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Iron Chef

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Anne Burrell to Get Food Network TV Show

Anne Burrell’s rapidly rising star is about to go up a little higher. The Centro Vinoteca chef, poised to create an all-new menu for Gusto, is about to get her own cooking show on the Food Network. Secrets of a Restaurant Chef is to premiere on June 29 at 10:30 a.m. and will feature Burrell, previously known to TV viewers as Mario Batali’s spiky-haired Iron Chef assistant, making rustic Italian recipes, some of which, like brined pork chops, they can enjoy if they hightail it over to the restaurant. 10:30 am is pretty early to be thinking about pork chops, but we plan to watch with rapt attention.

Sietsema Says ‘Iron Chef’ Less Than Transparent

As promised, the Voice’s Robert Sietsema blows the lid off Iron Chef, in a very long and detailed account of an Iron Chef taping. According to Sietsema, the chefs know what they’re going to do, recook everything for the judges, and the whole thing is fixed anyway. It’s a pretty deflating account, but for Iron Chef viewers, it’s a must-read. Unless they like the show. Iron Chef Boyardee [VV] Earlier: Sietsema to Blow the Lid Off ‘Iron Chef’ Tomorrow

Sietsema to Blow the Lid Off ‘Iron Chef’ Tomorrow

The Village Voice’s press department writes in to let us know that the cover story of tomorrow’s issue will be Robert Sietsema’s “Iron Chef Boyardee,” in which “our man Sietsema gets into an Iron Chef America taping, and learns that the reality TV show is more bogus than even he realized.” When we attended an Iron Chef tasting, we did wonder how so much good food could be invented and cooked in an hour when many New York restaurants can’t do the same in six months. Maybe it was sleight of hand? Related: ‘Iron Chef’ Taping Leads to Earth-Shattering Revolution

Memo to World: Michael Symon and Michael Psilakis Are Not the Same Person

We ran into Michael Symon last week, a.k.a. the Next Iron Chef; as food celebs we meet are wont to do, he said that he hoped what he told us wouldn’t end up on Grub Street the next day. Jokingly, we suggested that we’d just write about how we ran into Anthos chef Michael Psilakis. “That happens to me all the time,” Symon, said, laughing. You can’t blame people for getting confused: Both men are high-profile, thirtysomething Greek (or part-Greek) chefs named Michael who are bald and happened to open up ambitious Greek restaurants at around the same time. There is, however, one clear difference between the two: Psilakis has a chinbeard, and Symon a soul patch. But this seemed cold comfort to Symon last night. Having frequently been accused of being Terrance Brennan’s doppelgänger, we could sympathize. Now if only we could switch bank accounts.

Chodorow's Got Big, Big Plans; Aaron Sanchez Has an Enemy

Jeffrey Chodorow is devising a new megarestaurant for a 15,000-square-foot double-decker space in the Empire Hotel at Broadway and 63rd Street. In other news, Frank Bruni has already given it zero stars. [NYP] Our pal Aaron Sanchez barely avoided being cut on the Next Iron Chef since according to Bourdain, Alton “Knowlton seems not to have disclosed a prior schoolyard incident with a young Aaron ‘El Guapo’ Sanchez — in which Sanchez (it would appear) bullied him mercilessly. He seemed unnaturally eager to send him packing.” [Ruhlman] Williamsburg’s Hasidic community has its own street-food truck, but you too can buy the kosher grub. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Two ‘Iron Chef’ Contestants Eliminated; Michelin-Zagat Wars Rage On

After all the woman got canned from The Next Iron Chef, Aaron Sanchez was overheard warning Morou Ouattara, “Next they’ll be going after the brown people.” [Ruhlman] And last night Morou was one of two chefs booted. [Serious Eats] Related: Who Will Be Cut Next on ‘The Next Iron Chef’? One classic New York deli is fighting the good fight against history, the Zeitgeist, and its own storied past. 2nd Avenue Deli reopens next month with the same name and a new location on East 33rd Street near Lexington Avenue. [NYT] Now that his guides are competing with Zagat in New York, Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret says he’s also eyeing Boston, Miami, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. [AP] Related: Michelin’s Madness Drives Ed Levine (and Us) Up a Wall

Bourdain Showing ‘Iron Chef’ Some Love; Dévi Back in Action

The worst thing Tony Bourdain can say about the new Top Iron Chef is “that Ruhlman’s hair is the scariest and most offensive aspect of the show … In every other respect, the damn thing is pretty impeccable.” [Ruhlman] Related: Who Will Be Cut Next on ‘The Next Iron Chef’? Enterprising chefs Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur will have their recently acquired restaurant Dévi reopen by Monday. [Eater] Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook is uncomfortably similar to another cookbook published a few months before it, which also encourages moms to put spinach in brownies. [NYT] Related: Hey Jessica Seinfeld! What Up? [Daily Intel]

