All posts by Natalia Buia

John Catucci: Where You Gotta Take Dad This Father’s Day

For over five seasons now, John Catucci has been sampling the best comfort foods all around the world. When it comes to special occasions like Father’s Day, the host of You Gotta Eat Here! can certainly offer a few tasty recommendations. We talked to the TV star to get his top three picks on where to take your pops for a memorable Father’s Day brunch.

For the Meat Lover

“First of all, if your dad wants to sleep in [on Father’s Day], let him!” says John. He recommends grabbing a table at Caplansky’s located in Toronto. The old-school Jewish deli serves all-day breakfasts and sandwiches, piled high with house-smoked meats.

“Just have a big ol’ honkin’ smoked meat sandwich with your pop. And if he gets mustard on his face, so what? It’s his day. Let him get dirty!”

For the Potato Lover

John Catucci says taking your dad to Holy Grill is a must. Stationed in the heart of Calgary, Holy Grill offers sandwiches, burgers and eggs Benedict. Dishes like the South Beach Benny are the holy grail of breakfast perfection.

“They have this smashed potato that’s so good,” John says. “They smash them and they fry them so they’re crispy on the edges and soft and pillow-y on the inside. It’s a great place to be in!”

For the Trendsetter

Emma’s Country Kitchen in Toronto, is a popular brunch destination offering all-day breakfast, homemade doughnuts and drool-worthy buttermilk biscuits. To really spoil your dad, John has the perfect idea.

“Because Emma’s is always so busy for brunch, go in and wait in line for him. Let your dad sleep in, and call him when the table is ready,” says John. “Let your dad shuffle his way inside in his slippers and robe.”

Visit the location map to plan your next Father’s Day brunch, lunch or dinner!

Meet the Celebs Competing in the Chopped Canada Kitchen

They can sing, they can dance, they can act — but can they work a kitchen as well as they can work the camera? Four homegrown stars show off their hidden culinary talents on a special episode of Chopped Canada Celebrities. Let’s meet the four celebrities vying for the title of Chopped Canada Champion.

Roz

Roz Weston: Most of us know him as an entertainment reporter for ET Canada, and the co-host of Kiss 92.5’s The Roz and Mocha Show. Roz has covered the biggest entertainment stories on the planet; he’s even crawled inside the Great Pyramid in Egypt, and stood right smack in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square.

How do you define your cooking style?
I’m not an adventurous cook at all. I don’t like dessert, I don’t like sweets. So I’m nervous about the dessert round because I’ve never made a dessert in my life.

What’s one dish you cook well?
I make really good soups! I could live my life off soups. I don’t enjoy when people in my house are sick, but I kind of do, because I get the opportunity to make soups.

What ingredient would you hate to see in a basket?
If I got a basket of just fruit, I wouldn’t know what to cook with it. I don’t know how to make a pie or a reduction. Any sort of fruit would give me a hard time.

Who’s your biggest competition?
I don’t want to see anybody go, but I would say Steven and I are on the same level. What I find intimidating is he’ll start referencing names of foods and dishes I’ve never even heard of, let alone make.

What charity are you playing for?
I’m playing for SKETCH. It’s an organization that helps underprivileged  kids by introducing them to the arts. When kids don’t have a lot, the first thing that’s usually cut in schools or at home is any sort of artistic outlet. Sketch helps kids develop an eye for art and lets them shine in a place they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to.

Keisha Chante

Keshia Chanté: A singer, actress and philanthropist, Keshia’s known internationally as a television personality having co-hosted BET’s 106 & Park for two years. Keshia has released three albums and received numerous awards including a JUNO Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.

How do you define your cooking style?
My attention span is short, so when I’m in the kitchen, my mind wanders off. I try and do as many meals at once. When I cook, I go for classic comfort foods.

What’s one dish you cook well?
A lot of people seem to love the beef stew I make. I get good feedback from that.

What ingredient would you hate to see in a basket?
I really don’t want to see a fish head. I don’t even know where to start. I’m finicky with seeing eyes of fish.

Who’s your biggest competition?
Roz makes me nervous because he cooks a lot. And I know Mary knows how to work a deep fryer, which is intimidating!

What charity are you playing for?
I’m playing for Free the Children, part of the WE Charity. They’ve made a huge impact on kids’ lives. They put kids in school and give them resources that we [take for granted].

Steven Page

Steven Page: A well-known singer/songwriter, Steven is one of the founding members of The Barenaked Ladies with whom he toured the world and sold millions of albums. On his own, Steven continues his artistic evolution with an array of solo projects.

How do you define your cooking style?
I love to go to the farmers’ markets and buy fresh ingredients to cook with. I like to cook comfort foods but I lighten them up with fresh, healthy ingredients.

What’s one dish you cook well?
I make really good homemade vegan pâté. I don’t eat vegan all the time, but I like the things that are more labour intensive. It’s fun when you try and challenge yourself to create something flavourful that’s not full of fat.

What ingredient would you hate to see in a basket?
Durian. It’s an Asian fruit that smells like a dumpster. But they wouldn’t do that to us, would they?!

