Friday, April 18, 2014

Chopped: Teen Tournament Coming Soon

The next tournament style competition that you will see on Chopped will be the Chopped: Teen Tournament, which is scheduled to premiere in July.  It will be a five episode tournament with 16 teens competing.  The first four episodes will have four teens each, with the winners moving on to face each other in the fifth and final episode. 

Chopped has done many of these 5-episode tournaments before with Grill Master, Tournament of Stars, All-Stars, etc. and the prize for those is usually $50,000 (the prize for the celebrities is usually for charity).

The prize for the teen tournament has not been announced at this time, but a special teen episode of Chopped in the past gave the winner a $40,000 scholarship to The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes.  You would think the prize would be something similar, but could have a higher value due to it being a tournament rather than just one episode.  I will keep you posted on the actual start date of the show and when the prize is announced.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Alton Brown Launches Youtube Channel

Photo - Twitter
Good news Good Eats fans...Alton Brown has been teasing for some time that a version of Good Eats would be returning at some point, but in a web-based format.  This week, Alton Brown launched his Youtube channel, and has uploaded a few videos that are Good Eats-type videos.  The header on the Youtube page says 'Alton Brown Television' and he is referring to the series as "Cooksmart" on Twitter and in the videos.

The first two videos uploaded are about two to three minutes each.  The first video is titled 'Alton Browns Mustard Caddy', while the second video teaches you how to make oven eggs.  He has also teased an upcoming video with the picture to the right.

If you are interested in viewing the first two videos, they are after the jump, and if you are interested in subscribing to his channel, you can do so from the link above.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meet Guy Fieri - If You Can Leave A Good Restaurant Review

Photo - Twitter
Guy Fieri's new Las Vegas restaurant called 'Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar' is scheduled to open this Thursday, and to help celebrate, he is teaming up with Yelp to do a "Meet & Eat."  Twenty Yelpers will get to try his "flavor-tastic" food and Guy will be posing with photos with Yelpers after their meals.  To qualify, you need to have a real photo and full name on your Yelp profile and have recent reviews.

The description of the event states:

Guy is inviting 20 lucky Yelpers in to be the first to experience the 'flavor-tastic' food of his new restaurant, Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar! But we're not stopping with food and drink. Guy will be hanging out in the restaurant and will be posing for photos with Yelpers after their meals. Win!

** Please note the date and time of the event before you RSVP

How do you RSVP?

* Click on the RSVP button above
* Make sure you have a real photo and full name on your profile
* Make sure you have recent reviews
* Comment below! Have you ever tried to recreate a recipe you saw on DDD?

** Confirmations will be sent out on 4/15 at 8pm.

** Please only RSVP if you can be ON TIME to the event at 4pm

** This invite is for you only. NO GUESTS.

Sounds like this could be a way to get some positive reviews on Yelp from people with established accounts.  Guy fans, free food and drinks, and getting to meet Guy Fieri could equal some 5-star reviews on Yelp.  There is already one 5-star review before the restaurant has opened (supposedly from someone that attended an event with free samples of the food, and has reviewed restaurants such as Arby's, McDonalds, Starbucks, Little Caesars, and PF Changs).

The full menu has not been revealed yet, but Guy has said, "It’s going to have a mix from Asian to Mexican to Italian to American. We’re doing everything from a pulled pork taco to a slider to General Tso lollipop chicken wings. So it’s eclectic food in a high energy environment. And of course specialties like really cold beer and a shot bar with a Bloody Mary brunch."  He also said almost all of the items will be original and not at his other restaurants.  When he does release the menu, expect more ridiculous descriptions for each "flavor-tastic" menu item.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Great Holiday Bake-Off - New Show Now Casting

It appears there will be another competition show coming to the Food Network called The Great Holiday Bake-Off, which is now casting.  There is an ad on Craigslist for the production company that is casting which states:
"Are you passionate about baking? Do you love the holidays? Then this is the show for you! The Great Holiday Bake-Off is a major TV showdown where versatile baking enthusiasts enter our kitchen in a fun holiday battle to try and win A BIG CASH PRIZE!

Please email us today at Put your city/state in the subject line and include your name, phone number and occupation in the body of the email. Include a photo of yourself and photos of some of your most impressive holiday baked goods. Lastly, please tell us a little bit about yourself and why you think you would be perfect for the show." 

With the name being The Great Holiday Bake-Off, and the fact that they are just casting now, look for the show to air late in the year around the holidays.  It remains to be seen who will host and how much the prize will be.

Also, look for more of the new Food Network shows for 2014 to be revealed soon during the Scripps Upfront presentations.

