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10 Things You Need to Know About Food Festivals (and How to Survive Them)


Around the Cooking Channel and Food Network offices, everyone is gearing up for this weekend’s 7th annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, beginning tonight. For four days, NYC will be taken over by food industry innovators cooking, speaking and feeding folks at nearly 100 different events across the city. Our brazen editors will branch out, attempting to cover as much ground as possible to report back to you hungry Devour and FN Dish readers on the festival’s happenings.

If you’ve never been to a food festival, it’s important to prepare yourself before diving into the gluttonous, glorious adventure that they can be. I recently had the opportunity to attend Feast Portland — a three-day food festival celebrating Oregon’s unique culinary culture — where I learned the hard way that even food editors have finite stomachs. And so, too, do you — so read on as I reveal 10 food festival truths to help you navigate the bottomless bites to come.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Orange Is the New Black Presents The Cookbook

Fans of Netflix series Orange Is the New Black know that food is integral to the story (and backstories) of the women incarcerated at Litchfield Correctional Institution. Prison politics revolve around the operation of the kitchen — and the hairnet-wearing servers wield power by dispensing or withholding helpings of mess-hall slop. As Red says early on in the show’s development, “There’s the people who serve the bread, and the people who eat the bread.”

In Orange Is the New Black Presents: The Cookbook (Bites, Booze, Secrets, and Stories From Inside the Big House) (on sale today), the show’s complex characters are further explored through their relationships with food, revealed in the headnotes to their recipes. You’ll find familiar prison fare from both Red’s and Gloria’s kitchen reigns (and that SHU Moldy Mystery Meat), but more interestingly, the food from prisoners’ pasts that provides glimpses into how they devolved into criminals. There’s Vee’s Butternut Squash Soup, which Taystee devoured as readily as she warmed to her drug-dealing family, and Red’s famous Pirozhki, which symbolizes the past she has left so very far behind.

For Piper, food often serves as a mirror, contrasting her present-day existence with the frivolity of her life with Larry. When Red tries to starve her in Season 1, Piper finds it ironic that she used to subsist on lemon-cayenne-maple syrup cleanses to lose weight, and she yearns for the Whole Foods lifestyle (and the Crack Almonds to be found there). Then there are the types of beverages inmates concoct to get them through their sentences, like Poussey’s Hooch, shared here with the number of different mixers that compose the illicit cocktails. The full-page photos and clever behind-the-scenes tales will give eager binge-watchers something to nosh on until Season 3 is released sometime in 2015 — and plenty of time to prepare a themed viewing-party menu.

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

As any gluten-free baker knows, creating a wheat-free substitute for all-purpose flour might as well require a Ph.D. in chemistry. While a store-bought mix might work for one recipe (say, cookies), it could yield hockey pucks when used for bread or muffins.

The Everyday Art of Gluten-FreeThat was the epiphany that Austin-based Blackbird Bakery founder Karen Morgan had eight years ago while working as a pastry chef in France. French bakers rely heavily on specific flours for their various breads and pastries, so why would we assume one all-purpose option would work equally well in all gluten-free goods? (In fact, the absence of gluten increases the need for precision in flour.)

Since then, Morgan has developed six flour blends to suit all manner of baked goods, from biscuits to cakes. In her new book, The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free (on sale today), Morgan shares mixes in dedicated chapters that showcase a number of sometimes surprising ways to use each of them. Turn her biscuit blend into tacos or ice cream cones; the donut and fritter blend could become fried calamari or gumbo; and the pie and pasta blend is your ticket to Danishes and gnocchi, and so on. Whether you’re allergic to gluten or you have chosen to eliminate it from your diet, Morgan ensures you can have muffins and cookies, rather than homemade hockey pucks.

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Cookbook Giveaway: Food Network Magazine’s Sweet

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who don’t appreciate desserts, and those who possess insatiable sweet teeth. For the (far wiser, fun-loving) latter, there exists an endless Internet of blogged confections, pinned pastries and ‘grammed goodies to inspire treat seekers to break out their stand mixers. But when it comes to baking, precision (and testing and cross-testing recipes) is key. And that’s where an esteemed brand like Food Network — and its talented culinary staff — comes into play, empowering you with ironclad recipes for drama-free at-home dessert creation.

In the nearly six years that Food Network Magazine has been published, Food Network Kitchen has been enticing readers with spectacular sweets, from burger- or cheese-wheel-shaped fake-out cakes to trusty cookies, cupcakes and pies for big occasions and everyday celebrations alike. Now the magazine editors are publishing Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More (on sale Aug. 19), a book that gathers these myriad treats into clear categorized chapters for swift, sugary kitchen navigation.

Interspersed between the cleanly printed recipes and full-page photos are ideas for amping up basic recipes, like topping cupcakes with alphabet-shaped candies or rolling candy apples in surprising, savory ingredients. There’s something for everyone, from the wee kids to us fully grown kids at heart. (For example: We’re going to take a page out of our sister brand’s book by slipping a little rum into our next barbecue dessert with Boozy Cherry Chocolate Pies, shown above).)

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Happy 4th Birthday, Cooking Channel!

