Sunday, April 19, 2015

All-Star Academy Winner Crowned Tonight

Photo - Food Network
Tonight at 9pm ET on the Food Network is the All-Star Academy finale where one home cook will walk home with $50,000.  The three remaining contestants are August Dannehl representing Alex Guarnaschelli, Joseph Harris representing Bobby Flay, and Vanessa Craig representing Michael Symon.  Curtis Stone lost all of his competitors, so he will not be the winning mentor.

During the final episode, the cooks have to make it through three rounds of culinary challenges, which are breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The contestants will also get to cook side-by-side with their mentor.

The Food Network has a poll on their website asking which cook people want to win, and it seems like people are rooting for Joseph to win.  He has about 47% of the people rooting for him, while Vanessa has 34%, and August has 19%.

This post will be updated after the episode airs with the winner of this season of All-Star Academy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Food Network Related News And Links

Here is some recent news involving Food Network shows and chefs/personalities from the Food Network:

  • Katie Lee released a cookbook today called Endless Summer where Katie Lee, "known for her summer soirees," shares more than 100 recipes that are staples at these parties.  Hopefully there is no audio version of the book.
  • Marcela Valladolid gave birth to a healthy son named David last week, and there are plenty of pictures of her son on her Instagram and Facebook pages.  Congrats to her.
  • Alton Brown's Good Eats is available again on Netflix after being unavailable for some time. (Link)
  • Jamie Deen and Bobby Deen are currently filming a show for the Food Network called Southern Fried Road Trip where they travel the country looking for the best local food.  It sounds pretty much like Road Tasted that Jamie and Bobby have filmed in the past, but with a different name.  Looks like they have no hard feelings toward the Food Network for firing their mother.
  • American Diner Revival, which had a pilot premiere in January on the Food Network, has been picked up for a season (6 episodes) and will premiere in May on the Food Network.  It will be co-hosted by Ty Pennington and Amanda Freitag and the show helps struggling diners across America using the help of local residents. (Link)
  • With the Bobby Flay and Stephanie March divorce announcement last week, stories continue to come out, but nothing is confirmed.  Stories such as Stephanie is to receive $5,000 per month according to a prenup and is not happy about it, and that Bobby cancelled all of her credit cards. (Link)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Justin Warner's Web Series Foodie Call

In December 2014, the Food Network announced that Justin Warner was going to have an upcoming web series, and that the viewers would get to pick the concept.  The three concepts pitched were:
  • Warner's Walk-In where Justin explores trending ingredients and makes something with them.
  • Tomorrow's Eats with Justin Warner where Justin looks at new and trending restaurant concepts.
  • Foodie Call with Justin Warner where he had Jean Grae, a hip-hop artist on with him.  Jean brings him random ingredients, and he puts them together to make a dish.
It appears that Foodie Call was the winning concept as the first webisode of his web series has been posted and it features Justin Warner making cold brew coffee in a matter of minutes.  The video is after the break if you want to watch.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bobby Flay Separates From Wife Stephanie March - Divorce Looming

Photo - Twitter
TMZ is reporting that Bobby Flay and his wife Stephanie March (Law and Order: SVU star) separated three weeks ago and that Bobby Flay moved out of the NYC home.  They have both supposedly hired attorneys and divorce talks have started.

TMZ says the marriage has been deteriorating over the past year-and-a-half and reached a boiling point when Bobby Flay was busy with work and didn't come to the hospital to visit Stephanie until a day after her appendix burst.

If they end up getting divorced, this will be Bobby Flay's third divorce and Stephanie March's first.  They do not have any kids together.

This announcement comes just months after Giada De Laurentiis announced her divorce to her husband.  The night before that announcement, Giada supposedly had a "boozy night" out with Bobby Flay.  Giada later addressed tabloid cheating rumors and denied any cheating with Bobby Flay, Matt Lauer or John Mayer.  I am sure this Bobby Flay announcement will trigger more cheating rumors between Giada and Bobby.

Bobby Flay will be the third Food Network Star mentor to separate/divorce from their spouse in the span of six months.  Alton Brown filed for divorce from his wife in November of 2014, Giada announced her divorce in December of 2014, and now Bobby Flay has supposedly separated with his wife.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Zest Bistro, Lemon Tree Grocer Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Downers Grove, Illinois to makeover Zest Bistro, which is a restaurant located inside a grocery store.  Owners Tim and Shaun had experience as a chef and a produce broker, so decided to open a grocery store with a bistro inside of it.  After four and a half years, and nearly three million dollars in, the debts are continuing to climb.  Tim's wife Jessica also works there and this has caused some friction between Tim and Shaun.  Robert Irvine needs to fix the relationship as well as the restaurant and grocery store to turn this place around.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Zest Bistro and Lemon Tree Grocer to get an idea of how the restaurant/grocery store is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Deadspin's Drew Magary Competes On Chopped Amateurs

Photo - Food Network
Back in July of 2012, Drew Magary, who is a columnist at the popular sports website, applied to be on Food Network's Chopped and posted his humorous responses to all of the questions on the application.  Drew is a big fan of the show and when he heard there would be an amateur episode, he decided to submit an application.  Some of the questions and his responses are below, and here is the full post/application:

In a few sentences, please share your story: Tell us who you are and your current situation.
I'm a writer for Gawker and Deadspin and a correspondent for GQ magazine and I watch Chopped more often than is healthy. I wanna walk into that kitchen, take a deckle of beef and a pickled chicken foot, and I wanna rock Geoffrey Zakarian's nuts off. I cook at home all the time and have OK knife skills, along with a basic understanding of making sauces, roasting meats, and cooking pasta correctly. If you choose me, I will NOT overcook the pasta. I will let the meat rest properly. I will devein every shrimp. And I won't serve Conant red onions. You have my word.