Josie of ‘Top Chef’ Opens Restaurant; Schumer Opens a Second Front

Josie Malave’s restaurant Speakeasy in Clinton Hill has had its soft opening. [Eat for Victory/VV] One food editor learned some things from last week’s nose-to-tail feast Fergus Henderson–at–the–Spotted Pig including “Hung Huynh is much sweeter than the series might lead you to believe … Ilan Hall has a project up his sleeve … there’s no graceful way to eat a roasted pig’s head when Heath Ledger is sitting at the next table watching.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Related: Fergus Henderson to Cook Tomorrow at Savoy, Wednesday at the Spotted Pig Chuck Schumer has joined another foodie cause: In response to the recent Topps Meat contaminations, he has accused the USDA as being “toothless tiger” and plans to introduce legislation that would give the Department of Agriculture authority to close down plants that repeatedly fail inspections and order recalls. [NYP] Related: Senator Schumer Springs to the Red Hook Ball-Fields’ Defense

Stark Cuts the Cord With Amalia; Betting on the Next Iron Chef

Ivy Stark has quit as executive chef at Amalia and may, in fact, return to the B.R. Guest group to spearhead plans for a Dos Caminos Las Vegas. [Foodservice Blog/Nation's Restaurant News] Related: Will Ivy Stark Return to B.R. Guest? Tom Colicchio doesn’t mind that people come to his restaurants for his celebrity, plus he ponders a showdown with Harold Dieterle and Ilan Hall in this Q&A. [Radar] Caesars Palace is setting the odds to see who will be the Next Iron Chef. Our money’s on Aaron Sanchez. [CNN]

Johnny Iuzzini Is the Badass You Want Him to Be; Bloomfield vs. an Iron Chef

In true badass-with-a-softer-side form, the latest rock-star pastry chef Johnny Zs reveals he dreamed of becoming a stuntman before discovering his love for baking. [Restaurant Girl] The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is stepping into the ring this morning to battle an undisclosed Iron Chef. [Down by the Hipster] True top chef André Soltner formerly of Lutece goes on about the pros and cons of food TV. [Newsday]

Earth to Chicago: You Lost ‘Iron Chef’ Fair and Square

Monday’s Iron Chef, in which Chicago chef Graham Elliot Bowles lost to Bobby Flay, has occasioned a gale of protest from the Windy City. For proud Chicagoans, it’s just not possible that Bowles could have lost; as A.J. Liebling put it, the prevailing local belief is, simply stated, that “everybody in the world is trying to put one over on Chicago.”

Your Secrets Are Safe With Katarina ‘the Shadow’ Auster of Morimoto

After graduating from Juilliard, Katarina Auster started a pop-rock band called Majorette that was signed to Sony. Instead of blowing her advance, she took a job as a server at Morimoto. Her boss there, music booker turned restaurateur Stephen Starr, tells her to thank him when she gets a Grammy; before that happens and she finally leaves, we thought we’d ask her what it’s like playing “shadow” in the vicinity of misbehaving celebrities, awful blind dates, mysterious fish thefts, and the Iron Chef’s fugu theatrics.

Yau Already Replaced at Gramercy Park; Everybody’s Blogging

Ian Schrager has already found a star chef to replace Allen Yau at the Gramercy Park Hotel: The Japanese-born nouvelle-Chinese star Yuji Wakiya, who almost came here two years ago to do a restaurant at the Bryant Park Hotel. [NYP] Related: Restaurant Happenings: Sirio’s New Address? [NYM] Bruni won’t have to bear the Diner’s Journal load alone anymore; we can now also look forward to the musings of Julia Moskin, Kim Seversen, and other contemplative food writers. [NYT] Meanwhile, Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert and the Food & Wine staff have launched their own blogs. (The Ripper’s requires a subscription to The Wine Spectator.) [Snack]

K-Fed Demeans Fast-Food Workers; David Blaine’s Zagat Stunt

Restaurant-industry representatives want a K-Fed Super Bowl ad in which he's a fast-food worker pulled, because it “leaves the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant.“ Being associated with K-Fed is demeaning enough, no? [MSNBC] Meanwhile, McDonald’s announces its strongest year in three decades. [NYT] Related: Food Network Accused of (Subliminal) Advertising David Blaine, in his most grueling stunt yet, chats with the Zagats at Babbo, calling Tim Zagat “a saint.” [NYP] Related: Junior Zagat Resigns

Food Network Accused of (Subliminal) Advertising

Has McDonald’s resorted to subliminal advertising? And is the Food Network in on the conspiracy? No. But believe it or not, there’s a blogger who seems to think so. Not without reason, it turns out. This slow-motion look at a segment of Iron Chef reveals one single frame of the Golden Arches and “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan — played at regular speed, it would never be seen by the human eye. The Food Network denies the use of any mind-control techniques. “It was a technical error on our part,” spokesman Mark O’Connor said in a statement that was sent by the network when we requested comment. It was “not a subliminal message as suggested by a website running the slow-motion playback.” Apparently, a small sponsor logo that was supposed to appear on a stats page appeared full screen at the wrong time. But there’s one question O’Connor did not answer: Why do we suddenly have the urge to make a Hamburglar sock puppet?
Food Network Running Subliminal McDonalds Ads [thatsfit.com]