Friday, October 31, 2014

Food Network's November 2014 Programming Highlights

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

  • The finale of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage on Wednesday, November 5th at 9pm.
  • The series premiere of Kitchen Inferno on Wednesday, November 5th at 10pm.
  • The series premiere of Holiday Baking Championship hosted by Bobby Deen and judged by Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller, and Lorraine Pascale on Sunday, November 9th at 9pm.  The winner gets $50,000.
  • Outrageous Giant Foods and Outrageous Thanksgiving Foods specials
  • A Thanksgiving special called Thanksgiving at Bobby's featuring Bobby Flay, and co-hosted by Katie Lee.  Guest also include Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Symon, Sunny Anderson.  This replaces Thanksgiving Live, which will not take place this year.
  • A Veteran's Day special called A Hero's Welcome featuring Robert Irvine.
  • New primetime episodes of Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy’s Grocery Games, Mystery Diners, Rewrapped, Food Truck Face Off, Hungry Games, and Restaurant: Impossible. 
  • New daytime episodes of Farmhouse Rules, Giada at Home, Guy’s Big Bite, The Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman, Southern at Heart and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ina Garten Releases Cookbook "Make It Ahead"

Ina Garten just released her new cookbook called Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which is her ninth cookbook.  As you can probably tell by the title, this cookbook deals with recipes that have components that you can prep, cook, or assemble in advance.   The book description states,  "Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance."

The book is currently number 1 on the Amazon Best Seller List and was actually on the best seller list before the release date.  Ina is doing a small book tour in November with stops in 5 cities (Boston, Chicago, Cupertino, Beverly Hills, and Denver), and each event is an interview led by a local moderator followed by a Q & A session with the audience.

This was the last cookbook by a Food Network personality to be released this year on the Cookbooks list; however I will make additions if I missed any.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Food Network Related News and Links

Here is some more recent news involving Food Network shows and chefs/personalities from the Food Network.  Topics include: The Kitchen, NYCWFF, Paula Deen, Lenny Mcnab, Food Network Star, and Scott Conant.

Photo - Instagram
  • On The Kitchen this weekend, there is a Halloween theme and the hosts are dressed up (pictured).  Katie Lee is dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood, Sunny Anderson - Diana Ross, Jeff Mauro - Mike Ditka, Geoffrey Zakarian - Guy Fieri, and Marcela Valladolid - Calavera Catrina.
  • The New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) was this past weekend.  At the marquee event, The Burger Bash, Chopped judge Marc Murphy was chosen the winner by the judges, and Josh Capon was the people's champion.  Here are thousands of pictures from the many events of the weekend.
  • Chopped judge Scott Conant will be opening a new restaurant in New York City in 2015 called Conant.  He did a pop up version of his restaurant this past weekend at the NYCWFF.
  • Food Network Star winner Lenny Mcnab will be making a public appearance at the Savannah Food & Wine Festival at multiple events.  There hasn't been much heard from him after winning Food Network Star (we know why), but this festival has no connection with the Food Network.
  • The media is after Paula Deen again after they think an image on her restaurant website should be considered racist (Link).  The photo has supposedly been on her restaurant website for five years.
  • Food Network Star season 11 is casting and there are some upcoming open casting calls in Los Angeles, Denver, Philadelphia, Austin, Atlanta, Miami, and New York.  Casting for season 4 of Beat Bobby Flay is also happening now.
  • Saturday at 9pm on the Food Network is a special called Candy Craze where Jeff Mauro takes a candy-centric road trip.
Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Marcela Valladolid Is Pregnant With Second Child

Photo - Food Network
Food Network's Marcela Valladolid (The Kitchen/Mexican Made Easy) announced last week on Instagram and Facebook that she is expecting another child.  She posted a picture of her son Fausto wearing a shirt that said, "Keep calm I'm going to be a big brother."

After a lot of people congratulating her on Facebook, she posted the following:
"Fau, Philip and myself have read and appreciate every single comment and the well-wishes sent our way. Just about done with the first trimester, and just like with my first little warrior, the nausea has been kind of wicked but it's a small price to pay for this much awaited blessing. Thank you so much for the kind words Facebook familia... I promise to keep you posted! XO PS Fau is incapable of being in photos these days without making a funny face. Nutso, just like his momma..."

The Philip in that message is Philip Button who works at the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment Agency.

This is probably the first Food Network pregnancy is quite some time.  Many people relate Food Network's The Kitchen to ABC's The Chew, and now this will give them more similarities as The Chew's Daphne Oz just had a baby.  The Kitchen is a taped show rather than a live show, so we will have to see if they work Marcela's pregnancy into the show or if they try to tape around it.

