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'Harlem Shake,' Food Network Style

'Harlem Shake,' Food Network Style

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Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmern, and more try out their Harlem Shake moves

Oh hey guys, here's a bunch of Food Network personalities trying out the meme that is the Harlem Shake (please see Grub Street's intense roundup of all the food-related Harlem Shakes here). In case you didn't know, it typically involves one person doing weird twitchy movements, jump-cutting to a whole crew of crazy dancers, and then some more insane dance tactics.

Quite honestly, we will say that Tru's Harlem Shake is by far the best effort from chefs (hint: it involves fire, like Jamie Oliver's). This attempt from the South Beach Wine and Food Festival just seems like a supercut of chefs being their usual quirky selves, spliced over the "Harlem Shake" song. The Daily Meal is not impressed.

On the bright side, we do love Michael Symon's little shimmy-shake thing he has going on, and Andrew Zimmern does try his best at some body rolls, but nothing will beat Joe Manganiello in that department. In related news: We miss those "Call Me Maybe" parodies.

It's Fried Chicken Day! 3 droolworthy recipes to make it spicy, crunchy and juicy

Instead of frying your skin in the sun on the last day of the Fourth of July weekend, you may want to fry something else—like a chicken wing. July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, as perfect a time as any to indulge in this ultimate finger-licking dish. But why stick to the same old recipe when there are so many mouthwatering styles to choose from? We picked three delicious contenders: Harlem-style fried yardbird, Nashville hot chicken, and spicy-sweet Korean-style chicken. Try them all, pick your favorite—and don’t forget the napkins!

Harlem fried chicken

Most people assume Harlem-style fried chicken refers to chicken and waffles—the sweet, salty, syrupy breakfast dish that first became popular in the 1920s. Chef Marcus Samuelsson serves it at his Harlem restaurant, Ginny’s Supper Club, but the Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised, James Beard Award-winning chef is also known for another deliciously decadent chicken dish: fried yardbird, one of the most popular menu items at his other Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster. The chicken isn't just perfectly crunchy, juicy and addictive it's made with a unique blend of spices that give it added layers of flavor.

To prepare the chicken, Samuelsson marinates it overnight in buttermilk, coconut milk and what he calls a "chicken shake" mixture, made with Ethiopian berbere spice, smoky paprika, garlic, cumin and celery salt. “Berbere is my favorite spice," says Samuelsson of the chili pepper-based blend, available at spice shops and specialty food stores.

Samuelsson's tip for nailing the recipe: “Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes after frying, and then reheat the oil and fry a second time for just one more minute," so the breading turns super-crunchy and gets a deep, gorgeous golden-brown color.

See below for his fried yardbird recipe, and tune in to TODAY on Wednesday, July 9, to watch chef Samuelsson demonstrate the recipe live.

Nashville hot chicken

The iconic Nashville-style fried chicken can be summed up in one word: hot! Legend has it that the recipe for this extra-spicy pan-fried chicken, seasoned with cayenne pepper and coated with lard, was created back in the 1930s by a woman who wanted to scorn her cheating lover. So if burning lips and watery eyes are your thing, you’re in for a scorcher of a meal.

According to Lee Brian Schrager, author of Fried & True: More Than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides and founder of the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville is the place to go for an intense fried-chicken experience. “Nashville is known as the epicenter of hot fried chicken,” he says. “Hattie B’s version is unique, as it can be ordered at six different degrees of ‘hotness,’ with the last one at ’Shut the cluck up' level!”

Schrager's tip for making hot fried chicken at home: "Know your guests and be wary of the spice. I always like to serve this with a slice of classic white Wonder Bread and a shot of buttermilk to help cut the heat.”

See below for Hattie B’s chef John Lasater's hot chicken recipe.

Korean-style spicy-sweet chicken

Otherwise known as yangnyeom chikin, Korean-style fried chicken is traditionally made with a light batter. It follows an Asian frying technique that cooks off the fat from the skin, resulting in a thinner but crisper coating. The cooking process tends to be slower than for American-style fried chicken recipes. The end result is usually topped with a garlic soy-based or hot red pepper sauce and served with pickled radish—and a refreshing glass of cold beer or soju (Korean vodka).

Now that Korean-style fried chicken is becoming more popular stateside, fans are coming up with their own spins on the recipe, making it easier and in some cases healthier. Irvin Lin, a San Francisco-based recipe developer, forgoes the deep-frying oil and instead “fries” his chicken in the oven. Lin advises chicken-lovers not to shy away from the lesser-known ingredients in the recipe, such as gochujang, which can be easily found online or in the Asian aisle of many grocery stores

Lin's tip for last-minute planners: "The recipe requires you to coat the wings with the egg white mixture a day beforehand, and let them dry in the refrigerator, so plan ahead. In other words, you can’t make these wings on a whim. But because they’re baked in the oven and the sauce comes together pretty fast, the wings aren’t difficult to make at all.”

He promises it will be the worth the effort. “If you’ve never had Korean Fried Chicken—the other KFC—you’re in for an addictive treat."

See Lin’s blog,, for the recipe.

Marcus Samuelsson’s fried yardbird recipe

  • 1 cup salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin-on
  • 4 chicken drumsticks, skin-on
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chicken shake (recipe below)
  • 1/2 pound all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces semolina flour
  • 1 ounce cornstarch
  • 1/2 ounce ground white pepper
  • 5 quarts frying oil

Mix salt in water until dissolved. Place chicken in brine and let sit for 1 1/2 hours.

Combine buttermilk, coconut milk, garlic and chicken shake, then place chicken in marinade overnight in refrigerator.

