The Great Food Truck Race, hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence, is currently on its fifth season on the Food Network. So far, Los Angeles natives The Middle Feast are at the top with their Middle Eastern inspired dishes such as falafel and shawarma.


We were somewhat surprised that there were no Asian food trucks on this latest season- the Asian food trucks have always been our favorites to watch from the very beginning, when Vietnamese banh-mi sandwich truck Nom Nom took an early lead in Season 1 and kept winning challenges before they were finally defeated by gourmet hamburger truck Grill ‘Em All.

Our favorites, hands down, in Season 2, were Korilla BBQ, who served up the most delicious-looking Korean barbecue tacos and were pretty much killing it until they were unceremoniously disqualified for cheating in week five- a definite shock and embarrassment to many Korean American viewers.

Season 3 winners Seoul Sausage never addressed the issue of Korilla’s cheating, but everyone felt their fair gamesmanship and victory ultimately shed a more positive light on the Korean community.

And, of course, the final two trucks of Season 4, Aloha Plate and Tikka Tikka Taco were both Asian-inspired. There’s something about the boldness of Asian flavors that seem to translate very well to Food Truck food. We’re crossing our fingers that the next season will feature at least a few Asian food trucks!

Chef John Ash

A lot of cooks would agree that the use of wine in some meals have added a certain spice in making them sought after. Such can be attributed towards the contributions of Chef John Ash, an internationally recognized chef, educator and author. His continued work and application of wine towards cuisine and his evident mastery for winery has been his obvious trademark that has brought him towards world wide prominence.

John is known to hold various classes and teaches culinary schools and institutions with regards to the tricks of the proper use of wine for culinary meals. Majority of his known reliability has been attributed towards the wine industry and such has been something that has continued to push him up towards fame and fortune.

He has published two books, namely American Game Cooking in 1991 and From the Earth to the Table: John Ash’s Wine Country Cuisine in 1996. The latter book was awarded the Julia Child Award for Best Cookbook in 1996 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

20090107_tedallen_250x375If you have to ask who Ted Allen is, then I think you may not be following your celebrity chef world as much as you should! Or maybe you’re new to this world…in any case, take a quick look at that photo and you should instantly recognize the face behind the name. I suppose the most common association would be Iron Chef America, for Ted Allen has been appearing as a judge regularly on that show.

So who is Ted Allen? How did he become famous? What does he do?

As I mentioned, he is a regular in Iron Chef America, but he actually started out as one of the guys in Queer Eye for a Straight Guy. He’s also made regular appearances in Top Chef. His career has skyrocketed like a firecracker on the 4th of July and he has now two shows on The Food Network: Food Detective and Chopped.

More than his busy schedule on the boob tube, Ted Allen also has his hands full with writing gigs. He has been contributing to the magazine Esquire. He used to be a food critic and editor.

He does have a lot on his plate, and he has degrees to back everything up too! He has a Bachelors in Psychology (Purdue University) PLUS a Masters in Journalism (New York University). Ted Allen is not just your run-of-the-mill food critic or cooking show judge – he adds a plus factor to everything he touches. For more of Ted Allen, watch out for those shows I mentioned above.

Ina Garten

Ina Garten

Ina is just so cuddly and earthy, yet at the same time with a nose for timeless style, that I thought it would be a good idea to post some of her favourite things, as inspiration.

Favorite cookbooks?

“Some of the other books I use most are Nantucket Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase, The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook by Anna Pump, Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, and Cucina Simpatica by George Germon and Johanne Killeen.”

Favorite glassware?

“Barney’s in New York City carried my stemware for years, but unfortunately, they’ve now discontinued it. But, thanks to one of our readers, we’ve found another source. The name of the glassware is Cristallerie La Rochere, the Amite pattern and the website to order it from is My glasses are the white and the red wine stemware. They also carry the large water glass and champagne glasses to match.”

Favorite pots and pans?

“I love All Clad pots. I would recommend you start with small and medium saucepans and 8-inch and 12-inch saut� pans. I don’t even bother with non-stick because if you soak the pans after you use them, they will clean beautifully. I know they’re expensive pots, but you can collect them one at a time. They’ll last a lifetime and you’ll enjoy using them. For Dutch ovens, I prefer Le Creuset. These are all available at Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Crate & Barrel stores nationally. “

Favorite ice cream maker?

“I use a Krups ice cream maker which I bought at Williams-Sonoma many years ago.”

Favorite places to stay in East Hampton?

“My favorite places are the Baker House 631-324-4081 and the Pink House 631-324-3400 in East Hampton, which are both lovely bed and breakfast inns, and the Bridgehampton Inn 631-537-3660 in Bridgehampton. There are no big hotels but these are lovely places to stay.”

Favorite restaurants in East Hampton?
“Three of the restaurants I like most in East Hampton are Nick & Toni’s, The pub at 1770 house, and the Palm Restaurant.”

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ei0805_salmon1_medI have to admit that Giada is not my favorite celebrity chef but this recipe of hers makes my mouth water so badly it is not even funny. Truth is, you cannot really go wrong with salmon and lemon, but the presentation of this dish is something I find really enticing. Here is the recipe, courtesy of The Food Network.

