February 1st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
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There are no rules when it comes to food for Moto sous chef and "Top Chef: Texas" contestant Richie Farina.

Tune in to CNN at 2 p.m. E.T. on Sunday, February 5, to see more of the avant-garde cuisine of Richie Farina and Homaro Cantu on The Next List.
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5@5 - Quickfire desserts from Top Chef's Gail Simmons
September 20th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Sweet things come to those who wait. Food & Wine Magazine's Gail Simmons been one of the breakout stars of the Top Chef judging panel since the very first season back in 2006, and she's earned her just desserts with a hosting gig on a sweets-centric spin-off of the show, now entering its second season on Bravo.

The Canadian-born host doesn't just mug and "mmmmmmm!" for the camera; she's a bona-fide kitchen star with a culinary degree, plenty of restaurant and recipe development cred and a food memoir on the way in early 2012. This all adds up to pretty high expectations from her dinner guests, but Simmons doesn't break a sweat. Here are five quick, simple, crowd-pleasing solutions for a tasty end to any celebration.

Your time starts...NOW!

Five Quickfire Dessert Ideas: Gail Simmons
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Filed under: 5@5 • Gail Simmons • Make • Recipes • Sweet • Think • Top Chef


Fame Bites - Curtis Stone
July 28th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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Fame Bites goes inside the belly of the entertainment beast. We're dishing out where the celebrities are eating, what they're eating and who they're eating with.

You may best recognize the strapping Australian as the host of  Bravo’s "Top Chef Masters," TLC's "Take-Home Chef," or as a contestant from Donald Trump’s "Celebrity Apprentice," but fun fact(!), the pretty face on the television can legitimately chef.

So - we recently decided to shoot the breeze with Stone about paying his culinary dues and his mum's cracklins.
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Filed under: Bite • Columns • Fame Bites • Television • Think • Top Chef


And the Season 3 'Top Chef Master' is...
June 16th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
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One of the appealing things about “Top Chef” is the simplicity of the final challenge: cook the best meal of your life. “Masters” has taken a slight twist on that, challenging the last chefs standing to cook a meal that represents their culinary lives.

But like with so much else this season, the final challenge was changed, too. Luckily, it actually worked to the show’s and the chefs’ benefit.

Mary Sue, Traci and Floyd were tasked with cooking a three-course meal. The first course needed to represent their first food memory; the second course called back to the meal that inspired them to become chefs.

For the third course, the chefs were each assigned a critic, and challenged to cook a dish based on the meal that inspired James Oseland, Ruth Reichl and Gael Greene to become food critics.

Read - 'Top Chef' crowns a new Master  (SPOILER ALERT!)

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5@5 - Mary Sue Milliken
June 2nd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

It's only June 2 and we're already sweating like Rebecca Black on a Thursday night.

It's going to be one hot tamale of a summer - so let's fight fire with fire by amping up your arsenal of Mexican flavors for all the outdoor fiestas ahead.

Mary Sue Milliken is the chef and owner behind the Border Grill family of restaurants with business partner, Chef Sue Feniger. She's also holding strong as a contestant on Season 3 of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters."

Must-Have Ingredients to Spice Up All Your Summer Fiestas: Mary Sue Milliken
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Top Chef trots into taboo territory
May 16th, 2011
11:15 AM ET
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Producers of the competitive culinary TV show Top Chef Canada galloped headlong into an internet outcry after news spread about an upcoming episode's focus on horse meat as an ingredient. In the challenge, scheduled to air on May 16th on Food Network Canada, contestants were required to cook traditional French dishes, including both foie gras (also a controversially-obtained food) and horse.

Protesters took to the show's Facebook page after promos for the episode aired, flooding the comments with mentions of Top Chef boycotts, links to anti-horse meat websites and advice on how to contact the show's advertisers. A specifically targeted Facebook group called "Boycott Top Chef – Protect the Horses" was swiftly established as a central location to share resources including educational material and contact information for the show's advertisers and the network's executives.
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May 11th, 2011
09:30 PM ET
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"It's a good thing you came in; the meat was hanging out."

There's no context in which those words portend well - especially not when they're uttered by a medical professional. In this instance, a physician assistant was snipping off the ninth and final stitch she'd sewn into my lidocaine-numbed index finger*, sliced nearly in two by a tumbler I was using to measure cocktail ingredients this past Saturday. Suddenly I felt like a dope for even having thought of toughing out this injury at home.
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Filed under: Cooking • Favorites • Injuries • Make • Restaurant News • Television • Top Chef


May 10th, 2011
05:20 PM ET
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"My dish is about changing the paradigm...Eating a veggie burger can be just as celebrated as a bacon cheeseburger.”

Unfortunately for Top Chef Masters contestant Suvir Saran, said burger, prepared for a meat-loving lass from the cast of The Biggest Loser, changed only his status in the competition. The judging panel sent Saran packing after a few harsh comments about his "mashed potato patty wedged into a slice of pita," but he made a graceful exit.

"I made a dish that was about living better rather than tasting close to what one craves," said the chef, himself a vegetarian.

Still there was a hint of nervous anticipation in the air last night, when Saran and fellow contestant Mary Sue Milliken - who won the main challenge in the most recently aired episode - encountered the show's most outspoken judge, Saveur's editor-in-chief James Oseland near the red carpet at the James Beard Awards Gala.

Watch what happened when the trio met up.



May 10th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
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Gail Simmons may be the busiest woman in the food world right now. Not only is she about to jet off to Los Angeles to film the next season of Top Chef Just Desserts - she's got a memoir in the works, sits on the board at City Harvest, and hosted last Friday's James Beard Broadcast, Books and Journalism Awards.

We chatted with Gail in the press room at last night's James Beard Restaurant Awards and asked her about her favorite food city and the issue that's sickening our nation.



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