Who’s your biggest competition?
Roz is my biggest competition. He’s someone who really knows his way around the kitchen. But that doesn’t always mean it’s a recipe for winning.

What charity are you playing for?
I’m playing for the The Steven Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. They work with community level organizations in Africa to give grandmothers all the help they need to raise their children.

Mary

Mary Walsh: Creator and star of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC’s wildly popular take on current affairs, Mary is also the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in the Performing Arts.

What’s one dish you cook well?
I make a great roast. At home I make a roast and three-veg, salt meat and cabbage. It’s quite massive!

What ingredient would you hate to see in a basket?
I don’t want to see chickpeas. They’re not my favourite.

Who’s your biggest competition?
My biggest competition is Keisha. But I’m an old hippie. I want everyone to win and everyone’s charity to get money.

What charity are you playing for?
I’m playing for Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa. It provides all levels of healthcare for Aboriginal people. They have outreach workers looking to see who needs help round the clock. I admire them greatly.

Turn in to this exciting episode of Chopped Canada Celebrities, airing Saturday, December 17th at 9 E/P.

Get in the Holiday Spirit with Must-See Specials

‘Tis the season to sit cozy up by the fire, sip on some eggnog and enjoy your favourite holiday shows! This winter, Food Network Canada sees the return of festive favourites and the launch of new specials that’ll whet your appetite for the season.

Put on your favourite ugly Christmas sweater and get merry with the return of Cake: Wars: Christmas, premiering Monday, November 14th at 9 E/P. Host Jonathan Bennett, and judges Charles Phoenix and Sherry Yard are back to find the most over-the-top holiday cake display.

A new set of pastry chefs are throwing on their aprons and getting their hands in the dough on a brand new season of Holiday Baking Championship beginning Sunday, November 6th at 9 E/P. Hosted by Bobby Deen, this baking competition is the sweetest way to celebrate this holiday season.

Get ready for the most adorable four-way cook-off ever! Cameron Mathison hosts the new series Clash of the Grandmas, premiering Wednesday, November 16th at 10 E/P. Each week, four grandmothers will battle in a series of holiday-themed challenges. But these ladies aren’t your average grannies; Fiercely competitive with undeniable cooking chops, these ladies use old-school tricks to impress the judges in the kitchen!

Celebrate all things sweet and delicious with a brand new season of Sugar Showdown . Hosted by Josh Elkin,  four holiday episodes kick-off Wednesday, December 7th at 9 E/P. 

For the first time in Chopped Canada history, some of Canada’s most humble grandmothers, bravest firefighters, most-loved celebrities and revered judges battle it out in a special series. The 4-week stunt begins Saturday, November 26th at 9 E/P with judges Susur Lee, Michael Smith, Mark McEwan and Anne Yarymowich competing for charity. The kitchen has never been hotter!

We’ve been waiting patiently all year for this! A brand new season of Top Chef premieres Thursday, December 1st at 10 E/P.  Season 14 finds new and returning chefs in a high-stakes competition set in Charleston, South Carolina. Cooks vs. Cons judge Graham Elliot joins the judges table this season, alongside veterans Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons.

For our full show lineup, visit our schedule page.

Meet the First Ever Food Network Star Kid!

In the heart-wrenching finale of Food Network Star Kids, the three finalists poured their hearts into the last challenge, but it was Amber Kelley who was crowned the first ever Food Network Star Kid.

This young culinary mastermind is set to host a new web series, Kids Menu Makeover, where she will reinvent restaurant classics for kid palates with the help of pro chefs. Before Amber competed on Food Network Star Kid, the 13-year-old from Seattle hosted her own YouTube show called Cook with Amber. She loves making everything from steak spring rolls to okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake. She loves snacking on fruit and says the strangest thing she has in her fridge is homemade kimchi.

Amber’s cooking mantra is “healthy is cool,” and she makes it a priority to cook only using fresh, wholesome, good-quality ingredients. “Eating those foods can have a huge impact on your life, ’cause it makes you smarter, stronger, makes you genuinely feel better,” she tells Food Network.

Watch Amber’s journey come to a gratifying end on the finale of Food Network Star Kids. Congrats, Amber!

What Food Network Stars Are Thankful For

Whether you write it down, share  it at the dinner table or quietly reflect, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pause, and take a moment to celebrate all your good fortunes. From good health to cherished moments with close friends and family, to a table full of delicious food, we all have a lot to be grateful for. We caught up with some of our stars to hear about what gives them pause, and what they’re most thankful for this holiday season.

“I am thankful for those quiet little moments that tuck themselves in between the noisy, messy workings of life,” says Anna Olson, host of Bake with Anna Olson. “This time of year, the sound of Canada geese flying overhead in formation, or the tapping of cool, autumn rain against my kitchen window is enough to make me stop and pause.”

As an immigrant from Hong Kong, Susur Lee has always been thankful to live in a welcoming country such as Canada. “This year that thankfulness is amplified,” the chef and judge on Chopped Canada says. “Canada’s attitude towards immigrants and refugees makes me even more thankful that I landed in this great country.”