If you are not a professional chef, list any goals past or present regarding cooking professionally.
I have but one goal: To go on "Chopped," win the $10,000, get Frietag to smile a devilish smile at me, and then retire UNDEFEATED. Once I serve you a title-winning olive panna cotta with rosemary caramel, I'm OUT.

Discuss some of the results/rewards of your cooking, the ways your culinary work has touched others.
Dude, you have NINETEEN essay questions on this application. Are you shitting me? This isn't Harvard Law School. I'm not gonna give you some flowery bullshit about my food touching the soul of others. I'm here to MAKE LOVE TO YOUR TONGUE. That's it.

Why do you think you can be the next Chopped Champion?
I will get everything on the plate. I will not serve raw chicken. I will not lose track of the clock, which is insane for chefs to do because the clock is right there and Ted is always shouting out how much time is left. I will not wander around the pantry like a moron. I will render my bacon fat until it's nice and crispy. I will keep my station clean and not throw food scraps on the floor like that one British lesbian lady did, which was so gross. I will not bitch about the ingredients in the mystery basket. "WHOA HEY CANNED FISH! I didn't expect this!" No kidding, idiot. You're on Chopped.

Chopped host Ted Allen saw the application and posted on Twitter:

So now here we are two and a half years later and Drew is getting his shot to compete on Chopped.

He didn't get a chance to "rock Geoffrey Zakarian's nuts off" or make Amanda Freitag smile at him as neither were judges on his episode.  He did follow through on his promise to not serve Scott Conant red onions, but he did break some linguine in half and wore a dad shirt to annoy him.

Despite an appetizer that was too large and a entree that was too small, Drew made it to the dessert round.  Instead of mentioning relatives that were dead as he said he would, he went with the premature kid story to win over the judges.  In the dessert round, Drew made a pavlova, and ended up winning the $10,000.  Who knows what will happen to that $10,000 now...

Hopefully Drew has some more commentary about his experience on the show.

Side note - Here is an article about the Doll Lady from the episode, and it is pretty weird as you probably expected.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - CocoaModa Update

Photo - Facebook
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Calvert, Texas to makeover the CocoaModa.  The restaurant is French Bistro with an event space and chocolate boutique and owner Ken Wilkinson opened the restaurant seven years ago.  Despite Calvert being a small town, Ken refuses to advertise in the nearby big cities, and also doesn't cater to the local community, and this has supposedly put him in debt.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about CocoaModa 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, March 31, 2015

Food Network's April 2015 Programming Highlights

Photo - Food Network
Here are some of the highlights of the Food Network programming scheduled to air on the channel in April:
  • The season finale of All-Star Academy on Sunday April, 19th with the winner getting $50,000.
  • The start of the Chopped All-Stars tournament on Tuesday, April 28th.  Here are the competitors that will be on the show competing for charity.
  • A Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious tournament starting on Sunday, April 19th where 16 previous winners compete to win up to $75,000.
  • A new series Spring Baking Championship premieres on Sunday, April 26th, and is pretty much the Kid's Baking Championship for adults.  Bobby Deen is the host, and Duff Goldman, Lorraine Pascale, and Nancy Fuller are the judges.  Eight competitors compete for $50,000.
  • New primetime episodes of Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Chopped Canada, Cutthroat Kitchen, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, Food Fortunes, Guy’s Grocery Games, Mystery Diners, and Restaurant: Impossible
  • New daytime episodes of Farmhouse Rules, Giada at Home, The Kitchen, Tricia's Southern Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman and Southern at Heart

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Valentino's Trattoria / Italian Bistro Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Summerville, South Carolina to makeover Valentino's Trattoria.  Valentino's Trattoria is an Italian restaurant that opened in 2014, and is owned by a family who also owns another restaurant in Summerville called Italian Bistro.  Both of these restaurants are struggling and Robert Irvine decides to help them both out on this episode.  As the big reveal was done at Valentino's Trattoria, this update will mostly be about that restaurant.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Valentino's Trattoria and Italian Bistro 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 and all of these reviews are for Valentino's Trattoria):

Friday, March 20, 2015

More Details On The Cristie Schoen Codd Murder Case

The Buncombe County Sheriff's office just held a press conference to reveal more details about the Cristie Schoen Codd murder in Leicester, NC.  Cristie, who was a contestant on season 8 of Food Network Star, was murdered along with her husband and unborn child on March 12, 2015.  Their neighbor Robert Jason Owens was arrested and charged with the murders.  Robert was also a suspect in a murder in the year 2000 that turned into a cold case.  Here are some more unknown details about the case that were revealed at the 2pm press conference:

  • Late Sunday/Early Monday, a call was made about a suspicious person getting rid of items in a dumpster.  Those items belonged to Cristie Schoen Codd and Joseph Codd, and Robert Jason Owens was found in the area and was questioned and arrested.
  • The police then conducted a search warrant at Robert Jason Owens house, and were able to find traces of human remains.  The remains were in a wood stove at the residence.
  • During interviews, Robert Jason Owens admitted to taking the bodies and destroying them. No word if he admitted to the murders.
  • They interviewed Robert's wife, and she said that Robert said that he killed Joseph "JT" Codd and struck him with a vehicle.
  • The police didn't want to reveal any details that would impact their case, so could not answer all of the questions asked.
  • There was a fire at the suspects house on Friday, March 13th, but the police wouldn't confirm any details about that fire or how it related to the case.