Combine all-purpose flour, semolina flour, cornstarch and white pepper to make breading.

Remove marinated chicken from fridge and allow excess marinade to drip off.

Roll chicken in breading, shaking off excess.

Fill an 8-quart pot with oil and bring to 300 F. Once oil is hot, carefully drop chicken into the oil and let fry for about 15 minutes (inner temperature should be at least 165 F).

Remove chicken from oil and place on paper towel. Season chicken with chicken shake mixture to taste.

  • 1/8 cup ground garlic
  • 1/2 cup celery salt
  • 1/2 cup ground cumin
  • 1 cup berbere
  • 1 cup smoked spicy paprika
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ground white pepper

Combine in a mixing bowl and stir until blended.

John Lasater’s recipe for Hattie B’s hot chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (3 pounds), washed, patted dry, and cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lard, melted and heated (or hot frying oil)
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Dry-brine the chicken: In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Make the dip and dredge: In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and hot sauce. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

Dredge the chicken: Dip the chicken in the flour mixture, then in the milk mixture, then in the flour mixture again, shaking off the excess after each step.

Fry the chicken: Fill a 6- to 8-quart pot halfway with oil and bring to 325°F. Set a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Working in batches, lower the chicken into the fryer and fry until crisp, 15 to 17 minutes for breast quarters and 18 to 20 minutes for leg quarters. Remove the chicken and let drain on the rack.

Make the spicy coating: Carefully ladle the lard or frying oil into a medium heatproof bowl and whisk in the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, black pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Baste the spice mixture over the hot fried chicken and serve immediately.

Recipe is reprinted from Fried & True by Lee Brian Schrager with Adeena Sussman. Copyright (c) 2014 by Lee Schrager. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, LLC.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Fried Yardbird Recipe

This lovely yardbird recipes comes from Harlem EatUp! co-founder Marcus Samuelsson of Ginny’s Supper Club — catch him at Harlem EatUp! where he will be hosting three Dine-Ins alongside guest chefs such as Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse. Try pairing this flavorful chicken dish with a sweet Bordeaux Wine, such as an AOC Loupiac, AOC Cadillac, AOC Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, or a young Sauternes for an unusual, yet superb pairing.

Fried YardbirdServings: 4


4 chicken drumsticks, skin-on

1 tablespoon Chicken Shake (recipe follows), plus more for seasoning

4 tablespoons semolina flour

1 tablespoon ground white pepper

In an extra large pot combine salt and water until dissolved. Place chicken thighs and drumsticks in brine, and let it sit for 1 1/2 hours.

In a large bowl combine buttermilk, coconut milk, garlic, and Chicken Shake. Place the brined chicken in this marinade. Cover and let refrigerate overnight.

Fill a large pot with oil and bring to 300°F.

In a low-rimmed dish combine all-purpose flour, semolina flour, cornstarch, and white pepper to make breading.

Remove the marinated chicken from fridge.

Roll chicken in the breading, shaking off any excess.

Once the oil is hot, drop chicken into the oil in small batches and fry for about 15 minutes (the inner temperature should be at least 165°F).

Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a paper towel. Season chicken with a little Chicken Shake.

Wine Pairing

While it might seem a little unusual, a superb pairing with this flavorful fried chicken dish is a sweet Bordeaux Wine. While Sauternes is the most well know of these wines, look for something on the lighter side such as a Loupiac, Cadillac, or Saint Croix-du-Mont, or even a young Sauternes. The sweetness provides a delicious contrast to the crispy skin on the chicken as well as the pickles and mace gravy. The wonderful flavors of citrus marmalade, dried stone fruits, and the savory mushroom tang from the ‘noble rot’ will lift this dish to a whole new dimension.

Chicken ShakeYield: 4 cups


1 cup smoked spicy paprika

1/2 cup ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Red Rooster Hot SauceYield: 1 quart


1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato powder

1 tablespoon mustard powder

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons cayenne powder

Arrange red bell peppers on a sheet tray and place in the oven, turning every 15 minutes until slightly charred and done (about 30 minutes total).

Remove from the oven and let the peppers cool, using a paring knife, remove the seeds.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until fully incorporated and smooth, slowly adding oil as necessary.

Seal in a container and refrigerate.

Collard GreensServings: 6-8 servings


½ pound Spice Butter (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a medium heat sauté pan combine butter, onions, and chili. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add collard greens, salt, vinegar and sugar.

Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes or until very tender.

Spiced ButterYield: 1 pound


1 teaspoon allspice, ground

1 teaspoon cardamon, ground

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

In a sauté pan over medium heat melt butter and add spices.

When the butter browns slightly remove from heat and steep for 5 minutes.

Mace GravyYield: 6 cups


Over low heat render bacon in butter for 8 minutes. Add shallots and mace and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add flour, creating a roux, and cook until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with bourbon and slowly whisk in stock until smooth. Bring to a simmer and add bay leaf. Cook and reduce by half.

Add vinegar, sage, and cream then reduce to low heat and cook until thick.

Season with salt and pepper to taste

BB PicklesYield: 2 cups


1/4 cup yellow/ brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons aleppo pepper

In a large pot bring water and all other ingredients, except cucumbers, jalapeno, and onions, to a boil.

Remove from heat and reserve.

Slice onion and jalapeno thin. Slice cucumber into 1/2-inch rounds.

Pour liquid over and refrigerate overnight.

Buttermilk Mashed PotatoesServings: 4-6


5 tablespoons salt, divided

In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water. Add 4 tablespoons of salt and bring to a simmer, cook until fully tender, about 30-45 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain.

