Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mama Della's From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Mama Della's NY City Pizzeria in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was featured on season eight of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  Looking at their Facebook page, it seems they closed for the Christmas holiday and never opened back up.  They didn't really inform customers about the closure, and a lot of people wondered for months if they would open back up.

A February article on Business Report said that owner Barry Kalt was hoping that outside investors could help him open back up his restaurant.  It appears that has not worked out yet.  The article also stated that Barry prided himself on using the freshest ingredients possible and the expenses of running his restaurant outpaced his customers.  Many of the comments on that article seem to think the owner's personality was the reason for the failure and that Restaurant Impossible didn't help.


This is the fourth restaurant from season eight (2014) of Restaurant Impossible to close, and the Restaurant Impossible Update page has been updated with this information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Alex Guarnaschelli's Reddit AMA Highlights

Alex Guarnachelli did a Reddit AMA yesterday taking questions from fans.  Here are some of the interesting questions/answers:
Photo - Food Network


Q:  Does Ted Allen ever get to taste the food on Chopped?
Alex:  ALL the time. He's a nibbler. smiles...And he likes to stay connected to what the contestants are doing.

Q:  Have you ever tasted something on Chopped that was disgusting but you had to act professional for the sake of the show/competitor's feelings?
Alex:  Of course...But cooking and eating food always involves great emotion, from the person who cooked it to the person who eats it. CHOPPED looks easy when you're sitting on your couch with a bowl of popcorn, but let me tell you, it's a whole different world when you open that basket, and Ted is giving you that stare.


Q:  On Chopped no one ever mentions the food being cold (or too hot). Due to the format of the show, as a judge do you just accept that the food will probably always be cold and must shift your focus on other aspects for critique?
Alex:  Yes. We never factor in temperature. Would be unfair, as everyone finishes cooking at the same time, but we taste the food person by person, which means the fourth contestant has food that waits far longer than the first

Q:  Finally, my wife has given me a free pass to make sweet sensual love to you and Amanda Freitag at the same time with our bodies smothered in nutella while Aarón Sánchez cheers us on. Can you please get the wheels in motion on making this dream a reality?
Alex:  Love your questions so far, but this one might get you CHOPPED! :)


Q:  Are there going to be any more Iron Chef America episodes? It appears that Food Network has cancelled the show, even though there is no official mention of it.
Alex:  I am confident that show will come back. Stay tuned.

Q:  Hey Alex!! My wife and I watch Chopped a lot. I've always wondered, on average how long does filming for an episode take place?
Alex:  An average episode of CHOPPED takes 14 hours to film. One episode per day.

Q:  Also, what does Geoffrey Zakarian smell like?
Alex:  Geoffrey smells like - that is fucking brilliant - he smells like Madagascar vanilla extract combined with 25 year barrel-aged Scotch. And orchids.



To read the full AMA, here is the link.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Food Network's March 2015 Programming Highlights

Here are some of the highlights of the Food Network programming scheduled to air on the channel in March:
Photo - Food Network

  • The series premiere of All-Star Academy, with Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Curtis Stone, and Michael Symon on Sunday, March 1st at 9pm.  This is pretty much America's Best Cook.
  • A new series called Food Fortunes, which sounds like a mix of ABC's Shark Tank and CNBC's Restaurant Startup that premieres Monday, March 9th at 10pm.  People pitch their ideas to restaurateurs/entrepreneurs such as Willie Degel.
  • A Disney Dream Cruise special that features Melissa d’Arabian, Amanda Freitag, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro and their families on Friday, March 27th at 8pm.
  • New primetime episodes of Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Chopped Canada, Cutthroat Kitchen, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, Restaurant Impossible, Mystery Diners, and Duff Til Dawn.
  • New daytime episodes of Farmhouse Rules, Southern at Heart, The Kitchen and The Pioneer Woman.
  • Southern at Heart is a season premiere, meaning this is Damaris Phillips 4th season of the show.


The press release with episode descriptions and air dates is below:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Food Network Related News And Links

I've been pretty busy, so haven't been able to get one of these out for a bit.  Here is some recent news involving Food Network shows and chefs/personalities from the Food Network:

  • Chopped is still filming new episodes, and they recently filmed their 300th episode. (Link)
  • Unwrapped host and Restaurant Impossible producer Marc Summers recently revealed that he had a five year battle with cancer and that he is currently in remission.  At one point a doctor told him he only had six months to live. (Link)
  • The South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is this weekend in Miami, Florida, and a lot of people from the Food Network will be there. (Link)
  • Emily Ellyn from season 8 of Food Network Star was recently on Cutthroat Kitchen and ended up winning $17,800. (Link)  The winner of season 8 of Food Network Star, Justin Warner recently had a 1-hour special on the Cooking Channel about chocolate. (Link)
  • Paula Deen recently reached a deal with Compass Media to have a one minute daily tip and a 30-minute weekly show on the radio.  It will be targeted to Country and News-Talk stations. (Link)
  • Geoffrey Zakarian recently ate at McDonald's for the first time. (Link)
  • Guy Fieri's proposed Sonoma County winery was shut down by the zoning board. (Link)
  • The next season of Food Network Star is currently filming in Los Angeles, and it looks like the hosts will be Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay according to a casting company site. (Link).  Alton Brown is still on tour with his live show which may be the reason he cannot host, but maybe this could be a reason as well?
  • Ina Garten is suing a frozen food company for selling unauthorized look-alikes of her frozen food brand.  Judging by the picture above, she may have a case. (Link)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Bene Pizza and Pasta Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Omaha, Nebraska to makeover Bene Pizza and Pasta.  Brothers Jon and Bobby opened the restaurant 13 years ago, and business started to drop off when Bobby got sick.  Due to this, they had to borrow money from their mother to keep the restaurant open. Robert needs to fix the family and figure out what to do with the noisy arcade in the restaurant.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Bene Pizza and Pasta 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):

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zandi's Grill From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Zandi's Grill in Millersville, Maryland, which was featured on season four of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  I received a few emails/comments letting me know about the closing and the Zandi's Grill website is no longer active, and their phone number is disconnected.  One email I received said Groupon will refund vouchers associated with the restaurant if anyone has any (not confirmed).

  • A January 2015 Yelp review says, "Went there today and there was a sign on the door saying they are closed but a new owner will open in a week or so."
  • And a more recent review (2/8/2015) says, "Went today and it appears to be out of business.  Dead website and phone number"
  • There is also a post on their Facebook page from 2/10/2015 that says,  "Hi! went to our place on Saturday and it was closed up and the phone is disconnected. Are you closed forever? : ("

This is the ninth restaurant from season four (2012) of Restaurant Impossible to close, and the Restaurant Impossible Update page has been updated with this information.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Worst Cooks In America Season 6 Finale - Winner Gets $25,000

Photo - Food Network
The Worst Cooks In America finale is tonight at 9pm ET on the Food Network with Genique Freeman representing Team Tyler and Kristen Redmond representing Team Anne. They both have to create three course meals that will be served to an expert panel of judges, and the contestant that does a better job will take home $25,000 and bragging rights for their mentor.

Here are their Contestant Bio's from the press release before the season started:

Genique Freeman (Fayetteville, NC): Genique is funny, optimistic and dedicated to helping others, but in the kitchen –she needs help herself.  Almost every meal she eats is catered or from a restaurant, which is very expensive and has caused health issues.  She is an esthetician who never burns her clients, but burns everything in the kitchen.  She knows she needs to change her lifestyle, learn to cook and eat healthy foods, and is ready for boot camp to show her the way

Kristen Redmond (Nashville, TN): Even though her father is an accomplished chef, Kristen never learned how to cook. The youngest of four siblings, she admits to being spoiled and relying on others to make her meals or eating in dad’s restaurants.  Her cooking attempts have even sent her and her boyfriend to the emergency room. Kristen is a confident singer and musician, and she is hoping to gain that confidence in the kitchen.
There is a poll on the Food Network site where people are voting for who they want to win, and as of writing this, 55% of people are rooting for Tyler/Genique and 45% are rooting for Anne/Kristen.  This post will be updated with the winner after the episode airs (Winner posted after the break).

Meglio's From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Meglio's Italian Bar and Grill in Bridgeton, MO, which was featured on season one of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  A few locals emailed me about the closing of the restaurant, and there are also a few online reviews that confirm the restaurant is closed.  The restaurant website has also been taken down.

The closure seemed to have happened in January of 2015, and a review in late January stated, "Sad news, my favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant is out of business. My wife and I have dinned there dozens of times, brought guests and had parties there....We stopped by for dinner tonight.  There is a for lease sign in the window and the restaurant is empty and dark."

This is the fifth restaurant from the first season (2011) of Restaurant Impossible to close, and the Restaurant Impossible Update page has been updated with this information.  There is just one restaurant remaining from season 1 that is still operating with the same owners.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Dog and Pony Ale House Update

Photo - Facebook
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Renton, Washington to makeover the Dog and Pony Ale House.  The owner Kristen, despite being smart, is allowing a vocal group of customers to influence her business decisions such as buying new restaurant equipment and changing the menu.  Kristen also has trust issues with her staff and supposedly owes "hundreds of thousands" to the IRS.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Dog and Pony Ale House 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):

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Zoog's Caveman Cookin' Update

Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Port Hadlock, Washington to makeover Zoog's Caveman Cookin'.  The restaurant may be one of the dirtiest Robert has seen and the owner has lost his passion for the restaurant, leaving his daughter to run it for him.  While Robert is there, the government shows up threatening to close the doors of the restaurant.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Zoog's Caveman Cookin' 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):