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Food Network Shows: Grill It! with Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Food Network Star
Cooking Channel Show: Brunch @ Bobby’s

Bobby Flay‘s versatility is evident in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and media personality.

Bobby discovered his culinary identity at the age of 17, working as a cook at the famed theatre district haunt Joe Allen’s. The job had been arranged by his father, who was a partner in the restaurant. After a short time, Joe Allen himself became so impressed by Bobby’s talents that he paid the young cook’s tuition to the French Culinary Institute.

Following his graduation in 1984, Bobby worked with restaurateur/owner Jonathan Waxman at Buds and Jams, where he first discovered the sweet heat of Southwestern ingredients. It was at these burgeoning restaurants that he met other icons of the era – Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower — whom he credits with spawning an entire generation of chefs. After Jams, Bobby debuted as Executive Chef at the East Village’s Miracle Grill, where he caught the attention of restaurateur Jerome Kretchmer. Kretchmer offered the 25-year-old the opportunity to create his own sensation at Mesa Grill, which opened in 1991.

Soon after, Bobby teamed with businessman Laurence Kretchmer to open Bolo in November 1993 in the Flatiron District. During Bolo’s reign, Bobby drew inspiration from the bravado and complexities of Spanish food, deftly blending the unique flavors of Spain with more familiar American ingredients. A decade later, its menu reenergized by the introduction of tapas, Bolo was awarded a rare three stars by The New York Times.

Bobby brought his unique amalgam of innovative food and inviting hospitality to Las Vegas with the 2004 opening of Mesa Grill at the legendary Caesars Palace. The city’s upbeat urban energy provides an ideal backdrop for Mesa Grill’s lively cuisine.

At New York’s Bar Americain, which opened in March 2005, Bobby takes the intimacy of a midtown brasserie and injects it with authentic American flavors and style. Drawn exclusively from regional American ingredients, his dishes rejuvenate old classics and celebrate the abundance of America’s diverse and delicious heritage. Bar Americain has received rave reviews from the press, including two stars from The New York Times.

Bobby Flay Steak, which opened in July 2006 in Atlantic City, is Bobby’s first-ever steakhouse. Here, he presents classic steakhouse fare that he remembers enjoying as a child in New York City and on the Jersey Shore as well as new dishes that incorporate his famous grilling techniques and signature Southwestern fare.

In March 2007, Bobby brought Mesa Grill to The Cove Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas, and in July 2008, opened his first Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) in Long Island. At the BBP, Bobby presents an array of burgers inspired by his extensive travels throughout America and his love of the grill in a convenient casual setting. The second outpost of the BBP opened in December 2008 at the Monmouth Mall and the third BBP in the Bergen Town Center in Paramus, both in New Jersey. In 2009, Bobby brought two of his restaurants to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut: a fourth BBP opened in July, and Bar Americain opened in November. Bobby opened his fifth BBP location in 2010 in Philadelphia on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Bobby also shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for food through his cookbooks and cooking programs. His ninth cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes (Clarkson Potter), hit bookstores in April 2009, and Bobby Flay’s Throwdown! (Clarkson Potter), the companion to the popular primetime series featuring recipes from both Bobby and his challengers, was released on October 2010.

Since debuting on Food Network in 1994, Bobby has continuously hosted programs that bring cooking tips and information on American regional fare to a national audience. His first show, Grillin’ & Chillin’, premiered in 1996, followed by Hot Off the Grill in 1998 and Boy Meets Grill in 2003. Along with participating in many holiday and seasonal Food Network specials over the years, Bobby currently stars on Iron Chef America (premiered 2005), Throwdown with Bobby Flay (premiered 2006), Grill It! with Bobby Flay and Food Network Star (both premiered 2008). In fall 2010, Bobby expanded his television presence to Food Network’s sister network Cooking Channel with the debut of Brunch @ Bobby’s.

Bobby works tirelessly to challenge the way Americans view and taste food — making it bold, zesty and always fun.

Guy Fieri

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Guy Fieri (born January 22, 1968) is a chef and TV personality. He is the winner of the second season of The Next Food Network Star. Fieri was awarded a six-episode commitment for his own cooking show on Food Network, called Guy’s Big Bite, which premiered on June 25, 2006 and was renewed for a second season that began airing in early 2007. His second series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, premiered in April, 2007 (a one-hour pilot for the series aired as a special in November 2006) and sees Fieri traveling the country visiting local eateries.

Not familiar with Guy?  check out a couple of these videos:

first a parody of Guy on Saturday Night Live  Super Bowl Recipes

now how about the real thing?  here is a few videos of Guy in action of Triple D

Fieri is also the co-owner of Johnny Garlic’s California Pasta Grill in Windsor, California, as well as Tex Wasabi’s in Sacramento and Santa Rosa, California. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Restaurant Administration from UNLV, which he earned in 1990.

Courtsey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fieri


Man Vs. Food – Ciao Baby

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Adam Richman, host of Man Vs. Food traveled to Ciao Baby, located at 5074 Sunrise Hwy
Massapequa Park, NY 11762 (516) 799-5200, is  a family style Italian restaurant known for its insanely huge portions.  The most famous of these dinner monstrosities is the Rice Ball. 

