Friday, November 17, 2017

Food Network Related News and Links

Sorry for not posting in a bit, but here are some Food Network related news items from the past few weeks:

  • Chef John Besh, who frequently appears on Food Network, was the subject of an 8-month long investigation by The Time-Picayune where 25 women claimed they were victims of sexual harassment at his restaurants.  The full story is here and is quite long,  with women describing  "a company where several male co-workers and bosses touched female employees without consent, made suggestive comments about their appearance and – in a few cases – tried to leverage positions of authority for sex."  John Besh was also involved in a sexual relationship with an employee.  
    • After these allegations came out, he stepped down from his position in his restaurant group.  He released an apology (full quotes here), stating, "two years ago, I deeply hurt those I love by thoughtlessly engaging in a consensual relationship with one member of my team. Since then I have been seeking to rebuild my marriage and come to terms with my reckless actions given the profound love I have for my wife, my boys and my Catholic faith. I also regret any harm this may have caused to my second family at the restaurant group, and sincerely apologize to anyone past and present who has worked for me who found my behavior as unacceptable as I do"
    • John Besh recently appeared on the first episode of Iron Chef Showdown, which angered some fans as it was after all of this came out.  PBS pulled his shows from their network. (Link)
  • When the Harvey Weinstein allegations were coming out, Sunny Anderson sent out a series of tweets where she was accused of "victim blaming" for saying the women coming out were late and not brave.  She received backlash for this and later took down the tweets. (Link)
  • If you were a fan of Ginormous Foods, that show is now on Travel Channel and new episodes air Mondays at 11pm. (Link)
  • Jason Smith will be appearing on an upcoming episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate on Cooking Channel. (Link)
  • Cajun Aces is a new show on Food Network that will begin on December 2nd and will follow chefs Cody and Sam Carrol as they explore Cajun cuisine and culture.  "Each week, viewers can tune in to see the chefs as they take the freshest ingredients from their family farm in Batchelor, LA and create brand new dishes at both of their restaurants." (Link)
  • Bobby Flay will be opening his first airport location for Bobby's Burger Palace inside Atlanta's airport. (Link)
  • Guy Fieri's new show Guy's Big Project has had low ratings for its first few episodes.  Sunday night shows usually have good ratings on Food Network and the numbers for Guy's Big Project are well below the normal. (Link)
  • Alton Brown recently posted this on social media, "With the end of the tour rapidly approaching and my food network contract ending, I spend a lot of time pondering my next move."  It appears his Food Network contract will end soon, but who knows if he is renegotiating a new one. (Link)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halloween Wars Winner Crowned Tonight

Photo - Food Network
Tonight at 9pm ET on Food Network is the season 7 finale of Halloween Wars where the winning team will take home $50,000.  The final two teams are Team Ghoul'd with Liz Marek (cake), Mike Brown (pumpkin), and Christophe Rull (sugar) and Team Morbid Masterminds with Mike Elder (cake), Shannon Gerasimchik (pumpkin), and Charity George (sugar). Charity George of team Morbid Masterminds has competed on two Halloween Wars in the past but has yet to win.

On tonight's episode whoever can best illustrate the final seconds before a deadly danger strikes will be crowned Halloween Wars champion and win $50,000.  Fiona Dourif, actress from the hit horror franchise Child's Play, will be the guest judge.

I will update this post with the winner after the episode airs.

Continue reading to see winner:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Is Bobby Flay Quitting Iron Chef?

Photo - Multivu
Iron Chef is returning to Food Network on November 8th at 9pm ET with Iron Chef Showdown.  As discussed in a previous post, the show will feature two chefs who will compete in a chairman's challenge to create their best dish using a secret ingredient. Alton Brown will judge this challenge, and the winning chef will get to go up against an Iron Chef in a secret ingredient showdown.   Iron Chefs Michael Symon, Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Stephanie Izard, and Jose Garces will appear on two episodes each.