You’ll need the following:

• 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
• 8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
• 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
• 1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
• 4 teaspoons capers
• 4 pieces of aluminum foil

This is how to make it:

Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

It is pretty simple and easy to make, isn’t it? I don’t think that you even have to wait for an excuse to make this!

lrg_1604Beef and ale. Stew. Reading those words just makes my mouth water. How can you go wrong? And with a recipe from Jamie Oliver, you can be sure that a great meal awaits you. Here is his recipe for this dish:

3 fresh or dried bay leaves
500g diced stewing beef
500ml ale, Guinness or stout
2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
2 carrots
olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

You are going to love this slow-cooked stew recipe, because it’s so simple and gives consistently good results. The meat should be cut into approximately 2cm cubes. Packs from most supermarkets are normally about that size. In stew recipes you’re often told to brown off the meat first. But I’ve done loads of tests and found the meat is just as delicious and tender without browning it first, so I’ve removed this usual stage from the recipe.

If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 • Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks • Peel and roughly chop the onions • Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop • Put a casserole pan on a medium heat • Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes • Add your meat and flour • Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes • Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper • Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours • Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking • When done, your meat should be tender and delicious • Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper • You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it

I can almost SMELL it!


Don’t be blinded by the glamor of being a celebrity chef — as this article points out, it’s a highly overrated career.

White fish fillet

I have nice large peice of fresh, firm white fish, as well as some squid from the market this morning. So, I thought the time was right for Floyd’s fish soup.

Here’s the recipe:

An Italian Fish Soup

2 kilos firm fleshed fish (filleted, strips), assorted seafood such as squid, prawns, mussles etc.

Olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 sticks celery, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

2 kilos tomatoes, skinned, chopped

3-4 anchovy fillets, chopped

handful chopped parsley, basil

2-3 cloves chopped garlic

1.4 litres hot water / fish stock

1. In a large saucepan, saute the celery, carrots and onion in olive oil until soft.

2. Add tomatoes and anchovies until tomatoes have melted. Keep stirring, add herbs and garlic.

3. Add hot water or stock and bring to a boil.

4. Add squid if using, simmer 20 mins. Add rest of fish/seafood, simmer another 20 mins.

5. Ladle into hot bowls, serve.

Photo via La Fuji Mama

Chef Jody AdamsChef Jody Adams personifies the ease of being a great chef through the use of available resources found in your kitchen today. Being a good cook is a given with practice, but with more practice and a touch of imagination at that, good chefs are sure to arise. This has been one of the beliefs that have catapulted Chef Jody towards mastering the art of cooking.

Cooking in the eyes of Chef Jody would simply be like following instincts rather than the usual traditional cooking practices that people see on television or from reading the available cookbooks in stores today. It all boils down to following a cooking style which would carve out your name in the genre of food that a person would want to cook up.

This is the secret that Jody Adams shares as her ultimate success in cooking. With a wide array of recipes that includes starter meals, seasonal prepared meals and Italian tradition meals such as pasta until deserts, Chef Jody has a long list of recipes all based on her instincts and what she can do around the kitchen. People can do this as well if they know how to go around the kitchen of their homes as well.

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Corn ChowderThis delicious recipe (said to be Oprah‘s favourite) from the cookbook “Taste Pure and Simple“, Nischan interestingly uses fresh vanilla bean. Not something you would expect from a corn chowder but Michel Nischan explains quite endearingly why he thought of the unlikely combination:

This recipe proves a belief of mine. When you cook with ingredients that sound good in your head, they will taste good, too. I feel this way about vanilla and corn, which may seem like a strange pair, but once you try this combination, you’ll like it.”

Sweet Corn and Vegetable Chowder

Serves 4

About 2-4 fresh ears corn, shucked
1 Yukon Gold Potato
split vanilla bean, or pure vanilla extract
2 pounds fresh or frozen edamame, fava, or lima beans (about 1 cup shelled)
1 to 2 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded spinach, sorrel, or arugula
1 tablespoon julienned lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat over to 450 degrees F. Place 2 ears of corn directly on the over rack and roast, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool, cut the roasted corn kernels off the cob. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.

Meanwhile, cook the potato in salted boiling water until tender in the center when pierced, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and let cool to the touch, Slip off the skin and cut the potato into 1/4-inch dice.

With a large, sharp knife, cut the kernels off the remaining ears of corn. Run the kernels through a vegetable juicer. You should have about 4 cups of juice. Combine the corn juice and the vanilla bean in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly so the liquid doesn’t curdle. The natural starch in the juice will thicken it to a sauce consistency. The degree of thickness will depend on the amount of starch in the corn. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a little water or lemon juice. Remove from the heat.

Fish out the vanilla bean and, with the tip of a small knife, scrape the seeds from the bean into the soup; discard the pod. If the soup appears a little broken, don’t worry. Blend the soup in a blender at medium speed for a silky-smooth consistency. Return the soup to the pot.

Put the roasted corn kernels, beans, and potato in a medium saute pan or skillet with the water. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are hot. Pour off the water and add the vegetables to the soup. Stir in the shredded spinach or other greens, the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Note: If the corn milk curdles during cooking, don’t worry. Beat the curdled milk with an electric mixer set on medium speed until it returns to its perfect smoothness before you add the rest of the vegetables.

Photo via laurat