Thursday, July 31, 2014

'Beat Bobby Flay' Season 2 Begins Tonight

Tonight at 10pm ET/PT on the Food Network is the season 2 premiere of Beat Bobby Flay.  The first season of Beat Bobby Flay premiered in March and was 8 episodes long.  Due to the good ratings, the show was renewed and has quickly produced a second season.  Bobby Flay only lost one battle in season 1, but he also lost in the pilot episode.

The special guests who help pick the chef that will compete against Bobby Flay on season 2 include:
  • Scott Conant
  • Geoffrey Zakarian
  • Giada De Laurentiis
  • Michael Symon
  • Sunny Anderson
  • Jet Tila
  • Anne Burrell
  • Chris Santos
  • Alton Brown
  • Daphne Oz
  • Amanda Freitag
  • Alex Guarnaschelli
  • Ted Allen
  • Brooke Burke-Charvet
  • Katie Lee
  • Marc Murphy

Also, you will probably see a lot of familiar faces as judges such as Simon Majumdar, Donatella Arpaia, Brian Duffy, and Chrissy Teigen.

So tune in at 10pm on Thursdays to see if the competing chefs have more success this season against Bobby Flay.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Marie's at Ummat Cafe Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Atlanta, Georgia to makeover Marie's at Ummat Cafe.  One of the reasons Marie's thinks they are struggling is because they are located next to Atlanta's oldest mosque and many potential customers think the restaurant is strictly for Muslims.  The owner Jaliwa has experience in catering, but it has not helped with running the restaurant.  Also, during the makeover of the restaurant, the design team has a fight that puts the makeover in jeopardy (Taniya vs. Tom).  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Marie's at Ummat Cafe 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):

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Food Network Star Season 10, Episode 9 Elimination

Photo - Food Network.
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants were now in New York City, and first had to do a live report from different food places in the Chelsea Market.  Their second challenge was to do a live demo on the Rachael Ray Show.  Each finalist had to solve a culinary problem for a Rachael Ray viewer and do their demo in front of a live audience. 

If you saw the previous post on this website, you know that this episode of the Rachael Ray Show actually aired on Friday, meaning you could watch all of the demos before tonight's episode.  Note - If you want to watch the full demos rather than the edited Food Network ones, visit the link above.  They show much more than Food Network did.

Myself and others suspected that Loreal Gavin would be going home after seeing the performances on the Rachael Ray Show, and our suspicions were correct.  The bottom three were Sarah, Loreal, and Nicole.  Nicole was considered safe, meaning Loreal or Sarah would be eliminated, and the judges decided to send Loreal home.

If you are interested in finding out more information about Loreal, a recent article in the Indy Star has a lot of background information about her.  In another article, Loreal provides some inside information about Food Network Star, such as Luca being covered in tattoos.

Friday, July 25, 2014

See Food Network Star Finalists On Rachael Ray Before Sunday's Episode

Photo - Rachael Ray
This Sunday on Food Network Star, the finalists have to perform a demo on the Rachael Ray Show in front of a live audience.

Today, on the Rachael Ray Show, they actually aired the episode where all of the Food Network Star finalists do their demo.  I'm surprised this would air before the actual episode of Food Network Star aired, but perhaps it was a mistake?

Here are all of the videos of the demos if you want to check them out before the episode airs on Sunday.

Some notes from the clips and the show:

  • Loreal was bleeped at the beginning of her demo when talking to Rachael Ray.
  • Loreal handles raw chicken, and then touches food to serve without washing her hands.
  • The kids Luca was cooking for refused to eat his dish (I don't think they would have eaten anything).
  • A kid spits out Nicole's dish after trying it.
  • At the end of the episode, Giada De Laurentiis revealed she thought the guys did better than the girls.

After watching the videos, who do you think is going home?  I think it will be Loreal going home this week after seeing them all.  Her demo was pretty hard to watch, and also having to be bleeped probably didn't help.  It will be interesting to see how Food Network Star edits these demos compared to the Rachael Ray Show too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Fork Diner Update

Photo - Food Network
The ninth season of Restaurant: Impossible begins tonight, just about a month after the eighth season ended.  Tonight, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Calhoun, Georgia to makeover the Fork Diner.  The diner is three-years-old, and it has been struggling ever since it opened.  Because of the restaurant's struggles, the friendship of owners Gray, Diana, and Michael is also suffering.  The problems that Robert needs to address include: "boring food, lack of cleanliness, disinterested staff and an owner with one foot out the door."  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Fork Diner 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, July 22, 2014

NBC's 'Food Fighters' Features Many Food Network Chefs

Photo - NBC
NBC is premiering a new food competition show tonight at 8pm called Food Fighters, which is hosted by Adam Richman.  In the show, amateur cooks cook their signature dish, and go up against professional chefs to try to win over a dinner party consisting of the the American public.  There are five professional chefs per episode, and each professional chef the amateur cooks beat, the prize gets larger, with the top prize being $100,000.

Looking at the previews on the NBC website, a lot of Food Network chefs/personalities will be competing as the professional chefs on the show.  Some include:
  • Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes)
  • Michele Ragussis (Food Network Star Season 8)
  • Vic Vegas (Food Network Star Season 7)
  • Jet Tila (Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy's Grocery Games)
  • Eric Greenspan (Next Iron Chef)
  • Elizabeth Falkner (Next Iron Chef)
  • Cat Cora (Iron Chef America, America's Best Cook)
  • G. Garvin (Guy's Grocery Games, Cooking Channel)
  • Marcel Vigneron (Next Iron Chef)
  • Antonia Lofaso (Cutthroat Kitchen)

I am sure there are others, but these are just the ones that you could tell by looking at photos and videos on the Food Fighters website.  There are also a lot of chefs that have appeared on Bravo's Top Chef that will be appearing on the show if you are a fan of Top Chef.

So if you don't want to watch Chopped reruns on Tuesdays at 8pm on the Food Network, this is another option for a cooking show with Food Network stars.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Paula Deen Announces Prices And Start Date Of Her Network

Photo -
Tonight on ET, Paula Deen announced that the start date of the Paula Deen Network would be September 24th.  Also, people wanting to pay for the network now have the opportunity to do that, and the information is now on the Paula Deen Network site.

A 1-month membership costs $9.99, a 6-month membership costs $53.94 ($8.99 per month), and a 1 year membership costs $95.88 ($7.99 per month).

It is noted that the 6-month and 1 year memberships have recurring fees.  Sounds like a way to take advantage of an older target demographic who will forget to cancel or not even know how to cancel a membership.

Will the Paula Deen 'fanatics' cough up the money for an online network?  Only time will tell, but I know many readers here will not be signing up for the network based on previous comments.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food Network Star Season 10, Episode 8 Elimination

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants were still in Las Vegas, Nevada and got to try one-of-a-kind Las Vegas culinary experiences.  Each contestant went to different Las Vegas restaurants to try something which was supposed to inspire the dish they created.  The contestants were then divided into two teams to create a meal for the judges.  The teams were picked by Emma and Sarah, and one team was Emma, Lenny, and Loreal while the other team was Sarah, Nicole, and Luca.

The judges for this episode included Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson, and guest Penn Jillete.  Bobby Flay apparently didn't make the trip to Las Vegas to help out with judging.

Sarah's team easily won as the judges liked all of their food and presenations, while Emma and her team all failed to impress the judges. This meant that Emma Frisch, Lenny Mcnab, and Loreal Gavin were up for elimination.  Emma has been in the bottom multiple times, and this time, the judges decided to finally send her home.  Emma will not be the next Food Network Star.

Next week, the remaining contestants head to New York City to continue the competition.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Italian Village From Restaurant Impossible To Close

Photo - Food Network
Italian Village in Milmont Park, Pennsylvania, which was featured on season four of Restaurant Impossible is closing.  There is a live on-site auction at the restaurant on Saturday July 26th, and the auction group is selling all of the contents of Italian Village including their liquor license, furniture, supplies, and equipment (link to auction).

Also, the restaurant location is currently listed for sale for $450,000 (link to listing).  I called the restaurant to ask when they would be closing for good, and they said their last day open would be July 20th.

The auction listing says they are auctioning the restaurant contents "due to retirement," while the real estate listing is listed as a bank foreclosure.  Probably a case where the auctioneers think they can get more money if people do not think it is a foreclosed property.

This is the eighth restaurant from season four of Restaurant Impossible that has closed, and the Restaurant Impossible Update page has been updated to show this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Food Chain - New Food Network Show Now Casting

A new show called Food Chain is currently casting executive chefs/restaurant owners with "sterling reputations to defeat the industry elite."  It is another competition series with chefs competing head-to-head with a final showdown against a "renowned celebrity chef " for a chance to win $50,000.

Here are details posted on the Facebook page of the casting company:
"FOOD NETWORK is excited to bring you the culinary challenge of a lifetime. FOOD CHAIN, a groundbreaking new series, is sure to push even the most acclaimed professional chefs to the limit.

We’re seeking extraordinary executive chefs/restaurant owners with sterling reputations and the cutting-edge culinary knowledge, technique and creativity to defeat the industry elite.

If selected to compete, you will face increasing levels of difficulty as you battle head-to-head with the best-of-the-best. As the stakes rise so do the rewards. Make it through to the end and earn yourself a spot in the final showdown – a face-off against a renowned celebrity chef and the chance to win $50,000. It’s go big or go home.

From RELATIVITY TELEVISION, and the producers who brought you THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE and GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, Food Chain requires expert knowledge, adaptability, and unwavering confidence. If you are an EXECUTIVE CHEF and think you have what it takes to rise to the top of the Food Chain, then contact us ASAP.

EMAIL US with your name, occupation, career highlights, resume, a photo of you and photos of 4 signature dishes. Please put your CITY/STATE in the subject line."

This show was not on the original list of new shows set to appear on the network this year, and it is also not known yet who the celebrity chef(s) will be.  When more details become available, there will be an update here.

Paula Deen was shopping this show back in 2012, and she was supposed to host it.  She was teamed with Zodiac production company, and now it appears that Relativity Television is producing it, so this might have changed hands after Paula Deen's racism scandal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Food Network Star Episode 7 Elimination

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the winner of Star Salvation rejoined the competition, and if you read this earlier post, you knew that Luca Della Casa would be coming back.  The remaining contestants headed to Las Vegas for this challenge, and had to create a dish that represents them.  They then had to describe their dishes to guests at a Caesars Palace pool party.

Lenny and his belly flop seemed to eat up the crowd and he got good ratings and was considered safe. Loreal, Luca, and Nicole were also safe from elimination.

The bottom three ended up being Sarah, Chris K (again), and Emma (again).  The judges first let Emma know that she was safe, and then decided that Chris was the one that would be eliminated from Food Network Star.  As there is no more Star Salvation, Chris is eliminated for good and will not be the next Food Network Star.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Food Network Receives One Primetime Emmy Nomination... For Guy Fieri

The Primetime Emmy nominations were announced today and the Food Network received one nomination.  The nomination was for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in the category of Outstanding Structured Reality Program.  The show will be up against Antiques Roadshow, MythBusters, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss, and Who Do You Think You Are?

You may remember that in March, the Food Network held an event for Emmy voters, where they were trying to get 8 different shows nominated for Emmys in multiple categories.  A commenter on that post said they attended the event, and it was basically a showcase for Guy Fieri.  So, I guess their plan worked.

The Primetime Emmy Award winners will be announced on August 25th, and if you are interested in the full list of nominations, here they are.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Food Network Star - Star Salvation Winner (Spoiler Alert)

This week was the last week of Star Salvation, and at the end of the episode, it is down to Reuben Ruiz and Luca Della Casa, with the winner rejoining the Food Network Star competition in Las Vegas.  The episode of Star Salvation does not reveal the winner at the end and leaves it as a cliffhanger that you will need to tune in next week to find out who wins.

However, the preview of next week's episode reveals who won if you pay attention closely.  Read on to see a screenshot that lets you know who the Star Salvation winner is and who will be rejoining the Food Network Star competition (spoiler).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Food Network Star Episode 6 Elimination Plus Star Salvation Finale

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants have to create a product that represents their brand and culinary style.  After creating their product, they have to make a commercial in an unorthodox setting.  Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis were joined by Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson to judge the contestants tonight.

The contestants seemed to do better with creating their products than they did with creating their commercials.  The judges seemed to like most of the products, but had some issues with the commercials.

The judges felt that Loreal made the best commercial, and Chris K had the best product.  The bottom three consisted of Rueben (again), Emma, and Nicole.  The first of the three considered safe was Emma, and then the judges decided that Rueben would be the contestant eliminated.

Rueben went on to compete on Star Salvation against Chad Rosenthal and Luca Della Casa.   Chad was eliminated from Star Salvation and it came down to Rueben and Luca to rejoin the contestants in Las Vegas.  For some reason, they do not reveal the winner of Star Salvation and you have to wait until next week to see who joins the other contestants in Las Vegas. (link to Star Salvation videos).

Judging by Rueben's "Its Over" tweet after the episode aired, I would guess it is Luca rejoining the competition.

UPDATE - If you want to know who won Star Salvation - Click here (Spoiler)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Flood Tide From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Flood Tide restaurant in Mystic, Connecticut, which was featured on the first season of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  The restaurant was apart of the Inn at Mystic, and the property was recently sold, and the sale included the restaurant.  The restaurant closed in November of 2013 while the property was still listed for sale.

The Inn at Mystic was listed for $8.5 million dollars, and was bought for $5.35 million dollars in March of 2014.  The new owners are currently renovating the property with over $1 million dollars worth of improvements, and the Flood Tide restaurant was redesigned and rebranded.  The new restaurant recently opened and is now called the Harbor House Restaurant.

You may remember Jody Dwyer, the owner from Restaurant Impossible, was not happy with the red, white, and blue paint over her mahogany paneling in the restaurant.  She also stated that looking back, she wouldn't have done the show.

This is the third restaurant from season 1 of Restaurant Impossible that has closed, and the Restaurant Impossible Update Page has been updated with this change.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stella's From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Stella's Italian Restaurant in Stratford, Connecticut, which was featured on season 4 of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  The restaurant posted the following status on their Facebook page in April:
"STELLAS!Here at Stella's,It's time to to say goodbye!We have met so many wonderful people ,it will be hard not to cry!We started this journey 16 years ago,but now it has really taken a toll, not to mention Michael is starting to look old!TO all our faithful customers that we have met along the way,we just want to say thank you for all the times you came in and made our day!Our staff is like family,it will be hard to go our seperate ways,but nothing lasts forever i'm sorry to say.We took great care in choosing the new owners so don'tbe alarmed,they will treat you like family and we hope with the same familiar charm!Our food is delicious as the new owner's food will be,but we are taking our famous eggplant recipe!So we will be here a little while longer up on the hill,please come in one last time and give us a thrill!IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE TO SERVE YOU!SINCERLY,MICHAEL CAMMIE<AND ROBIN"

In early May, the restaurant posted that there were some delays in their plans, however it seems like they closed towards the end of May.  Reviews on Tripadvisor from early June also state that the restaurant was closed.  The owners quickly moved on as they are opening a home health care service with the Executive Care franchise (link to recent article).

This was the 7th restaurant from season 4 (2012) of Restaurant Impossible that has closed, and the Restaurant Impossible Update Page has been updated to show this.