Friday, December 15, 2017

Iron Chef Episode Where Bobby Flay Supposedly Quit Didn't Air As Scheduled

Photo - Twitter
On this past Wednesday night (December 13th), Food Network was supposed to air an episode of Iron Chef Showdown that featured Bobby Flay, but it did not air.  The episode was going to be the episode where Bobby Flay supposedly quit Iron Chef by revealing a t-shirt that said it was his last battle.  Bobby supposedly chose a t-shirt as he knew it would be hard to edit out of the show.  This episode was on the schedule all week and was being advertised, but when it got to Wednesday night at 9pm an Iron Chef Showdown episode with Stephanie Izard was on Food Network.

No advanced warning was given by Food Network that this episode would be moved/postponed, but Alton Brown responded to some fans on Twitter (pictured) saying it was his fault because he "didn't finish voice over patches in time."

Tory Miller, one of the chefs competing on the episode, actually had a watch party the night of the episode and everyone there watching was disappointed when the episode wasn't the one he competed on.  He even received no advanced warning of the postponement. Tory Miller also had a sold out $125 six-course meal planned Sunday for 100 people which was celebrating his appearance on the show.  He had planned to still have that dinner, but it looks like he has rescheduled.

This makes you wonder what kind of plans Food Network has for this episode of Iron Chef Showdown.  Are they doing heavy editing to edit out the original audio or the t-shirt?  Will they move this to the season finale and allow Bobby to quit for drama?  Or will it just be a normal episode?  We will have to wait and see, but when this episode has an air date, I will update this post.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mario Batali Is The Latest Celebrity Chef Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Eater New York released a story today where four women came forward to accuse Mario Batali of inappropriate touching over a period that spans at least 20 years.  Eater New York did dozens of interviews to validate these stories which include an employee accusing Mario Batali of repeatedly grabbing her from behind and holding her tightly against his body. "Another former employee alleges that he groped her and that, in a separate incident, he compelled her to straddle him; another alleges that he grabbed her breasts at a party, though she no longer worked for him at the time."

After details of these accusations came out, Mario Batali stepped down from his restaurant empire and ABC's The Chew has asked Mario to step away from the show while they "review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention."

Mario is quoted in the Eater article stating, "I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family."

After these stories surfaced, other chefs began to weigh in on Twitter such as Anthony Bourdain and Tom Colicchio.  Tom Collicchio said that "no one should be surprised."  He later explained Mario Batali's behavior was well documented in Bill Buford's book Heat.

Earlier this month it was announced that Mario Batali would be returning to Food Network with new episodes of his hit show Molto Mario.  Six episodes were already filmed and they were scheduled to be on Food Network in early 2018.  Food Network hasn't commented on these allegations yet, so we will have to see if the new episodes of Molto Mario are ever shown.

UPDATE - Variety is reporting that Molto Mario's return is on hold and has a statement from Food Network that says, "Food Network takes matters like this very seriously and we are putting relaunch plans for Molto Mario on hold."

UPDATE - ABC has officially fired Mario Batali from The Chew.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Guy's Big Project Winner Crowned Tonight

Photo - Multivu
Tonight at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network is the season finale Guy's Big Project where the winner will win their own Food Network food road show.  The final two contestants on the show are Zane Caplansky and Rashad Jones. On tonight's show, Zane and Rashad will make their pilots with Guy Fieri who then sends them to Food Network to decide who will get their own show.

Airing right after the finale is an hour special of Guy's Big Project that has the description of "After an unexpected outcome, Guy Fieri reveals what comes next."  Also a more detailed description of the episode says, "In this one hour special, see the pilot from the winner of Guy's Big Project, which demonstrates their particular passions and the skills that they learned over the course of the show from host and mentor Guy Fieri."

I will update this post with the winner with the winner after the episode airs.  We will have to see if the winner actually gets a show or just the pilot that airs after the finale.  The ratings for Guy's Big Project were pretty low for a Sunday night show on Food Network, so that could play into the decision making.

Continue Reading to see winner

Friday, December 1, 2017

Worst Cooks In America Returns January 7th - Anne Burrell vs. Tyler Florence

Photo - Multivu
Worst Cooks in America is returning to Food Network on Sunday, January 7th at 9pm ET/PT and this season will be Anne Burrell vs. Tyler Florence.  Anne and Tyler will each lead a team of cooking-challenged recruits and the contestant who makes the most impressive transformation will win $25,000 and bragging rights for their team mentor.  Worst Cooks in America is one of the highest rated shows on Food Network, so no surprise that it is returning for another season.

Anne Burrell has been on every season of Worst Cooks in America and has competed against Beau MacMillan, Robert Irvine, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, and Rachael Ray.  Tyler Florence is trying to beat Anne after losing to her two years ago on Worst Cooks in America.

The competitors this year are: Brandon Arroyo (Cleveland, Ohio); Steven Crowley (New York, New York); Kayrene Curtis (Rocky River, Ohio); Jonathan Farhat (Livermore, California); Lily Frey (Anaheim Hills, California): Asaf Goren (Los Angeles, California); Robyn Hayden (Charleston, South Carolina); Sylvia Jefferies (Charleston, South Carolina); Hazell Mckenzie (Brooklyn, New York); Priscilla Nguyen (Hattiesburg, Mississippi); Skyler and Spencer Nick (Wauconda, Illinois); Kevin Pettice (Charlotte, North Carolina); Shatima Ruffin (Yorktown, Virginia); Sharon Shvarzman (Staten Island, New York) and Lacey Stout (Owasso, Oklahoma).

If you are interested in reading the contestant bios, episode descriptions, or reading the press release, here is a link with all of that info.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Food Network's December 2017 Programming Highlights

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

  • The series premiere of Cajun Aces premiering Saturday, December 2nd at 8pm.
  • Jay Baron's Teeny Tiny Christmas on Sunday, December 3rd at 10:30pm.
  • The season finale of Guy’s Big Project on Sunday, December 10th at 9pm. 
  • The season finale of Holiday Baking Championship at 9pm on Monday, December 18th, followed by the season finale of Christmas Cookie Challenge at 10pm.
  • A special episode of Holiday Baking Championship when runners-up compete for redemption and a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize on Monday, December 25th at 9pm. 
  • New primetime episodes of Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Iron Chef: Behind the Battle, Iron Chef Showdown, Vegas Cakes, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and Guy’s Grocery Games: Last Judge Standing, many of which have holiday themes.
  • New daytime episodes of The Bobby and Damaris Show, Giada’s Holiday Handbook, Guy’s Ranch Kitchen, The Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen and Valerie’s Home Cooking, many of which have holiday themes. 

Press release with episode descriptions and air dates is below.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Alton Brown Reaches Deal To Stay With Food Network

Last week in the Food Network related news, one of the topics was Alton Brown's Food Network contract coming to an end.  He posted the following message on social media (also pictured right), "With the end of the tour rapidly approaching and my food network contract ending, I spend a lot of time pondering my next move." is now reporting that Alton Brown has reached a multi-year deal to continue hosting and creating content for Food Network and Cooking Channel.  Alton is also expected to "develop new TV series and digital content in tandem with executives at both networks."  Alton's deals in the past have been three years at a time, so this one is most likely for three years as well.

In the Variety article, Alton also release a statement which said, "Food Network has provided me with a fertile creative home for nearly two decades and now I feel we’re in an even better position to explore the ever-expanding frontiers of culinary storytelling."

Alton Brown has already announced the return of Good Eats for next year, so who knows if his contract was ever in jeopardy of not being renewed.  Perhaps he used his social media post above as a bargaining tool or to gain leverage in negotiations. 

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