You may remember last year, Marcela was all over the British tabloids for an alleged affair with co-judge Paul Hollywood on The American Baking Competition.  It seems that both have moved on with Marcela being pregnant, and Paul admitting to the affair and getting back together with his wife.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Abudanza Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Wilbraham, Massachusetts to makeover Abudanza Ristorante.  Lou is the owner/chef of the restaurant and he is burned out from the restaurant due to caring for his family and a sick child.  Robert helps the restaurant with its management issues as well as a makeover, but he is so moved by the family and their story that he gives them another much needed surprise.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about the Abudanza 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):

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Fork Diner From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
The Fork Diner in Calhoun, Georgia, which was featured on the current season of Restaurant Impossible (season 9) has closed.  I received multiple emails and comments from locals regarding the restaurant being closed.  The restaurant originally had a "closed for maintenance" sign on the door, but it appears they are now closed for good.

Also, both of the restaurant's Facebook pages have been taken down, the restaurant's website no longer works, and the phone number to the restaurant is disconnected.

You may remember The Fork Diner as they boldly had a GoFundMe fundraiser set up to try to raise money to avoid bankruptcy and to pay employees.  Despite the Facebook pages and restaurant website being taken down, the fundraiser is still active.  Also, just a day ago, Gray posted an update to the fundraiser to advertise a rental house that she has for sale.

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Curtis Stone To Host Food Network's Kitchen Inferno

Photo - Multivu
A new series on the Food Network called Kitchen Inferno will be hosted by Curtis Stone and premiere on Wednesday, November 5th at 9pm.  This is a competition show where chefs go head-to-head over four possible rounds against "Culinary Gladiators."  Each round is judged in a blind taste-test by judges Daniel Green, Judy Joo, and Michael Ruhlman.  If the competing chef wins, they can keep moving up to higher levels which increase in difficulty.  In the final round, the contestants "face a pivotal choice: take the money and run, or risk it all for a chance to reach the final round and win up to $25,000, all in front of a studio audience. If they lose, they will watch their winnings go up in smoke and leave with nothing."

The show had a working title of Food Chain and was casting back in July.   When they were casting, the flyer said the prize was for up to $50,000, but now it looks like the top prize is only $25,000.  Kitchen Inferno is also similar to NBC's Food Fighters, but on that show there is not as much risk as chefs don't have to put any of their winnings on the line.

There will be eight episodes in this season of Kitchen Inferno and the episode descriptions can be found here.  Some chefs are competing for charity, while others are competing to win the prize for themselves.  In one episode Viet Pham from Iron Chef/Food Network Star/Extreme Chef is competing against a 16 year-old chef.

The four levels of "Culinary Gladiators" which have been identified include:
  • Level 1 Culinary Gladiators - Penny Davidi (pictured above), Stephanie Goldfarb, and Mikey Robins
  • Level 2 Culinary Gladiators - Vic Casanova, Nyesha Arrington, Chris Oh, and Michael Psilakis
  • Level 3 Culinary Gladiators - Madison Cowan, Elizabeth Falkner, Jet Tila
  • Level 4 Culinary Gladiators - Michael Chiarello, Curtis Stone, and Geoffrey Zakarian

The full press release about the show is below:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Padre Rita Grill Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in South Padre Island, Texas to makeover the Padre Rita Grill.  The restaurant has been open for four years and has both food and music, but is apparently not good at either.  Robert needs to get rid of the tacky decor and get the owners to focus more on their bottom line to turn the restaurant around.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about the Padre Rita Grill 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):

Cave Inn BBQ From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Cave Inn BBQ in Winter Garden, Florida, which was featured on season 8 of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  On October 4th, 2014, the restaurant posted the following message on their Facebook page:

"Friends and fans, we are saddened to announce that we will be closing our doors tomorrow night. We'd love to see you all one last time so come on in for your final Cave Inn fix!"

No specific reason was given for the closure, and it seems like there was not much warning given to customers about the closure either.  This is the second restaurant from season eight (2014) of Restaurant Impossible to close and the Restaurant Impossible Update page has been updated with this information.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Food Network Related News and Links

Photo - Steve Harvey
Here is some more recent news involving Food Network shows and chefs/personalities from the Food Network:

  • Scripps Networks Interactive reached a short term deal with Netflix, and Food Network shows such as Alton Brown's Good Eats are now available on Netflix.  The deal includes shows from Food Network, Travel Channel, and HGTV,
  • After the Neelys filed for divorce last week, TMZ reported that they were separated during the filming of the show and that they "hated each other FOR YEARS."  They also said that the marriage was doomed even before the show started, and "the pressures of TV made things a lot worse."
  • Ina Garten is releasing a book called Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook on October 28th, 2014.  Despite the release date not being until next month, the book is already on the Best Seller List on Amazon in the "Cookbooks" category.
  • Paula Deen continues to make appearances on shows to try to promote her new Paula Deen Network.  One appearance definitely done for PR purposes was her going on the Steve Harvey Show.  She is teaming up with Steve Harvey to mentor 100 youths who are mostly African American.  Here is Jezebel's take on the partnership.
  • Mario Batali will be opening an Eataly in Los Angeles, however it will not open until 2017.