Oh, how the time flies: Today, Cooking Channel turns 4 (!!), and it’s wild to think how much we’ve grown over the last several years. We launched in 2010 as a network (and website) filled with passionate Food People seeking to explore the unconventional, dig into global cuisines and uncover hidden gems. And now that we’re past our toddler years, we can look back on our bounty of new shows and stars, Web-original video series, growing recipe library, and unique food and lifestyle stories, knowing we’ve done just that.

And yet we’ve only scratched the surface. This year, we launched our Adventures in Cooking package: a collection of fun weekend cooking projects for the curious cooks and food geeks who dominate the Food People sector. (We’re talking fermenting kimchi, making bacon from scratch and crafting some seriously creative cakes.) We dug into Dumplings Around the World in honor of the Olympics, made magic fairy dust out of pizza and pastrami (OK, spice mixes that taste just like pizza and pastrami), mashed up your favorite comfort foods and gave you the most epic game plan, ever, for your Super Bowl or game-day party. Speaking of parties: We continue to share the best tips, decorating ideas and recipes for all your entertaining needs. From a last-minute holiday cocktail party to a casual Mediterranean summer fete, our Party in Five series has you covered.

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Signed Cookbook Giveaway: G. Garvin’s Dining In


On Road Trip with G. Garvin (tune in tomorrow, 5/21, at 9pm for the Season 3 premiere), host Gerry (“G.”) Garvin travels the country finding the best Southern cuisine — in and outside of the American South. But when he’s off the clock and not on the road, G. prefers to spend time at home in Atlanta, where he loves preparing intimate meals for friends and family. In his book Dining In, G. shares that love of entertaining with readers, showing them how simple tricks can be employed to give easy recipes a bit of a gourmet edge.

To G., difficult does not necessarily mean better, and ambiance, plating skills and the wine you serve alongside your meal are deemed equally important. He shares his tips on mastering these hosting skills in the book’s introduction before diving into his approachable recipes that are chaptered by ingredient type (pasta, chicken, meats, seafood), cooking styles (braises, grilling) and some niche passions (gourmet sandwiches, oodles of desserts). G. arms readers with more than 150 recipes to prove to them that preparing a special meal at home can be more rewarding — and more celebratory — than eating at any restaurant. Likewise, everyday meals (such as the simply prepared fish tacos featured above) can be prepared in under 30 minutes, trumping takeout and letting fresh ingredients shine through.

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Signed Cookbook Giveaway: Debi & Gabriele’s Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen

Extra Virgin Cookbook As any fan of Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin knows, for stars Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, a great passion for food and their love for one another are intimately intertwined. Their new cookbook, Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen (on sale May 6, 2014), paints a road map of their romance through recipes – the fried squash blossoms Gabriele made for Debi on their first date; the farro salad Gabriele’s mother made for Debi upon their first meeting – offering as many glimpses into their warm lives as authentic Italian dishes. As Debi puts it in the book’s introduction, in “meeting and falling for Gabriele, I discovered how much great food also comes from a desire to feed the ones you love.”

As their story goes, Gabriele introduced Debi to the fresh, produce-driven dishes and rustic cooking style from his native Tuscany, and together they celebrate a bicoastal, bicontinental fusion of Tuscan influence, California freshness and Debi’s New York heritage in their cooking. They happily spoil loved ones (most especially daughters Evelina and Giulia) with inspired, flavorful meals and encourage viewers (and now readers) to do the same. Start with the Heirloom Tomato Caprese shown on the cover, and make your way through to understated Mascarpone and Amaretti Cups for dessert. The chapters are cleanly organized in the order you’d consume the dishes: Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Salads, Meat, Fish and so on (Gabriele is such a fan that risotto has its own dedicated section) so you can easily mix and match courses in your own Tuscan buffet.

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Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Birthday Cake + Doughnuts

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the past several weeks, we’ve revealed the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

Though birthday cake is traditionally round, layered and bedecked in colorful icing, these days, it seems that any pastry punctured with candles — from soft cookie cakes to icebox pies — can stand in for the classic at celebratory festivities. At the same time, “birthday cake” has become a popular flavor at ice cream shops and in packaged consumer goods, interpreted across the board as an intense vanilla with frosting and sprinkles. For this week’s ultimate and final mash-up, we’re rethinking birthday cake — from a shape and flavor perspective — by combining it with the dessert superstar of the moment: the doughnut.

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Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Meatloaf + Lasagna

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

One thing that makes comfort food give you the warm fuzzies is the memories it evokes. Because the recipes that hail from our mothers’ and grandmothers’ kitchens are some of the heartiest we’ve known. Case in point: meatloaf and lasagna, the subjects of this week’s throwback fusion, wherein we rival your family’s retro recipes.

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Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Mac ‘n’ Cheese + French Onion Soup

Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.

When we think of comfort food, the first things that come to mind are soup, cheese and pasta. It’s even better when a dish combines the filling, warming bounty into one awesome dish. Thus mac and cheese — the ultimate high-brow/low-brow craveable pasta — and French onion soup (those cheesy crouton-topped crocks) form this week’s melty mash-up.

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