Susur’s cast mate John Higgins shares the same sentiment, adding Canada is “the place where dreams come true.”

When it comes to Thanksgiving, fellow judge Roger Mooking appreciates all the good food on the table. “I’m most thankful for a properly well-made Trini roti with bone-in goat.  Oh yeah, and my family, too!”

Having spent most of the year on the road for Carnival Eats or Bachelorette Canada, host Noah Cappe is looking forward to coming home. “I’m thankful for the time I get to spend with family over the holidays, catching up and just hanging out around the table,” he says. “I’m also really thankful for gravy!”

Inspired With Anna, Food Network Star Kids, and More Coming This Fall

As we say goodbye to another beautiful summer, we say hello to an action-packed fall line-up on Food Network Canada. We’re kicking off September with exciting new shows and brand new episodes of your returning favourites.

Chopped Canada returns with more high-stakes, heart-pumping competition Saturday, September 3rd at 9 pm E/P. Brad Smith and all your faovurite judges are back to critique appetizers, entrées and desserts from talented Canadian chefs.

Get a double-dose of Bobby Flay this fall as Beat Bobby Flay returns with new episodes Thursday, September 1st at 10 pm E/P. The grill-master and breakfast pro will also debut a brand new show, Brunch @ Bobby’s, premiering Saturday, September 10th at 10 am E/P. With the launch of this appetizing new series, we’re giving away three copies of his cookbook, Brunch @ Bobby’s, which features 140 sweet and savoury recipes. Enter the contest now.

On the new series Inspired with Anna, acclaimed chef Anna Olson takes a break from baking to travel Southeast Asia for an unforgettable culinary journey. From Singapore to Hong Kong, Anna discovers unique ingredients in the markets, and learns original techniques from local cooks and distinguished chefs. Inspired with Anna premieres Sunday, September 4th at 10 am E/P  with two back-to-back episodes.

The Man in Plaid is back! John Catucci is hilarious, but when kids across Canada invite him into their favourite restaurant kitchens, things get downright silly. On a special edition of You Gotta Eat Here!, a new generation of foodies show John that their taste in cuisine goes beyond chicken fingers and fries. You Gotta Eat Here!: Kids Edition begins Friday, September 2nd at 8 pm E/P and regular episodes resume Friday, September 30th at 9 pm E/P.

Speaking of kids, Tia Mowry and Donal Skehan host the pint-sized competition, Food Network Star Kids, where 10 wildly talented young chefs battle their way through a variety of culinary challenges to become the next Food Network Star Kid. The adventure begins Sunday, September 4th at 8 pm E/P.

An all-new, star-studded cast of recruits joins the new season of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition hosted by Anne Burnell and Rachael Ray. Upcoming episodes feature Oktoberfest-themed beer and sausage challenges, a Halloween Bloody Mary battle, and the return of the trivia game, Family Food. Guest judges include lasy season’s winner, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, and runner-up, Kendra Wilkinson. The competition heats up Wednesday, September 14th at 9 pm E/P.

For our full show lineup, visit our schedule page.

Meet the Next Food Network Star

Tregaye Frazer’s  life-long dream of hosting her very own show will soon become reality! The 31-year-old Atlanta chef was crowned the next Food Network Star on Sunday night’s exciting season finale.

The chef and mother of two beat out fellow Atlanta competitor Jernard Wells, and fan favourite Damiano Carrara in the emotional and shocking conclusion to the 12th season. Tregaye’s spunky personality and flair for food fusion was enough to impress judges Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay.

After a few stumbles early on in the competition, Tregaye’s cooking and presentation skills brought her back in the running. She impressed judges with wow-worthy plates throughout the 12-week long journey, including her infamous Loco Moco Fried Rice Patties.

Tregaye has been honing her on-camera charm ever since she appeared in season 7 of Cutthroat Kitchen alongside Food Network Star competitor Yaku Moton-Spruill.  When it came to any on-camera challenges on Food Network Star, Tregaye left a mark on the mentors. “She really grabs your attention,” Giada exclaimed. Other guest judges like Tia Mowry gave kudos to Tregaye for being “authentic in her approach.”

Upon winning, Tregaye took to Instagram to debut a new look and express her gratitude. “I am so excited about my new job. I won’t let any of my family, friends or fans down. Love you all,” she wrote.

We can’t wait to see more of Tregaye on Food Network, cooking up a fusion feast in a fun, bold way. For now, we’ll let the champion enjoy those delicious deviled eggs.

https://twitter.com/cheftregaye/status/760265076196646913

Congratulations, Tregaye Fraser. Welcome to the Food Network family!

Guy and Hunter’s European Vacation: How to Eat Like a Brit

Guy and Hunter’s epic adventure winds down in London, England where the father-son duo visit the oldest fish & chips shop in town. If you haven’t already caught the episode, you can watch it online here.

