MasterChef Judge Graham Elliot Talks New Show “Craziest Restaurants In America”, “MasterChef Season 6”, Summer Recipes and Entertaining With Candace Rose Interview


“MasterChef” judge Graham Elliot is one of the top chefs on the planet! He has a new cookbook coming out in the fall, is back as a judge on the hit reality show “MasterChef” season 6, and is hosting a new show on the Food Network called “Craziest Restaurants In America” which premieres tonight (Wednesday, June 3rd).

The busy and talented host, judge and author is also an expert when it comes to reinventing classic summer staples that you grew up on, like hamburgers, grilled chicken, fried chicken, strawberry shortcake and much more! I had a chance to check out the recipes, and I’m eager to start grilling now, they look that amazing. Graham Elliot was kind enough to join me for an interview this afternoon to discuss some of his favorite recipes for summer, the secret to grilling, how to plan the perfect summer barbecue, his new show “Craziest Restaurants In America” on the Food Network, and what life is like as judge on “MasterChef” season 6.


Acclaimed chef Graham Elliot serves his GrahamBurger, which he created to pair with the refreshing flavor of mike’s hard lemonade, at happy hour in the mike’s pop-up backyard on the Magnificent Mile, Friday, May 15, 2015 in Chicago, Ill. (Ross Dettman/AP Images for mike’s hard lemonade)

Mike’s hard lemonade and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot surprised Chicagoans by hosting happy hour in a pop-up backyard in the heart of downtown, Friday, May 15, 2015 in Chicago, Il. (Ross Dettman/AP Images for Mike’s Hard Lemonade)

Candace Rose: What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare for friends and family for summer?

Graham Elliot: “I like doing things that people have maybe had before but with a new twist on them – grilled chicken but with a watermelon and olive salsa; corn, but instead of just corn – doing a grit cake with roasted corn on top. Of course the Grahamburger which you had mentioned, doing it with watercress, chard, onion, some kind of melted brie – so flavors that you’ve had before but in a new way.

The other thing that I like to do is focus on what you’re pairing it with. Instead of just a beer or a lemonade, here I’m taking different Mike’s Hard Lemonades, whether it’s peach or the traditional, or the hard cider, black cherry – taking those and putting them with foods so that you get a new flavor profile going with those dishes.”


Candace Rose: What are some of your favorite desserts for summer?

Graham Elliot: “I love taking these like peaches and doing something like a peach cake or blackberries with some kind of lemon curd – things that you taste and immediately know what the weather is outside. They just scream summertime and the best ingredients are always the ones that you can eat and then wash your face with later, so watermelon, stoned fruits and all those things.”


Candace Rose: What are some of your top grilling tips for those of us who aren’t the best at it?

Graham Elliot: “I think one important thing is to make sure if you’re going to be cooking a steak, that you’re steak is already kind of at room temp. Pull it out about an hour before so it cooks nice and even.

If you’re doing burgers, a trick to keep them from overcooking and still keeping them a little pink is to put a little ice cube in the middle, that helps to keep it nice and cool.

When you’re grilling other things make sure that you have one part of the grill smoking hot, and the other part a little cooler so that one gets color and the other helps cook it through.”


Candace Rose: What’s the secret to throwing a great summer barbecue your guests will love?

Graham Elliot: “A big part of it is the ambiance. It’s not just the food, so you make sure you’ve got some great music going on and know your audience. If it’s some older friends coming in, your parents maybe, you want to do your Beatles, and Rolling Stones they can sing to. Maybe you get some great hip hop or some Journey and Bon Jovi, whatever you know is in the background and everybody loves.”


Candace Rose: No karaoke machines? 

Graham Elliot: “Karaoke, maybe do that at 10 after all the eating is done and you want to make some bad mistakes!”


Candace Rose: Your new show “Craziest Restaurants In America” premieres tonight on the Food Network. Can you tell us about it?

Graham Elliot: “Basically we’re searching the country for some of the places that are completely doing their own thing, whether they’re scary restaurants or they’re doing super insanely hot things and showing that it’s not just fine dining or esoteric ingredients, it’s people that are doing fun food but in a totally different crazy setting.”


Candace Rose: There’s actually a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill?

Graham Elliot: “The Heart Attack Grill in Vegas, they have a 9000 calorie burger…just to give you an idea.”


Candace Rose: “MasterChef” season 6 premiered a few weeks ago. How does this season differ from others?

