During my matrimonially-induced haze, I missed the launch of the snazzy, new TylerFlorence.com. Unlike the current version of TVFF.com, it features an interesting visual design, music and various other multimedia components. Then again, I'm guessing Tyler.com's operating budget is a bit higher than TVFF.com's.
Thanks to the Flash interface, I can't send you links to the various interesting bits, but if you poke around, you'll find the usual complment of recipes, press appearances, schedule and links to cookbooks and other endorsements.
Also highlighted on the site is a link to Tyler's spot on the (relatively) new AOL Food website. The site features large videos of Florence preparing a number of different dishes, and the production and technical quality on the spots is really nice. Also on the site is a link to Tyler's blog.
The blog is surprisingly personal, with more than just the usual recipe entries and "be sure to tune in" promos. There is a write-up of Florence's trip to his son's school to teach them about measuring and even a photo from his recent wedding.
Hey, what kind of goofball puts a photo from his wedding up on a food blog? Oh...never mind.
After seeing him appear in the Applebee's promotion that featured a strong online component and the Food Network Holiday Menu Planner, Tyler's personal foray into building an interactive presence certainly ranks him up at the top of the list of food TV personalities when it comes to taking advantage of the Internet.
Labels: Tyler Florence
because of Cablevision's decision not to include BBC America among the 749 channels I get. I also don't get NFL Network, but that's a post for a different blog.
Although I have heard of no plans to add BBC America to my cable roster, we did get a tidbit of info about Kitchen Nightmares coming to US television. According to the site TV with MeeVee, there is a casting call out for restaurant owners who are interested in a makeover courtesy of Fox Television and Gordon Ramsay:
Fox TV and Chef Gordon Ramsay are now casting a new reality show, Kitchen Nightmares. The award-winning chef, culinary expert, and television personality is searching for restaurants in need of resuscitation. Chef Ramsay is offering his world-famous techniques and management secrets to help turn your business into a profitable and lasting success!
The piece is a bit vague, but I'm assuming it is an American version since it refers to it as a "new reality show." Also, it's a bit weird because they include a link an an e-mail address of the "producers," but the address is actually owned by a company that helps people get cast on reality shows and their site has no mention of KN (although they do have a call for Hell's Kitchen 3 applicants).
Sorry to be so vague about the whole thing, but we'll know more once we hear somthing official from either Fox or Ramsay.
Labels: Gordon Ramsay
Hmm...why is it that the week between Christmas and New Year's instantly makes me think of the word "doldrums?"
We've let the inters go home for two days of much-needed rest and relaxation, so we're holding down the TVFF.com fort ourselves today. That's not too much of a problem because there isn't a whole lot going on.
However, I do want to let you know that Mrs. TVFF.com and I will be dining at Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles this weekend and I promise a full review some time next week.
In the meantime...
I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday! We at TVFF.com HQ are still easing back into the swing of things.
Did Santa (or whichever gift-bringing supernatural being you recognize) deliver any good food-related gifts? We picked up two new cookbooks, a whole mess of wine and a creme brulee set (complete with ramekins and blowtorch), so we'll be cooking well in the new year.
Of course, the holiday season is not about what you get, but what you're able to give. And two food celebrities, Gordon Ramsay and Alton Brown, got in the holiday spirit and gave to those who could really use it.
Taking a break from cooking for the guests at his New York restaurant, Gordon Ramsay flew to Afghanistan in order to prepare meals for the British troops. Although you would imagine that anything is an improvement over the usual food, the Hell's Kitchen star got rave reviews for his cooking.
Commenting on the chef's Christmas grub, Royal Marine Lee Oliver from 42 Commando said "the food was absolutely delicious."
Alton Brown also decided to do some good this year. Normally, whenever I hear about someone making a donation to a charity in lieu of giving gifts, I have visions of George Costanza and The Human Fund. However, Alton chose an interesting and worthy charity.
Through his production company, Be Square, Inc., Alton has been making donations to a charity called Heifer International, which provides livestock to farmers around the world in an effort to create sustainable solutions to combat hunger. The Associated Press spoke with Brown, who described why he is taking this approach:
''If I can get a couple of cows in Russia, bees to people in Kentucky, or a couple of flocks of geese to folks in China, that actually matters and I feel really good about it.''
Be Square Productions donates a Gift Ark every year -- a $5,000 donation that includes two each of Heifer's animals including cows, sheep, camels, oxen, water buffalo and rabbits, among many others. The animals go wherever they are needed most.
Brown donates money himself and in the names of his clients. Many times, he said, the people whose name the donation was given in are honored when they receive the gift card explaining that others will benefit from the money.
So, if you've ever wanted to give the gift of a camel but just haven't been able to find the right recipient, here's your chance.