Rock & Soul Plaice, established back in 1871, is a year-long hotspot among locals and tourists alike. While the French invented “pomme frites” (French fries), it was the Brits who invented “chips.” The humble restaurant owner reveals the best ingredient for a traditional fish & chips dish is cod loin. They’re coated in a thin, crisp batter, leaving just a light crush on the fish. Nothing on the plate is greasy.

“It’s flaky and light but still has a nice crunch on the batter,” Guy says upon his first bite.

After touring the city on a double-decker bus, it was time for the two to indulge in some “real deal Indian food,” as Guy likes to call it. “This is an important part of the culture of food in London.”

At Punjab, the oldest the oldest North Indian restaurant in the UK, the duo took turns making their own naan bread. A typical naan recipe involves mixing white flour with salt, yeast and yogurt to make a smooth, stretchy dough. It’s cooked in a cylindrical clay oven also known as a tandoor. After passing around plates homemade chutney, seekh kebab, chicken korma and papadum, the food coma sets in and it’s time to call it a day.

Take a trip to England just like Guy and Hunter and eat like a Brit with this London-inspired menu.

Appetizers:

Naan Wedges

Chicken Cornish Pasties

Salt Cured Cod and Roasted Garlic Spread Crouton

Fish Sticks with Dill Caper Aoili

Main Dishes:

Fish and Chips

Bangers and Green Mash with Onion Gravy

Chicken Tikka

Jhal Muri

Desserts:

Classic English Trifle

Yorkshire Pudding

Rhubarb and Rosewater Eton Mess

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

How Chopped Canada Stars will Celebrate Canada Day

Believe it or not, this year Canada is turning 149 years old —but it doesn’t look a day over 100. To celebrate, the stars of Chopped Canada are eager to rejoice in our great nation with cottages, cocktails, and, of course, food.

Lynn Crawford’s Weekend Getaway
“My cottage in the Kawarthas is my little piece of heaven. I’ll be there with my friends and family. We have a pizza oven that always gets fired up. We always make sure there’s dessert pizza, too, with marshmallows, caramel sauce, raspberries and strawberries. Summer fun!”

Eden Grinshpan Keeps it Classic
“I live in New York right now, so I will probably have a couple Ceasars and some poutine to celebrate with my husband.”

Make this classic Canadian drink absolutely amazing with these super patriotic garnish ideas.

Roger Mooking’s House Party
“It’s both my father-in-law and daughter’s birthday that weekend so we’ll be having a party at my house this year.  There may be fireworks, but, shhh, don’t tell anyone!”

Michael Smith’s Berry Canadian Cake
“Canada Day on Prince Edward Island often coincides with the start of our strawberry season so we like to celebrate with Strawberry Shortcake, then as many fireworks as I can round up.”

Strawberry Rhubarb ShortcakeGet Michael Smith’s recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake.

Massimo Capra Craves International Foods
“Here in Canada, we have incredible diversity in food and people, so we can celebrate with just about anything. The beauty of this country is that we love food from all over the world. We can go back to the old English days and cook up some bangers and mash! But right now I’m craving some beautiful curry.”

Get the recipe for Curry Tofu Chutney Salad. Perfect for summer!

Brad Smith Keeps it Low Key
“This is the first summer I’ll have to myself. Every other summer since I was 21 I’ve had to work, so I’ll go to a buddy’s cottage, relax and enjoy what Canada has to offer.”

John Higgins’ Great BBQ
“Scotland is my birthplace but Canada is definitely my home. My wife has a family of 14 siblings and there’s always people coming over. We do something simple [on the barbecue] like peameal bacon. It has to have spicy honey mustard sauce and a great coleslaw.”


Get the recipe for Maple Bourbon Peameal Bacon Sliders.

Anne Yarymowich and the Great Outdoors
“Always start the day with a Caesar and then have fun with it. Find something local, something that is grown and raised within a 10 km radius of where you live and throw that on the barbecue. We have such a short summer season and Canada Day is at the height of it, so being outside is essential.”

Guy and Hunter’s European Vacation: How to Eat Like a Parisian

This week, Guy Fieri and his son Hunter take their month-long culinary adventure to Paris, France. If you haven’t already watched the episode, you can watch it online here.

Paris is often referred to as the “City of Light,” but this dynamic duo refers to it as the “City of Croissants.” Guy took his son to one of the oldest bakeries in the city to learn how to make pastry “the old school, original way,” to properly make an authentic croissant — which can take up to 36 hours!

The elegant old town of Chantilly, 50 kilometers north of Paris, was Guy and Hunter’s next stop. It’s also the commune where Guy spent time in as a high school exchange student. After reuniting with an old classmate, the gang drove up to see the house where Guy used to live. The star chef has many memories of making tacos for his French friends, so together, they make a French-Mexican fusion dinner of tacos complete with raclette cheese melted on top. The French love their cheese, whether it’s Brie, Camembert, or Bleu d’Auvergne.

Take a trip to France like Guy and Hunter, and eat like a Parisian with this delicious inspired menu.

