ABC cancels ‘The Chew’; viewers react with anger and sadness

May 23, 2018

by Jennifer Dawson

The Chew
Michael Symon, Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly of “The Chew” (Photo courtesy of ABC)

ABC has announced that it is canceling its food-oriented talk show “The Chew” to make way for a third hour of “Good Morning America” at 1 p.m. ET/PT.  “The Chew,” which debuted in 2011, “will cease production at the end of this season but will continue to air as planned until September [2018] with new episodes airing in June,” according to an ABC press release.

“The Chew” began with five hosts: Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz and Mario Batali. Oz left in August 2017 to pursue other opportunities. Batali was fired in December 2017, after he admitted to and made a public apology for accusations that he sexually harassed female employees and colleagues for several years. Oz and Batali were not replaced on “The Chew.”

In a press release, “The Chew” creator/executive producer Gordon Elliott issued this statement: “Before ‘The Chew,’ no one had attempted a talk/food hybrid. Our hosts Clinton, Carla and Michael and the staff created television history executing the show as well as they did for all these years. I know I speak for all of the people who work on the show when I say it was the best television we have ever had the privilege to produce.”

Apart from Gordon Ramsay’s shows on Fox, “The Chew” was one of the few food-oriented shows on a broadcast (not cable) network.

Symon posted this statement on his Facebook page: “As you may have heard by now we found out today this is our final season of The Chew … I Just want to say thank you to everyone who not only was involved with show but to all those who watched daily and allowed us to entertain you…it has been an amazing run and we are all looking forward to new fun things!…xoxo…MS”

Hall commented on her Twitter account: I am so grateful for all the good times and incredible friends I have made over the past seven years on @thechew. It has truly been an amazing ride. I am looking forward to new adventures! What’s next? Stay tuned! Onward and upward! #adventurefollows.”

Viewers had swift and overwhelming reactions to “The Chew” being cancelled, with most expressing anger or sadness on the Internet about the show’s cancellation. A small minority of people reacting on the Internet expressed happiness that “The Chew” was cancelled, but they are identifying themselves as soap-opera fans who are still bitter that “All My Children” was cancelled and replaced by “The Chew.” Fans of “The Chew” are extremely upset about “The Chew” getting cancelled, and say they won’t be watching the “Good Morning America” segment that will be replacing the show.

Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Michael Symon of “The Chew” (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC)

Here’s a sampling of comments from the Internet:

On “The Chew’s” official Facebook page:

“So disgusted and disappointed The Chew is being cancelled. I have been watching since the very first episode. I tape it everyday and see absolutely no reason why we need 3 hours of GMA. I love GMA but don’t need 3 hours of it. I hope the Food Network picks this show up.”

“Save the Chew… it’s the only daytime show I watch… I cannot believe it’s being cancelled for more news… I think we see enough negative stories in the morning and at night from the news… this was a great positive uplifting fun show and I learned a lot of new recipes too… I love the interviews w/ celebs cooking along side the chefs…”

“Just read the The Chew has been cancelled, yet The View is still on!! Very disappointing. I do not watch the 2 hours of GMA now so I definitely won’t be tuning in during this time slot.”

“I can not believe The Chew is cancelled. ABC execs have made a huge mistake here. This show has a great following and brings something different to daytime TV that no one else has. I DVR this show and look forward to watching every new episode. I will not be watching a THIRD hour of GMA. Absolutely ridiculous.”

“Shame on you ABC! We don’t need more news through the day, loved watching Clinton, Clara, and Michael. Hopefully, another station will pick them up.”

On Twitter:

“The Chew was a great show! The other 3 host had nothing to do with what Mario did. Who in the world needs another cornball hour of Good Morning America?”

“Boycott ABC. Shame on you for canceling The Chew! Nobody needs a 3rd hour of GMA.”

“I’m a ‘Good Morning America’ watcher, but not happy #TheChew has been canceled (despite strong ratings & sometimes outperforming “The View”) for a new afternoon version of @GMA! Unless #TJHolmes is hosting the 1pm version, this is a BAD idea!”