Add butter, buttermilk, cream, salt and pepper to the pot and mash together well.

Fried Yard Bird Dinner Assembly

Divide Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes among 4-6 plates. Lay Fried Chicken pieces on top, cover with gravy and serve with sides of Bread and Butter Pickles and Rooster Hot Sauce.

Top 5 Dishes From Harlem EatUp! 2015

Harlem's Morningside Park--during the Weekend of May 16 & 17--was a popular destination: delectable tasting ground for Uptown's finest residents, socialites, restauranteurs, and tourists for the inaugural Harlem EatUp! festival!

As an unofficial Harlemite, I trucked it north from my digs in Brooklyn for the four-day event of endless food, booze, and style, bringing out the best along Harlem's restaurant mile.

Hosted by celebrity chef and American icon Marcus Samuelsson, and with sponsorships by Citibank and Macy's, guests were allowed to 'stroll' tents of undiscovered tastes, talks, and culture that represented the thriving blocks north of New York City's 110th street.

Notable guest and speakers included former President Bill Clinton (who served as honorary chairman of the event), New York City's Mayor DeBlasio and 1st lady Chirlane McCray, The Food Network's Ted Allen, MSNBC's Toure', Bravo's Bevy Smith, and local business pioneers including Alexander Smalls of Minton's Supper Club & The Cecil, Melba Wilson of Melba's restaurant, and mixologist Frank Waltz of 67 Orange Street.

As I reminisce among the free-flowing soul food and classy booze, here's my cheers to the top 5 best dishes at Harlem EatUp! 2015.

Harlem Shake
100 West 124th Street
Harlem, New York

[Photo Source: Instagram]
Dish: Shrimp & Grits
Rich, creamy grits cooked just right, wth a dip of shrimp for one bite on sight.

Make My Cake
121 Saint Nicholas Avenue
Harlem, NY

[Photo Source: Instagram]
Dish: Sweet Potato Tarts
Fresh, fun and sweet. Bite-sized treats that beam flavor from Harlem to Wall Street.

Red Rooster
310 Malcolm X Blvd
Harlem, New York

[Photo Source: Instagram]
Dish: Jerk Chicken Tacos w/ Bourbon Salsa
Delicious bourbon salsa and fresh jerk chicken lift an unbeatable taste straight from the kitchen to your tongue.

Lolos Seafood Shack
303 West 116th
Harlem, NY 10026

[Photo Source: Instagram]
Dish: Belizean conch Fritters
These savory fritters are an express fried ride into a tasty Belizean tide.

Miss Mammie's Spoonbread
366 W 110th Street, NYC

[Photo Source: Instagram]
Dish: Fried catfish, Red Beans & Rice.
Based on a family recipe, it's an inexpensive delight to students, uptown church ladies, savvy New Yorkers, and VIP's alike.

For more information on Harlem Eat Up, click here.

Harlem's Answer to Shake Shack

The American foodscape is in the middle of a Burger Renaissance. New York is Florence, Danny Meyer is Rafael and a legion of inspired followers is producing delicious art.

On the corner of Lenox Ave. and W. 124 th Street in New York City, surrounded by the comforts of old school and modern soul food, a burger and milkshake joint seemingly plucked out of California in the 1950s opened up in Harlem in May 2013. At a glance, the place is an enigma. Outside is a bustling intersection coordinating loud traffic, inside are green vinyl-covered booths and chrome-lined countertops displaying nostalgic Americana and in the bathroom are walls lined with African-American pinups from the 1950s and JET magazine covers from the 1980s. It is a hodgepodge of designs that seems to clash. But in the paradigm of tasty comfort food, Harlem Shake makes perfect sense.

Harlem Shake counter (Courtesy of Harlem Shake)

The menu captures the greasy spoon goodness of the past and capitalizes on the Pat LaFreida-supplied beef of the present (LaFreida designed a personal blend of short rib, brisket and chuck for Harlem Shake’s 2 oz.-patties). As has become the style of all new and popular quasi-fast food burger restaurants, Harlem Shake utilizes fresh and all-natural ingredients. There is no mystery behind the “all-beef natural casing” hot dog. Milkshakes are made from Blue Marble Ice Cream. Salads taste like they were piled up at a Whole Foods salad bar.

Me, pigging out on the BBQ burger with a red velvet cake milkshake.

On warm evenings, the line of customers stretches out the door, suggesting the place monopolizes the neighborhood’s burger scene. The clear move is to arrive early enough to score a booth and place an order that mixes the menu’s conventional and inventive options.

Get the Harlem Classic Burger (two thin patties that offer the right balanced between meat, veggies and cheese) with sweet yam fries and a red velvet cake milkshake. Although the shake is simply red velvet cake blended with vanilla ice cream, it’s a combination you must have since you would be too guilty to concoct it at home. Or go for the Barbecue Onion Burger (with homemade barbecue sauce that is not overly-sweet) with a black-and-white shake. And order the Mediterranean-inspired chickpea and lentil salad (seriously) to cut through the meal's fried decadence.