Appetizers:

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Ham, Apricots and Camembert on Toast

Garden Vegetable Raclette

French Onion Soup

Main Dishes:

Ina Garten’s Coq Au Vin

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu

Duck a l’Orange

Beef Bourguignon

Desserts:

Mini Croissants

Brie Cranberry Tarts

Apricot Clafouti

Chocolate Mousse

Mark McEwan’s Perfect Techniques for Grilling Vegetables

When it comes to healthy and appetizing barbecues, no one brings the heat quite like celebrity chef and Chopped Canada judge Mark McEwan. Known for cooking with fresh vegetables and plant-based foods, we asked the star for his techniques on grilling veggies the right way.

Asparagus is a popular vegetable around the barbecue. Sure, you could steam or roast it, but nothing beats the flavour of asparagus that’s simply grilled.

“Trim the ends off and marinate it with olive oil and salt and pepper,” says Mark. “Lay it at a 90-degree angle on the grill at a low heat. Then, put a warm vinaigrette on the top.”

One must-have item around the grill is tin foil. “I’ll take my beets out of the garden, scrub them, quarter them and place them down on two sheets of foil paper. I like putting on olive oil, thyme, smashed garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. I seal it with another sheet of foil on top and fold the edges in like a Christmas package,” says Mark. It’s best to leave the foiled beets on  the top rack of the grill for about an hour.

If beets don’t whet your appetite, Mark says you can use this easy technique on carrots, sweet onions or peppers. If you prefer your peppers with some grill marks, Mark has the perfect method  for you.

“I take a whole pepper and rub it with a tiny bit of olive oil. I’ll put it over the hottest part on the barbecue, make it completely black and then I’ll peel the skin off. Once I pull the core off and take the seeds off, I can marinate the peppers which is fabulous,” he says.

Mark’s simple marinade includes water, vinegar, chilies, fresh herbs and a small amount of olive oil. Try any one of our 10 Great Marinades for Grilling Season.

Completely charring a pepper makes removing the skin a lot easier. “It actually cooks the pepper to another dimension where it has a different taste. It you use a marinade, you can leave it in the fridge for a week!”

Looking for more grilling tips? Check out: 12 BBQ Hacks to Make You a Grilling Superstar.

The Best Barbecuing Tips from our Stars

From proper saucing to perfectly grilled veggies, celebrity chefs and Chopped Canada judges share their best barbecue tips so you can throw a fantastic feast in your own backyard.

Roger Mooking on How to Beat the  Heat
“Make sure you understand your heat source well. All fires are not created equal and the environment can be a very dynamic variable when cooking outdoors; wind, humidity, types of wood or charcoal.”


Try our Top 100 Grilling Recipes

Michael Smith on When to Get Saucy
“Always add BBQ sauces last. They’re loaded with sugar that burns if you add too early.”


Eden Grinsphan on Keeping it Clean
“Always clean and oil your grill. The grill should be on the hotter side so your protein doesn’t stick to it. And my party tip would be to always have a cocktail station!”


Try one of these 30 Cocktails to Keep You Cool This Summer

Massimo Capra on Enjoying the Simple Things
“Parties should be kept very simple. Stick with chicken or sausages. I wouldn’t dare make a 16-hour smoked brisket because that takes time. Simplicity is always key!”

Antonio Park on  Rocking Those Veggies
“Think about the vegetables. Everybody thinks about fish, seafood, sausages when they talk about barbecues. Don’t even think about that. Barbecued veggies are amazing! All you have to do is drizzle a bit of oil with salt and pepper and it’s even better if there’s charcoal! You get that smokey flavour that’s so nice.”


Try one of these 20 Vegetable Side Dishes

Heartwarming Father’s Day Memories from our Stars

Although our stars are often away traveling the world and sampling great food, they always make time for family. Whether it’s enjoying a nice backyard barbecue or going on a road trip, nothing beats quality time with Dad! Here, our chefs and hosts share their favourite Father’s Day memories.

Noah Cappe shares a few photos of his father, Leslie Cappe via  Instagram @noahcappe

Noah Cappe shares a few photos of his father, Leslie Cappe via Instagram @noahcappe

“In recent years my dad has fallen in love with cooking,  more specifically, working the Q!” says Carnival Eats host Noah Cappe. “Last year, we were standing by the barbecue in the classic father and son pose, and I did a fake intro like he was cooking on Carnival Eats and he just went with it. It was hilarious!  That’s my dad.  That’s why I love those moments you get on a day like Father’s Day.”

Anna Olson and her father on a road trip; Anna's Key Lime Pie, her father's favourite dessert. Instagram @chefannaolson.

Anna Olson and her father on a road trip via Instagram @chefannaolson; Key Lime Pie, her father’s favourite dessert.

When Anna Olson was younger, she admits she had a hard time expressing her gratitude for her dad on Father’s Day. “All the typical greeting cards showed guys fishing, golfing or hanging out in the garage — and my dad did none of these things,” says the Bake with Anna Olson star. “But as I grew up and took on baking as my after-school hobby, I quickly learned that he appreciated sweets as much as I liked making them, and he still does to this day.  When I am working on new dessert recipes, I always make sure my dad gets first pick of the sweet selection. His favourite dessert is my key lime pie.”

