We're all in With Duff Goldman from Duff Till Dawn


Some might call Duff Goldman the "Ace of Cakes" but around these parts when it comes to this baker extraordinaire, we like to think of him more so as the "ace of cool." Throwing his much needed sleep out the window, on January 29th (at 10:30PM ET/7:30PM PT) Goldman will be pulling an all-nighter on his new Food Network show "Duff Till Dawn." Competition shows are all the rage these days and this show is no exception as it pits two teams of cake decorators against each other to create the ultimate one of a kind over-the-top cake in order to win the "golden whisk." Featuring a cast of rotating judges, Duff Till Dawn promises challenges and twists that will keep you enthralled from dusk to...well, you get the idea.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Who came up with all of the challenge themes for Duff Till Dawn?

Duff Goldman: That was me and our supervisor/producer. This is actually the first show I've ever produced so it's a new venture for me. I really wanted to be a producer on it because I've competed in so many competitions from ice carving to chocolate sculptures and cakes and I know what works and what doesn't work for contestants. What I've seen with some of the shows that we see on TV, people who don't really understand how cake decorating works treat it like a baking competition and they're very different. Cake decorating is a whole other party so to use the types of challenges that people use in baking challenges, well, it just doesn't work. We really came up with rules and a format that is as loose and open as possible because we really want people to shine. The whole point of the show is to show off how incredible these people are. These are people who work on texture and flavor in a medium that really doesn't want to do what you tell it to do. In coming up with the challenges, we are really giving people the chance to show off what they are best at.

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Yelp Releases 2014 Top 100 List, Orange County Takes Nine Spots

Categories: Food Media

Photo by Dustin Ames
These guys make some of the best sandwiches in America

I've always thought Orange County food was under-rated. I mean, we know it's good, but the rest of the United States? They need some learnin'. And that truth always comes out when Yelp publishes their yearly Yelpiest lists. First, Bruxie topped the list in 2011. Last year, Orange County took six spots. This year? We're all the way up to nine.

So congratulations to those nine. Who won it for us this year? We'll Mama D's made the list again, and for the rest, you'll just have to check after the jump.

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Taco Trippin' Out With Aarón Sánchez

Cooking Channel

Latin cuisine aficionado and kick ass chef Aarón Sánchez has a new show on Cooking Channel (Tuesday's at 6:30pm PST/9:30 EST) called "Taco Trip" and we are all in. Traveling the country for great grub isn't new but Aarón's take on it certainly is because let's be honest, everyone loves a good taco but not everyone can deliver it. We trust this man's judgment so before he visits Portland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, and Chicago on a quest to feed his hunger, we talked to him about the new show, his new line of cookware, and his new restaurant. Talk about starting off a new year being brand new. Well done Sánchez.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I'm pretty positive that Santa will be bringing me the double burner griddle from your new cookware line and I'm pretty pumped. Is there something that you think is a "must have" item in your collection?

Aarón Sánchez: Thank you for representing me and supporting! That's awesome! That griddle is great for grilled cheese, searing tomatoes to make salsa, and all sorts of stuff. I really like that piece that you are getting and I really like the bean pot too. It's this really cool kind of rustic looking pot for beans and I absolutely love that.

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Get Your Holiday Baking Done Ahead of Time with Bobby Deen

Food Network

FINALLY "pumpkin spice" season has passed and the local stores aren't the only one thinking of the upcoming holidays. Food Network is rearing up to get us all in the mood with their newest series "Holiday Baking Championship" hosted by Bobby Deen on Sunday, November 9th. Along with judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale, Bobby will be on hand to cheer on eight competitors as they flaunt their skills with traditional holiday desserts all in the hopes to win a $50,000 prize. While we might not personally be in the mood for putting up a tree or lighting the candles just yet, we are in the mood for learning a few new recipes and kitchen tricks so we chatted it up with Bobby to see what the show has in store for us.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): The last time we talked you were not married so I wanted to say congrats although I feel like a lot of gals (me) might be sad....

Bobby Deen: Well thank you! I waited a long time and I've been married a little over a year but here's what I know. If your spouse makes you a better person, you've done well.

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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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You Can Now Watch Alton Brown's Good Eats (and No Reservations and Other Food Shows) on Netflix

Categories: Food Media


Hey guys! Some quick good news: Starting from late last week, you can now watch Good Eats on Netflix! Alton Brown published some new, short videos on his YouTube channel a few months ago, but now you can watch full 21-minute episodes from the comfort of your underwear.

Now for the bad news..

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Charles on The Fork Report THIS SATURDAY to Talk Decadence and OC Food

Categories: Food Media


Hey everyone, just a heads up: OC Weekly Junior Asian Corespondent Charles "Clam" Lam (me) will be headed up to Burbank this Saturday to appear on KFI-AM 640's The Fork Report with Weekly pal Neil Saavedra to talk about our upcoming Decadence tasting event as well as Orange County food.

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Mark Wahlberg's Going to Produce a Show About Nerdy Microbrewing

Categories: Food Media

Photo by Tom Hammond
Aw yeah, geeky beer time

Did you know Mark Wahlberg is currently producing a show about his family's burger chain? It's called Wahlburgers, and it shows on A&E.

Well, apparently A&E likes it, because they just signed Marky Mark to produce another food-related reality TV show, this time about beer. It's going to be called The Big Brew Theory, and it's going to feature three graduate MIT students out to fulfill their dream of owning a microbrewery.

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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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Bobby Flay, on Whether He's Burned Out from Cooking: "No, Definitely Not"

Food Network

Take two competitors, have them battle it out, then put the winner toe to toe with one of the top chefs around, and what do you have? It's simple. You have "Beat Bobby Flay." But how simple can that really be? Thursday nights on the Food Network, you'll get to see if this daunting task is possible when two pros head into the kitchen to win the bragging rights of beating culinary master and one of our TV favorites, Bobby Flay. To mix up this competition even further, they're throwing in greats like Anne Burrell, Michael Symon, and Alex Guarnaschelli to take part in the fun. Before you tune in and get in on the action, we chatted it up with Bobby about some of his past adventures and asked him to explain further how this new and exciting contest of skills will go down.

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): You do so many shows on the Food Network so in everyday life, do you ever get burned out of cooking?

Bobby Flay: No, definitely not. In fact, this week I'm opening a new restaurant in New York. Frankly, it's the thing I love to do the most whether it's at home, on TV, or at my restaurants. It's really what gets me motivated to do everything.

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