Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chili, Nachos and Things ...

Hey there! I have ingredients waiting to be turned into chili for tomorrow's big game, so this will be quick. Just wanted to give you some behind the scenes from yesterday's activities. For the second day in a row I set my alarm for 4:30AM so I could get up in time for a visit to The Today Show. Seems early, but getting my face spackled for the high-definition cameras takes about an hour or so, then getting dressed and over the Brooklyn Bridge through NYC morning traffic takes time, as well as getting mic'd up and briefed by the segment producer.

Friday morning's segment was all about The Today Show's Homemade Chili Cook-off finalists. Three competitors from across the country were flown into town to enjoy the city and possibly get a trophy along the way. A couple of days ago I found out I was judging alongside Man Vs. Food host Adam Richman. I watch that show plenty and just love his energy and my fave part is the fake press conference at the end after he defeats or fails at the food challenge. I was really excited to meet him and turns out he watches Cooking for Real, read my articles when I edited and wrote for Hip Hop Weekly and even listened to me on HOT 97 when I was on the air years ago. Pretty crazy! And he's from Brooklyn! Who knew? We spent plenty of time exchanging local places we like to eat and hang out in our borough. I Love, love, love a food conversation! He has a new book out called America the Edible and continues to shoot his show. Here we are with the finalists before we went on the air yesterday ...That's Michael, me, Kyle, Rhonda and Adam. We all had plenty of time to meet and say hi, then the finalists had to head out to the set to shoot previews for the competition. Here's how it all went down ...

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Rhonda was super sweet and I didn't catch it live, but my boyfriend pointed out to me when we watched it on the DVR later that she made a heart shape above her head for me. Sooooo sweet. Thanks for all the kind words backstage Rhonda! Like I said, you are just like me. Someone experiencing life through food among other things! Michael had his sister on hand for support and Kyle, well he brought the fun with his pig call. Pretty unexpected because he was so quiet backstage! Must have been the nerves!! Both Adam and I really loved all of the chili. Kyle's was smooth and delicious, but we wanted more of the apple and maple flavor. Then Michael's was equally good. It smelled like BBQ sauce, but tasted like a big ol bowl of hearty chili. Plus, it was healthy with the turkey and chicken. I think Rhonda's won because it was so unexpectedly powerful with flavor. Both Adam and I were blown away by it instantly. There were big chunks of tender beef and the spice level was so that it was just hot enough to make you want more. Really hard to judge them all because they were the best of the best. Catch their homemade chili recipes on the website.

After having chili for breakfast, I snatched a few bowls of Rhonda's chili recipe (thanks to the friendly crew at The Today Show!) and took it to Martha Stewart Radio for a chat with Betsy and Kim at Morning Living. They loved it too and I shared my recipes for my Southwest Quesadillas w/ Cilantro Lime Sour Cream and my Game Day Chili.

Then, after talking chili, quesadillas and more chili, I headed over to Chelsea Market where Food Network is located for a nacho competition among my co-workers! The internet departments of both Food Network and Cooking Channel along with Food.com put their game day thinking caps on and prepared several snacks for judging ...That's plenty of nachos for lunch, eh? I was judging again and this time around my co-judges were Kelsey's Essentials host, Kelsey Nixon and Food Network Kitchens chef Claudia Sidoti. Claudia develops recipes for Food Network online, cookbooks and the magazine. She was recently at the helm of one of the cool 50-recipe pullouts Food Network Magazine has every issue. Her theme? Nachos!! Here we are all ready to snack and judge ...Take a look at a sample of our lunch ...Those are some serious muffins! Very pretty too!
Those were carnitas nachos, made by a self-proclaimed bachelor! Pretty and tasty!
Some BBQ inspired nachos with pickles never hurt! We liked how they were individual servings, instead of the traditional pile-up with naked chips on the bottom. Then check out something that took me back to cafeteria time ...
Tots!!! Did you know they make hollowed-out tater tots now?? I'm looking on my next browse in the freezer section! Many people made original recipes and some made recipes from Food Network hosts. The muffins were 3 recipes in one, pretty crafty! Here's my paper plate pile-up after all the tasting ... Chili for bfast, nachos for lunch, pretty exciting Friday! Check out who won the competition on FN Dish (bookmark it!), it's Food Network's blog. WHAT?!? You didn't know we have a blog?!? Yup!! Get acquainted by visiting the Super Bowl Nacho Showdown for the winner and more behind the scenes pics! Cooking Channel has a blog too!! Here are the spectators that do all the work to keep our online presence well, present. :-) ...

Thanks for feeding us in more ways than one guys!! I hope I'm counted in for the next eating holiday judge's table!

Also, don't forget the showtime change for Cooking for Real! It's still on weekdays at 4PM and I've moved to Sunday's at 11AM for the debut shows. This weekend it's a big pot of my Chicken in a Pumpkin-Mole and teeny pots of my Molten Chocolate Cinnamon Pots on an episode I call Pots of Gold.

Alright, I'm off to make a pot of chili today, cuz it'll be better tomorrow! Check FoodNetwork.com/BIGGAME for all your last minute tips, recipes and instructional videos. Goooooooo team lol, I can't pick sides really, but I will say that I don't want the JETS to have lost to a loser, so the Steelers better take this one home!!!

2 comments:

Jen @ OneCurlyFry said...

I love the show Man vs Food! I can't even imagine eating all of the stuff he eats. Oh my lord. I'd be so sick, lol.

Sounds like you had a fabulous Friday! And oh my that guy's pig call was hysterical. Totally unexpected!

Have a fun Super Bowl Sunday!! Enjoy your chili!

tamilyn said...

Hollowed out Tots? Oooooo, think of the fun things you could stuff in there......

We caught the Man v. Food episode shot here in MN-it was hilarious! Now I want to go eat there :)