Eden Grinshpan (second from left) with her mom, Riva Grinshpan, sisters Arielle and Renny Grinshpan, and father Menashe Grinshpan.

Eden Grinshpan (second from left) with her mom, Riva Grinshpan, sisters Arielle and Renny Grinshpan, and father Menashe Grinshpan.

Chopped Canada judge Eden Grinshpan says she was lucky to sit down and have dinner with her whole family every night as kid. “My father grew up in Israel and always talks about the foods his mother gave him. Every special occasion we try to replicate those dishes for him, like smokey eggplant with sliced tomatoes and a sponge cake with 12 eggs in it,” she says. Her father, Menashe Grinshpan, has been supporting the star since day one. “Because of the support and love from him and my mother [Riva], I have been able to achieve everything I have ever wanted to do in my life. I’m a very lucky girl.”

Cooks vs. Cons judge and Sugar Showdown host Josh Elkin was four years old when he gave his dad his first gift. “I built my dad a pencil holder for his desk. To this day, he still has it, although it doesn’t hold pencils anymore,” he says. While pies and ties are popular gift items these days, the star is grilling up something different. “I would love to cook my dad an awesome steak dinner, which I’m sure he would adore. However, it wouldn’t last through the test of time like a pencil holder has.”

Roger Mooking shares some throwback photos of his parents and himself as a little boy via Instagram @rogermooking.

Roger Mooking shares a throwback photo of his parents Gemma and Allay Mooking, as well as a baby photo of himself via Instagram @rogermooking.

“My father was a second generation restaurateur so he clearly inspired me in my career,” says Chopped Canada judge Roger Mooking.  His father Allay and mother Gemma raised him in Trinidad before moving to Canada at the age of five. “I grew up in a household of good steady cooking and music.” Sounds like the perfect pairing to us!

Lynn Crawford’s Flavour-Packed Father’s Day Menu

Let Chopped Canada judge and award-winning chef Lynn Crawford be your sous-chef with these delicious ideas for your Father’s Day feast.

Make Memories

When planning your Father’s Day menu, chose ingredients that spark happy memories for the two of you. Lynn’s father and other members of her family were all butchers, and she recalls how proud her father was when she decided to pursue a culinary career.

Lynn also recommends taking advantage of the good weather by sparking up the grill.

“Dads love when their kids are making a meal for them. It’s nice weather [this time of year] and ultimately the feast should include a barbecue,” says Lynn.

Appetizer

Start your Father’s Day meal with a sweet summer salad your dad will want to eat over and over again. Lynn’s love of beets comes from her father’s penchant for pickling.

“He always made pickled beets. I have memories of all those different jars on the counter, purple hands, and the smell of vinegar all over the kitchen.”

Get Lynn Crawford’s recipe for Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Summer Greens.

Side

“My father and I cooked a lot together. As a kid growing up, dad was home from work first, so it was always about peeling potatoes and getting them on the stove. He had these dad repertoire recipes which were always very easy.”  Add some flair to your mashed potatoes with this easy and creative side.

Get the recipe for Lynn Crawford’s Lobster Mashed Potatoes.

Main

“My father had a couple of recipes he was known for. To this day, we still use those recipes,” says Lynn. “He’s got a great marinade for steak. He loved the barbecue!” Take a cue from Lynn and grill your dad a big, juicy steak for the special occasion.

Get the recipe for Lynn Crawford’s Coffee-Salted, Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak with Cowboy Steak Fry Salad and Smoked Paprika Aioli.

DessertChef Lynn dessert

To cap off a wonderful meal, go for a a burst of citrus with these shortcakes as a light and airy dessert. Chef Lynn is a big fan of incorporating grapefruit in lighter dishes that boast tangy, bright flavours.

Get Lynn Crawford’s Florida Grapefuit Shortcakes recipe.

Guy and Hunter’s European Vacation: How to Eat like an Italian

Guy and Hunter kicked off their family vacation in Athens, where the father-son duo learned how to eat like Grecians. This week, the two cruise through Italy on their vespas, and learn how to make the essential Italian dessert: gelato.

“Of all the countries to visit, I think  Italy is the most important,” Guy says, explaining it’s where his entire family originated.

It’s in Rome where the two Fieris learn how to make fig and banana gelato, which is a chilled Italian delicacy. Gelato is churned at a slower rate and served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, making its texture silkier and smoother.

Guy and Hunter leave the sweets behind and head to Venice via gondola to check out the seafood markets for a big family reunion dinner. Guy decides to make some surf and turf for his cousins, as Hunter meets many of them for the first time.

No trip to Italy is complete without trying branzino, a popular silver-skinned fish sea bass. Guy stuffs his branzino with lemons and veggies, and garnishes with parsley. The Fieri’s Italian feast isn’t complete without plates of spaghetti and clams, a recipe which originates in Naples. Typically in North America, spaghetti is served with red sauce and loads of meatballs on top, but in Italy, the rule is it has to be white.

Take a trip to Italy like Guy and Hunter, and eat like an Italian with this inspired menu.