When deciding where to eat in New York, ditch the traditional choices and spring for burgers in Harlem. If you cannot wait to try the food in person, Harlem Shake (@HarlemShakeNYC) has provided these recipes (including the custom burger blend) to recreate the fare at home:

The Harlem Classic with fries and a red velvet milkshake (Courtesy of Harlem Shake)

Harlem Classic Burger (Serves 4)


  • 7.5 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces well-marbled beef chuck, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 ounces well-marbled beef brisket, fat cap intact, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1.5 oz rib meat, trimmed off the bone, diced
  • 2 tablespoons non-salted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 Martin's Potato Rolls
  • 4 tablespoons Special Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 12 slices homemade pickles, or substitute with your favorite Kosher Dill pickle slices
  • 1 Sweet Vidalia onion, sliced very thin (or substitute for Maui sweet or Walla Walla onion)
  • Optional: 8 center-cut slices Campari tomatoes (or substitute for another medium sized, juicy tomato with low acidity and high sugar content)
  • Optional:1/4 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded into 1/8 inch thin strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 slices yellow American cheese (substitute with Swiss or sharp cheddar to taste)

Special Sauce Ingredients:

  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • yellow mustard
  • sweet relish
  • fresh ground black pepper


Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Place on rimmed baking sheet and place in a freezer for 10 min or so, until firm, paying great attention not to freeze the meat. Using the kitchen timer/alarm is highly recommended. You can also chill the meat grinder blade at the same time. When ready, remove from freezer and pass meat through grinder twice. Form into eight pucks of 2 oz each. Refrigerate until ready for use.

Open buns, but do not split hinge. Spread lightly with butter, then place under broiler or in toaster oven until golden brown, about 1 minute. Place onions to taste on the bottom part of the bun, and follow with 3 pickle slices. Spread 1 tablespoon Special Sauce on top of the pickles. If desired, follow with lettuce and 2 tomato slices. You may improvise with the above ingredients for variety.

Using a paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with a small amount of vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season beef spheres on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef firmly to form 4-inch round patties, being careful not to let it stick to bottom of spatula. (For each Harlem Classic you will need 2 patties). Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook without moving until crisp, about 2 minutes. Now scrape the patties and flip, for each Harlem Classic top one of the patties with one slice of cheese, and place the other patty on top of the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted, about 1 min longer, paying attention not to over cook and dry out the meat.

Transfer the meat to top of the sandwiches, close sandwiches and serve.

Special Sauce: Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.

Food Network Challenge

Go behind the scenes of the exclusive World Pastry Cup, an 11 hour marathon in which 45 International teams of Pastry chefs compete for the title of Wold Pastry Chef. Follow the Canadian and American team as they work there way to this Championship.

The Road to Bocuse d'Or

Go behind the scenes of the upcoming Bocuse d'Or 2001 competition as two young North American chefs try to break the stranglehold held by the European powerhouses of cuisine over the past decade.

Gordon Elliott's Door Knock Dinner College Cook-Off

Jim White of Casa Vieja in Corralis, NM, and Paula Deen of the Lady and Sons Restaurant in Savannah Georgia joins Gordon as he invades the fraternity and sorority-rich Union Street at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Challenge: World Pastry Championship

Premier pastry chefs from twelve different countries travel to Las Vegas for a two-day competition that’s known for setting new standards in the industry. Each team shows its artistic talent with a sugar showpiece and a chocolate showpiece, and its culinary prowess with pastries

Challenge: Mystery Cake

It's a cake competition with a mystery twist. The best cake makers in the country came to Phoenix with no idea what they'd be asked to do. Just hours before the competition, the theme was announced: sports cakes! Watch as the pros squirm under the pressure, with just a few hours to plan, and 7 hours to build world-class cakes.


Colette Peters, Colette's Cakes - Owner,
New York, N.Y.

Mike McCarey, Mike's Amazing Cakes - Owner,
Redmond, Wash.

Chris Russom, Let Them Eat Cake - Owner,
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Charmaine Jones, CakeDiva - Owner,
Hoboken, N.J.

Julie Durkee, Torina Baking Inc - Owner,
Berekeley, Calif.

Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes - Owner,
Baltimore, Md.

Robert Bleifer, Executive Chef, Food Network Kitchens, New York, NY
Margaret Braun, Author Cakewalk, New York, N.Y.

Challenge: Spooky Cake & Candy Cook-Off

Haunted houses, ghostly pumpkins and edible eyeballs make for a Halloween thriller, when five top cake teams gather for an intense cake and candy competition. Elaborate cakes, some weighing 80+ pounds, must impress a panel of tough judges with their delectable craftsmanship and creative use of candy decorations.

Cheryl Lew
Owner, Montclair Baking
Oakland, Calif.

Bronwen Weber
Executive Chef, Frosted Art Bakery & Studio
Dallas, Texas

Duff Goldman
Owner, Charm City Cakes
Baltimore, Md.

Norman Davis
Owner, The Sweet Life
Annandale, Va.

Carol Murdock
Owner, Classic Cakes
West Hartford, Conn.

Food Network Challenge: Holiday Cake-Off

Forget the good cheer, these cake artists just want to win! Six of the nation’s top cake teams come to Sea Island Georgia to make the best holiday cakes they can create in just six hours. The icing is flying and the air is sparkling with glitter as the nation’s best create grand holiday masterpieces

Challenge: Reno Rib Cook-Off

Twenty-five barbecue teams are invited Reno, Nevada to compete for a $16,500 purse in one of the biggest rib cook-offs in the country.

Challenge: America's Bread Battle

For the first time in America, the top bread and pastry artists join forces to compete in a two-day competition that showcases both their unique talents and combined creativity.

Challenge: Fire & Ice

Four teams compete in a unique competition that combines ice sculpture and pastry art. Each team consists of two competitors. Our experts have to come up with a sculpture that combines two very different elements under the umbrella theme of Fire and Ice. There will be many forces at work against the teams .heat, the clock and for some, almost no time to practice.