UPDATE: “The Chew” aired its final episode on June 15, 2018. Here are some statistics that ABC provided about “The Chew”:

Seasons: 7
Episodes: 1,500
Audience members: 201,343
Recipes made: 6,630
Celebrity guests: 1,121
Crafts created: 228
Michael’s “5 in 5s”: 164
Carla’s desserts: 437
Emmys: In 2015, the co-hosts of “The Chew” won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host; and in 2016, “The Chew” won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show.

Food Network debuts Molly Yeh series ‘Girl Meets Farm’

May 15, 2018

Molly Yeh
Molly Yeh, host of Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm” (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Molly Yeh is well-known for her popular blog my name is yeh and best-selling cookbook, and this summer she is bringing her charm, unique background and spin on comfort food to Food Network with the brand-new series Girl Meets Farm. A transplant from city to farm life who has embraced her new home, Molly welcomes viewers to her cozy farmhouse on the Minnesota/North Dakota border and shares her love for the country life. The series celebrates the very best of Molly’s food, with recipes inspired by her Jewish and Chinese heritage and a taste of the Midwest. With fresh, tasty ideas and food that’s both delicious and beautiful, the seven-episode series brings inspiration and fun into kitchens across the country. Girl Meets Farm premieres Sunday, June 24 at 11am ET/PT.

“Molly is full of life and her unlikely journey from the big city to a food-centered life on a Midwest farm is fascinating,” said Courtney White, Executive Vice President, Programming, Food Network and HGTV. “Her passion for food, her family and farm life are front and center in all of her recipes, which are truly written from the heart.”

In the premiere episode, Molly makes a delicious buffet for her sister-in-law Anna’s baby shower. On the menu, there’s Fish Tacos with Crunchy Cabbage Slaw and Cilantro DressingPigs in a Blanket with Harissa Ketchup and Honey Mustard and Molly’s signature Meatball Sliders with a Twist. Then Molly’s Baked Donuts with Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Blueberry Glaze take center stage on the dessert table. Upcoming episode themes include family visits, girl’s brunch, farm supper and a special anniversary celebration, along with Molly’s recipes for Garlic and Onion Challah, Dark Chocolate Scone Loaf with Marzipan and Scallion Pancakes with Maple Carrot Slaw.

Molly Yeh is the author of the International Association of Culinary Professionals award-winning cookbook “Molly on the Range.” She is the creator of the critically-acclaimed and highly popular food and lifestyle brandmy name is yeh, which has been recognized by the likes of the New York TimesFood & Wine, New York MagazineSaveur (“Blog of the Year”) and Yahoo (“Food Blog of the Year”). She was also on Forbes‘ “30 Under 30” list for 2017. Molly grew up in the Chicago suburbs with a Chinese father and Jewish mother, followed by a post-high school life in New York City studying percussion at Juilliard. She then got married and started her food blog, relocating with her husband to a sugar beet farm in the upper Midwest where she currently resides.

Watch video exclusives with Molly and get how-to’s on cake decorating and making your favorite childhood snacks at Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #GirlMeetsFarm.

Food Network debuts ‘Dallas Cakes’

April 2, 2018

"Dallas Cakes" (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
“Dallas Cakes” (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Everything is big and over-the-top in Dallas, especially the cakes! Beginning on Monday, April 30th at 10:30pm ET/PT, Dallas Cake viewers will follow the best Dallas-area bakers as they transform their clientele’s wildest imaginations into extraordinary customized confections. In each of the ten half-hour episodes, three outrageously talented bakers conceive, create and deliver incredible, edible works of art using cake, frosting, incredible imagination and skill. From an impressive Game of Thrones wedding cake featuring an intricate cake topper of a dragon wrapped around the iron throne, to a Back to the Future DeLorean car cake with working headlights, and to a gigantic oil derrick cake that spews chocolate, these Dallas Cakes are always top tier.

“Viewers devour our baking-themed Monday night line-up, and Dallas Cakes is the cherry on top of our dessert-filled programming,” said Courtney White, Senior Vice President, Programming, Food Network, Travel Channel and Cooking Channel. “Audiences will be captivated by the expert baking techniques and decorating skills used in every detail of these unique, jaw-dropping cakes – each one living up to Dallas’ larger-than-life reputation.”

See how these one-of-a-kind cakes come together at and browse photo galleries, videos and much more. Use the hashtag #DallasCakes on social media to let us know which cake is your favorite.

