Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Bumbinos Italian Ristorante Update

Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Orange City, Florida to makeover Bumbinos Italian Ristorante.  Emotions are high, and there is a lot of yelling between the owner Terry, her son Willie, and her friend Cappy.  Robert then starts to yell after realizing their mistakes, such as firing most of the staff and switching cooking roles in the kitchen.  Robert needs to rebuild the relationships and figure out the correct roles for people in the restaurant to turn it around.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Bumbinos Italian Ristorante 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, April 29, 2014

Food Network's May 2014 Programming Highlights

Here are some of the highlights of the Food Network programming scheduled to air on the channel in May:
Photo - Food Network
  • The second season of Guy's Grocery Games on May 11th
  • The season finale of America's Best Cook on May 18th
  • New primetime episodes of Chopped, Chopped Canada, Restaurant Impossible (including a 100th episode special), Cutthroat Kitchen, Food Court Wars, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, Save My Bakery, Kitchen Casino, Rewrapped, and Mystery Diners
  • New daytime episodes of Giada at Home, Farmhouse Rules, Rachael Ray's Week In A Day, The Kitchen, Guy's Big Bite, Southern At Heart, and The Pioneer Woman
  • An Iron Chef Special Sunday May 25th - Grill Masters: U.S.A vs Austrialia with Team USA (Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione and Alex Guarnaschelli) vs. Team Australia (Chefs Adrian Richardson, Darren Robertson and Tobie Puttock)
The Press Release with episode descriptions and air dates is below:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Paula Deen Live! - Paula Deen Announces Live Tour

Photo -
The next step of the Paula Deen comeback will be a live tour called Paula Deen Live!, which will have 20 stops across the United States.  The first seven dates have been announced and are listed below:
  • Saturday, June 21 - LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • Sunday, June 22 - LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • Wednesday, August 6 - Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas
  • Friday, August 8 - Lucas Theatre in Savannah, Georgia
  • Friday, August 15 - Lucas Theatre in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tuesday, August 26 - Wodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Wednesday, August 27 - Andrew Jackson Hall in Nashville, Tennessee
The first two dates are in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, which is where Paula Deen is opening a new restaurant.  All of the other tour stops that have been announced are in southern cities.  Tickets are already on sale for the first 2 dates using the code Paula1, and tickets range from $42.50 to $72.50.  Or if you want to do a "Meet and Greet" with Paula Deen, you have to shell out $211.

( and Miami New Times)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Food Network Star Season 10 Begins June 1st

Photo - Multivu
Season 10 of Food Network Star will begin on on June 1st, and the format and contestants were announced today.

The contestants competing this year are:
Luca Della Casa (San Antonio); Emma Frisch (Ithaca, NY); Nicole Gaffney (Atlantic City, NJ); Loreal Gavin (Indianapolis); Chris Kyler (Stafford, VA); Kenny Lao (New York); Christopher Lynch (New Orleans); Lenny McNab (Debeque, CO); Aryen Moore-Alston (Memphis); Sarah Penrod (League City, TX); Reuben Ruiz (Miami) and Donna Sonkin Shaw (New York)

Some more info on the season:
  • Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown are all mentors/judges again.  They will not have teams and compete against each other as they did in season 8.
  • The season begins June 1st and goes through August 10th with there being 11 episodes.
  • Looking at the contestant bios, it looks like the usual ethnicities are represented, and there is the usual person that has lost weight, and someone who will be cooking healthy.  Seems like they cast the same type people every year, and just plug in different contestants.
  • The web series Star Salvation is back for a 2nd season, and this year it will be hosted by last year's winner Damaris Phillips and Geoffrey Zakarian.
  • In a new twist, two fan favorites from past seasons will be in the first Star Salvation challenge and compete against the first eliminated contestant.  There will be 6 episodes of Star Salvation, and the contestant that wins will re-enter the competition on July 13th.  So we could see someone from a past season become this season's Food Network Star.  I have heard people say they want an "all-star" type season, so this may satisfy them.  If one of the 'fan favorites' wins, I am sure people will claim it is fixed.
  • The challenges on the show include: a Cutthroat Kitchen competition, viral video challenge from YouTube Space LA, visit to Knott’s Berry Farm, Las Vegas buffet and pool party-themed challenges and an on-camera appearance on the Rachael Ray show.
  • Guest stars include Food Network personalities Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine, Jet Tila and Rachael Ray.
  • Four finalists will film pilots, which will be directed by Robert Irvine.  Three pilots will be selected by Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson, Giada, Bobby, and Alton.  These three will be voted on by the public with the winner getting their own Food Network show.
Who do you think the returning fan favorites on Star Salvation will be?

The Press Release is below along with tons of information such as pictures, cast bios, and episode descriptions

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Bryant's Seafood Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Hueytown, Alabama to makeover Bryant's Seafood World. The owner Gail bought the restaurant about four years and was hoping to continue Bryant's 30-year tradition.  When Robert arrives, he sees she has done nothing to make the restaurant her own, and he will need to turn this "neglected restaurant" and "passionless owner" around.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Bryant's Seafood 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, April 22, 2014

The Full List of New Food Network Series For 2014

Earlier today some of the new series that will appear on the Food Network this year were announced, which included some more competition shows.  Now, the full list of new series has been detailed by  The series that were not in the post earlier today are below, and there are even more competition series to come. 

Some highlights include:
  • A series with Rachael Ray tipping deserving waiters and waitresses who have been serving communities for years.  I guess making up for $40 a Day tips?
  • A traveling food show that goes to festivals across America to highlight the foods.
  • A Restaurant Impossible knockoff that makes over diners
  • Another food truck competition show called Food Truck Face-Off, and a competition series called Burnt which doesn't have a clear objective
  • A competition show called Head Set Cook Off that is pretty much a whole show based upon the headset challenge seen on Worst Cooks In America
  • A show where people without restaurant experience buy a restaurant with the guidance of Chad Rosenthal (From season 9 of Food Network Star) and his brother
  • An Ultimate Chopped Champions tournament
  • A Cutthroat Kitchen Celebrity edition
  • A Bobby Flay Thanksgiving Special.  I guess no Thanksgiving Live after everyone talking over each other last year and Giada cutting her finger?

The descriptions of the series not detailed in the last post are below and also at Deadline:

More Competition Series Coming To Food Network In 2014

Today at the Scripps Network Interactive Upfront (the company that owns Food Network), the Food Network announced that there will be 20 new series among the daytime and primetime lineup for the upcoming months.  Some of the programming announced were shows already known such as Rewrapped, Kitchen Casino, and Chopped: Teen Tournament.

An excerpt from a Variety article says, "In primetime, the network intends to rely heavily on competition programs, building on the introduction of “Guy’s Grocery Games” last season. In the past, Food Network had stocked its programming cabinet with documentary-style features, but in recent months has begun to devise more series that emulate some of the elements of game-show contests or the food-based competitions of its mainstay “Chopped” series."

Additional primetime series announced in the Variety article were:
  • Boss Under Fire - Restaurants nominate their terrible bosses for a makeover, and the owner must perform his employees’ jobs to realize that success starts at the top. Produced by Eyeworks for Food Network
  • Game of Cones -  Ice cream connoisseurs compete to create the most unique  ice cream-based desserts using a selection of mystery ingredients.  Produced by Intuitive Entertainment for Food Network.
  • Diner Death Match -  Four competitive cooks from North America’s best diners, gastropubs and food trucks go head-to-head in a series of culinary challenges. To win they will have to out-cook each other in three short-order classic diner challenges. Produced by Proper TV for Food Network.
Some new daytime series announced were:
  • Bobby’s Grilling Guide - featuring Bobby Flay showcasing expert grilling techniques. Produced by Rock Shrimp for Food Network.
  • The Daphne Brogdon Project - Mom, wife, and home cook, Daphne Brogdon, brings a fresh, fun and humorous approach to feeding the family. Produced by Concentric for Food Network.
  • The Valerie Bertinelli Project -  Valerie and her husband showing off family recipes at dinners prepared for friends and celebrity neighbors. Produced by Bunim Murray (same production company that produces MTV's The Real World).
I am sure there will be more series announced in the coming days, so stay tuned for more.  Looking back at last year's new series announcement, it looks like most shows premiered on the channel with the exception of Extreme Tupperware Ladies, Bossover (It looks like that is now called Boss Under Fire and may premiere this year), Undercover Critics, and Your Dish Is My Command.

Rohrer's Tavern From Restaurant Impossible To Close

Photo - Food Network
Rohrer's Tavern in North Bend, Ohio, which was featured on season 5 of Restaurant Impossible, will close after business this Friday, April 25th.  Rohrer's Tavern has been open for 66 years, with the current owner owning it since 2009.  The restaurant cited a bad winter, dismal sales, and circumstances beyond their control as reasons for closing, and posted the following status on their Facebook page:
"This year has not been great for me so far, with the passing of my father, a horrible winter, dismal sales and many circumstances beyond my control, it is with great sorrow that I am announcing the closing of the Tavern. April 25th will be our last day. I want to thank everyone that has supported me and helped me along the way. Without the great crew and awesome friends I have, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I gave it my all, countless hours, sleepless nights, blood, sweat and many tears. It is my hope that everyone will join us this week for our best week ever, before I shut the doors for one last time."
The owner Lisa also stated on the same Facebook status, "My parents have a business, Harvey's marine. I will be focusing my attention on getting the business up and running, like it used to, since my Dad passed. I need to generate income for my mom."

This will be the eighth restaurant from season 5 (2012-2013) of Restaurant Impossible to close, and the Restaurant Impossible Update Page has been updated to show this.

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 [email protected] 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):