This may not look like much in a photo, but when it arrives at your table and you can see a full size steak knife completely swallowed up by it, you realize you are in trouble.  Depending on your seat in the restaurant you can view these bowling ball size appetizers being prepared and plated for almost every table, seeing three together looks like a picture of the three stooges.  Easily sliced for 5-
6 people, it is filled with rice, meat, cheese and sauce seasoned perfectly to whet your appetite.

The menu at Ciao Baby is a wide range of Italian specialties; my personal favorite is their skirt steak entrée.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, simply ask one of your waiters, yes you get multiple, if they can make what you want.  Ciao baby has a long-standing policy of  “if we have the ingredients, we can make it” so next time you are there, try challenging them.

When it’s time for dessert, your waiter will bring out a dessert platter model for you to choose from, and go ahead an ask the waiter if the dessert models are actual size, you will like the response.

check out this video of when Adam Richman visited Ciao Baby.  MVF @ Ciao Baby

OH! and look at Adam’s shirt, He is wearing an L&B Spumoni Gardens shirt he received from Lenny while filming there the previous day.  We will get to L&B in a later entry.

Food Trucks: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

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The latest and greatest fad in NYC is food trucks.   The independence it represents and the “underground movement” theme has captured the interest and the taste buds of New Yorkers around the 5 boros.  Here is a great site to visit to check out what food trucks are doing these days:  nycfoodtrucks.org offers visitors a glimpse at the Food Truck Association and its members, including some of the all stars of the NYC food truck scene.

The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck brings ice cream way beyond the old Mr. Softee trucks that came around blaring music to us as kids.   For one thing, THEY DON’T PLAY MUSIC!  A winner in my book right at the start.

They have multiple locations:

48 1/2 East 7th St,(at 2nd Avenue)             632 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (at bedford and Nassau)

81 Bergen St (at Smith St)
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, 11217

They were recently seen on an episode of EAT STREET, where they shared some of their secrets.  They use only fresh milk, where most other ice cream is produced with condensed or powdered milk.  They use absolutely no stabilizers, preservatives, or emulsifiers in their ice cream which gives it the natural taste we all love.  Their ingredients come from Lewis County in upstate NY, so its all local and sustainable.  But I know what you are asking, what about the flavors?

They have plenty of those too!  Vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, hazelnut, ginger, coffee and more!  my personal favorite is the Hazelnut.  Not only are these artisan ice cream makers saving our bodies from unnatural ingredients, but they are saving the environment too!  They serve all their food in 100% biodegradable containers made from sugar cane.  so when you toss out your left overs you can be worry free, you are not harming the environment.  Unless you are having your ice cream on one of their delicious cones, then you better eat the whole thing!

you can follow these ice cream pioneers all year on twitter twitter.com/vlaic or @VLAIC
 They have increased the number of trucks they have and will be serving every season, good for this unexpectedly warm winter in NYC, but even on cold days dont forget they have a variety of hot drinks from hot chocolate to Espresso.


Keep checking back for more updates on this food truck and more, we will be attempting to try and review every food truck in NYC this year.

Any trained body emerges above a wonder.

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Any trained body emerges above a wonder.

…with that in mind, we turn to cooking schools.  Ever wanted to be a chef?  you are going to need training.  Lets face it, if you want to rise above the “weekend warrior” cook in your home kitchen, you are going to need some professional training and credentials.

http://www.cookingschools.com/ has a complete directory of cooking schools with a wide variety of studies.

You can find each degree level on this site as well as varying areas of study, from hospitality and management to catering

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I came across this “unique eat” while watching Diners Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network and I think it is a fitting way to start and set the tone for this blog.  Guy visited Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley, CA.  and if this is your first time learning about this dish, you may be surprised to know it is not a meal native to California.

Actually scrapple is heavy in this region:

So what is Scrapple?  Scrapple is the spare parts of the pig that are not normall used, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “everything but the oink”  It will come to you in a think slice like meatloaf and is often finished off by being fried in clarified butter or even maple syrup, which if you have any reservations about trying this, remember anything is edible with fried butter or maple syrup.  Lets take a look at a scrapple recipe so those of us not in the “scrapple” belt can give it a try.

  • 1 whole pork butt, cut into 6 to 8 pieces  (i’m in already)
  • 4 whole hocks, fresh
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and cut in 1/2
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
  • 3 cups white cornmeal
  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • Clarified butter, for pan frying
  • Applesauce or maple syrup, for serving


To a large stockpot, add the pork butt, hocks, onion, celery, peppercorns and bay leaves. Barely cover with water and simmer over low heat until the pork is tender and the meat falls off the bones, about 2 hours.

Drain and reserve the stock. Pour the solid contents onto a sheet pan so that you can easily discard the celery, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves and all of the bones. Make sure to pull the meat completely off the bones, being careful to remove all the small pieces of bone.

Add the meat to a food processor with blade attachment and pulse to coarsely chop. Don’t over grind it.

Measure 1 gallon of stock and return it to the pot with the meat and cayenne, black pepper, salt, and sage. Bring to a simmer over low heat.

Add the cornmeal and stir, stir, stir. Simmer until smooth and thick, about 15 minutes or so. Add a little stock or water, if needed, to ensure a smooth texture.

Pour into 3 loaf pans and refrigerate until solid, preferably overnight.

Unmold, slice and fry in clarified butter until golden brown. Serve with applesauce or maple syrup.

This recipe was found on foodnetwork.com