Anne Burrell

This week’s FN Dish takes me into the kitchen of Anne Burrell who you may recognize as Mario Batali’s sous chef on Iron Chef America. She’s also the chef at Centro Vinoteca (pronounce it “CHENtro” or she’ll correct you!) and the host of the brand new Food Network show “Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.” For those of you who, like me, bemoan the loss of “Molto Mario” and other authentic cooking shows on Food Network, this is a show to watch and support.

Leave a comment on the video page with your best cooking secret and enter to win a Chrome-Plated Al Dente Pasta Machine by VillaWare. Then click here to watch my Next Food Network Star viewing party with Sunny Anderson.

The Food Blogger Episode

This week’s FN Dish may be my favorite so far. First of all, it’s the first one I actually wrote as a script–so it has a lot more of my voice in it, something that many of you may have felt was missing. Second of all, it features three of my favorite bloggers: Ed Levine from Serious Eats, Luisa Weiss from The Wednesday Chef and Amanda Kludt from Eater. Thirdly, we have a special celebrity guest from America’s Next Top Model. Plus, you learn all about food blogging and starting a food blog. So make sure to click the link above or click here or just type in and go that way. Once you’re there: rate it, leave comments and if you love it embed it on your blog. And if you want to know more about starting a food blog, check out my essays: How To Start a Food Blog, More Blogging Advice, and How To Make Your Food Blog Popular.

Chinatown & Alton Brown

Check out this week’s episode of The FN Dish (click here) in which we bring two of Alton Brown’s biggest fans to meet him at a book signing and then go to Chinatown with Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. In the comments you can enter to win a copy of either Alton’s or Jennifer’s books, so check out the rules beneath the video. And, eventually, you can read about my attempt at wok cooking here, once they put my post up. Also: we shot the video at Bonnie Slotnick’s Cookbook Store in the West Village. If you’re coming to New York and you love cookbooks, you have to make a trip there. Bonnie is the best.

I Met Alice Waters

It’s been difficult to keep this a secret, but today I finally get to tell you: when we were in Miami, I had the privilege of going to a farmer’s market with Alice Waters. It all happened rather comically. When I met Alice at the childhood obesity panel, I asked her how she ate when she travelled–if she could stick to her ideological guns at an airport food court or at a hotel restaurant. She told me she travels with her oils and other cooking equipment so that wherever she goes she can visit the local market and make herself the kind of food she wants to eat. “Could we go with you to a farmer’s market?” I rather pushily asked. And she kindly answered: “Of course.”

This week’s FN Dish (click here) is the result: a tour of a Miami farmer’s market with Alice Waters, as well as a visit to DiFara Pizza with Food Network’s newest star, Sunny Anderson. You also get to watch me getting my haircut and nerd out talking about the magic of David Copperfield. It’s quite an episode and if that doesn’t leave you satisfied, you should click here to learn Alice’s secret method for making a perfect omelet. I plan to make one ASAP.

P.S. Don’t be afraid to embed these videos on your livejournals, facebooks and/or blogs. Especially the omelet one–people will love it! And the embedding code is right there.

On The Street, The FN Library & An Offal Dinner

This week’s FN Dish is my favorite so far. It has three segments and feels like an actual episode of something–I think we’re getting better and better as we go. Let me know if you agree:

As for the offal dinner in the third part, Michael Ruhlman (who appears in the above video) has a nice write-up about it on his site. As Ruhlman says, he did shame me into eating three whole pieces of raw venison liver and now that I reflect on it I’m not really quite sure why that liver had to be served raw. I’m not grossed out by liver, I’m not grossed out by steak tartare, but, call me crazy, the texture of raw liver is not very appetizing. It feels exactly like you’d expect it to feel like chomping through a raw liver: wet, slimy, tough. Blech. I’m getting sick just writing about it….

But focusing on the liver doesn’t do the dinner justice. Chef Cosentino did make a compelling case for offal, both in his food and his speech-making at the end. He told a moving story about goats that he raised and killed himself and how, when the killing was over, he saw all the “guts” that were going to be wasted and didn’t want the goats to have died in vain. Eating offal is a way to honor the life of the animal as well as a way to stretch that animal economically. The best dishes of the night–braised lamb neck, candied cockscombs–were creative, inventive ways to take the bits many butchers might discard (because no one will buy them) and make them lip-smackingly delicious. Hats off to you, Chef Cosentino, for feeding us as well as edifying us.

As for the rest of the video, what do you think, readers, about the questions I asked people on the street? What’s your take on the Robert Irvine scandal? Who’s your favorite Food Network star? And what are your desert island cookbooks?

Let us know and get ready for next week’s episode, featuring Anthony Bourdain. Yes, after fighting long and hard we’re really going to let him rant. Stay tuned…

The FN Dish Goes to Miami (The South Beach Wine & Food Festival)

At the end of the weekend and our trip to The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, my director, Matthew Horovitz, turned to me and said, “You’ve met everyone now. There’s no one left to meet!”

Watch the following video–the 2nd official episode of “The FN Dish”–and tell me if you disagree.

If that video left you dazzled and discombobulated, allow me to walk you through everything you just saw: a day-by-day breakdown of the festival with some big surprises thrown in too.

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