Appetizers:

Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella

Grilled Treviso with Citrus Bagna Cauda

Cheese Stuffed Dates with Prosciuotto

Crispy Ceci

Main DishesbranzinoBaked Branzino with Citrus Gremolata

Ferris’ Clam Linguine

Spaghettini with King Crab

Anna Olson’s White Pizza

Desserts:

Meyer Lemon Gelato, Beet Root Spongecake and Dark Chocolate Crisp

Fresh Citrus with Gelato and Almond Cookies

Pineapple Semifreddo

Torrone

Watch all new episodes of Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation Thursdays at 10:30 E/P. Catch up on episodes online.

Guy and Hunter’s European Vacation: How to Eat Like a Grecian

This week, Guy Fieri and his son Hunter began their month-long journey across Europe, kicking things off in Athens, on a quest to find the best gyro. If you haven’t already watched the episode, you can watch it online here.

Gyro is a popular Greek dish made of  pork, beef or chicken cooked on a vertical rotisserie and wrapped in a flatbread with fries, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. It’s Greece’s own version of the much loved donair or shawarma.

The island of Crete, 400 kilometers south of Athens was Guy & Hunter’s next stop, where the two hopped on a boat to do some fishing. The father-son team were just in time for lobster season, so they had plenty of crustaceans to bring back for a big dinner with new friends. The two were surprised to learn that lobsters are as popular in the Mediterranean as they are North America. Tasty crustaceans are versatile and can be added to a soup or bisque, baked in a roll or steamed whole and then dipped in butter. Yum!

Finally, Hunter wrapped up his old-world culinary experience in Greece by milking sheep on the hillside of Malaxa. Sheep milk is used to produce a wide range of cheese, and the most popular in Crete is graviera.  It’s a hard cheese with a mild, semi-sweet taste, perfect for sprinkling over pasta or served in slices as an appetizer. Kasseri cheese is another cheese popular among locals best used in sandwiches or pies.

Take a trip to the Mediterranean just like Guy and Hunter and eat like a Grecian with this inspired menu.

Appetizers:
Minted Watermelon and Feta Salad

Smyrna Tomatoes

Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad

Greek Taverna Sandwiches with Garlic Feta Cheese Tzatziki

Main Dishes:
Butterflied Lobster Tails with Garlic-Lemon Butter

Oregano-Crusted Lamb

Grilled Veal Chops with Gnocchi and Kasseri Cheese

Michael Smith’s Greek Chicken

Desserts:

Loukoumades and Coffee

Chuck Hughes’ Classic Greek Baklava 

Semolina Cake

Watch all new episodes of Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation Thursdays at 10:30 E/P. Catch up on episodes online.

Food Network Star: Celeb Chefs Offer Advice to Finalists

With the 12th season of Food Network Star underway, culinary icons Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are busy trying to discover the next food television star. As hopefuls are put through the ringer with tasks that test their kitchen skills and on-camera chops, our current star chefs have a few words of wisdom to share.

Bobby Flay says: “Be original.”

The host of Beat Bobby Flay and one of the judge-mentors on Food Network Star says competitors need to be unique. Trying to mimic someone who is already on the network won’t get you very far.

Giada De Laurentiis says: “Don’t over rehearse.”

Having hosted an array of shows including Giada Entertains and Giada in Italy, this star knows a thing or two about communicating on camera. “If you’re going to over rehearse what you’re going to do and say, you tend to come off as cold and inaccessible,” she says, adding that it’s more genuine when someone’s not trying to be perfect all the time.

Guy Fieri says: “Don’t burn tape.”

As host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for 24 seasons now, Guy learned early on that a star must always live in the moment — especially on camera. If you make a mistake, Guy says, just keep rolling and keep going.

Rachael Ray says: “It’s not all about the food.”

The chef and host of shows like 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day says it’s important to hone your storytelling skills. The more you connect with the audience, the more excited they’ll be to share that experience with their families. “Every time they tune in, they’re going to be entertained and they want to share time with you. It can’t just be about the food, because mostly everyone knows how to cook a piece of chicken.”

Geoffrey Zakarian says: “Own who you are!”

Host of the new series Cooks vs. Cons, and probably the swankiest talent on our roster, Geoffrey explains that as long as you’ve got self-confidence, any mistake you make on camera isn’t that important. “It’s how you come across, how you hide it,” he says.

Robert Irvine says: “Picture your mom in the audience.”

The host of Restaurant Impossible understands that a bunch of cameras can be intimidating for a newcomer. Robert says picturing someone special to you, like your mom or boyfriend, can help dialogue sound more natural.

Catch all new episodes of Food Network Star Sundays at 9 E/P.

10 Fun Facts About Kids BBQ Championship Host Camila Alves

On the series premiere of Kids BBQ Championship, eight talented young grill masters will be battling for the chance to win a $20,000 cash prize and the coveted title of champion. Mentoring and judging them through all the challenges will be winner of Food Network Star season 11 Eddie Jackson and newcomer Camila Alves.

Here are 10 fun facts about our newest Food Network star.

