Mikey gives props to…..
Cooking Light Magazine–I’ve mentioned on here before that I am on Weight Watchers. Yes, it sometimes affects and stifles my creativity as a home cook, but it also opens up possibilities and challenges me. Well, I recently started subscribing to Cooking Light Magazine. And of all of the food magazine recipes I’ve made lately, almost everything we’ve tried the past two weeks from their 25th anniversary edition have been phenomenal. Here are a few you can try that we did:
Creamy Four-cheese Macaroni & Cheese–You will not believe how few calories this is per serving. I defy anyone to find me a full-fat recipe that is as good as this one.
Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis–Some of the best meat loaf we have ever had. It helps that you can use full-fat cheddar, and being in Wisconsin, we have some good cheddar.
Top Chef: Seattle–I need to be honest. I am a fan of the Top Chef brand, but have found Curtis Stone hosting Top Chef Masters to be grating. And their new Life After Top Chef is kind of so-so. But the original, which now is in Season 10 for Top Chef Seattle, remains one of the best shows on television, cooking show or otherwise. Bravo to Bravo and to Magical Elves production. I mean, I’d rather look at and listen to Padma Lakshmi than Curtis, and Tom Colicchio is like the Godfather of the show, but every season they do not disappoint with the collection of chefs, and with the episodes and challenges. It’s just a fun show to watch and guaranteed to make home chefs inspired.
Home Run Inn Frozen Pizza–This is hands down the best frozen pizza on the planet. It comes from Chicago, so I’m not sure if they ship beyond the proximity of the Midwest, but my goodness. The crust is ridiculous–it tastes like fresh bakery bread. The sauce is perfectly simple with no garlic whatsoever, unlike many sauces on other frozen brands that ruin the pizza that way. The cheese is just mozzarella. And now they have thin crust varieties that are Weight Watchers friendly–for real.
Posted in: Chefs and Restaurants, Food on a Budget, Food TV, Grocery stores, Healthy, Ingredients, On the Grille, Product Reviews, Recipes, Your Kitchen
Tags: best frozen pizza, Bravo, cheesy mini meat loaves, Chicago, Cooking Light Magazine, Cooking Light recipes, Curtis Stone, easy recipes for guys, easy recipes for men, food for dudes, Grub For Guys, Home Run Inn frozen pizza, macaroni and cheese, Magical Elves, Mikey props, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Top Chef 10, Top Chef Seattle, Weight Watchers
Cooking Shows and Food TV on the Rise
A number of new genres of television shows have become extremely popular in recent years, due in large part to the wider exposure of specialized networks and the general expansion that always permeates the entertainment industry. For example, there are a number of shows that revolve around “dark creatures” – such as vampires, zombies, etc. – that have become very popular just in the last two years. However, even more sweepingly popular, because of its variety, is the concept of cooking shows, or rather, food-related shows, which have become some of the most popular items on direct tv. Generally, there are three types of food related shows – informative, instructional, and competitive. Here is a brief glance at each type.
Informative cooking shows strive to show you things about the food or cooking industries. This of course can have a good deal of variety within itself. It may apply to showing an audience the best restaurants in a certain area, or simply some of the best dishes around. Consider “Man Vs. Food” as an example. In this show, the charismatic, food-obsessed host Adam Richman travels the country exploring towns for their most famous restaurants and dishes. Each episode culminates in an eating challenge in which Richman devours something either deathly spicy or shockingly huge. It’s a great show for showing off the top restaurants in popular areas, as well as some decadent treats and dishes.
Instructional cooking shows are more about showing the audience how to prepare certain types of dishes or meals. There are many different shows that follow this basic formula, and often the audience sees fit to literally cook along with the host. One good example is “Boy Meets Grill,” in which star chef Bobby Flay shows his audience different tips not only for how to cook great food, but how to throw an amazing barbecue. These shows, in general, are very helpful for those who have culinary interests or inclinations.
Finally, there are competitive cooking shows, which may well be the most popular. These shows – such as “Top Chef” – feature host chefs, celebrity chefs, and cooking contestants, who compete for who can make the best dish, often with all of them using a single ingredient at the core of the dishes. Generally, contestants are eliminated one by one, until only one chef remains, and is crowned Top Chef. This can be instructional, as you do get to see amazing food created, but it is meant primarily for entertainment purposes.
Posted in: Food TV
Tags: Adam Richman, Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill, Bravo, Cable, cable TV, cooking shows, entertainment, food network, food show, food TV, food TV shows, Man vs. Food, Top Chef, vampires, zombies
Two great food shows right now
There are so many food related TV shows now that it gets mind-blowing to try and watch them all or to even DVR them all. But I want to turn you on to two that have new seasons happening now that you should absolutely watch, especially if you are a foodie.
The first is “Top Chef: Texas” on Bravo. I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet but caught the season premiere last week. The production company Magical Elves consistently hits home runs with their shows, especially this one. This year it’s big, just like the state of Texas, and in addition to regular judges Padma Lakshmi (host), Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, they have added Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson. And they began with something like 30 contestants, but only half or so of which will actually wear the Top Chef chef coats and have a real chance to compete for the title of Top Chef. This show airs on Wednesday nights on Bravo, and if you haven’t seen it, you have to check it out. This is one show that knows how to keep us interested and just delivers quality shows every week. I can’t wait to see how this season progresses.