Johnny Iuzzini scandal: ABC cancels ‘The Great American Baking Show’ after he’s accused of sexual harassment

December 13, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

The Great American Baking Show
“The Great American Baking Show” 2017 contestants, judges and hosts. Pictured from left to right in front row: Johnny Iuzzini, Ayesha Curry, Paul Hollywood and Anthony Adams. (Photo by Mark Bourdillion/ABC)

ABC has abruptly cancelled “The Great American Baking Show” after several female ex-subordinates of Johnny Iuzzini (one of the show’s judges) accused him of sexual harassment and sexual assault. “The Great American Baking Show” (originally titled “The Great Holiday Baking Show”) is the U.S. version of “The Great British Bake Off.” Iuzzini had been with the American show since its debut in 2015. The third season premiered on ABC on December 7, 2017, and featured new hosts Ayesha Curry and Anthony Adams, as well has new judge Paul Hollywood, who is one of the original judges of “The Great British Bake Off.”

The allegations against Iuzzini were first published by the news website Mic in incidents that the accusers say took place between 2009 and 2011, when Iuzzini was a pastry chef at Jean-Georges restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in New York. Iuzzini left Jean-Georges in 2011.

In an article published by Mic on November 29, 2017, four women (who did not reveal their identities for fear of retaliation) describe Iuzzini as boss of a mostly female staff who would frequently abuse his power in a sexually aggressive way. Iuzzini would allegedly demand shoulder massages from his female employees, grope female employees without their consent, simulate sex on their bodies or in their presence, and make sexual and other abusive comments. One of the women also said that Iuzzini would stick his tongue in her ear without her consent, and that it happened many times.

One of the women admitted to having a consensual, on-again/off-again sexual relationship with Iuzzini, but says that she felt pressured into the relationship, which began around the time that Iuzzini interviewed her to work at the restaurant. The other women did not have sexual relationships with Iuzzini, and say that he made the working environment so toxic that they eventually quit because of him. All of them said that they did not file formal complaints out of fear, but that they told many people at the time these alleged incidents occurred.

Iuzzini released this statement to Mic: “I am shattered and heartbroken at the thought that any of my actions left members of my team feeling hurt or degraded. More importantly, I am deeply sorry to those who felt hurt. I certainly deny the allegations, as presented to me, that I ever had a drug problem, threw an empty nitrogen canister at anyone or that I left Jean-Georges on anything other than good terms (I provided three months’ notice and maintain a good relationship with chef and mentor Jean-Georges to this day). Many of the other allegations are inaccurate, others I do not recall and none were meant to hurt people. Nonetheless, I must take responsibility if any of the members of my team felt uncomfortable by my words or actions, regardless of my intent or recollection. I must hear that what the women making the accusations are telling me and recognize I caused pain. I have strived to be a good mentor over the course of my career, and I now understand that I failed some people. To me, that is unacceptable.”

Iuzzini then went on to say in his statement that he learned this type of “unacceptable” behavior when he was a boy, and that for years, he thought that acting that way “was deemed permissible since four-star kitchens are high-stress jobs.”

On December 12, 2017, Mic published another article in which four more women came forward to say that they witnessed sexual harassment perpetrated by Iuzzini at Jean-Georges. One of the witnesses said that the restaurant’s management was aware of Iuzzini’s behavior as far back as 2004 but did nothing to stop the alleged harassment. The ex-employees of the alleged harassment said that they did not file formal complaints because they feared retaliation and felt that the restaurant’s management would protect Iuzzini. However, a lawsuit (which did not go to court) alleged that Iuzzini hired a female stripper to perform at an after-hours party at the restaurant, and that several attendees of the party were deeply offended because they did not know a stripper would be performing.

ABC released this statement: “In light of allegations that recently came to our attention, ABC has ended its relationship with Johnny Iuzzini and will not be airing the remainder of The Great American Baking Show episodes. ABC takes matters such as those described in the allegations very seriously and has come to the conclusion that they violate our standards of conduct.”

