Richard Blais: If You Love to Eat, You'll Love Hungry Games

Food Network
I would probably spend way too much for a pizza.

In his new Food Network show "Hungry Games," Chef Richard Blais teaches, learns, and trivializes the way the food we chose is essentially chosen. On Monday October 20th, you can get in on the fun challenging your foodie awareness by tuning in but of course, we wanted you to get the details on what Hungry Games really entails. And because we love you sweet readers so much, we reached out to Blais for some answers just for you. The passion and knowledge he transmitted blew our minds just as much as his new show promises to. No worries, you can save the "thank you's" for later.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So you've done Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Chopped All-Stars...which was the most challenging for you?

Richard Blais: Well we're talking competition with all of those and I'm a big runner so I like to think of them all as running different kinds of races. For example with the three you mentioned, Top Chef is a marathon, Iron Chef is a relay, and Chopped is a sprint. It depends on where your style fits but they all have their things that make them interesting. I enjoyed running all of them but I'm just glad that Hungry Games is not a race so to speak.

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How To Make It: Pizza for All Four Meals of the Day (Yes, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AND Dessert)

Categories: Cooking!

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz
Oh, wonderful day

Say it out loud -- pizza. Piiizzzzaaa. P-I-Z-Z-A.

Just the sound of it is beautiful, isn't it? Now imagine that times four and you'll kind of get an idea of how magical my day was when I ate pizza for every meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Oh, man.

That's right, for this How To Make It, I made four pizzas, one for each meal of the day.

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How To Make It: Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz

Right now, your snack game's basic.

Nachos -- boring. Trail mix -- whatever. Veggies (if you're having a clean eating week, I guess) -- meh. You need an upgrade, and I've got an answer. Meet Chip-Crusted Chicken Tenders.

Basically, chip-crusted chicken tenders are two of the all-time best snack foods ever comemerged together in perfect harmony. You get the protein and meaty goodness of the chicken tender and the sodium-high calorie density of chips. I've never been more prepared for Netflix binge marathons. Sorry, summer bod, but this is more important.

So, this is how you make it.

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Farm to Fork Class By Chef Debra Sims At The Ecology Center

Categories: Cooking!

Dustin Ames
Hot stuff!

The phrase "farm to fork" is an overused one these days. Kitchens can claim their devotion to gardens and farmers' markets, but whether I truly believe them is another story. Diners formulate an opinion of a dish long before it is consumed based on description, appearance and our previous experiences with food. To see our meal being prepared in an exhibition kitchen is to believe it. In turn, to witness the exchange between farmer and chef (and ultimately chef to consumer) would legitimize the "farm to fork" notion.

Former On the Line subject Debra Sims will demonstrate the joy of cooking from start to finish at San Juan Capistrano's Ecology Center. Beginning with a walk through the facility, she will lead a discussion on produce before heading into the kitchen and preparing a meal based on vegetables and herbs found on your tour. This interactive class provides an opportunity for home cooks to learn more about the Maro Wood Grill chef's fiery cooking style.

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Good and Cheap Teaches You How To Eat Well for $4 a Day

Categories: Cooking!

That's a nice sandwich.

Are you cheap? Not too well off? A college student and sick of ramen? Well, boy, do I have the cookbook for you.

Good and Cheap is a cookbook created by Leanna Brown as the thesis project for her graduate degree in food studies. In it, you'll learn how to make great meals on just $4 day -- basically how much money you get for food if you're on the SNAP program.

The PDF is available on Brown's website for free, but if you're a dead tree kind of person, Brown's currently Kirkstarting a print edition.

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Thai Cocktails and Cooking in Orange This Week--And a Cookbook Giveaway NOW!

Categories: Cooking!

I'll make the fried rice if you prep the pineapple.

There are those who prefer to cook their own meals, and others who'd rather pay someone to do the cooking. If you're more in the DIY camp, here's an easy score. I'm giving away a copy of Everyday Thai Cooking by Katie Chin to one Forker who answers a simple question.

If you happen to be in the latter camp, there's still an opportunity to dine on some Thai fare. And if you're on the fence on cooking versus eating, Chin is conducting a cooking class this week. Choose your own adventure after the jump.

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How To Make It: Mac-and-Cheese Pizza

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz

You read the title right. Don't worry; I'm excited, too.

Mac and cheese pizza is a thing, and it is glorious.

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How to Make It: Chocolate Chip Cookie-Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Categories: Cooking!

Photo by Kiera Wright-Ruiz
God help me.

Mornings are tough. Cinnamon rolls help. But chocolate chip cookie stuffed cinnamon rolls help even more.

Yes, this is real life. What a time to be alive.

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Just In Time For 4/20: Win A Cannabis Cookbook!

Categories: Cooking!

Who has the munchies?

Fun fact: Easter, one of the most holy of holidays, occurs on National Weed Day this year. Coincidence? Perhaps. I'm using the duo of celebrations as an excuse to give away a timely gift. Slightly different than most cookbooks, you either need a prescription (or great connections) to acquire one integral ingredient in each recipe. That shouldn't be too difficult around here.

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Taking a Gamble on Bill Rancic is Always a Good Thing.

Food Network

You may know Bill Rancic from his days on The Apprentice or maybe you know him for being an incredibly successful entrepreneur and being a bestselling author. Or quite possibly, maybe you just know him as being Giuliana's hubby (kidding...sort of). Nonetheless, you know Bill Rancic. His newest venture is taking place on the Food Network with the show he'll be hosting called "Kitchen Casino" and since it seems like everything this man touches turns to gold, it is sure to be a hit. Before the big premiere goes down tonight, we talked to Bill to find out exactly how the show works and if our money's on it, we're gambling on it being a straight up win.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So I read the premise of Kitchen Casino but I'd love for you to break down the concept of the show in your words.

Bill Rancic: Yeah, it's pretty cool. I'm a huge fan of cooking shows. Cooking competition shows especially. This show is different than any show I've seen because it combines these amazing chefs in the kitchen and they're competing while we integrate these great casino game challenges. We basically have four rounds. We have a slot machine that dictates the theme or the category of the dish that they'll prepare. Then we have chef roulette where the chefs are competing and then midway through the competition or halfway through it, the entire kitchen spins like a roulette wheel. So if you and I were competing, the kitchen spins and I may end up with your dish in front of me and you may end up with my dish in front of you. Then you have to then take that dish over, prepare it, and then show it in front of the judges! You don't know what I may have put in there too! I may have sabotaged it and you'll end up with an inedible ingredient. There is certainly a lot of strategy in that round! You may see some horns sprouting out of people heads in that round! [Laughs.] Then we have chef poker where basically, they play poker to determine what ingredient they have to cook with. Then here is the kicker! At the end of it, you can go through this entire competition and win every round but we give you the chance to double or triple your money. Or, you can go home with nothing. So when people's greed sets in, just like in Vegas, they don't know when to say when! They may have ten grand but they want to go for thirty and take the last challenge. But there is then the chance that they go home with nothing.

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