Patricio Lavilla, Green Valley Ranch Resort,
Las Vegas, Nev.

Regis Courivaud, Le Monde,
New York, N.Y.

Stanton Ho, Chocolates a la Carte (previously at Las Vegas Hilton),
Valencia, Calif.

John Hui, Caesar&rsquos Palace,
Las Vegas, Nev.

Dale Fox, Las Vegas Hilton,
Las Vegas, Nev.

Rob Bleifer, Executive Chef for the Food Network Kitchens, New York, N.Y.
Patrick Coston, Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev.
Kevin Roscoe, Owner of Cascade Crystal Ice Sculptures, Inc., Seattle, Wash.

Challenge: Wedding Cake Classic

It's a bride's fantasy and a cake decorator's dream. Dozens of decorators travel to Tulsa to compete for a cut of the $10,000 purse. Art is the name of the game at this show, only these sculptures and paintings are done with sugar and icing. It is three days packed with taste, style and beauty, making for one grand reception with a sweet reward in the end.

Gingerbread Championships

Beautiful homes, amusement parks, rustic barns, and ornate churches all made of America?s favorite holiday treat: gingerbread! A record 300 gingerbread creations (decorated with gum drops, Necco wafers, and chow mein noodles!) were brought to this 12th annual championship in Asheville, North Carolina. Watch as participants spend months planning their structures and then cringe with every pothole as they drive their creations to the show.

Challenge: World's Best Bartender

Their moves are mesmerizing, and their speed and accuracy mind-boggling. They're the top bartenders in the country, and they're in Las Vegas to flair their way to fame at the World Bartending Championships. Bartenders go through three grueling rounds of speed, accuracy, and flair tests, cheered-on by a huge crowd. The eleven who make it to the finals get a chance at the title and the grand prize of $6,000.

Al Roker's BBQ Showdown

It's the biggest BBQ event in the nation - And our own Al Roker - a BBQ expert and cookbook author -- has entered the contest! See how Al's ribs stack up against the real pros, and see what it takes to compete in one very tasty cook-off.

Great Chowder Cook-Off

Who has the best "chowda" in New England, or dare we say, the world? More than 20 teams bring their secret chowder recipes, and their pride, to The Great Chowder Cook-off in Newport, RI.

America's Best Pastry

12 teams of 3 pastry chefs create delicate masterpieces in sugar and chocolate, all representing the theme of "Broadway Musicals." The stakes at the National Pastry Team Championship in Las Vegas are among the highest in the competitive food world.

Great Garlic Cook-Off

Eight seasoned chefs come to Gilroy, CA for one of the nation's best-loved cook-offs. Selected from hundreds of entrants, cooks will have two hours to prepare spicy specialties for the $1000 first prize. The delicious dishes all promise to be treasures.

Big Beef Battle

Fort Worth, TX - the heart of beef country. Twenty competitors were picked to come and cook up their tasty dishes and a chance to win $50,000. Will the granger beef and noodle bowls wow the judges? Or will it be the Beef Tikka with Coconut Raita?

Chili Bowl

See the many varieties, spices, and heat that each contestant puts in their chili at the annual International Chili Society World Championship in hopes of becoming the World Champion!

The Great American Pie Cook-Off

The nation's best bakers gather in Celebration, FL to enter their pies in the "grandmother" of all cooking contests. It's a cook-off to determine who has the best crust, and who is just flaky. Don't want to miss out on a visit to the Endless Pie Buffet.

Varsity Cook-Off

This cook-off makes "Home Ec" look like history. The best high school cooking teams in the country gather in Denver, CO for a high-intensity food test. Thousands of dollars in scholarships are at stake but it may be the beginning to a promising career.

The Spam Cook-Off

Celebrating its 25th year, the Annual Spam Cookoff takes place in Austin TX. Delve into the world of spam creations from spam sculptures to spushi, spam sushi. And don't forget the spam cram eating contest, the spam call and the spam toss.

World Pizza Challenge

It's a high-flying, dough-tossing extravaganza as Italy throws the world's biggest pizza party and six American chefs are invited. Does Team USA have what it takes to beat the Italians in their own backyard? The World Pizza Championship awaits!

Wild Game Cook-Off

The top wild game chefs in the country gather in Springville, Alabama for an afternoon of "grills gone wild"-you'll be amazed how fancy a caribou dish can be. We'll visit a wild game fine dining restaurant, and the market if you want to find yak filets!

Best Young Chefs in America

Ten of the nation's best chefs under the age of 27 come to Miami, FL to compete in a high-end "mystery basket" cook-off for the American title, and the chance to represent the U.S. in the International Young Chefs compeition in South Africa.

Culinary Champions

Six American chefs come to Chicago to take on ten of the world's top cooking teams. Team USA overcomes sleepless nights and long hot days in the kitchen to try to prove they are the world's Culinary Champions.

Here Comes the Cake

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The Great Steak Cook-Off

Secret marinades, heavenly fires, specially-designed grills and great cuts of beef-the grilling teams in Magnolia Arkansas pull out all their tricks because they know what's at "steak" at the World Championship Steak Cook-off.

Royal BBQ Battle

The American Royal is commonly refered to as the World Series of BBQ: two days, state and regional winners from across North America, and over $60,000 in prize money! Join us in Kansas City, MO for the one of the biggest BBQ competitions in the world.

All Fired Up!

The Fiery Foods Challenge is a huge gathering of hot foods, vendors and aficionados. Watch as people sweat while they test the hot foods. Also, spend time with some of the Fiery Food vendors and see what new fiery flavors are in store for us.