Graham Elliot: “The biggest thing is that we have a new judge. Joe who was with us for five years – an amazing guy, he’s moving on to other things. We’ve got Christina Tosi who is an amazing baker and pastry chef, so coming in gives it a totally different dynamic to the show and just such a joy to be around.”


Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?

Graham Elliot: “One thing is if you want some of these recipes and ideas of why we’re pairing Mike’s with the dishes, it’s

Another thing is if you go to, you can see that I’m going to be doing my first ever cookbook coming out this fall, which is very exciting.”







Gorgeous DIY Outdoor Projects for Summer Entertaining with HGTV’s Taniya Nayak

I love DIY projects, especially when the do-it-yourself projects are gorgeous and look as though you bought them from a high end retailer! If like myself, you love chevron decor, spending time outdoors on pretty dining chairs and the look of gorgeous lighting, you are in luck! HGTV host and Food Network designer, Taniya Nayak was kind enough to join me for an interview this week to share a few amazing DIY projects that are not only great for beginners, but look as though you spent a ton of money on them. Do you want to know her secret? Be sure to check out my interview with the HGTV and Food Network superstar below and watch the video for details!


HGTV host Taniya Nayak joined Candace Rose to dish on her favorite DIY projects that are perfect for summer entertaining

HGTV host Taniya Nayak joined Candace Rose to dish on her favorite DIY projects that are perfect for summer entertaining!

Candace Rose: What’s a fast way to really change the look of my outdoor entertaining space this summer?

Taniya Nayak: “Well, the outdoor entertaining space can have limitless options. I like to think big and work my way down to the details. So from a big picture standpoint, you can take your indoor furniture and bring it outside. This is really great for people who have small spaces and don’t have enough storage room. When you do that though, you want to make sure that you protect it.

Something like burlap, it’s really inexpensive…it’s a couple dollars for a yard, so a few yards is all you need. You can put it on the table, protect it and then throw it away when you’re done if it gets stained or dirty. The same thing applies with your dining chairs.

If you have nice dining chairs that you want to bring outside, simply throw a pillow case over the back of it as a slipcover and that will protect it, but then you can also embellish it a little bit by using burlap around the perimeter to save it and hold it in place. I used Frog Tape Shape Tape. It’s a wave pattern and it has a paint block technology, so you can actually paint on burlap. You can paint on glass, on walls and you won’t have any trips because of the paint block technology. It locks it right in.


HGTV host Taniya Nayak covered these chairs just in time for summer!

HGTV host Taniya Nayak covered these chairs just in time for summer!


That’s on the big scale picture, but if you want to take it into something a little smaller and more detail oriented, I actually took a picture frame and we put the Chevron shape tape on it. This is a nice easy way to get a really cool design without the labor intensive hours of doing all the work. I then just added cabinet hardware pulls on either end of the frame and it turns it into a really cool tray. I love details like that because they’re personal and fun and functional.


Don't you just love this chevron picture frame that HGTV host Taniya Nayak created ?

Don’t you just love this chevron picture frame that HGTV host Taniya Nayak created ?


One great way to add ambient lighting outdoors, because a lot of times when you have these patios and the deck light is so bright but there’s no ambient lighting. You can take a garden solar power lamp, the ones that stick right in the ground and then use a block of wood, core a little hole in it and pop the garden light right into the wood and put it right into your table and now you have nice ambient lighting. They’ll charge up by day and pop on at night.”


Lovely ambient lighting that you can create in the comfort of your own home!

Lovely ambient lighting that you can create in the comfort of your own home!


Candace Rose: Do these projects work for apartment porches and suburban patios?

Taniya Nayak: “100%. I’m always thinking about that. I live in a city, I live in Boston; I have a lot of friends who actually have that problem so these are all great for city living and smaller spaces.”


Candace Rose: How are new technologies making decorating easier and more fun?

Taniya Nayak: “Well, the new technologies is something I was just talking about which is the paint block technology. That’s something that you’ll find on Frog Tape and Frog Shape Tape. So basically it’s this polymer and I don’t want to get too technical, but it’s sort of like a powdery substance that’s on the outer edge of the tape. Once the moisture hits it it almost forms like a gel and it locks it in, and that’s why you get that crisp clean line.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried painted with a painters tape and you’ve had drips seep through? This will prevent that and it’s life changing, I have to tell you!”


