We always have fun when Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian calls in, and this time we got right down to business and talked steak and red wine. Listen carefully for GZ’s most valuable tip for successfully cooking a sirloin steak with a cast iron pan — it’s life-changing!Follow @bigwakeupcall
We were happy to induct George Duran into our exclusive Five Timers Club, which gets him a laminated membership card and a 10 percent discount at participating local businesses (of which we have nearly one). George called in to share some fun fall recipes and defend his guacamole recipe, which set the Internet on fire after appearing in People magazine.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Shep Gordon is a legendary agent and producer who was featured in Mike Myers’ documentary “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.” He’s now sharing his story in a new book, “They Call Me Supermensch: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food and Rock and Roll.” After sharing our mutual love for Chicago pizza, we discussed why he wrote the book, how he’s responsible for the invention of the celebrity chef, as well as the changing definition of “celebrity.”Follow @bigwakeupcall
We always have fun when Barbecue Hall of Famer Steven Raichlen calls in, and this time we talked about smoking, especially the recipes in his new book “Planet Smoke” like smoked nachos, smoked cheesecake and smoked bourbon-bacon apple crisp. Yes, please.Follow @bigwakeupcall
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.Follow @bigwakeupcall
“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.Follow @bigwakeupcall
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.Follow @bigwakeupcall
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.Follow @bigwakeupcall