond Phillips.  As a special treat Ted Allen joins Kevin Brauch as a floor reporter.

Iron Chefs Michael Symon & Bobby Flay’s Dishes

  • Butter-Poached Lobster with Leeks and Puffed Wild Rice
  • Fry Bread Taco with Spice-Crusted Venison
  • Duck 3 Ways
  • Cedar-Planked Heritage Turkey with Ancho Gravy and Cranberries
  • Indian Pudding with Cinnamon and Nutmeg Ice Cream

Iron Chefs Cat Cora & Morimoto’s Dishes

  • Seared Venison Tenderloin on a Salt Brick
  • Asian Lobster Stew
  • Duck Skewers 4 Ways
  • Tandori Turkey
  • Japanese Braised Red Snapper
  • Thanksgiving Rice
  • Walnut Souffle


Check below for the outcome.

Flay/Symon                  Morimoto/Cora
Taste: 27                      Taste: 26
Plating: 13                    Plating:  14
Originality: 15              Originality: 14
Total: 55                      Total: 54

ICA: Garces vs. Liken

It has been nearly six months since the newest Iron Chef, Jose Garces, did battle.  He is 1-0 as an Iron Chef (Garces is actually 3-0 in Kitchen Stadium after defeating Iron Chef Bobby Flay in 2008 and edging Chef Jehangir Mehta in the NIC finale last year.).  Waiting for him in Kitchen Stadium is Colorado Chef Kelly Liken.

At Kelly Liken’s Vail eatery, Kelly Liken, they have a stated goal of making sure the customer will “get blown away.”  According to the web site, “Kelly Liken, one of Colorado’s most promising and influential young chefs, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”  The site also states, “Kelly could not suppress her growing enthusiasm for the world of fine cuisine and enrolled at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she graduated first in her class in 2002.”

Garces’ first restaurant, Amada (an authentic Andalusian tapas bar) opened in 2005.  2008 was a very busy year.  Not only did he appear on Iron Chef but he also published his first cookbook, Latin Evolution.  Additionally, two of his restaurants (Distrito, Mercat a la Planxa) were named to Esquire Magazine’s list of the 20 Best New Restaurants.  In just five years, Garces has gone from rookie restaurateur to Iron Chef.

The judges for Battle Bleu Cheese were Lou Diamond Phillips, Anya Fernald and Mario Rizzotti.  Again the chairman was missing as this was most likely shot while he was competing on Dancing with the Stars or shooting Samurai for the History Channel.

Click HERE for the outcome.

ICA: Garces vs. Liken – Outcome

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

The judges for Battle Bleu Cheese were Lou Diamond Phillips, Anya Fernald and Mario Rizzotti.  Again the chairman was missing as this was most likely shot while he was competing on Dancing with the Stars or shooting Samurai for the History Channel.

Garces                   Liken
Taste: 27                Taste: 23
Plating: 13             Plating: 11
Originality: 13       Originality: 14
Total: 53                 Total: 48

Winner: Iron Chef Garces

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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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