An article on Vanity Fair by Allen Salkin revealed that when filming Iron Chef Showdown this summer, Bobby Flay "tore off his apron mid-battle to reveal a T-shirt that read: “THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER.”  Looking at the picture above from the show, he has a lot of buttons to deal with to get to the T-shirt.  Bobby Flay supposedly chose the T-shirt rather than a verbal message as he knew production would not be able to cut that from the show.  The article said the production has plans to blur the shirt out when the episode airs, but the decision to blur the shirt wasn't final.  This doesn't mean Bobby Flay is done with Food Network overall as he is still involved with things such as The Bobby and Damaris Show, Beat Bobby Flay and Food Network Star.

According to the Iron Chef Showdown schedule, Bobby Flay is scheduled to be on the November 8th episode and the December 13th episode.  So if this T-shirt thing is true, I would expect it to be on the December 13th episode of Iron Chef Showdown.  I guess we will have to tune in to see what Food Network decides to do about the shirt.

UPDATE - After reports came out about the shirt, Bobby Flay released a statement to E! News stating, "This past summer when I was in production on Iron Chef Showdown, I wore a t-shirt to have a little fun during my last battle this season. In hindsight, it was probably not the best decision because it's just creating confusion. Food Network has been part of my family for over 20 years and will absolutely continue to be, and though there is a talented bench of Iron Chefs to tap, if I were asked, I'd be excited to return to Kitchen Stadium, whenever my schedule allows."

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Worst Cooks In America Celebrity Edition Winner Crowned Tonight

Photo - Food Network
Tonight at 9pm ET on Food Network is the season finale of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition where the winner will receive $25,000 for their charity.  The two remaining celebrities are Perez Hilton (Team Rachael Ray) and Melissa Peterman (Team Anne Burrell).  Their challenge tonight is to cook a restaurant-quality meal for a panel of culinary experts and they will have coaching help from Rachael Ray and Anne Burrell.  I will update this post with the winner after the episode airs and you can discuss the episode/season in the comments.

Continue reading to find out the winner

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ree Drummond To Judge, Eddie Jackson To Host 'Christmas Cookie Challenge'

Photo - Food Network
Food Network announced a new series called Christmas Cookie Challenge that will begin on Monday, November 6th at 10pm ET.  There have been Christmas Cookie Challenge specials in the past on Food Network, but never a whole series.  Christmas Cookie Challenge will be seven episodes long and in each episode five bakers compete through two rounds for a prize of $10,000.  Former Food Network Star winner Eddie Jackson will be the host of the show.  Ree Drummond will be the main judge on every episode and there will be a rotating panel of guest judges that include: Kimberly Bailey, James Briscione, Damiano Carrara, Dan Langan, Jamika Pessoa, Jordan Pilarski, Aarti Sequeira and Joy Wilson. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

More Details About Iron Chef Showdown - Premiering November 8th

Photo - Multivu
In July, it was announced that Iron Chef would be returning with Iron Chef Showdown and that Alton Brown would be the host.  Now there is more information about the show and it will premiere on Food Network Wednesday, November 8th at 9pm ET.  Iron Chef Showdown will be 10 episodes long and Iron Chefs Michael Symon, Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Stephanie Izard, and Jose Garces will appear on two episodes each.

On each episode, two chefs will compete in a chairman's challenge to create their best dish using a secret ingredient.  Alton Brown will judge this challenge alone, and the winning chef will get to go up against an Iron Chef in a secret ingredient showdown.  Iron Chef Showdown sounds a lot like Beat Bobby Flay to me, but with secret ingredients and different chefs.

