Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re one of the countless people spending the weekend doing some last minute preparations, then here are some ideas from you straight for our favourite celebrity chefs.

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Pumpkin in Up

When it comes to decorations, who else do we look to but the diva of homemaking – Martha Stewart. Check out her pumpkin head ideas, from fanged pumpkins to absolutely cute zombie pumpkins. No matter what kind of monster you fancy, Martha Stewart has a tip on how to carve those pumpkin heads for

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you. If you can get your hands on her book, Martha Stewart’s Handmade Holiday Crafts, then you’ll even have Halloween décor ideas, including vampire bat piñatas and simple bat silhouettes for your windows.

Trick Up the Treats

Instead of running out to buy tons of chocolate and candy bars, why not bake some special Halloween cookies? You don’t need to be a chef to turn out a batch of good sugar cookies. And with some decorating tips, you can even probably send kids away amused with Halloween Spook Cookies</

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a> and grossed out by these Severed Finger Halloween Cookies (recipe made by Martha Stewart).

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Halloween Dinner

Take Rachael Ray’s cue and turn a simple tomato soup in

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a spooked up version with cheese pumpkin or ghost on top. You will also find countless recipes in the internet to make your food as ghoulish and gross as possible for your Halloween dinner, but you can just go all out and opt for bizarre foods for the Halloween; if you can stomach it that is. Just watch an old episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and you’ll see that you don’t even need Halloween as an excuse to have something gooey and eeky on your plate. The good thing with eating bizarre foods for Halloween is that you don’t have to spend hours just trying to get your spaghetti to look like brains since the brains on the table will be the real thing!

Image Credit: MarthaStewart.com and TV.com

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A finalist from last fall’s Top Chef “Just Desserts” television series has been indicted on child pornography charges in Texas.

Morgan Wilson, 38, of Plano, is facing three second degree felony charges of possession with intent to promote child pornography. He was arrested Dec. 7, 2010 in the wake of an investigation that alleges Wilson transmitted files, to an undercover officer, that contained sexually explicit images and video of children as young as toddlers, the Plano Courier Star reported this week.

Wilson was a controversial figure on the Top Chef series who was frequently hot tempered and “prone to angry outbursts,” People.com reported. Continue reading »

The sometimes – OK, frequently – caustic travel and food writer Anthony Bourdain has outdone himself in a raw, and lengthy, new Playboy interview.

Never shy, and always outspoken, Bourdain – a former chef himself – has seen much success with his books and a highly successful show on the Travel Channel. He is sardonic in his wit and at times thermonuclear in his opinions – of which he has many. While those may not always be charming qualities, Bourdain is an original and always entertaining. Continue reading »

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Chef Hugh “Fearlessly-Eatsitall” Fearnley-Whittingstall is at it again, pushing society’s buttons

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by declaring that people who eat pigs should be able to eat puppies too.

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According to Radio Times, the controversial chef told them that “You can’t object [to eating puppies], unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It’s an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs: both animals could be used the other way round.”

Being a newly-converted vegetarian, he also said though that his stand on “high-welfare organic puppy farms” is just a matter of principle, and that he wouldn’t really eat puppies in practice, at least not unless he’s starving. While the statement is likely just him trying to point out his new found love for animals and his stance on the undesirability of eating pork, they are not going down well at all, especially with the RSPCA, WSPA, and other animal welfare advocates.

An RSPCA spokesperson already told the Daily Mail that even if the chef’s “comments may seem sensible but are actually quite controversial – especially when dogs are our most popular and loved pet.”

WSPA, on the other hand, is clearly against the issue as they have been working on ending the dog meat trade in South Korea for more than a decade now. According to their website, “The commercial production of dog meat involves cruelty at every stage, from ‘dog farm’ or street capture through to transport

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and killing.” And as Dr Les Sims of the Hong Kong Government Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department has stated (via The Telegraph), “No country in the world has developed a humane way of raising and slaughtering dogs, and in our opinion, it cannot be done”.

Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall may say that eating pigs is no different than eating puppies, but what do you say? Anyone care for a hot dog?

Image Credit: Gazzat and Fern Hill Farm

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With all the celebrity chefs out there, it is easy to see how people can easily get confused as to what really works and what doesn’t work. Each chef has his own style, his own tips, and his own preferences. Who is to say that one is better than the other? I guess it’s all up to us to find out which tips we can use! In addition, one has to trust own’s own palate for ingredients and adjust recipes to make them your own! Copying from a book isn’t always the best solution, although one can never learn enough from these celebrity chefs. A perfect example for me is how I love Ajinomoto’s monosodium glutamate- simply for that extra natural flavor!

Anyway, here are 5 of the best tips that I have followed – and trust me, they work like magic!

Tip #1: Plan your meal ahead of time.
This is from chef Aaron Sanchez of the Food Network. Not only is he a hunk – he also knows what he’s about! He says that people who cook at home a lot should buy food on a weekly basis and do prep work as early as possible. For example, he says to peel potatoes the day before and keep them in the fridge (in water, of course). The next day, no need to go through the hassle of peeling taties!

Tip#2: Add pepper at the end.
I always did the opposite. According to David Kinch, this adds an acrid taste to the dish. I tried it and the difference was remarkable!

Tip#3: Make it simple when entertaining.
I hardly entertain, but when I do, I follow the Barefoot Contessa’s lead: keep it simple. Not only do you lessen the stress, you also get to focus on the flavors more!

Tip#4: Extra-virgin doesn’t mean extra good.
At least when it comes to olive oil – that’s what Tom Colicchio has to tell us. Yes, chef!

Tip#5: Buy whole spices.
Iron Chef Michael Symon knows all about spices and he’s right about buying whole instead of ground. The flavors are much fuller when you grind the spices yourself.