This is the second major sexual-harassment scandal to hit a celebrity chef with a show on ABC. On December 11, 2017, Mario Batali was ousted as co-host of “The Chew” after he admitted to and made a public apology for sexual harassment of female employees and other female colleagues. The allegations, made by unidentified women in an Eater article, accused Batali of sexually harassing females through unwanted groping of their private parts, as well as making crude sexual comments. The report also alleged that 57-year-old Batali had been acting this way for at least 25 years. In addition to losing his hosting gig at “The Chew,” Batali has agreed to step down from his multiple businesses.

December 21, 2017 UPDATE: ABC announced on its website that Vallery Lomas had won the third season of “The Great American Baking Show.” The announcement was made on the day that the season finale would have aired.

Guy Fieri looks for a hit Food Network road show in ‘Guy’s Big Project’

September 29, 2017

Guy's Big Project
Guy Fieri (back row, far left) with “Guy’s Big Project” contestants (back row) Mark Anderson, Christian Gill, Ryan Fey, Sharon Damante, Sherri Williams, Vincenzo “Vinny” Vaccaro and (front row) Rashad Jones, Zane Caplansky, Dariany Santana and Lindsey Greene (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

Guy Fieri has visited thousands of restaurants on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” literally putting food-road shows on the map. Now, Guy is searching for Food Network’s next big culinary-travel series. After receiving and sorting through thousands of submissions from hopeful hosts with promising concepts, Guy and his team of food and television experts narrowed it down to a final group of prospects that will vie to have their idea developed into a show on “Guy’s Big Project.” The six-episode journey begins on Sunday, November 5 at 9pm ET/PT and documents every twist and turn as the prospects move from initial pitch through development to network review, to the ultimate end goal – the premiere of a new show on Food Network.

“Over a decade ago I was given a chance that I could never have dreamed of on Food Network Star, and now I’m honored to have the opportunity to help make someone else’s dream a reality,” said Fieri. “As a producer, I know what it takes to get a show off the ground, and we will see if these prospects have the passion and skills needed, because a great idea is just the first step.”

“’Guy’s Big Project’ invites viewers behind-the-scenes to see how a series goes from a passionate idea to a reality on-air,” said Courtney White, Senior Vice President Programming, Scripps Networks Interactive. “Guy’s betting on not only identifying the next big idea for the network, but he’s also committed to doing everything needed to help the prospects succeed.”

Guy and his team of experts including Food Network’s Alex Guarnaschelli and veteran television producer Mark Dissin, are taking the most promising prospects out on the road to see who has what it takes to be a success. The journey begins with the finalists picking a restaurant that best represents them and their show idea, where they film a pitch video to convey what their show would be about. Then, the pressure heats up as they whip up a meal in Guy’s personal kitchen that embodies their idea. One prospect will find the feedback hard to chew and will be sent home.

As the season progresses, the prospects are put through the paces by Guy and his team, learning that there is a lot more to hosting a food-television show than a passion for food and cooking skills.  From describing each bite of food in order to convey the flavors, aromas and textures, to engaging the audience while eating and interviewing a wide variety of chefs, there is a lot to digest especially when your hopes and dreams are on the line.

On the finale on Sunday, December 10th at 9pm ET/PT, the remaining prospects each shoot a pilot employing all the skills they learned from the previous weeks. After submitting their tapes to the network, they must wait to hear the decision. Immediately following the finale, at 10pm ET/PT, viewers will find out who made the cut as they get a sneak peek of the winner’s series!

The prospects include: Mark Anderson (Boise, Idaho) together with Ryan Fey (Los Angeles, California), Zane Caplansky (Toronto, Canada), Sharon Damante (Napa, California) together with Sherri Williams (Crestview, Florida), Christian Gill (Cincinnati, Ohio), Lindsay Greene (Atlanta, Georgia), Rashad Jones (Ocala, Florida), Dariany Santana (Kenilworth, New Jersey), and Vincenzo Vaccaro (Astoria, New York).

Fans can get an insider’s look at the making of “Guy’s Big Project” with behind-the-scenes photos of Guy and the prospects, as well as bonus videos and recipes inspired by the show at To join the conversation on social media use #GuysBigProject.