A press release about Iron Chef Showdown is below.  Also, I put the episode descriptions from the release below so you can see which chefs are competing:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Marcela Valladolid Leaving Food Network's 'The Kitchen'

Photo - Food Network
Today at 11am ET is the season 14 finale of The Kitchen on Food Network.  Marcela Valladolid announced on Instagram that this will be her final episode on the show.  It seems like traveling from the west coast to the east coast for the show and being away from her family were deciding factors.  Marcela posted the following message on Instagram about her leaving the show:
"Friends and followers, after 14 seasons and 182 episodes, this Saturday is my last episode of #TheKitchen. I’m a west coast gurl with a West coast family and it’s time for me to be here and share with you the stories and recipes that I truly share with my family and friends. Thank you for watching and following. It truly was a blast and I am so grateful to the cast and crew for this incredible journey! 4 years of monthly trips east. I birthed and nursed two babies. I made the best of friends. I learned so much and, half the time, I sort of felt like I was cheating life because I was having too much fun and getting paid for it. Katie, Sunny, GZ and Mauro... I’ll miss you guys. Besos familia, it brought me great pride to be the Latina face on one of the most popular shows on the @foodnetwork! Diversity and inclusion should always be a priority. Thank you.❤️"
The 15th season of the show begins next week and it appears from the episode descriptions that there is no replacement for Marcela and Food Network will continue doing the show with just Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Fun fact about Marcela - She appeared on The Price is Right in 2004 and won a car (Link).

Friday, October 6, 2017

Pillsbury Bake-Off Returns With Food Network As Partner

Photo - Multivu
The Pillsbury Bake-Off contest will return this year after not having a competition since 2014.  This year is the 48th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest and they have paired with Food Network and Ree Drummond.  The winner of the contest will receive a trip to New York for an appearance on Food Network’s The Kitchen, a feature in Food Network Magazine, a kitchen makeover from GE Appliances and $50,000 in cash. Also four category winners will each be awarded a trip to New York for an appearance on The Kitchen, a feature in Food Network Magazine, a suite of GE Appliances and $5,000 in cash.

You can enter the contest through November 10th and if you are interested here is the website.  A press release about the contest is below:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Food Network's October 2017 Programming Highlights

Here are some of the highlights of the Food Network programming scheduled to air on the channel in October.  There are many Halloween shows and specials:
Photo - Multivu

  • Three different Halloween Wars related shows - Halloween Wars (Sundays), Road to Halloween Wars (Sundays) and Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror (Mondays).
  • Chopped: Alton’s Challenge premiering Tuesday, October 10th at 10pm
  • The finale of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition on Wednesday, October 11th at 9pm
  • Halloween Baking Championship finale on Monday, October 30th at 9pm.
  • New primetime episodes (many with Halloween specials) of Best Baker in America, Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Ginormous Food and Guy’s Grocery Games
  • New daytime episodes (many with Halloween specials) of The Bobby and Damaris Show, The Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and Valerie’s Home Cooking
  • New web series Smitten Kitchen with blogger Deb Perelman
The press release with episode descriptions and air dates is below:

Friday, September 29, 2017

'Guy's Big Project' Premieres November 5th - Winner Will Get Traveling Show

Photo - Multivu
Guy Fieri will be hosting a show called Guy's Big Project on Food Network that premieres Sunday, November 5th at 9pm ET.  Guy's Big Project is a six episode series that is searching for Food Network's next travel series and the person to host it.  The contestants (some competing in pairs) will be put through a series of tests with eliminations each week.  In the end, the final contestants will produce a pilot, with Food Network selecting the winner who will receive their own travel show.  Alex Guarnaschelli and cooking show producer Mark Dissin will be on every episode to help Guy Fieri judge the contestants.

This show sounds pretty similar to Food Network Star, but everyone's POV will be a different traveling show.  Some other differences are that the show is only six episodes long and the winner will actually get their own show.  With Food Network Star lasting 10 or so weeks with no guarantee of a show and Guy's Big Project only being 6 weeks with a guarantee of a show, it seems like it is better to be a contestant on Guy's Big Project.

Two of Food Network's most popular shows are Food Network Star and Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, so this looks like an attempt to blend them together.

The press release about the show from multivu is below: