Friday, July 31, 2015

Food Network's August 2015 Programming Highlights

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

  • The season finale of Food Network Star on Sunday, August 16th where a winner is crowned.
  • The season finale of Chopped Grill Masters on Tuesday, August 11th where the winner will receive $50,000.
  • The start of the heavily advertised Camp Cutthroat on August 12th, which is Cutthroat Kitchen in the wilderness.  Emily Ellyn from Food Network Star will be on this show.
  • The series premiere of Great American Food Finds on Monday, August 3rd where brothers Adam and Andrew Erace search to find America's food treasures.
  • The series premiere of Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson on Wednesday, August 12th.  Seems to be the same as his old show but at carnivals rather than food festivals?
  • A new season of The Great Food Truck Race starting on Sunday, August 23rd.
  • Guys Grocery Games All-Stars begins on Sunday, August 23rd, and here are the competitors, which includes chefs and athletes.
  • A new season of Rachael Ray Kid's Cook-Off starting on Monday, August 24th.
  • Another Chopped Teen Tournament starting on Tuesday, August 25th for $25,000 and a culinary scholarship.
  • A Barefoot Contessa special in Los Angeles where Ina Garten cooks with Jennifer Garner.  Other people appearing on the episode include Wendy and Carnie Wilson, Wolfgang Puck, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

Press release with episode descriptions and air dates is below:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Food Network Star Episode 8 Elimination Plus Star Salvation

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants had to first create and present a dish that home cooks could prepare in a short amount of time.  After that, Damaris Phillips directs the finalists in a holiday-themed camera presentation that reflects their point of view.  Damaris then joins Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Susie Fogelson, and Bob Tuschman at the judges table to decide who stays and who goes.

It seemed like Bobby and Giada wanted to eliminate Eddie while Bob and Susie wanted to eliminate Dom.  Arnold, Eddie, and Dom were the bottom three and the judges decided that Dom Tesoriero would be eliminated.

In Star Salvation, Emilia Cirker, Rue Rusike, and Dom Tesoriero completed to remain in the competition. Emilia Cirker was eliminated during Star Salvation and will not be the next Food Network Star.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bene Pizza and Pasta From Restaurant Impossible Has Closed

Photo - Food Network
Bene Pizza and Pasta in Omaha, Nebraska, which was featured on season 10 of Restaurant Impossible has closed.  The restaurant posted the following message on their Facebook page:

"After 14 years we have decided to close the doors to Be'ne Pizza and Pasta.

The Lanphier Family would like to sincerely thank all of our Loyal and faithful customers all of these years. We have seen so many families grow over the years and have remembered every face that came through our doors.

Be well. Peace love and family"

In the comments of that message, the restaurant said they closed for good on July 18th, 2015.  You may remember Bene Pizza and Pasta as the restaurant with the arcade/pinball machines inside and here is the original update.  This is the third restaurant out of seven to close from season 10 (2014-2015) of Restaurant Impossible, and the Restaurant Impossible Update Page has been updated with this information.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Guy's Grocery Games All-Stars Cast Announced

Photo - Multivu
Guy's Grocery Games will have a five-episode stunt called Guy's Grocery Games All-Stars where celebrity chefs and athletes compete for a prize that will be given to charity.  The series will premiere on August 23rd at 8pm ET/PT on Food Network.

The cast of celebrity chefs/athletes competing was announced and they are:

Episode 1 - Richard Blais, G. Garvin, Beau MacMillan and Aarti Sequeira
Episode 2 - Anne Burrell, Eric Greenspan, Jet Tila and Marcel Vigneron
Episode 3 - Ron Ben-Israel, Penny Davidi, Pat Neely and Justin Warner
Episode 4 - Madison Cowan, Elizabeth Falkner, Aaron McCargo Jr., and Michael Psilakis
Episode 5 - Four professional athletes pair up with celebrity chefs including Rich Aurelia/Robert Irvine, Marcel Reece/Brian Malarkey, Jennifer Lacy/Marc Murphy, and Takeo Spikes/Lorena Garcia    

Judges from the show compete on the first episode and many of the same chefs that compete on the Food Network "All-Star" shows compete on the other episodes.  Pat Neely hasn't been on anything new on the channel for a bit, so he is someone that is a bit different for these type of shows.

