Introducing a roundup of great recipes and reviews from the Culinary Content Network this week
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Our mission is to be all things food and drink. But we can’t do that without voices from around the country (and the world). That’s why The Daily Meal created the Culinary Content Network, an invitation-only community of recipe writers, restaurant reviewers, food bloggers, and photographers valued by our editors for their insight into all things culinary. It’s a way to highlight a really special and diverse collection of passionate and knowledgeable voices, and allow The Daily Meal’s readers and other contributors to get to know them as well.
If you’re not familiar with The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network, you should be. You’ll find fresh content promoted daily on the homepage below the features section, as well as on the individual channel pages. What kind of things should you expect? Lemony Egg Rice Soup with Mint from Fresh Eggs Daily (Because Life Is Just Better with Chickens), saffron cocktails from Fun From Behind Bars, Sprouted Chickpea Bread from This Rawsome Vegan Life, Black Iron Skillet Chops with Mushrooms and Tennessee Whiskey Sauce by Twirl and Taste… these are just a few examples of the passionate members of the Culinary Content Network.
New recipes and great reviews are constantly being posted, but with our new newsletter redesign we’re also bringing these great voices directly to your inbox. With this post, we’re also going to regularly feature weekly roundups of some of the great stories from the Culinary Content Network that have been featured on The Daily Meal. Welcome, there’s a world of great food and folk to explore.
Unlike Portland that has so many destination-worthy doughnut shops they might as well change the nickname from Beervana to Doughnutvana, Portlanders’ playground in Central Oregon, Bend, has a dearth of doughnutteries. Kristina Serhan has changed that all from the comfort of her own home.
Chalk to Flour is her home-based bakery, or cottage-based you can say thanks to Oregon cottage laws that provide for her to make everything from cookies to cakes to those scrumptious doughnuts without a commercial store or kitchen. The only real bummer is that you can’t walk in and have your mouth water staring at a rack of chocolate-glazed hazelnut-topped doughnuts you have to order two days in advance and either pick them up from her porch (no need for a mask as she’ll have your order boxed up and waiting for you) or you can spring for local delivery.
Chalk to Flour has barely been in business over a year but Serhan is garnering word-of-mouth plus lots of digital oohs and aahs via Chalk to Flour’s Instagram account.
Good thing drooling over her custom cakes is sugar and carb free. And while she’s got a menu of her staples, she’ll truly customize anything you’re craving. Can’t decide between ordering a dozen cupcakes or cookies? Get cookie dough topped cupcakes!
In addition to being a doughnut fiend, I’m a glutton for cinnamon rolls. While she’ll bake you up a half dozen classic cream cheese frosted ones, I saw she makes a chocolate babka (the greater babka?!) roll. And she embellishes it with a little orange zest if you want. Well I love chocolate and orange so Serhan over-zested mine as if she thought, “what would Brian like?” Chocolate-orange-babka-roll not your jam?
Of course, some of her creations are a little more universal in their inspiration. Take the Oreo Roll. “I won’t lie,” says Serhan, “that was a 4/20 inspo. Like gourmet munchie food. My boyfriend only let me have half of one and devoured three on his own.”
Our Top 10 Recipes of the Decade
With 2020 around the corner, we&rsquore up to our necks in retrospectives, from films to fashion to music, and more. Billboard hits may come and go, but one thing is guaranteed year over year&mdashhungry home cooks looking for the key to their next meal. Still reeling from the revelation of your Spotify top artists of 2019? We recommend a soothing look back at the top 10 most-searched recipes in our collection from the last 10 years. Despite the decade&rsquos ups and downs, below you&rsquoll find comforting, hearty fare that never goes out of style.
10. French-Style Scrambled Eggs
Kicking off the list is Beard Award winner Eric Ripert with this elegant take on a breakfast classic, proving it&rsquos never a bad thing to add a little butter and heavy cream.
9. Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
This Provençal recipe featuring a prodigious pile of garlic might not be the best choice for a first date, but the dish&rsquos tender chicken and buttery, spreadable roasted cloves (James Beard says slather that on crusty bread!) are definitely marriage material.
8. Semolina Pasta Dough
This building-block recipe from JBF Award winner Jennifer Jasinski is the key to unlocking a whole new world of pasta potential. Might we recommend her artichoke and white truffle tortelloni, or heirloom tomato consommé with goat cheese ravioli?
7. Texas-Style Oven Brisket
America&rsquos Classics Award winner Louie Muller Barbecue has been called &ldquothe cathedral of smoke&rdquo for the much-admired meats it&rsquos been serving for nearly 70 years. If a carnivorous pilgrimage isn&rsquot in your future, bring Central Texas home with this recipe for their signature brisket.
6. Honey&ndashHabanero Chicken Wings
The Lone Star State makes another appearance on our list with this recipe from Houston chef David Cordúa. Put this rendition of the perennial game day favorite on your Super Bowl menu now for an irresistible combo of heat and sweet.
Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic (photo and food styling: Judy Kim)
5. Parker House Rolls
Why mess with a classic? James Beard&rsquos take on the traditional dinner roll keeps the method straightforward while offering a few presentational twists, like braids or layered stacks.
4. Cuban Braised Pork Shoulder
Beard Award winner and Chefs Boot Camp alum Hugh Acheson counts this slow-cooking beauty as a favorite family recipe. Rich pork shoulder gets a three-hour bath in a mix of Caribbean spices and seasonings, yielding a dinner centerpiece that is fork-tender and packed with flavor.
3. Home-Style Oxtail Stew
Los Altos&ndashbased chef Laurence Chu originally created this cozy stew in honor of his father-in-law, who missed the comfort food of his childhood in China. Rich oxtails meet a complexly flavored sauce for a dish that&rsquos the perfect way to keep warm during the deepest part of winter.
2. Macaroni and Cheese
Best of the decade runner-up goes to James Beard&rsquos take on mac &lsquon&rsquo cheese, which features three cups of shredded cheddar and a boatload of bread crumbs. Need we say more?
1. Duck Confit
Our number one recipe of the decade proves that true greatness is timeless. Beard Foundation chief strategy officer and cookbook author Mitchell Davis lays out his rendition of the centuries-old technique of duck confit, which began as a method of preserving duck through the winter, but continues to be used because it makes for &ldquodelicious eating.&rdquo
Wishing you lots of good cooking and delicious eating in the year and decade to come!
Hungry for more? View our entire recipe collection.
Maggie Borden is content manager at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.
4 Answers 4
I am not a professional chef, but I have worked in restaurant kitchens, and have been lucky enough to befriend some enormously talented people - line cooks, pastry chefs, culinary school graduates, and executive chefs. I'm basing this mostly on my observations of the way they work, and the conversations I've had with them. Although I never sat down and asked them directly how they came up with dishes, I have sometimes served as a sounding board for their ideas, offered suggestions, and seen menus-in-progress, which I think provide some valuable insight.
Keep in mind that every chef is a bit different. There are many sources of inspiration that a chef can use when creating a dish. They can think back to their childhood, look at trends among their peers and in the industry as a whole, look to many different culinary traditions, and so on. The degree to which each person does this is unique, and it informs a large part of what we'd call their "style". But, in general, I think there are some fairly universal processes.
There are really two distinct things happening when coming up with a dish: ideation and execution.
By ideation, I mean the process of coming up with an initial idea for a dish. This is when the chef has pretty much a blank slate (though often times, it's in the context of coming up with a specific type of dish an appetizer, or a meat course) and they're thinking about possibilities for what they want to do. This can take a lot of different forms, and I've heard chefs describe how their ideas first came to them in a lot of different ways. It can be:
- A "lightbulb moment", where the concept spontaneously and suddenly appears in their mind, oftentimes when they're working on something else.
- Thinking about multiple dishes and trying to re-match "elements" or components of each dish with one another. For instance, taking the flavors of a ceasar salad (anchovy, egg, parmesan) and combining them with the presentation of a deviled egg. [I should note that this is my own example, which is why it isn't a great one. Like I said: I'm not a professional.]
- Being inspired by a single ingredient, and finding a few other flavors that complement or contrast that core flavor. For example, complementing a sweet corn soup with snow crab meat and a melted paprika butter. [A much better example, from an actual chef!]
- Taking a dish (from any number of sources) and deliberately trying to do something different with a single element, component, or flavor. For example, taking tacos (which often use Latin American flavors) and instead using a southeastern Asian flavor palette (fish sauce, cilantro, ginger, garlic).
Notice that one of these approaches is not sitting down with a dictionary of flavors and trying to assemble combinations that "scientifically" go together somehow. Good chefs have an intuitive feel for what flavors go well together, a kind of sensory memory, that is not just informed by flavor pairings but also by culinary traditions. The list of potential flavor combinations is close to infinite, but people tend to gravitate towards the familiar in their food. To some degree, diners want comfort and foods or flavors they recognize. I'd argue that this is true even in molecular gastronomy, where the point is often to present unfamiliar flavors in a very mundane, familiar presentation, or the reverse - take known and loved flavors, and present them in a seemingly bizarre way.
Chefs know this from their training and experience, and they don't try to draw out flavor combinations from a blank starting point. Instead, they utilize pairings that they just "know" work well, or that they love. Sometimes they'll swap out a single component from that pairing for something similar, but in general they're not trying to invent totally new, never-done-before combinations of flavor.
For this reason, a lot of chefs I've known have truly absurd collections of cookbooks and recipes. One head chef that I worked with for years estimated that he had over 1,000 books (and he mentioned this as he was browsing online, making a wishlist of more that he wanted). The reason is not because they're cooking these dishes as written - instead, they're drawing on them for initial inspiration. They're reading the recipe as written and thinking about how they want to utilize the particular method, what different components they can swap out, or how they could adapt the same dish to a totally different method of cooking.
Once the initial idea takes shape, it's time for execution. This is typically a very iterative process, meaning that it involves cooking the dish, tasting it, and seeking feedback. That feedback could come from themselves (by thinking about what they'd change or do better) but it often comes from others. This can happen with specific elements of the dish cooked separately, or the entire assemblage of them. Chefs usually seem to taste individual pieces as they go until they're happy then they put everything together, taste the combination, and then try it out on others, but that varies depending on their style and how comfortable they are with what they're creating.
In a healthy team environment, there's usually a lot of collaboration. Chefs will talk through their partly-completed ideas out loud and share flashes of inspiration they've had for one core element or a dish they want to do. They might cook a small batch of something and ask everyone to taste. One of my favorite parts of creating a new menu were workshop sessions with multiple chefs all bouncing ideas off one another, cooking their own dishes, then tasting each as a crew and offering suggestions (or sometimes coming up with totally new ideas by saying "why couldn't we do that like this instead?"). Feedback can also come from front-of-house staff or from guests the first week or so is a very important time for a new menu because people are seeing things for the first time, and you can get their reactions (if you're humble enough to ask).
This is often the part where chefs will sit down with a "flavor bible" and look for flavors that go well with what's already in the dish. They may feel that something is missing, and try to find something that will complement other components. Or perhaps they want to use a different flavor from what's already present, and are looking for a replacement that will work well with other ingredients. Or, they have one particular ingredient that they're happy with, but it's out of season, or too expensive, and they're trying to find a reasonable substitute.
Good chefs will also typically be thinking about plating at this point, and how the dish should be arranged and presented. I often hear that "we eat with our eyes", although I think it's more accurate to say that plating is sort of an introduction to the dish. In order for something to be really, really good, it can't just taste excellent. It has to sound enticing on the menu, and it has to look (and smell) beautiful when it arrives - all of that contributes to anticipation of the flavor.
There's one more thing that really good, experienced chefs do well which goes beyond coming up with any single dish. Assembling a menu is really an impressive skill that I think goes under-appreciated. It involves repeating all of the above, not just for a single dish but for an entire array of them, all of which have to individually sound enticing and balance one another. Creating an entire menu involves balancing a ridiculous number of factors, like:
- The style of the restaurant (or venue, for special events)
- The season (what ingredients are fresh, readily available and just as important, what isn't)
- The balance they want to strike between different types of dishes (appetizers, main courses, pastas, sandwiches, desserts, sides, etc.)
- The balance they want to strike between different offerings (do they have something vegetarian-friendly? A fish option? A meat option? Items for adventurous diners? Items for the non-adventurous?)
- The general price point they need to consider for their target audience
- The variety of specific ingredients (avoiding the same flavor combinations being used in everything - or perhaps, being able to re-use the same components in multiple places for efficiency)
It's really pretty insane, and this in my mind is the defining line between a "chef" and an "executive chef". I'm always impressed by the skill involved in not just coming up with a list of ideas, but bashing them into something that feels balanced, sounds consistently delicious, and expresses their unique style - and then in turn, having each one of those dishes executed well! Home cooks can often come up with great dishes, and fantastic, original takes on classics, but you have to be a real pro to come up with 20-30 of them that fit into a cohesive whole. So, the next time you sit down at a restaurant, scan the menu, and think "this all sounds really amazing", stop and give the chef a silent cheer.
In short? It's really, really complicated. There are no hard and fast rules. It's not a procedure or a science it's very much an art. Chefs spend their entire careers learning how to do this well, and there is always the opportunity to get better.
"There have been many chefs that have left a mark on me — some leave behind a sprinkling of their pixie dust when it comes to the fundamental kitchen cooking techniques and how to better apply them. With others, it may be lessons in business, and they leave behind the knowledge on how to run the numbers, get creative with concepts and such," ICE Chef Chris Scott explains. "For me, the influences that stick the most are the spiritual lessons behind why we do what we do."
After leaving Birdman Juke Joint shortly after it opened in Connecticut in 2020, Chef Chris reflects, "when I opened that restaurant in Connecticut and had the most dreadful time in my career, I felt alone. I felt as if I had nowhere to turn personally or professionally. And then I met Chef Mona Jackson. Chef Mona is a legend in the Bridgeport community. She has the kitchen skill and knowledge of Leah Chase and the sass and personality of Moms Mabley. She is indeed a diamond in the rough located in a city not necessarily known for its food culture."
Chef Mona owns and operates an organization called Cook and Grow, which teaches cooking, nutrition and kitchen safety, including classes on how food can affect diabetes, high blood pressure and childhood obesity. These classes are for everyone, but her focus is mainly young kids ages 8 to 13. She offers scholarships for kids that excel in the program and is on the lookout for gifted kids in the Bridgeport school districts that may have an interest in cooking.
Tough kale stems become buttery crackers. An abundance of cores, leaves and stalks is turned into a flavour-rich kitchen scrap kimchi. Protein-packed whey, a by-product of cheese- and yogurt-making, gives grits or any other grain “an extra nutritional and gustatory boost.” An orange and almond cake from food writer and cook James Beard – JBF’s namesake – uses the whole fruit, flesh, pith and peel. Eggshells are the only waste from the entire recipe.
Derry, a Top Chef All-Star based in Dallas, Texas, was inspired to get involved with the issue after learning the sheer volume of food that ends up in American landfills – up to 40 per cent of all produce grown annually. Last year, she met with members of Congress to push for changes in food waste labelling and she’s also part of JBF’s new multi-year movement, Waste Not Wednesday, which aims to encourage people to make small changes one day a week.
Two recipe e-books you'll use over and over again.
Lab Tested Recipes
Every recipe has been tested by an accredited laboratory. I show you the test results for every recipe, regardless of whether the recipe is TCS or NTCS. I truly believe there is value in knowing if a recipe is TCS, even if Texas law doesn't allow us to sell it!
These two e-books contain thousands of dollars worth of testing results for only $20, saving you time and money.
Knowledge is power
Have you ever wondered exactly what factors determine if food requires time and temperature control for safety? I explain the factors in basic terms and include a visual chart on every recipe to show why that recipe is TCS or NTCS.
Every recipe is a tried and true recipe that will not fail. These are recipes you can build your business on. Your customers will love the products you provide to them!
What frostings and fillings can I sell?
All foods sold under the Texas Cottage Food Law must not require time or temperature control for safety (TCS). But it’s almost impossible to be sure that a frosting or filling is not temperature controlled for safety (NTCS) without having it tested. That’s why I had over 50 different recipes tested by an accredited laboratory, and I’m offering the recipes and test results in my e-books: Come and Bake It: Original and Come and Bake It: Pumpkin Spice Edition.
Food Trends Come and Go, but Nigella Lawson Is Forever
The beloved British food writer has been a culinary world mainstay for two decades. Her latest offering, the lockdown-conceptualized cookbook Cook, Eat, Repeat, proves why.
Nigella Lawson still knows best.
The beloved British cookbook author has graced our bookshelves and television screens for more than two decades now, and her charmingly aloof yet unpretentious approach to cooking, food, and life has never resonated with home cooks more. Lawson&mdashmuch like the rest of the world&mdashcouldn't have predicted a global pandemic would upend restaurant culture and send us back to our kitchens for the bulk of a year. But the fact that her latest literary offering, Cook, Eat, Repeat, is filled with recipes that could easily be adapted through this unprecedented period of time? Well, that's just the magic of Lawson herself: She always knows what we'll need, far before we know we'll need it.
Though Lawson's cookbooks always tend to have a theme (i.e., a fresh focus on Italian fare in Nigellissima or baked confections in How to Be a Domestic Goddess) Cook, Eat, Repeat is much less a cookbook and more so a curated ode to Lawson's favorite comfort foods, sensations, and kitchen-inspired memories. Chapters like "A Is for Anchovy" celebrate the gloriously salty sensation of the fish, and "A Loving Defense of Brown Food" highlights dishes such as stews, dips, and meaty sauces. The book itself, which Lawson started right before the beginning of the pandemic and finished as she quarantined alone throughout the height of it, kept the author focused and comforted within the safety and privacy of her home.
"I didn't want the book to be dominated by [the reality of the pandemic], but I couldn't ignore these times," Lawson tells BAZAAR.com over the phone from London. "It made me redo one chapter entirely&mdashI did have a chapter that was called 'How to Invite Friends for Dinner Without Hating Them or Yourself' and that obviously wasn't appropriate, because I didn't know how long [COVID] would be going on for. But it also didn't even seem right being in a time when you couldn't even have friends over. It seems so absurd you'd start getting anxious about what you were cooking.
She continues, "It wasn't that hard for me to redo it, because when I have people over, I cook food that is also the sort of food I eat when I'm at home by myself. Maybe there are more courses, but it's essentially the same, so I recast that much more as just for thinking of families, having to think about what to eat for supper day in, day out. I also already had quite a few single-portion foods for cooking for one, but it seems so apparent that so many people were having to do that then&mdashI was. I was alone in lockdown, so I either found more ways of saying in a recipe, 'Well, this is for four, but this is how I'd cook it if I were cooking it for one,' and exactly the best ways of making the adjustment summary."
Lawson viewed putting together Cook, Eat, Repeat as a therapeutic process but ultimately as a practice of gratitude as well. Every day, she would wake up and taste-test&mdashwhile simultaneously reflecting on the memories that fuel her recipes&mdashin between moments of connecting with fans on social media who were also revisiting and reimagining their kitchens like never before. The routine reminded Lawson of why she dedicated her life to the pleasure of food in the first place.
"You can't write a book without feeling very intimately connected, but there's something about this book because it kept me company during lockdown and I felt very fortunate to have work," says Lawson. "My concentration was a bit shot, like everyone's at the beginning, so it took a bit longer [to finish]. But in those shapeless days, it was wonderful to get up and know what I had to do and be really focused. I had the memories of all the meals I eat, because every recipe I write has so many memories attached to it. It felt, really, like a reinforcement of what I felt&mdashhow important food is to our emotional well-being as well as our physical well-being. That seemed in a way quite pronounced, because no one had any news&mdashthe only news anyone had to share [through lockdown] was what they'd been eating and cooking."
Like so many of us, Lawson took pleasure in comfort recipes like lasagna, fried chicken sandwiches, and salty, chewy chocolate cookies. She isn't here to shame anyone for their personal cravings&mdashin or out of quarantine. In fact, she has an entire chapter of the book to simply titled "Pleasures," followed by a persuasive essay on why no one should feel guilty for merely enjoying a meal.
I feel life offers pleasure, then it offers difficulties. You need to try and make the most of those pleasures.
"For a lot of people, but particularly for women, there's so much policing over what they should eat, how they should approach themselves, and persecuting yourself for eating something you like. Because if you say, 'It's my guilty pleasure,' to me, it implies that you feel I don't deserve that or I shouldn't be doing that," says Lawson. "Food is such a pure pleasure, and I feel life offers pleasure, then it offers difficulties. You need to try and make the most of those pleasures. I just think that's no way to live [in denying yourself]. I think it plays with your head as well as with your health.
She adds, "It sounds so straightforward, but so many people, and women in particular, have such a tortured relationship with food and their body. It seems to me to add greatly to your life if you can resist that, and I do think cooking is part of that."
While the pandemic eliminated the chance for Lawson to have friends over and host dinner parties, she found cooking for herself to be just as meaningful a ritual, especially amid the unavoidable uncertainty and stress of quarantine.
"I feel that if you don't cook . it's hard to think of how you'd have got by in the last year. I get pleasure from looking at the ingredients, they're like a still life in your house. A bowl of lemons or some leeks, and when you fry them, that tender green that arrives as a result. I get pleasure all the time," quips Lawson. "The smells of the spices and the pottering about looking after myself. . I don't like the term self-care, in a way, because I think it's become slightly acrid, and it speaks of that sort of seriousness similar to an incense stick. Not that I've got anything against incense sticks, I like them&mdashbut I just feel it's about seizing the day and seizing the pleasures that are available, because that's how you can just feel more joy. It wasn't really here when there was the capacity or the option, the possibility for enormous amounts of joy. Why wouldn't you take it where you can?"
Lawson's life mantras often intersect with her approach to food one could argue that's the secret to her success. When it comes to her relationship with the kitchen, womanhood, and style, Lawson is synonymous with laissez-faire. Her personal image and cooking methods have remained refreshingly consistent in her decades-long career. Relatable, reliable, and genuine&mdasha feat few of her food world colleagues have been able to replicate. How the world views Lawson doesn't mean it's how she views herself, though. When asked to reflect on her impact in the food world, Lawson plays it cool.
I'm a complete klutz, but you don't need dexterity or professional skill to cook food that tastes good.
"If I think deeply about it, it still feels a bit odd. It wasn't what I thought I would do when I started in the working world, but I think that so many important things in life happen by accident," says Lawson. "Although, initially I felt, and I still feel it very strongly, that I'm a home cook. I don't have training. I'm a complete klutz, but you don't need dexterity or professional skill to cook food that tastes good. I thought that it seemed so important to really show people that you don't need to cook like a restaurant at home. You can be freer at home, and all that really matters is, does it taste good, and does this make my home feel happy?"
Turkey Day is the Star All Month Long With 40% More Content Than Last Year
First-Ever Fully Interactive Thanksgiving Event with Guy Fieri to Stream Live on Food Network Kitchen App
NEW YORK – September 30, 2019 – Food Network and Cooking Channel are preparing for food’s biggest holiday with a full slate of Thanksgiving-themed programming, including a live on-air event and first-ever, interactive Thanksgiving streaming event on the NEW Food Network Kitchen app, marking a 40% increase in Thanksgiving content compared to 2018. The November primetime lineup on Food Network includes: Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge, a four-episode competition hosted by Giada De Laurentiis premiering Sunday, November 3rd at 9pm ET/PT Worst Cooks in America: Thanksgiving Redemption with Anne Burrell and Scott Conant on Sunday, November 10th at 10pm ET/PT brand-new special Thanksgiving Pie Fight hosted by Sunny Anderson on Thursday, November 14th at 9pm ET/PT a turkey-focused Good Eats one-hour special with Alton Brown on Sunday, November 17th at 8pm ET/PT and Macy’s Thanksgiving Cake Spectacularwith Maureen McCormick on Sunday, November 17th at 10pm ET/PT. On Friday, November 22nd at 9pm ET/6pm PT, Guy Fieri will host the first-ever, fully interactive LIVE Thanksgiving streaming event, Guy’s Thanksgiving Hotline, on the Food Network Kitchen app, sharing recipes, tips and guidance for the biggest holiday of the year, and giving fans the chance to have their questions answered in real-time. In daytime, Food Network goes live on air on Saturday, November 23rd at 11am ET with special two-hour interactive event The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live with The Kitchen co-hosts Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian, joined by Alton Brown. Immediately following The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live, fans can join the hosts on the Food Network Kitchen app as they each go live sharing more great ideas on how to make this year’s Thanksgiving the best it can be. On Cooking Channel, host Carla Hall discovers outrageous Turkey Day treats in primetime special Thanksgiving Grubdown on Monday, November 11th at 9pm ET/6pm PT.
“Food Network and Cooking Channel have Thanksgiving covered from every angle and this year we have packed the schedule, adding dynamic live and interactive content to really give viewers the experience, access and information they crave,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network and Cooking Channel. “From expert Thanksgiving feast recipes and family entertaining tips to edge-of-your-seat holiday themed competitions, spectacles, and live stunts, our programming and platforms are the ultimate destination leading up to the big day.”
The season kicks off on Sunday, November 3rd at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network with Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge, where six chefs face off to create the ultimate Thanksgiving dishes. Host Giada De Laurentiis puts the creative competitors to the test, challenging them to prepare the most delicious and innovative turkeys, side dishes and desserts to ever hit a dining table. Judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Carla Hall and Christian Petroni choose the $25,000 winner in the finale on Sunday, November 24th at 9pm ET/PT. Join the conversation on social using #UltimateThanksgivingChallenge.
On Sunday, November 10th at 10pm ET/PT, four beloved former Worst Cooks recruits return to boot camp in Worst Cooks in America: Thanksgiving Redemption. Chefs Anne Burrell and Scott Conant teach the much-improved recruits how to make a Thanksgiving meal to impress judges Jonathan Waxman, Esther Choi and Cliff Crooks – and only the winning team wins kitchen appliances worth $10,000. Follow #WorstCooks on social media for more of the very best of the worst.
Four top pie bakers compete to create the most outrageously visual and edible pies in the brand-new special Thanksgiving Pie Fight, premiering Thursday, November 14th at 9pm ET/PT. Hosted by Sunny Anderson, the bakers must utilize height-defying techniques, intricate designs, dyed doughs and more to blow away judges Nacho Aguirre, Jessica Clark-Bojin and Scott Conant. With a $10,000 prize at stake, the self-taught and professional bakers will stop at nothing to make the most elaborate pies. Follow the fight on social media using #ThanksgivingPieFight.
Alton Brown talks turkey in Good Eats: Thanksgiving Special, a one-hour show dedicated to the bird on Sunday, November 17th at 8pm ET/PT. Turkey may be the most versatile of the “New World” critters, but for some crazy reason we only roast it for the holidays, so Alton puts an end to that with three turkey recipes that should be made year-round. Follow #GoodEatsTheReturn to get Alton’s turkey tips and more.
In Macy’s Thanksgiving Cake Spectacular, hosted by Maureen McCormick, four of the country’s best bakers come together to design sweet masterpieces that pay tribute to the beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons and floats. Airing on Sunday, November 17th at 10pm ET/PT, only the most successful cake artist will take home the grand prize of $10,000 and have their work featured in Macy’s flagship New York City store, plus receive tickets to the parade. Judges are Buddy Valastro, Susan Tercero and last season’s winner Timbo Sullivan. Join the conversation anytime using #ThanksgivingCakeSpectacular.
On Friday, November 22nd at 9pm ET/6pm PT, Guy Fieri will host the first-ever, fully interactive live Thanksgiving streaming event, Guy’s Thanksgiving Hotline, on the Food Network Kitchen app, sharing recipes, tips and guidance for the biggest holiday of the year, and giving fans the chance to have their questions answered in real-time.
In daytime on Saturday, November 23rd at 11am ET, the special event The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live helps viewers successfully pull off the biggest culinary holiday of the year with interactive tips and recipes from Food Network stars themselves. In the two-hour live show, The Kitchen co-hosts Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian are joined by Alton Brown to offer their own takes on classic Thanksgiving dishes to make an amazing holiday feast. Immediately following The Kitchen: Thanksgiving Live, the hosts will each go live on the Food Network Kitchen app giving viewers even more Thanksgiving 911 to help make their holidays the best they can be. Follow #TheKitchen #ThanksgivingLive for all the culinary action.
Thanksgiving-themed premiere episodes of fan-favorite series, including Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro, Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Chopped Junior, Girl Meets Farm, Guy’s Grocery Games, Guy’s Ranch Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, Triple D Nation and Valerie’s Home Cooking, will also air in November.
On Cooking Channel, host Carla Hall discovers outrageous Turkey Day treats in the primetime special Thanksgiving Grubdown on Monday, November 11th at 9pm ET/6pm PT. She gobbles ’til she wobbles on pumpkin pancakes piled high with a slice of cheesecake, reimagines Thanksgiving dinner as a giant sandwich and devours a 23-pound cake made with layers of holiday pies. Follow along on social using #ThanksgivingGrubdown.
For even more inspiration, fans will be able to use the Food Network Kitchen app to access 25 LIVE cooking classes each week, over 800 on-demand cooking classes, 3,000 instructional videos, 80,000 recipes, and more. Plus, beginning November 9th viewers can stream all-new episodes of 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray on Food Network Kitchen.
On digital and social, Food Network’s Countdown to Thanksgiving begins November 1st with brand-new content every day across platforms. Fans will get the best-of-the-best recipes and tips, expert demos, product recommendations, interactive Q&As throughout the month, plus the chance to win BIG with social giveaways. Fans will also have an exciting opportunity to have a direct line to experts in Food Network Kitchen to solve their biggest Turkey Day conundrums to make sure their feast is a success. Join the countdown on social media using #CountdowntoThanksgiving.
Visit Cooking Channel’s one-stop guide to Thanksgiving online, featuring everything needed to host the perfect holiday feast. From easy entertaining timesavers and a cornucopia of side dishes to the all-important turkey and something sweet for dessert, Cooking Channel has recipes, how-to videos and step-by-step tutorials to set users up for delicious success.
In the Kitchen With Joanne Fluke, Author of the Hannah Swensen Culinary Mysteries
Bon Appétit: The term “cozy mystery” always makes me laugh — you do realize there’s a corpse here, right, people? Surely some enterprising novelist will churn out “Murder Most Hyggelig” soon. Until then, the coziest cozies remain those by Joanne Fluke, whose Hannah Swensen culinary mysteries star a small-town Minnesota baker and feature recipes alongside the dead bodies her latest, “Banana Cream Pie Murder,” is new at No. 3 in hardcover fiction.
Fluke is an avid baker herself, who often promotes her books on the cooking segments of TV morning shows. But that doesn’t mean she’s never suffered a kitchen disaster. “Of course, anyone who has ever tested a recipe knows how easy it can be to get it wrong,” she told me in a recent email exchange. “Once when I was living in northern Minnesota I decided to throw together a tuna casserole (‘tuna hotdish’ in Minnesotan) for dinner (‘supper’ in Minnesotan). I used the recipe that’s been around forever: cooked pasta, a can of tuna, a small package of frozen peas, a little onion, pepper and whatever seasonings you like, all mixed up with a can of condensed cream of mushroom, cream of chicken or cream of celery soup. I completed everything — I’d even crushed some potato chips to sprinkle on top — and went to the pantry for the soup. But I hadn’t checked beforehand, and all I had was Campbell’s condensed tomato. The result was so awful, we sent out for pizza.”
The recipes in Fluke’s books come from three main sources. Some are from fans, who may be rewarded by having a minor character named after them. Others are hand-me-downs from Fluke’s family. (“The best have smears of butter or chocolate and unidentified fruit stains all over them.”) And some are Fluke originals. “I love to experiment in the kitchen,” she said. “Once I tried to make a cookie using puréed watermelon. It was so awful that not even the neighbor’s dog would try one — and Rex would eat any people food. My husband took one taste of these very gray-looking cookies, spit it out and said, ‘Please don’t make these again, honey!’ I now have a recipe for watermelon cookies. But they are made with watermelon-flavored Kool-Aid.”
Art Of War: “Portraits of Courage,” a collection of George W. Bush’s paintings of military veterans, hits the hardcover nonfiction list at No. 1. In The Guardian recently, the critic Joshua David Stein was especially struck by its subject matter: “Bush seems somehow to be working through what might not be a sense of guilt exactly — he’s never expressed remorse for Operation Iraqi Freedom — but is certainly a deep-seated sense of duty. . . . Does it matter, from a critical standpoint, that Bush might not be aware of his obsession? Certainly he would defer the interpretation laid forth above. But it’s precisely this dramatic irony that gives ‘Portraits of Courage’ its numinous and haunting quality. This book isn’t just art — though it is art — it is also alive and painful and, above all, real.”