Candace Rose: Do you recommend these DIY projects for beginners?

Taniya Nayak: “Absolutely. A lot of what I do on my shows on HGTV and Food Network, I’m always trying to do things that the viewers can do easily at home. No matter how design challenged you are, they should be easy enough. Using the Frog Tape Shape Tape or simply cutting a block and using solar paneled lights, they’re all things that anybody can do at home.”


Candace Rose: I can’t wait to make the chevron frame you were talking about! It sounds so pretty!!!

Taniya Nayak: “It’s so cute, isn’t it? And you can play around with any different color, you can do any different design you want. There’s a lot of flexibility and room to change it up if you’d like.”


Candace Rose: Absolutely! Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?

Taniya Nayak: “You can find all of these tips and the information on But really, just have fun with it. Don’t overthink things. All of these things are items that I found in the closet at home or at a local fabric store. None of them cost a lot of money. Just think outside the box and have fun.”

Recipe Rehab’s Danny Boome and Farmer Katie Pratt Discuss Food Terms and the Importance of Knowing Where Your Food Comes From

In recent years food terms such as organic, hormone-free, grass fed, local and naturally raised have become increasingly popular. But have you wondered what they all mean and if it’s worth it to spend the extra money when shopping at your local grocery store or favorite restaurant? The Food Network’s Danny Boome (Recipe Rehab) and farmer Katie Pratt joined me recently to dish on what exactly these terms mean and their importance.



Celebrity chef Danny Boome of Recipe Rehab and farmer Katie Pratt discuss popular food terms and how they apply to our daily lives.

Celebrity chef Danny Boome of Recipe Rehab and farmer Katie Pratt discuss popular food terms and how they apply to our daily lives.



Candace Rose: What should we know when choosing our meats and produce at the grocery store?

Danny Boome: There’s many words that you’re looking for right now- there’s organic, local, hormone-free, grass fed, naturally raised. But when you’re coming to selecting, what does it mean? And that’s what we’re here to talk to you today about. We’ve teamed up with The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and their website We’re all about now trying to connect the farmer, the chef, and the consumer. And we want to basically all get together and talk about what these words mean, and explain some myths and the do’s and the don’ts.

When we talk about organic everybody thinks it’s a rich yuppie food, right? Is it? Is it better for me? Is it healthier? Not really or is it? What does organic mean Katie?”

Katie Pratt: “Well, organic is probably the term most people are familiar with, and really it’s a term to describe how something was raised. There’s a very strict set of guidelines that have been laid out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to certify a farmer as organic. It’s not a commentary on how healthful a food is, but it’s just talking about how it’s raised. The same goes for hormone-free and grass fed as well.”

Candace Rose: How does knowing how your food is grown and raised help you make better choices?

Danny Boome: “When you say ‘healthy choices’, food has a nutritional value, and it’s how you cook the food that makes the healthy point. So if you’re eating frozen pizza all the time, that’s not going to be good to you. But if you’re having a seasonal local balanced meal of vegetables and meat and dairy, then you’re eating a balanced meal, so that’s going to be healthy for you. But how you cook it is a totally different thing.

I always suggest boil, braise and bake. They’re the healthiest ways of cooking instead of frying everything. The other thing is that relationship that we want to do. I like the word ‘local’. I like seeing the word local in a menu because I know that I can visit the farmer, I can go see what they’re doing, I have a connection with my state or even my zip code about where my food’s come from. It doesn’t matter if I’m in New York and buying a bagel from my local deli or I’m going to Illinois and buying milk from Kate’s mom and dad, I know where the foods come from. That’s what FoodDialogue’s about. We want you the consumer to understand where your food comes from.


Local farmers harvesting corn

Local farmers harvesting corn.


Chicken does not just turn up in cellophane, milk does not just turn up in a carton, and chopped salad doesn’t come in a plastic bowl, it comes from somewhere. We all should really have this food culture in America. We all know watching Food Network or watching The Chew or watching Recipe Rehab, we all know that there’s a food media, but what we as a food culture don’t really have a connection and that’s what we’re trying to promote today.”

Candace Rose: Do either of you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us today?

Katie Pratt: “Well, all of these types of terms plus other terms as well can be found at, which is the website for U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. On there you can find just loads of information about farming, about agriculture, about all types of agriculture, as well as engage in conversations with farmers. You can ask a question and you’re going to get an answer from a farmer. We as farmers want to know if people have concerns about their food or if they have questions because it helps us do a better job on our farms.”