(Craigslist Ad)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Urban Roots Update

Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to makeover the Urban Roots restaurant.  Urban Roots is a restaurant and entertainment venue owned by Chaya and Michael, which is struggling due to the food and the staff.  The restaurant is failing despite being in an up and coming location.  Chaya is the chef at the restaurant and seems to have lost her passion for cooking, which Robert is going to try to get back in hopes of turning the restaurant around.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Urban Roots to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant Impossible):

Monday, April 7, 2014

'Beat Bobby Flay' Renewed For Two More Seasons

Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay has been renewed for an additional 26 episodes according to Variety.  The show, which just debuted in March (there was also a pilot in Aug. 2013), has had good ratings in its Thursday night timeslot on the Food Network.  The ratings for the Beat Bobby Flay episodes that have aired so far are as follows:

3/3/2014 - 1.067 million viewers
3/6/2014 - 1.368 million viewers
3/13/2014 - 1.234 million viewers
3/20/2014 - 1.267 million viewers
3/27/2014 - 1.288 million viewers
4/3/2014 - 1.003 million viewers

Pretty much anything over 1 million viewers ends up getting renewed by the Food Network for another season.  As seasons are usually 13 episodes on the Food Network, the 26 episode renewal most likely means it is over two seasons.

Ratings from Futon Critic

Maniaci's From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Maniaci's Italian Bistro in Mohnton, PA, which was featured on season 5 of Restaurant Impossible, has closed as of April 5, 2014.  A few weeks ago, the restaurant posted on their Facebook page:
"Maniaci's is sad to report that after almost 20 years, we will be closing our doors for good on April 5th. We have tried our hardest to keep up with rising costs and rough times; but, unfortunately, we have not been able to overcome all of the obstacles. We want to thank all of our loyal customers that have been with us through the years and, also, the newest customers. We don't always know what God's plans are, but we will continue to follow the path he leads us down. We appreciate all of the support we have had from all of you over the years.
We will be having a final goodbye event for all of our customers on Saturday, April 5th. Please stop in anytime after 6 pm to wish us well and hang out with the Maniaci family for one last time. We look forward to seeing you April 5th."
Maniaci's is the 7th restaurant from season 5 (2012-2013) of Restaurant Impossible that has closed, and the Restaurant Impossible Update page has been updated to show this.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chopped Tournament Of Stars Finale - Winner Gets $50,000 For Charity

Photo - Food Network
Tonight at 9pm ET on the Food Network is the Chopped Tournament of Stars finale where the winner will receive $50,000 for their charity.  The finalists who won their previous Chopped episode are: Brandi Chastain (Sports Stars), Carnie Wilson (Rachael vs Guy Celebrities), Gillian Vigman (Comedians), and Michael Imperioli (Actors).

If you missed any of the first four episodes, here were the order of eliminations for each:
  • Sports Stars - Jackie Joyner Kersee - appetizer, Charles Oakley - entree, Greg Lougani - dessert; Winner - Brandi Chastain
  • Rachael vs. Guy Celebrities - Coolio - appetizer, Penn Jillette - entree, Lou Diamond Phillips - dessert; Winner - Carnie Wilson
  • Comedians - Tommy Davidson - appetizer, Robert Wuhl - entree, Sinbad - dessert; Winner - Gillian Vigman
  • Actors - Tasha Smith - appetizer, Lucas Grabeel - entree, Peter Scolari - dessert; Winner - Michael Imperioli
The charities each of the finalists are competing for are: Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (Brandi Chastain), Weight Loss Surgery Foundation (Carnie Wilson), Go Campaign (Gillian Vigman), and the Pure Land Project (Michael Imperioli).

The fan vote makes it look like people are rooting for Brandi Chastain to win, and I will update this post with the winner after the episode airs.

Michael Imperioli ended up winning Chopped Tournament of Stars and $50,000 for his charity Pure Land Project.  He edged out Brandi Chastain by beating her in the dessert round.

Photo - Food Network

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Paula Deen's Uncle Bubba's Oyster House Abruptly Closes

Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, which is owned by Paula Deen has abruptly closed today.  Uncle Bubba's was named after Paula's brother, and some actions in that restaurant helped trigger the deposition of Paula Deen and her eventual downfall. WTOC in Georgia is reporting:
"UNCLE BUBBA'S CLOSED SUDDENLY! The official Facebook page for Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House, Savannah GA is thanking everyone for 10 years of service and they are now closed. Workers are in a meeting right now. I have been told there is a barricade of cops in front of the restaurant not letting anyone in besides the employees for a meeting. The sign upfront is gone. Stay tuned..."
The Uncle Bubba's website and Facebook page has a very descriptive and heartfelt message that says, "Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba's is now closed."

If more develops about the reason behind the closing, I will update this post. 

UPDATE - WTOC has received a statement from Uncle Bubba's that says:
"Since its opening in 2004, Uncle Bubba's Oyster House has been a destination for residents and tourists in Savannah, offering the region's freshest seafood and oysters. However, the restaurant's owner and operator, Bubba Heirs, has made the decision to close the restaurant in order to explore development options for the waterfront property on which the restaurant is located.  At this point, no specific plans have been announced and a range of uses are under consideration in order realize the highest and best use for the property.  

The closing is effective today, Thursday, April 3, 2014.  Employees will be provided with severance based on position and tenure with the restaurant.  All effort will be made to find employees comparable employment with other Savannah restaurant organizations.

Jaret T. Keller
Key Group Worldwide"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Gratifi Kitchen and Bar Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Houston, Texas to makeover Gratifi Kitchen and Bar.  The kitchen is so filthy that Robert Irvine actually shuts it down minutes into his visit.  The owner Kevin has a poor attitude and sarcasm that is causing tension between him and his employees as well as him and Robert.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Gratifi Kitchen and Bar to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant Impossible):