Gordon Ramsay launches new restaurant revamp show ‘Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back’

September 22, 2017

Gordon Ramsay (Photo courtesy of Fox)
Gordon Ramsay (Photo courtesy of Fox)

The following is a press release from Fox:

Fox has picked up the all-new unscripted series “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back.” Produced by Studio Ramsay, the new eight-episode series will feature Ramsay going through hell in order to bring failing restaurants back from the brink of disaster – all within 24 hours.

In today’s world, everyone can be an amateur food critic on social media, and restaurants often find themselves one bad Yelp review away from shutting their doors. Ramsay will travel throughout the United States to find restaurants on the knife’s edge of losing everything. A timer is set, and Ramsay will work around the clock to put these restaurants back on course. With only 24 hours to turn the restaurant around, he’ll make the necessary changes that he sees fit – from re-interviewing the staff to see who makes the cut, to renovating the space and updating the menu with signature dishes and first-class service. Additionally, to help him with the task at hand, Ramsay will unveil his secret weapon – Hell on Wheels – a 70-foot-long semi-truck that unfolds into a state-of-the-art, completely self-sustaining mobile kitchen, where he’ll re-invent the struggling restaurant’s menu, and whip the staff into shape. Then, when the time is up, he’ll present the launch of a revamped restaurant.

“With the clock set at 24 hours-and-ticking, I can promise you this culinary boot camp gives a whole new meaning to ‘Hell on Wheels,’” said Ramsay.

“The restaurant business is one of the toughest there is – and no one knows that more than Gordon,” said Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Broadcasting Company. “Watching him try to save these businesses, not to mention restore the livelihoods of hardworking men and women, really puts the pressure on – and doing this as the clock ticks, challenges him like never before.”

“Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back”  is produced by Studio Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay, Michael Van Briesen, Chris Brogden, Layla Smith and Greg Lipstone will serve as executive producers.

Cooking Channel debuts new series ‘Southern and Hungry’ and ‘Man’s Greatest Food’

September 13, 2017

Cooking Channel logo

The following is an excerpt from a Cooking Channel press release:

Cooking Channel dishes out sweet treats, savory bites and food facts all month long this October.

Southern and Hungry – Premiering Monday, October 9 at 8pmET/5pmPT – SERIES PREMIERE!
Southern food expert Damaris Phillips and NASCAR personality Rutlege Wood are two friends that are obsessed with everything southern: the people, the culture, but mainly the food. On their road trip through the South, they’ll highlight the most memorable dishes and real, down-home restaurants that remind them of the ones they grew up eating in and that always feels like home.

Man’s Greatest Food – Premiering Wednesday, October 11 at 8pmET/5pmPT – NEW SERIES!
Roger Mooking leads a culinary odyssey around the country on the ultimate search for Man’s Greatest Food. From Steaks to Barbecue, Seafood to Sandwiches, Pork to Pizza, and of course, man’s greatest Hamburgers, no eatery is too far out of the way for these mouth-watering Top Fifteen shows.  Roger sets a fast pace to sample some of the most succulent, not-to-be-missed food offerings to be found in these United States.

Premiering Wednesday, October 11 at 8pmET/5pmPT – “Barbecue”

Roger Mooking cannot resist the sweet, succulent smoky goodness of barbecue as he canvasses the country on the lookout for the fifteen best barbecue dishes wherever he can find them. For as long as there has been fire, man has been barbecuing over it. Brisket, chicken, whole hog, mutton, and even a breakfast taco are just a few of the saucy delights to be found when fire, meat, and seasoning intersect in juicy perfection.

Premiering Wednesday, October 18 at 8pmET/5pmPT – “Pizza”

Pizza is one of man’s most popular inventions and everyone’s favorite food. So when Roger Mooking presents the top fifteen pizza offerings in the whole country, it’s bound to be a revelation. From the paper-thin crusts of New York, to the wood-fired ovens of the west coast, to the bottomless deep dish of Chicago, and with toppings many have never even considered, being called the best finally puts pizza on the pedestal it deserves.

Jordan Andino explores after-hours restaurants in ‘Late-Night Eats’

September 12, 2017

Jordan Andino
Jordan Andino (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Cooking Channel:

This fall, Cooking Channel and Chef Jordan Andino take a multi-city road trip to find the best dishes available after-dark in the new thirteen-episode series Late Nite Eats,premiering Thursday, September 28 at 10pm ET/7pm PT.