Screenshot of The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance website, Food Dialogues.

Screenshot of The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance website, Food Dialogues.



Sandra Lee Shares Holiday Entertaining Tips

With Thanksgiving just days away, and Christmas right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about holiday decor and planning a great festive party your guests will love! Cooking expert and renowned Food Network host Sandra Lee joined me recently to talk about her new line at Sears and Kmart, how to decorate on a budget, share a few of her favorite recipes which are sure to wow your guests at your next celebration, her new television shows this season, and much more!






Candace Rose: What’s the secret to throwing a great holiday party?

Sandra Lee: “Well, having a great holiday party is not just the food and the ideas, but it’s also your frame of mind when your guests arrive. And it’s your guests coming and being gracious guests. So you’re in charge of making everybody happy, but once they get there you need to make yourself happy because that’s going to make everybody else happy. Relax, don’t be stressed out.

If you’re a guest, don’t come empty-handed. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on a gift either for your hostess. Think about things like ornaments. This year is the year of the ornament, and there are great ornaments out there that are not only beautiful and can be personal, but also smart. In fact there are ornaments that part of the proceeds go to great causes like the St. Jude collectible bear ornament. It’s available at Kmart for five dollars and a dollar of that of that five goes to St. Jude, so you’re helping kids with cancer for the holiday season and throughout the year. That’s a great gift.



I have a whole collection at Sears and Kmart. This is my Woodland collection (please see video above or image below). If you want to do a pretty little robin or a bird or an owl or a moose- you can put that around the neck of a bottle of white chocolate liqueur. That would be a beautiful gift on a gift. And it’s a little bit different than bringing a bottle of wine.



But all of these ideas are available in my new magazine- the Sandra Lee Christmas magazine. And one of the great things that’s also in the magazine is not just how to decorate beautifully and get great recipes, but there’s also on which is a social media shopping site- check it out. You’ll find all sorts of great ideas, recipes and entertaining tips. But there’s also a shopping spree you can sign up for. You can come to the City and go Christmas shopping with me, we’ll have a great time.



Let’s go over four recipes (out of 40 or 60) in the magazine. This year I’m not making the big turkey, and I’m not making those fabulous lamb chops or that decadent beautiful ham- I’m making the Cornish game hens. I’m going to stuff these with cornbread stuffing. I make them with roast garlic and with lemon, also some herbs in here. But alongside that, and with also my cornbread stuffing, I’m also going to make a sweet potato. These are made with maple syrup and pecans- that recipe is in the magazine.



There’s an incredible Baileys coconut cake. Now this is Baileys sour cream, cream of coconut- this is the most decadent, delicious cake in the world. This frosting is white frosting from the container, but it’s embellished with cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla…it is unbelievable.



And finally (you know me) we’re going to have a cocktail when your guests arrive because God bless, you need to have a good time. And you need to relax and have some festive cheer. So a glass of the eggnog to start off the evening. It’s two cups of eggnog or two parts to one part Captain Morgan Spiced Rum- that’s just going to give it a little bit of spice and flavor and fullness, and then I’m going to have you put in one part white chocolate liqueur by Godiva. This just kind of rounds it out and makes it smooth and rich and decadent. And that is the most amazing recipe- three ingredients and your guests are going to think you’re incredible.”


Candace Rose: Is it possible to throw a great party while sticking to a budget?

Sandra Lee: “Yeah, it’s really easy. You just have to plan your budget out and what you want to spend, how many guests you have. You could do a buffet so that you don’t have a whole sit-down and people can serve themselves and still do a place card setting for who sits next to whom.

If you’re thinking of little favors- very inexpensive, again it’s the year of the ornament, so maybe the place card and the favor are one, and they’re these little pots of herbs. They go right inside a stocking, and the stocking’s hanging on the tree. And you can even put the person’s name on this- that would be incredible.



Candles- just votive candles wrapped up for Thanksgiving or for Christmas (same idea). I’m decorating one way for both holidays. In fact this is going in my home tomorrow. So I’m starting Christmas early this year. Everybody needs it, and it’s going to be fun.”

Candace Rose: Where can we find all this great merchandise?