1. Camila was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil. She first came to America when she was 15 years old. After falling in love with Los Angeles, she decided to stay permanently.

2. Food Network star Rachael Ray helped Camila cook her first fish. Camila says she’d often watch Rachael on the channel, and go to the bookstore and look through her cookbooks to get recipe ideas.

Getty Images

Getty Images
Getty Images

3. She’s the wife of Academy-Award winner Matthew McConaughey. They met in 2007 before getting married in 2012. They have three children together: Levi, Vida and Livingston.

4. Her and her family live in Austin, Texas, home to countless barbecue joints every smoked-meat and grill-loving person on the planet needs to eat at! It’s no wonder they called her up to co-host a show like Kids BBQ Championship.

5. The one food item she absolutely cannot live without is a juicy rib-eye steak. “My body literally craves it,” she tells Food Network.

6. Move over Goop, Camila has launched her own lifestyle and DIY website, Women Of Today. It’s chock full of tips, kid-friendly recipes, crafts and beauty posts for busy moms and women around the globe.

7. This is not her first rodeo. Camila, a former model, has hosted other programs including Shear Genius, a hair-styling competition show that ran in 2007.

8. Even better, Camila has already experience judging kids. Ted Allen invited her to be a guest judge on an episode of Chopped Junior, where the young chefs were tasked with creating a dish using cereal and meat.

9. Camila is crafty! Her and her mother started making handbags, and eventually launched Muxo, a collection of handmade bags designed by the duo themselves.

10.  She loves to give back. Her and her husband Matthew co-founded the Just Keep Living Foundation, dedicated to empowering high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices. Right now, JKL is featured in 24 schools across the U.S.

Catch the series premiere of Kids BBQ Championship Sunday, May 29 at 8 E/P.

What to Binge-Watch This Victoria Day Long Weekend

Who needs a cottage by the lake when you can curl up on the couch and watch your favourite Food Network shows back-to-back! Starting Saturday, May 21, fan favourites like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Chopped will have marathons running all weekend long.

Grab some breakfast and travel across America with Guy Fieri in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It all starts Saturday, May 21 at 11:00 a.m. E/P with Guy taking a bite out of Los Angeles’ best pub grub. See the schedule here.

YGEHmarathon

Let food-obsessed funnyman John Catucci show you all the comfort food our country has to offer with a You Gotta Eat Here! marathon starting Saturday, May 21 at 6 E/P. First, he keeps it simple with great barbecue in Edmonton, then it’s off to Ottawa for some Italian-style pizza. See the schedule here.

Make it a Sunday Funday with Ree Drummond in a three-hour marathon of The Pioneer Woman. Sassy farm girl, Ree will show you how to whip up dishes like Strawberry Granola Pancakes and Chicken Tortilla Casserole. The culinary tutorials begin Sunday, May 22 at 11 a.m. E/P. See the schedule here.

Things heat up Sunday, May 22 at 2 E/P with a special marathon of Chopped Grill Masters. Hosted by Ted Allen, this competition pits a group of barbecue experts against one another for a chance to win a $50,000 grand prize. See the schedule here.

The long weekend wouldn’t be complete without an all-day Chopped Canada marathon. From Redemption: Return to Victory to Cooking with Courage, catch the best episodes of season three, hosted by Brad Smith starting Monday, May 23 at 11 a.m. E/P. See the schedule here.

Guy and Buddy

Food, Family and Fun: Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation and Buddy’s Family Vacation

Pack your bags because Diners, Drive-ins and Dives star Guy Fieri and Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss fame are taking us on two amazing  family adventures this summer.

Father and son, Guy and Hunter Fieri, are embarking on the ultimate food-filled adventure, travelling through Europe searching for unique culinary experiences on Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation.

Guy is giving his eldest son, Hunter, a high school grad trip of a lifetime — a culinary vacation to 13 different cities in seven European countries, to fully discover a new continent of cuisine. For one month, they’ll visit cities like Paris and Venice to experience the age-old traditions behind international foods we’ve come to love.

The journey kicks off in Athens where they learn the secrets to making the perfect gyro, and check out an old-school rotisserie restaurant.

Catch a special sneak peak of Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation on Friday, May 20 at 10 E/P.  The series premieres Thursday, June 2 at 10:30 E/P. Get the schedule here


Buddy Valastro is taking a break from his bakeries to take the ultimate roadtrip with his wife Lisa and four kids in Buddy’s  Family Vacation. The Valastros will be driving across America in an RV in search of fantastic food and family adventures.

Whether it’s feeding alligators and eating spicy Étouffée in New Orleans, preparing seafood in Savannah or stopping off in Graceland, the Valastros know how to have fun on the road!

The adventure begins at home in New Jersey, where Buddy and Lisa come up with the rules of the road to keep them on track. Then the gang packs up to go South for their first destination: Charleston, South Carolina.

Catch a special sneak peak of Buddy’s Family Vacation on Friday, May 27 at 10 E/P.  The series premieres Thursday, June 2 at 10 E/P. Get the schedule here.