In each episode, Jordan visits a brand-new city and three exceptional local restaurants that reign supreme in the late-night food scene. Each spot is cooking up something truly spectacular and revolutionizing what it means to eat out long after dark. Jordan meets the passionate chefs behind each location in their kitchen to cook up their signature dishes, mingle with late-night diners and taste their most popular after-hours dishes.

The series kicks off with a visit to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Jordan hits the streets when the sun sets on Steeltown to uncover the city’s unexpected late night delights. First, he heads to The Yard in Shadyside where they are grilling up more than 29 different kinds of grilled cheese and Jordan tries a breakfast grilled cheese that’s sure to leave egg on his face.  Next, he slays his hunger with their Buffy the Mac Slayer, a sandwich filled with Buffalo chicken and gooey mac ‘n cheese. Then, Jordan heads downtown to Pirata, where he gets a taste of their Caribbean-themed late night menu and the pirate life where Jamaican beef patties and skirt steak tacos make for a flavorful part of the evening’s adventure.   Lastly, it’s a trip to Lawrenceville for some Japanese-style street food at Umami.  Jordan samples mouth-watering Japanese-style fried chicken and caps the night off with a sweet treat – Umami’s bestselling deep-fried mochi ice cream. In subsequent episodes, Jordan visits Montreal, Quebec; Providence, Rhode Island; Vancouver, British Columbia; Portland, Maine; St. Louis, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Tucson, Arizona; Sacramento, California; Oakland, California and Toronto, Ontario.

Chef Jordan Andino gained experience working at restaurants including The French Laundry and Jean Georges.  At 2nd City, Jordan’s Filipino Taqueria in NYC’s West Village, he pulls inspiration from his grandmother’s traditional recipes to introduce New Yorkers to his contemporary take on Filipino cuisine. Jordan was included in Zagat’s “30 Hottest Chef’s Under 30” in 2016.

Viewers can visit for more information and a gallery of behind-the-scenes shots.  Join the conversation on social media using hashtag #LateNiteEats.

Food Network announces Halloween-themed programming for October 2017

September 12, 2017

"Halloween Wars" host Jonathan Bennett (third from left) with guest judge Juliet Landau and judges Todd Tucker and Shinmin Li
“Halloween Wars” host Jonathan Bennett (third from left) with guest judge Juliet Landau and judges Todd Tucker and Shinmin Li (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Let the fright fest begin, as “Halloween Wars” returns with a new season, a new special, and exciting new series, dishing out tricks and treats and frightful delights. The all-new special, “Road to Halloween Wars,” kicks off the seasonal celebration on Sunday, October 1st at 8pm ET/PT, as host Jonathan Bennett takes viewers behind the scenes of the journey leading up to the pumpkin carvers, cake and sugar artists that embark on the latest Halloween Wars competition. Year round, these gleefully ghoulish geniuses work to hone their craft, with dreams of Halloween Wars victory! Then Halloween Wars returns for a new season on Sunday, October 1st at 9pm ET/PT, when Jonathan Bennett challenges six teams to create amazing and frighteningly fun Halloween-themed edible displays. Over five episodes the teams must battle it out, as their creations are judged by renowned cake decorator Shinmin Li and horror film director and makeup effects master Todd Tucker, along with a rotating panel of celebrity guest judges, including Fiona Dourif (Child’s Play franchise), Bryan Fuller (Executive Producer, American Gods), Juliet Landau (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), and Shane West (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).One team will be eliminated each episode, with the last team standing walking away with the $50,000 grand prize.

Halloween chills and thrills continue as new series Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror takes the competition out of the kitchen and into the pumpkin patch. When night begins to fall and the pumpkin patch closes for the day, two teams of master food artists – working in cake, sugar, and a whole lot of carved pumpkin – face off to create terrifying Halloween displays through three episodes, with one team taking home $15,000 each episode. But to win the cash prize, the winning team’s displays of horror must win the votes (and screams) of a wagon full of hayriders and judges Zac Young and Bianca Appice. Hosted by Harley Morenstein, Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror premieres Monday, October 2nd at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network.

