Alton Brown

Time to write Santa, “Good Eats” fans! Alton Brown has just released a 27-disc DVD collection of some of his most popular episodes. With titles that include “Wake up Little Sushi” and “Your Pad Thai or Mine”, you can tell why this TV show has such a strong following. He presents interesting and useful kitchen tips in a crazy, humorous way. You laugh, you have fun, and you cook better too. What’s not to love?

The DVD set is sold at Food Network for $235.95. Makes a great holiday gift!

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsey was named to AskMen.com’s list of the top 99 men of 2007.

Ramsey had a particularly good year, opening 6 restaurants around the world, getting two Michelin Stars for one of them, and earning great reviews and ratings for his TV show, “Hell’s Kitchen.” Fox Network may even bring in another Ramsey show, “Kitchen Nightmares”.

Chef TEll

Chef Tell — one of America’s first TV chefs — passed away from heart failure at the age of 63.

Born Friedman Paul Erhardt, Chef Tell was beloved for his quick wit and Santa-like disposition. He was friendly, fun, and “peppered” his recipe demonstrations with humor and lots of entertainment.

He was often invited to guest on shows like Regis and Kathie Lee and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and even did comedy segments for Saturday Night Live and The Muppet Show. He was given his own show with PBS. “He was the first of the great showman chefs,” former Inquirer restaurant critic Elaine Tait said. “Up until his era, chefs stayed in the kitchen.”

Tell also ran several successful restaurants, and had developed several cookbooks and product lines. His last cookbook was about cooking for diabetics, based on his own experience.

James Martin Desserts

James Martin’s culinary career started very early — by 12 years old, he’d cooked for the Queen Mother. (Well, it helps that his dad catered for Castle Howard.)

He started training when he was 16, training at Scarborough before Antony Worrall Thompson became his mentor. The two then traveled around France, before opening the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester. He was 22. Pressure was high. Did he buckle? Never. In fact, he changed the menu every day.

He’s become a well known TV Chef, starring in popular shows like Delicious! and Jamies Martin Sweet. Now, he’s part of Saturday Kitchen which airs on BBC.

Known for his desserts, he published James Martin – Desserts in Spring 2007. Here he shares his recipe for spun sugar:

1. Place 125g/4½oz caster sugar in a pan
2. Pour in just enough cold water to cover.
3. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has turned light caramel in colour.
4. Using a fork, carefully pull out the sugar threads from the pan and shape over the back of a ladle or large spoon.
5. When hardened, gently ease off into ball shapes. Repeat with the remaining caramel.

Tom COlicchio

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has signed up with food empire Sara Lee Food & Beverage. Colicchio will lend his culinary skills to help the public create delicious sandwiches at home — and we don’t mean peanut butter and jelly.

Mr Colicchio said: “With the range of Sara Lee products, great-quality meats, cheeses, breads and condiments are at your fingertips to help you create a delicious and quick meal with just a few added ingredients.”

Colicchio will also give tips and a regular report on the “State of the Sandwich”.

Jamie Oliver with Fifteen foundation

Fifteen, Jamie Oliver’s restaurant that offers work and training to disadvantaged youngsters, just celebrated the graduation of its fifth batch of apprentices.

Oliver’s doing a great thing, reaching out to teens who would’ve probably ended up on the streets. But, under his foundation’s wing, they not only learn a trade, but are exposed to amazing experiences and environments. For example, this batch of apprentices got to travel to Italy to meet some of the food suppliers.

For many of them, this was their first time to even go on a plane.

Fifteen’s chef, Andrew Parkinson, says: “They are sometimes a little bit unsure about why they have to take their shoes off and taking your belt off as you go through.” Like small kids, they are enthralled by the view from the plane, even the food that’s served. “Just to see their faces as we land and they step out into another country and they feel the freshness of the Italian air, it is absolutely amazing.”

Giada

Female celebrity chefs are a man’s dream: they cook just like mom (and even better), but make an apron look hot.

Of course, not all celebrity chefs make the cut (sorry, Martha). In a survey of the sexiest celebrity chefs men showed a definite preference for sultry beauties like
Giada De Laurentiis of Everyday Italian (called “a true beauty”) and Nigella Lawson. Rachael Ray made the top 3, but mostly for her physique.

Rob Feenie

Celebrity chef, and 2005 winner of the Iron Chef America competition, has resigned from his restaurants in Vancouver — Lumiere and Feenie’s.

Rob Feenie’s troubles with the restuarant owners have spanned over two years, ever since he was forced by bankruptcy to sign over majority stakeholdership. (He’d spent over a million dolars upgrading the kitchen and paying off his original business partner.)

However, new management has been easing him off, finally minimizing his say over the menu, marketing, and the kitchen operations. Feenie had enough. After a goodbye drink and shaking hands with his staff, he’s cut off all ties with the two restaurants.

You just don’t treat chefs that way. Feenie, a culinary giant in Canada, has authored several cookbooks, hosted cooking shows, and won several awards. Shame on them all.

Julia Child

Before Food Network, before celebrity chefs were even a million-dollar brand, there was Julia Child. She was the food guru, and many a housewife made her cookbook their kitchen bible. (To the gratitude of their well-fed husbands.)

Now, her life will be made into a movie, starring no less than Meryl Streep. It will be directed by Nora Ephron, and will be based on Julie Powell’s book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.

Julie was a fan who made it her mission to try every single recipe Child ever made, but the renowned chef would have nothing to do with her and never returned her calls. “I’m just not interested,” she said in one of her final interviews.

Maybe having Oscar-winner Meryl Streep portray her will make her feel a little better.

Deceptively Delicious
Hide the kitchen knives — celebrity chefs Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine have gone into a war.

Lapine started it, calling Seinfeld a plagiarist for copying recipes. Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious has been hitting bestseller lists for its creative ways of incorporating healthy ingredients into kids’ favorite meals. It’s the same concept behind Lapine’s own new release, Sneaky Chefs.

Seinfeld’s husband, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, lashed back, calling her “wacko.” “Now she’s accusng my wife of a Watergate-style break-in at Harper Collins [the publisher].”