Extreme Pastry

Pastry stars Alain Roby, Susan Notter, Janet Allen, Martin Howard and Andrew Shotts are attempting their biggest pastry project ever: life-size sculptures, edible outfits and mind-boggling treats big enough to feed hundreds.

Cowboy Challenge

A taste of the old west, literally. More than 20 of the nation's top cowboy cooking teams have a culinary showdown in Ruidoso, NM. Meals and dessert are carefully prepared over open fires. We'll also ride home to see how they cook back at the ranch.

Big Pig Jig

Over 100 teams from all over the country load their wagon trains and grills and head south to Vienna, Georgia to compete for over $12,000 in prize money at the Annual Big Pig Jig, Georgia's oldest and largest pig cooking contest.

BBQ Chili Challenge

Only in Las Vegas could two heavyweights this hot duke it out with such delicious results. Eighty-eight champion barbecue teams and more than a hundred top chili teams gather at the Mandalay Bay Resort for a weekend of spicy competition.

The Great Cake-Off

At the Accubake Unique Cake Contest, ten contestants are flown to Atlanta to cook their unusual family cake recipes, and the favorite cake baker will take home $5,000 and a new oven.

Slam Dunk Skillet Showdown

Join us in San Antonio, where Competitive Sports meet Competitive Cooking: the Slam Dunk Skillet Showdown. NCAA Coaches and Local Star Chefs join forces for a day of high flying hoops and sizzling skillets.

World Bartending Championship

Get ready to shake, shake, shake. Food Network takes you to the Bartender Championships in Las Vegas! Witness feats of technical skill as 75 of the world's most talented bartenders convene to compete for the coveted title of Legends Champion.

Challenge: Gilroy Garlic Cook-Off

More than 100,000 garlic fans stroll through the festival grounds, trying everything from garlic bread to garlic ice cream. There's even a Mr. Garlic. But the highlight of the festival is the cook-off. At this competition, the stinking rose is a sweet smell people just can't get enough of.

Soul food superstar Melba Wilson shares the secret to perfecting fried chicken

There's fried chicken and there's finger-lickin' soul food so good, it can topple an Iron Chef.

Harlem restaurateur Melba Wilson's fried chicken is one of those recipes you don't easily forget. She even beat Food Network star Bobby Flay with it on his show "Throwdown."

But getting to the stage of fried chicken glory has been a long road for Wilson-- she's been cooking since childhood, a craft she learned from her mother.

Melba Wilson shares her soul food secrets in her new cookbook. (Atria Books)

"In my house, before we were able to touch a pot or turn a knob you had to be an apprentice," Wilson remembers. "Cooking in my mom's house was the job of the queen. At [age] 10, I wasn't a queen, I was a queen in training. I would take mental notes. I would watch my mom as she stirred grits and any time my mother baked, I was right there to lick the bowl."

By the late 1980s, the self-proclaimed "queen-in-training" had taken up residence at the famous Harlem soul food spot, Sylvia's. Wilson didn't set out on becoming a chef-- she worked every position in the restaurant from cashier to hostess. But the love of cooking her mother had given her made it impossible for Wilson to stay away from the kitchen for long.

She started cooking at Sylvia's and then decided to spread her culinary wings by manning the kitchen at restaurants with different cuisines. Her previous jobs include stints at Rosa Mexicano and Windows on the World.

But she always knew she wanted to come back to Harlem and cook the kind of food she grew up with.

In 2005, that dream led her to open Melba's, a restaurant that she hopes can serve as an example to her community in New York City. "I want to show people who come from neighborhoods like Harlem that if I can do it, you can do it." Over a decade later, Melba's is still thriving. In 2016, she released a cookbook to share some of her soul food secrets.

Wilson is proud of her accomplishments: "I'm the kid who came from a single parent home and had a dream. I'm the person who put fear aside and I bet on me."

She may be an accomplished businesswoman now but Wilson has never forgotten her roots.

Want some tips on how to perfect your fried chicken game?

The restaurateur shared a few tips with Fox Foodie for anyone who wants to follow in her footsteps. First, don't rush it. Wilson suggests letting your chicken sit in spices for at least two days to soak them up prior to cooking. The second pro tip? Shake and bake. Shake up the chicken pieces with the flour in a brown paper bag so that the flour gets into every nook and cranny of the chicken. You'll have crispy bits all over your bird.

Food's Greatest Hits

This festive chocolate cupcake has two surprises: The wrapper is made of edible chocolate, and when you bust it open it's full of assorted candy.

Rise and Shine Cupcake

Eat cake for breakfast with this sweet-and-savory vanilla cupcake topped with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, maple-infused hollandaise sauce and crispy bacon.

Sky-High Cupcake

How do you improve a cupcake? Add a stack of a dozen mini pancakes, held together by vanilla icing.

Sundae Funday

It'll take your whole squad to tackle this monstrosity. The super-sized sundae has chocolate, vanilla, mint and black cherry ice cream topped with candy, sprinkles, bananas, caramel and cherries.

Taco Sundae

Don't worry, this isn't ice cream — this layered "sundae" is more like a breakfast burrito bowl, combining scrambled eggs, mushrooms, bacon, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

The Green Thumb

Remember eating "worms in dirt" when you were a kid? This sundae takes the childhood dessert to a new level with a sundae hidden underneath a layer of cookie-crumb "dirt" and gummy worms, and then a mint sprig with an edible flower "growing" out of the top.

Invisible Ravioli

Abracadabra! These see-through ravioli are made with rice paper and stuffed with shrimp and pickled vegetables, and then covered in a spicy sauce. They're so good that they’ll disappear in minutes.