“Halloween Wars” Episodes Include:

Premiering Sunday, October 1st at 9pm ET/PT – SEASON PREMIERE!
“The Hitchhiker’s Worst Nightmare”
Six teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist, go into battle to create mind-blowing and yummy Halloween-themed displays that depict what happens when hitchhikers find themselves driving towards disaster when they accept a ride from a terrifying stranger. Special guest judge Shane West joins host Jonathan Bennett and judges Shinmin Li and Todd Tucker.

Premiering Sunday, October 8th at 9pm ET/PT
“Secret Creature Reveal”
Five remaining teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist go into battle to create amazing and tasty Halloween-themed displays that ask the question: “What if the mask you wore was a human face, and underneath you were a horrific, hideous monster?” Special guest judge Robert Patrick joins judges Shinmin Li and Todd Tucker to determine which team will be going home.

Premiering Sunday, October 15th at 9pm ET/PT
“Monster Party”
Four remaining teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist go into battle to create astonishing and delectable Halloween-themed displays that capture what happens when the most macabre monsters throw their own ghastly Halloween party! Special guest judge Juliet Landau, along with judges Shinmin Li and Todd Tucker, determine the teams that advance.

Premiering Sunday, October 22nd at 9pm ET/PT
“Zombie Cooking Show”
The final three teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist go into battle to create stunning and scrumptious Halloween-themed displays that imagine what happens when a ghastly undead ghoul hosts their own zombie cooking show! Special guest Bryan Fuller joins the judging table with judges Shinmin Li and Todd Tucker to see which teams move on to the finale.

Premiering Sunday, October 29th at 9pm ET/PT – SEASON FINALE!
It’s the spine-tingling finale of Halloween Wars! Our final two teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist have slaughtered their competition one-by-one, and now must face off in one last epic showdown. The team that can best illustrate the final seconds before a deadly danger strikes will be crowned Halloween Wars champion and win $50,000! Special guest judge Fiona Dourif joins judges Shinmin Li and Todd Tucker to crown the season winner.

“Halloween Wars: Hayride of Horror” Episodes Include:

Premiering Monday, October 2nd at 10pm ET/PT – PREMIERE!
“The Scarecrow Comes Alive!”
When night begins to fall and the pumpkin patch closes for the day, two teams of master food artists face off for the first of three nights of Halloween fright. To win, the teams must combine cake, sugar, and carved pumpkin to show what happens when the ultimate nightmare comes true: what happens when scarecrows come alive? At the end of the battle, one team takes home $10,000.

Premiering Monday, October 9th at 10pm ET/PT
“When Pumpkins Fight Back”
The Hayride of Horror continues, as two teams of master food artists face off in another spooky battle. To win, they must combine cake, sugar, and carved pumpkin to show us what happens when the pumpkins they’re carving come to life, turn the tables, and take revenge on the unlucky carvers. In the end, one team walks away with $15,000.

Premiering Monday, October 16th at 10pm ET/PT – FINALE!
“Possessed Zoo”
Another $15,000 is at stake, as our two teams of master food artists face off for one final battle on the Hayride of Horror.  To win, the teams must combine cake, sugar, and carved pumpkin to show us how to survive the night escaping the demonic inhabitants of a possessed zoo.

Food Network stars Jason Smith and Marcela Valladolid are judges on ‘Best Baker in America’

September 7, 2017

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Eight of America’s most elite bakers compete in the all-new primetime competition “Best Baker in America,” premiering Wednesday, September 27th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. Through six episodes, bakers from around the country must showcase their baking skills and creativity, as they are tasked with challenges that not only test their technical proficiency, but also their ability to execute under pressure, while under the watchful eyes of the judges: Food Network Star winner Jason Smith and Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid. Each episode the competitors must compete in two difficult rounds, including a Skills Challenge that tests their mastery of the essential technical skills of baking, followed by a Master Challenge that tests their prowess in working with specific flavors and ingredients to create the most authentic and delicious versions of classic baked delights. In the end, the judges help determine which baker moves one step closer to winning $25,000 and earning the title of Best Baker in America!

“When it comes to baking, one must possess skill, discipline and patience, and not be afraid to fail,” said Courtney White, SVP Programming, Scripps Networks Interactive. “These eight bakers will pull out all the stops to show why they have what it takes to be the Best Baker in America, and will inspire viewers at home with their astonishing creations and sheer mastery in the kitchen.”