The press release about the show with episode descriptions from Multivu is below:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Food Network Star Episode 7 Elimination Plus Star Salvation

On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants participated in a Food Truck Challenge.  They had to create and present a portable dish to Bobby and Giada, and then guest judge Richard Blais paired the contestants up to operate their own food truck.  Each team had to create a social media promo video that would be seen by food truck enthusiasts.  The enthusiasts would use those videos to determine which teams dish they wanted to sample.

The food truck teams were Alex and Dom, Jay and Arnold, and Michelle and Eddie.  Jay and Arnold were the best team according to the judges, and the remaining 4 contestants were up for elimination.  The judges didn't get to decide who to eliminate as Michelle decided that she would quit and eliminate herself.

There was still Star Salvation, but just without Michelle.  Emilia Cirker, Matthew Grunwald, and Rue Rusike completed to remain in the competition.  Matthew was the one eliminated and he will not be the next Food Network Star despite many people thinking he would be the one to win Star Salvation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Chopped Grill Masters Premieres Tonight

Photo - Multivu
The second Chopped Grill Masters tournament premieres tonight on Food Network at 10pm ET/PT.  Sixteen competitors will compete for a $50,000 prize in this five-episode series.  The competitors competing this time around are: Danielle Dimovski, Chris Hart, Staci Graves Jett, Randy Pauly, Mary Brent Galyean, Stan Hays, Matty Melehes, Candy Sue Weaver, Donna Fong, Leslie Roark Scott, Harry Soo, Tom Spaulding, Mike Davis, Ash Fulk, Phil Johnson, and Angie Mar.

The first Chopped Grill Masters tournament was back in 2012 with Ernest Servantes winning the $50,000 prize.  If you want to get a look at the contestants competing this year, here is a fan poll from the Food Network site that has their photos.

Episode Descriptions from Multivu are below:

Chopped Grill Masters:
Premiering Tuesday, July 14th at 10:00pm ET/PT - TOURNAMENT PREMIERE!
“Grill Masters: Episode One”
In this explosive first Grill Masters battle, big personalities and old rivalries create a firestorm in the al fresco kitchen. In the first round, the chefs have two different proteins to prepare: pork chops and sausages. Exercising restraint with a sweet basket ingredient in the entrée round is a challenge for some of the chefs. A cheese and a starch are two of the items that the finalists must make sing on the grills in their desserts.
Competitors: Danielle Dimovski, Chris Hart, Staci Graves Jett, Randy Pauly
Host: Ted Allen
Judges: Scott Conant, Amy Mills, Chris Santos

Premiering Tuesday, July 21st at 10:00pm ET/PT
“Grill Masters: Episode Two”
In the first round, the Grill Masters find grilling-classics hot dogs and hamburgers in the same basket. Rack of elk is a welcome ingredient in the second basket, but the 30-minute time limit presents some issues. The final two chefs have high hopes for what they can accomplish in the dessert round featuring chocolate cupcakes.
Competitors: Mary Brent Galyean, Stan Hays, Matty Melehes, Candy Sue Weaver
Host: Ted Allen
Judges: Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, Tim Love

Premiering Tuesday, July 28th at 10:00pm ET/PT
“Grill Masters: Episode Three”
Two of the competitors in this Grill Masters fight are engaged to be married, but can they both make it to the final round? In the first round, a succulent seafood and an odd ice cream are two of the surprises in the mystery basket. Then in the second round of live-fire cooking, the chefs are shocked to find a live ingredient. When a delicate ingredient flames up on the grill in the dessert round, can one chef’s dish be salvaged?
Competitors: Donna Fong, Leslie Roark Scott, Harry Soo, Tom Spaulding
Host: Ted Allen
Judges: Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, Tim Love

Premiering Tuesday, August 4th at 10:00pm ET/PT
“Grill Masters: Episode Four”
Four grilling experts compete for a final spot in the grand finale, for a chance at winning $50,000. Spare ribs play the lead role in the appetizer basket. Then a specially-sourced, whole fish barely fits into the entrée baskets. And following the round that the judges were not thrilled with how an ingredient was being used, the judges are plum happy to see plums in the dessert basket.
Competitors: Mike Davis, Ash Fulk, Phil Johnson, Angie Mar
Host: Ted Allen
Judges: Scott Conant, Amy Mills, Chris Santos