Mamma Mia Ravioli

Cut into this giant deep-fried ravioli and you'll find spaghetti and meatballs hiding inside — two delicious Italian dishes in one.

Dessert Ravioli

After having pasta for dinner, have pasta for dessert, too: ravioli filled with chocolate-hazelnut cream.

Banana Split Burrito

Sweeten your burrito with fried bananas, tart pineapple, strawberries, vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge.

Sushi Burrito

This burrito is one giant sushi roll, filled with rice, tempura shrimp, tofu and spicy pickled veggies.

Mexican All-Star Burrito

This is like Mexican-food Inception: A pork chimichanga is stuffed inside a veggie taco, and then the whole thing is stuffed inside a cheese-and-bean burrito.

Cupcakes with a Chance of Meatballs

No, that’s not a pile of spaghetti — it’s angel food cupcakes topped with icing, hazelnut-chocolate meatballs and strawberry ragu.

The Houdini

Meat lovers, we've found a solution to the problem of too much spaghetti and not enough meatballs: Packed inside a giant meatball is spaghetti with marinara sauce.

Ellis Island

This Italian take on the ramen burger has a giant meatball patty sandwiched between deep-fried spaghetti buns.

Game of Cones

Forget ice cream — a cone is best filled with sauce, pepperoni, sausage and melted mozzarella cheese.


Cookie-crust pizza is topped with white chocolate shavings, pepperoni-shaped chocolate slices and strawberry jam.

Leaning Tower of Pizza

This tall tower of flavor is made up of 14 personal pizzas wrapped up in a larger pizza!

The Cheeseburger Fries

This dish replaces the bun of the classic burger with fries, intermingling meat, ketchup, mustard, onions, cheese and pickles.

Canuck Carnival Fries

This Canadian poutine covered with cheese curds, gravy, bacon and pulled pork gets extra Canada-fied with the quintessential Canadian dessert, butter tarts, added to the mix.

Hansel and Gretel Fries

Hansel and Gretel would risk their lives for these sweet potato fries covered in marshmallows, white chocolate shavings, vanilla icing, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Funnel Cake Ice Cream Sandwich

This sweet ice cream sandwich combines all of your carnival favorites: funnel cakes, cotton candy, ice cream and chocolate.

The Big Apple Funnel Cake

New York City is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of — particularly dreams about candied apples, vanilla ice cream and crunchy spun caramel atop a funnel cake.

Roller Coaster Funnel Cake

Tell your taste buds to hold on tight through the twists and turns of this garlic-flavored funnel cake loaded with spicy chicken, blue cheese dressing and candy corn.

The Birthday Shake

Your inner 5-year-old won't be able to resist the ice cream, sprinkles, cake crumble and cotton-candy topper.

The Harlem Shake

The best parts of a Harlem brunch — fried chicken, waffles and bacon — come together in this creamy buttermilk shake. Just one sip will have you dancing!

The Mayan Milkshake

Mexican chocolate, spicy red pepper and coffee combine in this unique shake.

The Billionaire Burger

Filet mignon is covered with caviar and a lobster claw before being nestled into a golden bun. Eat this decadent burger with your pinkies out.

The Big Kahuna Burger

The towering breakfast burger is the ultimate morning starter, with a pork patty, fried egg and grilled pineapple sandwiched between two fluffy waffles.

The Pie-in-the-Fry Burger

Deep-fried pizza buns. Need we say more? In between them is a meatball patty smothered in mozzarella and marinara sauce.

The Paul Bunyan

Paul Bunyan takes on a new giant form with a triple-decker pancake sandwich, filled with two half-pound pork and chicken patties, lettuce and tomato.

The Rising Sun

Who says you can't eat sushi for breakfast? The Rising Sun is a sweet sushi roll of rice pudding with kiwi, mango and pineapple, all wrapped up in a thin chocolate crepe-style pancake.


Cure your hangover with a boozy breakfast. This high stack of beer-batter pancakes, bacon, breakfast ham and whiskey syrup will keep the party going.

Six Degrees of Woven Bacon

Have a mega fiesta at breakfast with scrambled eggs, bell peppers and cheese, all inside a woven bacon taco shell.

When Pigs Fly

Start your day with a flight of bacon strips dipped in four different flavors of glaze: chocolate-pistachio, cinnamon, fennel and strawberry. That's our kind of shot.

Romeo and Juliet

The star-crossed lovers, sweet and salty, star in this epic dish of chocolate brownie covered in icing and chunks of bacon.

Early Bird Grilled Cheese

"The early bird gets the worm" has never sounded so delicious. With three slices of French toast, plus fried eggs, bacon and melted cheddar cheese drizzled in maple syrup, the Early Bird Grilled Cheese will perk you up.

Double Decker

Meet the ultimate sweet and savory grilled cheese. Three apple turnovers surround two layers of Granny Smith apple slices and sharp cheddar cheese.

The Oktoberfest Grilled Cheese

Bratwurst, sauerkraut, Muenster cheese and grainy mustard start the German party between two pretzels.

Ragin' Cajun Cheesecake

This ain't your average cheesecake. This savory cake combines cheddar, cream cheese and cayenne pepper with crab and shrimp meat, and then is garnished with whole prawns.

The Elvis Cheesecake

Thank you, thank you very much to the creators of The Elvis Cheesecake, which is loaded with the king's favorites: peanut butter cups, bacon and bananas. Have mercy!