The bakers competing for the title of Best Baker in America are: Brittani Brooker (Charlotte, N.C. – Executive Pastry Chef); Andy Chlebana (Plainfield, Ill. – Pastry Chef & Culinary Professor); Dwayne Ingraham (Oxford, Miss. – Professional Chef); Margarita Kallas-Lee (Los Angeles, Calif. – Pastry Chef); Adalberto Diaz Labrada (Salt Lake City, Utah – Executive Pastry Chef); Susan Mijeres (San Antonio, Texas – Pastry Chef); Thiago Silva (Boston, Mass. – Culinary Director); Cheryl Storms (San Diego, Calif. – Pastry Chef Consultant).

In the premiere episode, the bakers begin the first in a series of Skills and Master Challenges designed to spotlight their style and ingenuity, while putting their baking brilliance to the test. In the first Skills Challenge the bakers are tasked with baking flawless mini-upside down cakes, and in the Master Challenge, the bakers must create a double barrel or a three-tiered wedding cake for 50 people, using lemon as the featured flavor. Judges Jason Smith and Marcela Valladolid join new Food Network host Adam Rapoport to determine which baker is the first eliminated.

Meet the competitors and get highlights from each episode at Test your baking know-how with our quiz and pick up a few new tips! Tell us which treats are your favorite using #BestBakerinAmerica.

Episodes Include:

Premiering Wednesday, September 27th at 10pm ET/PT – SERIES PREMIERE!
Eight of America’s top bakers gather to begin the first in a series of Skills and Master Challenges designed to put their baking brilliance to the test. In the Skills Challenge, the bakers are tasked with baking flawless mini-upside down cakes. In the Master Challenge, the bakers must create a double barrel or a three-tiered wedding cake for 50 people, using lemon as the featured flavor. Judges Marcela Valladolid and Jason Smith determine which baker is eliminated.

Premiering Wednesday, October 4th at 10pm ET/PT
Seven bakers remain, and in the Skills Challenge they are charged with making their choice of two different flavors of macaron. In the Master Challenge the bakers must conjure up their own highly creative take on the dessert classic – Baked Alaska – using torched meringue, cake and ice cream, with strawberry as the required featured flavor. One baker is not up to the challenge and is sent packing.

Premiering Wednesday, October 11th at 10pm ET/PT
Perfect mini fruit tarts using pâte sucrée (sweet pastry) is the challenge that six bakers face in the Skills Challenge. For the Master Challenge, the bakers are given their hardest task yet: their original version of a St. Honoré cake that must contain the elements of puff pastry, pate a choux (cream puff dough), crème chiboust (a type of pastry cream), and a required featured flavor of coffee. One more baker is sent home after the challenge.

Premiering Wednesday, October 18th at 10pm ET/PT
“Café Classics”
Five bakers are left in the competition and in their Skills Challenge they must tackle the temperamental and delicate café classic, Crème brûlée. For the Master Challenge, the task is to bake up their take on the complex and beautiful Opera Cake, a six-layer masterpiece said to evoke the tiers of the Paris Opera House. The required featured flavor is “noisette” or hazelnut. One baker is given their marching orders, as the remaining four are one step closer to the grand prize.

Premiering Wednesday, October 25th at 10pm ET/PT
“Modern Classics”
In their last chance to get into the finale, the four remaining bakers must make Mini Mirror Glaze Cakes – perfectly mirrored on the outside and with an entremet (layered mousse) cake on the inside – in the Skills Challenge. In the Master Challenge, the bakers must bake, plate and present a two-course dessert tasting menu, featuring chilies and fennel. One more baker’s dream ends today as they head home before the finale.

Premiering Wednesday, November 1st at 10pm ET/PT – FINALE!
The pressure is on as the final three bakers take on the most revered and beloved of all baking ingredients – chocolate. In the Skills Challenge the bakers must bake a perfect version of the ever-temperamental chocolate soufflé. The final Master Challenge is to create the Ultimate Chocolate Cake — a truly spectacular, elaborately decorated cake that should be the best chocolate cake the bakers have made in their lives, using some type of liquor as the required featured flavor. A winner is declared, becoming the first Best Baker in America and walking away with $25,000.

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