Geoffrey Zakarian is an Iron Chef and one of the stars of “The Kitchen” on Food Network, my favorite way to start a Saturday morning. In fact, with GZ’s appearance (and he was totally fine with me calling him GZ), I’ve now interviewed 4/5 of the panel with Jeff Mauro being the only holdout. [Jeff! Come do our show!] GZ called in with some expert grilling tips just in time for the unofficial kickoff of barbecue season this Memorial Day Weekend.
Award-winning chef and cookbook author Seamus Mullen returned to the show to talk about his favorite Spring recipes and how to take advantage of the great seasonal produce available at your local farmers’ market. We also discussed the importance of getting kids involved in the kitchen and the value of food education.
“The Kitchen” on Food Network is my favorite way to start Saturday morning, and it was great to catch up with one of the stars of the show Sunny Anderson. Sunny talked about how I can avoid going from “dad bod” to “bad bod” with her tips for healthy eating on the go, and then we made plans to all meet at fellow “Kitchen” star Jeff Mauro’s new Chicago restaurant “Pork and Mindy’s” for a sandwich.
Duff Goldman’s Charm City Cakes is back on Food Network with a new series, “Cake Masters,” which premieres Monday night at 8c. This time we get a behind-the-scenes look at the West Coast office, where Duff and the gang are making cakes for the Hollywood elite and more. We discussed what we’ll see on the series, what surprise guests might be dropping by, and how Duff saved our Easter with his frosting.
Seamus Mullen is a chef, restaurant owner, cookbook author and TV personality (you’ve seen him on “Next Iron Chef,” “Chopped,” and “Beat Bobby Flay,” among many others). Seamus called in to talk about making smart choices with food, especially with using extra virgin olive oil. I also pleaded for him to open a great new Spanish restaurant in Chicago and tried to sell him my old bike. Our interview apparently covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
Chef Amanda Freitag called in to talk about a new season of “American Diner Revival” on Food Network, which she co-hosts with Ty Pennington. We talked about why it’s important to preserve classic diners, common things that can get a mom-and-pop restaurant in trouble, and her favorite diner food.
Chef George Duran called in with some hints ‘n’ tips on making our holiday gatherings a success, talking about gadgets, gear and of course good food.
Chef Duff Goldman called in to let us know about his new book “Duff Bakes,” share some holiday baking tips, and talk about filming a Christmas special in the middle of the summer. We also debated why anything snickerdoodle flavored is never as good as an actual snickerdoodle.
Graham Elliot has written his first cookbook, “Cooking Like a MasterChef.” We talked about his work on the popular competition shows, especially “MasterChef Junior,” how the level of home cook (especially among the kids) is higher than ever, and why he wanted to put together this volume. We also talked about the current issue of MAD magazine, which features a “MasterChef Junior” parody and gave Graham quite the nickname.
Anne Burrell is currently hosting another season of “Worst Cooks In America,” this time with a new co-host in Rachael Ray and new celebrity contestants. Anne talked about how being “star struck” lasted about 5 minutes and then it was all down to business, why her approach in the kitchen can work with just about anyone, and what it takes to succeed on the show.
“Worst Cooks In America: Celebrity Edition” is on Wednesdays at 9/8c on Food Network.