Mount Fujisicle

These cheesecake popsicles dipped in chocolate and coated in graham cracker crumbs seem tame, but one bite will cause some serious steam — the whole pop is infused with wasabi.

The burger secret sweeping America

THERE’S a method for cooking burgers that’s going viral in the US. It’s a secret, and it only takes 50 seconds.

Smash Burgers.

There’s a trick to cooking the perfect burger, and it involved items from the hardware store. Source:Supplied

ANY burger engineer — professional or amateur — has their rules for creating the perfect burger. Some say brioche bun, others prefer something less sweet. Mayo, barbecue and other fancy “secret” sauces, or just the classic ketchup and mustard combo.

Despite our differences, there’s one thing all cheeseburger lovers agree on: it’s all about the meat.

Common belief has been that a good burger patty should be fat, juicy and pink inside. To cook it perfectly, you need a nicely oiled grill and a careful hand, taking care to never press on the burger and squeeze out those delicious juices.

But there’s something of a burger rebellion happening on America’s east coast, and it’s beginning to spread.

As documented by The Food Lab, whose recent instructional guide has been covered widely across the US over the past two weeks, including on the popular Today Show, the most delicious way to make a burger is by breaking all the rules.

The secret is a technique called “ultra-smashing”, a phrase coined by The Food Lab for a process that’s being used by burger superstars Harlem Shake in NYC, and the obsession-worthy Shake Shack.

If you’ve ever wanted to know the secret behind the success of Shake Shack, this is it. Source:Supplied

With just a couple of pieces of equipment and a small piece of meat, it creates a flavour-packed burger in under a minute. Yes, in less than 60 seconds.

— A stainless steel pan, or BBQ hotplate. Your favourite non-stick pan WON’T work here.

— Any tool that will help you press down on the meat as hard as possible once it’s on the pan. A (new, washed) $10 stainless steel plastering trowel from a hardware store is perfect, and capable of much more pressure than a kitchen spatula.

— A scraper to dislodge the meat from the pan. A steel pastry scraper will work, but a joint knife or scraper from the hardware store is even better.

Heat the unoiled pan to nearly smoking and roll your mince (the fattier the better) into a 5cm diameter ball. Place the meat into the centre of the pan and immediately press down on the patty with the trowel or spatula, applying extra pressure with the scraper if needed.

Squish that meat down as hard as you can. Picture: Tristan Lutze Source:Supplied

Keep pushing as hard as you can until the meat is only a few millimetres thick. This does a couple of things:

It creates the largest possible surface area on the meat which, unoiled, sticks immediately to the pan. This triggers something called the Maillard Reaction, which is the scientific name for the process of meat browning. Generally speaking, the more brown you get your meat crust, the more flavour you get in your dish, so this is maximum burger flavour.

It also cooks the meat so quickly that moisture doesn’t get a chance to escape. Your finished patty will be much juicier than if you𠆝 left it to grill over a medium heat.

The secret is to make the patty as thin as possible. Picture: Tristan Lutze Source:Supplied

Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the uncooked side of the patty, then get your spatula/scraper, and begin dislodging the meat from the pan. This is why you’ll need a stainless steel pan. Remember, the more stuck the meat is, the more flavour you’re ending up with.

Flip the meat and place a slice of cheese immediately on the cooked side. The residual heat will melt it to perfection.

If you’re feeling clever you can make it a double and put the cheese in the middle. Picture: Tristan Lutze Source:Supplied

After five or six seconds, remove the meat from the pan and slide onto your bun. Add a second meat patty if you like, and finish with pickles, white onion, mustard and ketchup, or whatever else you love on your burgers.

It’s fast food, even faster. Perfect 60 second cheeseburgers are only a trip to the hardware store away …

And the results. Seriously yum. Picture: Tristan Lutze Source:Supplied

Tristan Lutze is a Sydney-based food writer with a thing for burgers. You can find him on Instagram and Facebook.

Donal Skehan: Butchies buttermilk chicken bun (AKA The Clancy Wiggum!)

    • Serves 4
    • 350ml buttermilk
    • 500g boneless chicken thighs
    • Sunflower oil, for frying
    • 100g plain four
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • Sea salt and ground black pepper
    • To serve:
    • 4-6 brioche burger buns, toasted
    • Guacamole
    • Smoked streaky bacon, cooked
    • 4-6 tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce
    • Iceberg lettuce, shredded

    After having his mind suitably blown by tasting some of the best real fried chicken Harlem had to offer, Irish man Garrett FitzGerald set up his pop-up fried buttermilk chicken shack at hip food markets across London.

    Some 50,000 chicken buns later, Butchies has become one of Time Out’s most popular street food stalls in London.

    Chicken buns are already popular in the US (Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack recently added them to the menu), and FitzGerald predicts they will be the next big thing.

    For inspiration, see @Butchies_London on Instagram.

    In a bowl, mix together the buttermilk and chicken pieces. Cover and leave in the fridge for two hours or overnight, if possible. When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat a large high-sided pot over a medium heat and fill with 3-4 inches of oil. Heat to 350 degrees Farenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

    Mix the flour, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and ground black pepper on a large plate.

    Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk and dredge in the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess, then place the chicken in the pan to fry.

    Cook for about 10 minutes on either side until they are cooked through and have a good golden brown colour. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

    Mix together the mayonnaise with a few drops of chipotle hot sauce. Assemble the sandwiches by spreading a dollop of hot mayo across one bun and a dollop of guacamole on the other. Pile up the sandwich with lettuce, streaky bacon and chicken and press together. Enjoy.

    Watch the video: HARLEM SHAKE original - Best of the best compilation! (July 2022).


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