Sandra Lee: “Well, you can go to and join. It’s free and it’s a membership. You shop, you earn points and for all your points you can redeem them for great product. You get all sorts of coupons and savings and sweepstakes (that is Sears and Kmart). You can check out my magazine at Sandra Lee Christmas. And again, remember the ornaments. Those St. Jude ornaments are awesome. Everybody loves them, and they make a difference for St. Jude and all those kids who are going to have cancer this Christmas and who need our support and our love and our donation. So it’s an easy and inexpensive way to do a lot of good.”

Candace Rose: That’s fantastic.

Candace Rose: You have two new shows this season; can you tell us a little bit about them?

Sandra Lee: “Sundays at 10 AM EST. is my Restaurant Remake show. It’s where I go to the fancy restaurant, the chef shares with me his recipe, and he knows and gives me ideas of how to remake it at home with normal stuff from the grocery store, so that’s a great show. There’s also Taverns, Lounges and Clubs that is on during the weekend on Cooking Channel at different times, but also Wednesday night at 10:30 is the launch. Taverns, Lounges and Clubs is all about cocktails and appetizers- that is great if you’re entertaining. That’s a terrific show, plus you’ll have a lot of fun, it’s good TV.

Interview: Planning the Perfect Tailgate Party This Football Season with Marc Silverstein

Former Food Network host, Marc Silverstein knows a thing or two about planning the perfect meal; this time he's here to help us plan the perfect tailgate party this football season! From healthy snacks and beverages to fun, team spirited decor; Marc has everything you need to ensure your party is FAN-TASTIC. I'm just sorry he can't ensure the Dallas Cowboys will be heading to the Super Bowl in February. Darn! 😉

Marc Silverstein Football Tailgating Party Tips Candace Rose InterviewMarc Silverstein – Image Courtesy of




Candace: What is the first step football fans need to take when planning the perfect tailgate party this season?

Marc Silverstein: "Alright, well the first thing you're gonna talk about- the snacks, right? Tempting, tasty snacks. They're always one of the big highlights of every tailgating party, but guess what? You do not have to feel bad about enjoying yourself this football season and here's why- Baked Naturals cracker chips from Pepperidge Farm. These combine the wholegrain goodness of a cracker with the crispiness of a chip. Not only that, they have 60-65% less fat per serving than the leading potato chip. Great flavors- simply cheddar and simply multigrain each boast 18 grams of wholegrain per serving, so it's a touchdown all the way around. With great flavor, great taste and you know it's less fat, lots of multigrain."


Candace: How about when it comes to beverages?

MS: "Beverages. Alright you want to plenty of beverages. You want the adult beverages, you want juices for the kids. Let's not forget the kids and here's a great idea- you want plenty of water; take the water bottles and stick them in the freezer, right. Get them nice and frozen, take them out for the game and they'll melt during the game. They'll melt during the game, you'll have plenty of great cold water but you can also use it in the cooler to keep everything nice and cool, that way you kind of multitask there.


    Let's talk about being prepared. Just like the football players, you've got to be ready. I cannot recommend enough, you cannot have enough plastic bags and plastic containers. In fact when you go to the store I want you to do this: I want you to look for products that are already in innovative resealable and reusable plastic bags and containers. I've got the cheddar cheese here shredded and some carrot sticks. You can go right from the store to the game and then everybody eats what they want. Whatever you've got leftover you reseal, you put the lid back on and you've got it for later. Of course you put the salsa, the veggies, the chips into the resealable plastic containers. Let's not forget shatter resistant cups and platters. You're standing out there in the parking lot and somebody drops something, it's not a problem. You don't have have anything to clean up and nobody's getting hurt. You take it home; take this all home, you throw it in the dishwasher and get to reuse it for your next tailgating party. And some more great tailgating tips at

    Now, decorating! I know you want to decorate there, Candace, right?"

Candace: I do!

MS: "Alright, let's talk about decorating. I love decorating with this college duct tape brand duct tape. This comes in 39 logos and mascots of your favorite college football teams and there's another 30 solid colors and prints so you can decorate everything. You can show your team spirit on pennants, on megaphones, on your wait- check this out, I'm showing my team spirit on my cap and my outfit. In fact you can win $1,000 just by showing your team spirit. Go to the fanpage on facebook for college duct tape and this is available at participating stores near select universities and at And all these ideas you can find at"


College Duct Tape Marc Silverstein Candace Rose Interview candieanderson.comWin $1,000 from College Duct Tape! – Image Courtesy of