Premiering Tuesday, August 11th at 10:00pm ET/PT - TOURNAMENT FINALE!
“Grill Masters: Grand Finale”
The four finalists are facing off for the $50,000 grand prize. These Grill Masters are expecting difficult baskets, and they certainly get them. Rattlesnake is the vicious surprise in the first round. Some offal and fruit are part of the culinary puzzle to solve in the entrée round. And a breakfast item and a classic pie beg to be transformed in the dessert round to determine the new grilling champion!
Host: Ted Allen
Judges: Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chris Santos

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Food Network Star Episode 6 Elimination Plus Star Salvation

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants first had to create and present an enticing pizza with "kicked up flavors" to Bobby, Giada, and guest judge Duff Goldman.  The winning pizza will inspire an item to be featured on Cici's Pizza menu in the future.  In the second challenge, the contestants were assigned random dish requirements and had to perform a live four-minute demo to food and comedy fans.  Bob Tuschman and Suzie Fogelson were back to help Bobby and Giada judge the contestants.

The judges decided that Dom, Alex, and Emilia were the bottom three this week.  Dom had problems again with presentations as did Alex, and Emilia came off as unlikeable according to the judges.  The judges decided that Emilia would be the contestant eliminated tonight and she moves on to compete on Star Salvation.

During Star Salvation, Emilia Cirker, Christina Fitzgerald, Matthew Grunwald, and Rue Rusike completed.  Christina was the one eliminated and she will not be the next Food Network Star.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Paula Deen Photo Causing "Outrage" Is From 2011

Earlier today, Paula Deen (or someone running a Twitter account for her) posted a photo on Twitter which was later taken down due to public outrage.  The photo (pictured right) was of Paula dressed as Lucy from I Love Lucy and her son Bobby dressed as Ricky Ricardo.  The photo is drawing criticism because Bobby has "brownface," and people are saying Paula is still racist and hasn't learned anything.

What not many people are aware of is that the photo is actually from 2011 from a Halloween episode of Paula's Best Dishes on the Food Network.

There is a whole Facebook album with pictures from the filming of the episode in March 2011 on Paula Deen's Facebook page.  The images include the one tweeted out today as well as a few I posted below.

Photo - Facebook

Photo - Facebook

The Facebook album has nobody claiming racism in 2011, the show airing didn't cause anybody to complain, and Eater did a story on the pictures in 2011 with no mentions of racism or anyone being offended.

With the racism scandal that brought Paula Deen's career down, you think they would be more careful of what is put out to the public.  Have times changed that much from 2011 until now where there wasn't outrage before?  Or has the racism scandal put everything Paula Deen does in the spotlight?

With Bobby Deen becoming more and more involved with shows on the Food Network, this is probably something the Food Network does not want to deal with right now.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Food Network Star Episode 5 Elimination Plus Star Salvation

Photo - Food Network
On tonight's episode of Food Network Star, the remaining contestants had to swap ingredients in the mentor challenge and prepare a dish for Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.  In a later challenge the finalists had to work in pairs to collaborate on a dish that blended their culinary styles, and present that dish to first-time daters from Match.  Anne Burrell was on hand to help Bobby and Giada judge the second challenge.

After all of the sponsors got their products showcased throughout the show it was time for the judges to decide their top and bottom contestants. Eddie and Alex and Jay/Emilia were declared safe and Rue/Arnold and Dom/Michelle were up for elimination.  The judges decided that Rue Rusike would be the contestant eliminated.

In Star Salvation, Christina Fitzgerald, Matthew Grunwald, Rosa Graziano and Rue Rusike all competed for a chance to rejoin the competition. The link to the video is here, and Rosa Graziano was eliminated and will not be the next Food Network Star.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Jeff Mauro, Robert Irvine Each Launched Products This Week

Food Network's Jeff Mauro and Robert Irvine each launched products this week with Jeff Mauro launching a line of BBQ sauce and Robert Irvine launching a food company.

Jeff Mauro's BBQ sauce line is called Pork & Mindy's which has three different flavors: Signature Sweet, fiery Sweet Heat and tangy Mustard.  Jeff launched the company with his friend and the sauces are available online at or at Chicago area grocery stores.  (Press release about the company/sauces)

Robert Irvine launched a food company called Robert Irvine Foods in which the food has healthy ingredients and the products are "all natural", "better for you", and "restaurant quality".  The type of foods include pizzas, crab cakes, and low-calorie cheesecakes.  Wings, sauces, breaded chicken, and catfish are coming soon.  Robert Irvine Foods is available in Mid-Atlantic Giant grocery stores.  (Press release about the company and partnership with Giant).