As devoted as Giada's fans may be, apparently there is nothing that compares to the bedlam that occurs when Rachael Ray comes to town. Reports from all over the Web have her signing copies of Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds in Chicago and Philadelphia, which was also covered by Madeline over at Everything Rachael Ray.
By the way, I'm sure that the story by Philadelphia's WPVI television referenced above had nothing to do with the fact that Rachael's show is aired on the same station...
Obviously, Rachael Ray is a big star right now. But, lest you think that she's just a passing fad, at least part of Rachael will live on well into the future. The Oxford American College Dictionary is adding "EVOO" to the official register. In an article from the Washington Post, the book's editor said:
"We look at thousands of words every year, and very few of them get in. It has to be useful to people, and we see people using EVOO."
Labels: Rachael Ray
"Borderline spectacular," said defensive tackle Warren Sapp, a regular at the Crockett table. "That man is the best cook I've ever seen, as a male, except for Emeril."
Deep-fried turkey is a specialty, which I suppose isn't terribly surprising considering that you would expect grilling and frying from a big, burly football player like Crockett. But his cooking does include some more refined dishes, as well, with a Thanksgiving spread that included, "ham, Peking duck, curried goat, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, sweet peas and candied yams."
Crockett mentions that his culinary inspirations include family members and food TV, with Emeril and Two Fat Ladies among his favorites. Once he retires (Retiring in your 30s sounds good to me!), he may even go to culinary school.
Ho, ho, ho...the last crumbs before Christmas. I suppose you could think of them as the crumbs from those cookies you leave out for Santa!
Sorry about the slow trickle of posts lately. The bad part of a vacation is that you come home and the rest of your life has piled up like that mountain of mail that greets you when you open your front door. Add to that the rapidly approaching holiday and you'll understand why my free time has been at a premium. Stick with us, though, as I'm sure things will pick up soon enough.
By all accounts, the food at the wedding was very, very good. We were lucky enough to find a reception site that doubles as a top notch restaurant, so we were pretty confident that the food would be good, although you never know if the quality will suffer due to the demands of such a large group. It turned out that there was nothing to worry about.
Everyone seemed to think that the food at the cocktail hour was the big hit of the evening. We had a carving station, a pasta station that featured tomato sauce with prosciutto (pictured, at right, with Mrs. TVFF.com and me) and garlic/olive oil with sausage and broccoli rabe, an Asian station (which had these great wantons on a spoon) as well as the usual cold spread, crudites and cheese. There may have actually been more food than that, but I never made it all the way around the room. And this wasn't even counting the passed hors d'oeuvres, which included shrimp and scallops with bacon and very tasty coconut shrimp. A number of people said that they barely had room for dinner after the cocktail hour.
But, yes, there was a sit-down dinner. We started with butternut squash soup, which was a little bit sweet but had a nice nutmeg undertone. A salad of greens with mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes was next. The main course was a choice of beef (prime rib...I think), chicken (with asiago cheese) and snapper (with a light tomato and olive sauce which Mrs. TVFF.com loved). I had the beef, and it came with a rich mushroom sauce that was made by someone who knows how to make a sauce. Finally, creme brulee and the wedding cake...white cake filled with chocolate mousse and raspberries.
The food was good, even if I do say so myself.
For our honeymoon, we went to Secrets Capri in Riviera Cancun, Mexico. It's an inclusive resort, and we had heard good things about the food. And, in all, it was good. Our three favorite restaurants on the property (of the five) were the pan-Asian, the Italian and the seafood, in that order. Now, they weren't the best Asian, Italian and seafood restaurants we had ever been to in our lives, but we were able to find good-to-very-good dishes at east. On both of our trips to the Asian restaurant, Mrs. TVFF.com ordered a whole big mess of sushi, while I went with two curries...shrimp in yellow and beef in green. Both lacked the heat of most authentic curries I have tried, but they possessed a nice, fresh herb flavor and the ingredients were impeccable.
Surprisingly, the one type of restaurant that they didn't have was a Mexican restaurant, although their breakfast and lunch buffets had Mexican dishes. The disappointment was reinforced when they had a fantastic Mexican buffet by the pool one night. It featured a huge spread of very good, authentic dishes. Perhaps the best parts were the beef tacos, which were roasted on a spit, carved and seared over coals with small corn tortillas and served with onions, cucumbers and radishes, and the tortilla soup, which had a rich broth with onions and peppers cooked soft, which added body to the soup when combined with the crispy fried tortillas added at the last minute. It would have been nice to have had these options every day.
Did I like the food from the wedding and honeymoon? Well, I gained a full five pounds in the week (including the rehearsal dinner at a very good Italian restaurant), so that should give you some indication.
In the show, Road Kill Café, Drennan goes to Sandwich in Kent to persuade locals to forage for the first time and discover the delights of road-kill meat.
But, lest you think that this sort of thing might be a bit unsanitary:
I'm certainly aware that farm-raised animals aren't slaughtered with buttercups and jellybeans. And there is no logical problem with getting your meat courtesy of the front fender of a Nissan Altima. But I'm guessing this show will be a curiosity at best. Most people don't like even thinking about roadkill, so the thought of grilling up that deer who didn't quite make it across all six lanes of the highway isn't particularly appealing.
“The animal must be fresh. If rigor mortis has set in it’s not eaten. Otherwise it’s immediately back to his kitchen.
“He firmly believes that road-kill is better than processed meat.”
Note: If you are interested in abattoirs (and who isn't?), be sure to search out the fascinating episode of Errol Morris' First Person series called "Stairway to Heaven." It's about slaughterhouses in the sense that Citizen Kane is about news reporting, so don't let the topic turn you off.
Labels: Jamie Oliver
Did you miss me?
What's that? You didn't even know that I was gone?
If so, that's only because the always-fantastic Madeline of Everything Rachael Ray was nice enough to fill in for me and post a bunch of items for me while Mrs. TVFF.com and I enjoyed our honeymoon.
Also, a special thanks to everyone who chimed in and wished us congratulations on the big event.
I'm sorting though all of the good food TV news that was waiting for me to return, so we'll be back up to our normal output very soon.
Labels: Lidia Bastianich
Labels: Anthony Bourdain
Labels: Anthony Bourdain
Labels: Emeril Lagasse
We got a tip a little while back via e-mail (thanks, anonymous tipper!) that the restaurant's neighbors are angry about the smells and noises coming from the establishment. Well, it's an uncorroborated rumor no longer.
According to a report on a British website called CatererSearch, the neighbors are angry and they're getting organized.
Residents of 150 West 55th Street, which is adjacent to the London Hotel and Gordon Ramsay at the London, have held a meeting with NYC councillor Daniel Garodnick complaining about "endless aggravation" caused by the establishment.
Violations cited include the blocking of pavements, noise disturbances by air conditioning and exhaust fans, unhealthy air quality, damage to pavement tree boxes, and blockage of public walkway space.
Management at the restaurant has downplayed the anger saying that "[s]uch challenges are not uncommon during a major construction project such as undertaken at the hotel and restaurant and when brought to the attention of Gordon Ramsay Holdings by the hotel, the complaint was immediately addressed."
It is no surprise that the restaurant is facing challenges. Ramsay and the New York fooderati both predicted that it would be a rough go and that the the chef's trademark temper may become an issue. Fortunately, Ramsay decided to let his spokesman handle the press statements instead of throwing cooking oil on the fire with one of his usual quotes.
Labels: Gordon Ramsay
As much as I enjoy having this site as a means of listening to myself talk, I will admit that TVFF.com is significantly more interesting when we have more input from others. Sometimes, that takes the form of a back-and-forth between us and one of the other bloggers out there. Sometimes, we get it from the comments left on a (hopefully) thought-provoking entry.
Speaking of which, the comments on our post from a few days back on the quality of recent Food Network programs was great. We had a few people weigh in with their positions, including Dan, who runs The Hungover Gourmet, a TVFF.com favorite. If you missed out on the conversation, be sure to check it out.
On to the crumbs...
But, as rural as parts of the state are, I've never been to a Farm Show. I never joined 4H or the Boy Scouts or anything like that, so the closest I ever came to livestock was an occasional trip to the petting zoo.
However, if you are living in Central Pennsylvania, enjoy things like country music and penning sheep and want to see The Hungry Detective star Chris Cognac, head on down to the 2007 Pennsylvania Farm Show starting on January 6th at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. According to a press release announcing the festivities, the highlights will include:
Culinary Connection - Host of the TV show, 'The Hungry Detective,' Chris Cognac, will entertain visitors with his culinary skills. In addition, five winning regional chefs will vie for the title of the PA Preferred Best Chef in Pennsylvania.
OK...I'm not 100% sure what is meant by "entertain[ing] visitors with his culinary skills" means. Not to cast any aspersions on Mr. Cognac's skills in the kitchen, but the point of his show is that he goes around getting other people to cook for him, so I'm guessing that he'll be operating in more of a host/emcee capacity. Either way, it should be good stuff. Guys like Cognac and George Duran (why don't I blog on him more?) are great for this sort of thing because you could probably plunk them down anywhere and they'd be able to strike up a conversation.
In case you're going:
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs Jan. 6-13 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. Admission is free. Parking is $5. For more information, a complete schedule, or to make a reservation for the opening dinner, visit http://www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
Labels: Chris Cognac
Obama was a guest on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for California's top state office. Leno asked the senator whether he would run for U.S. president in 2008.So, where would Obama make such a declaration? From those primo seats on Emeril Live? Or maybe as one of the judges on Iron Chef America.
"I know there's a tradition of making announcements here," Obama said to a round of laughs. "I have to say I've already committed to the Food Network to announce."
Labels: Food Network