The other show is “The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs” on Food Network. The “Next Iron Chef” reality show brought us the likes of Jose Garces and Michael Symon, but this season is like no other. This time, they have all celebrity chefs, many of which we have already seen on Food Network such as Beau McMillan, Anne Burrell, Robert Irvine, Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Chiarello and Marcus Samuelsson. Sign me up! So far two episodes have aired, and it’s clear that the level of competition is maybe like no other show that Food Network has ever seen, mainly because of how incredibly talented each chef is. Whoever came up with the idea of going this route as opposed to finding ten great restaurant chefs we have never heard of? Genius. This one airs Sunday nights on Food Network.
That’s it for now. There are more great shows going on and many more holiday themed shows we can talk about, but I think you should check these two out before the seasons get too old.
Posted in: Chefs and Restaurants, Food TV
Tags: Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Beau McMillan, Bravo, Emeril Lagasse, food network, Food Network shows, food TV, Gail Simmons, Geoffrey Zakarian, Hugh Acheson, Iron Chef, Jose Garces, Magical Elves, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Chiarello, Michael Symon, Next Iron Chef Super Chefs, Padma Lakshmi, Robert Irvine, Tom Colicchio, Top Chef, Top Chef Texas
Food TV news roundup
Here is some food TV news, and if you have some of the reality shows on DVR, consider this a spoiler alert and click away!
On Food Network this past Sunday, the “Sandwich King” Jeff Mauro took the title of Next Food Network Star. Mauro had a fresh and interesting concept, but more importantly, the judges consistently liked his food, and Mauro, who has worked as a stand-up comic, had a funny and unique delivery that elevated him above other contenders. Mauro beat out Susie Jimenez’ Spice it Up Mexican-inspired concept and second runner-up Vic Moea and his Mama’s Boy theme. Mauro’s show, aptly titled Sandwich King, will premiere this Sunday, August 21.
Another season finale in the food world takes place tonight, as Fox’s Masterchef crowns their Season 2 champ. I had to break my own rule to write about this since I did not see last night’s episode or half of the one before that, and by reading the press release found out that Ben Starr was eliminated last week, though admittedly I still don’t know which finalist was sent home Monday. The final four are Christian Collins, Suzy Singh, Adrien Nieto and Jennifer Behm–four very different, distinct personalities with different culinary perspectives. Thankfully this show continues to excite, unlike Hell’s Kitchen, which jumped the shark about four seasons ago.
This fall, Bravo’s awesome Top Chef franchise returns with an all-new season taking place in Texas, with new judges Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson alongside regulars Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi.
Finally, I’m looking forward to watching the screener I received of WE TV’s new series, Family Restaurant, which they say is “drama meets dimsum.” This one premieres tonight so you might get to see it before I do. Either way, let’s re-convene next week to discuss.
Thanks for reading!
Posted in: Chefs and Restaurants, Food TV
Tags: Adrien Nieto, Ben Starr, Bravo, Christian Collins, Emeril Lagasse, Family Restaurant, food network, Food Network Star, food TV, food TV news, Fox, Gail Simmons, Gordon Ramsay, Hell's Kitchen, Hugh Acheson, Jeff Mauro, Jennifer Behm, Masterchef, Padma Lakshmi, Sandwich King, Spice it Up, Susie Jimenez, Suzy Singh, Texas, Tom Colicchio, Top Chef, Vic Moea, WE TV
Top Chef All Stars premieres December 1
All you foodies into the hit show on Bravo, “Top Chef,” will get a strong dose of competition beginning on December 1 as “Top Chef All-Stars” kicks off with finalists from previous seasons. As always, Padma Lakshmi will host, along with judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, and new judge Anthony Bourdain.
I had the chance to talk to Colicchio and Bourdain briefly during a conference call for the new season last week, and here is a full transcript on Premium Holllywood.
But below is my question and how the two responded to it. I feel like I probably should have had a more in-depth or thoughtful question, but, well, I was curious!
Mike Farley: Hey guys how are you doing?
Tom Colicchio: Hey Mike, good how you doing?
Mike Farley: Good. So when I first took a look at this press release the first thing that came to my mind was wow, there is going to be a lot of big egos this season. I’m curious…
Tom Colicchio: You talking about the two of us?
Mike Farley: …no the contestants.
Tom Colicchio: Oh, okay.
Mike Farley: But I’m curious if there were any fights or bickering that might have may, you know, been stepped up this season as compared to seasons in the past.
Tom Colicchio: I guess you’re going to have to just watch that.
Mike Farley: Okay.
Tom Colicchio: Just watch it happen, as they say – the tag line goes, watch what happens. We can’t comment on…
Anthony Bourdain: I think if you look at the players, you know, it is fair to extrapolate or anticipate that they’re, you know, it would not be unusual or unnatural for some of these personalities to clash.
But we don’t really – there is not a lot of duking it out in front of Judges Table. Though there was some of that.
Mike Farley: Right. Okay, well thanks guys.
Tom Colicchio: Sure.