Food Network Studios

Food Network Studios “Behind-the-Scenes” Tour

For the third part of my NYC foodie day – and the whole reason why I made the trek – I had the opportunity to tour the Food Network studio!

I had the opportunity to tour the Food Network studio!

I had the opportunity to tour the Food Network studio!

Food Network’s studio is located above Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking district. Occupying the former Nabisco factory building, the complex fills an entire city block bounded by Ninth and Tenth Avenues and 15th and 16th streets.

Food Network’s studio is located above Chelsea Market.

Food Network’s studio is located above Chelsea Market.

Chelsea Market is known as one of the greatest food halls of the world, with more than 35 vendors selling everything you can imagine, including fresh produce, meats and fish. There is an eclectic mix of restaurants allowing diners to eat just about any kind of food you would desire from many ethnicities.

For our behind-the-scenes tour, we met up with Executive Chef Rob Bleifer, whom I had met a few months back. He began by explaining the history of Food Network and the Chelsea Market building. He also gave us some tips on his favorite restaurants and shops in Chelsea Market.

For our behind-the-scenes tour, we met up with Executive Chef Rob Bleifer, whom I had met a few months back.

For our behind-the-scenes tour, we met up with Executive Chef Rob Bleifer, whom I had met a few months back.

He explained how Food Network is split into three main branches: print, television and web mediums. We saw the Food Network kitchens where chef’s are developing and testing the network’s recipes that appear across all three mediums.

Food Network test kitchens is where chef’s are developing and testing the network’s recipes that appear across all three mediums.

Food Network test kitchens is where chef’s are developing and testing the network’s recipes that appear across all three mediums.

Relative to the print arm, Food Network has partnered with Hearst publishing to develop the Food Network monthly magazine. Chef Bleifer explained how each monthly magazine features approximately 125 recipes. That’s more than most cookbooks feature – and they produce it every month! They are a very busy group!

Each monthly Food Network magazine features approximately 125 recipes.

Each monthly Food Network magazine features approximately 125 recipes.

Chef Bleifer went on to explain all the other areas that his team is involved with at Food Network, including the 15+ shows, catering for large private events, picking the ingredients for the Chopped show mystery baskets and many other projects.

One the day we visited, Chef Anne Burrell was in-house taping an upcoming episode of “Worst Cooks in America.” Because the episode was narrowing down the field of contestants, it was a closed-set shoot and we were not allowed into the production studio area.

I was very excited to have had the opportunity to visit Food Network studios.  I found all the information that Chef Bleifer shared with us fascinating.

I was very excited to have had the opportunity to visit Food Network studios. I found all the information that Chef Bleifer shared with us fascinating.

Personally, I was very excited to have had the opportunity to visit Food Network studios. I found all the information that Chef Bleifer shared with us fascinating. It’s very interesting to learn about the behind-the-scenes facets and understanding all the complexity that goes into something that you watch, read and view every day.

 

Do you enjoy watching Food Network? If so, what’s your favorite show?

Have you ever been to a “behind-the-scenes” tour for a television show?

Wine Tasting with Food Network Executive Chef Rob Bleifer

Wine Tasting with Food Network Executive Chef Rob Bleifer

On my way home, I stopped at Valley Fine Wine & Spirits in Simsbury because I had seen they were having a wine tasting with a Food Network celebrity.  I love watching the Food Network channel.

Valley Fine Wine & Spirits in Simsbury hosted a wine tasting featuring Entwine wines and Food Network’s Executive Chef Rob Bleifer

Valley Fine Wine & Spirits in Simsbury hosted a wine tasting featuring Entwine wines and Food Network’s Executive Chef Rob Bleifer

The tasting featured Entwine wines and was being hosted by Food Network’s Executive Chef Rob Bleifer.  Chef Bleifer wears many hats at Food Network.  He oversees the team that takes care of the food needs for about 15 shows, caters events, food styles for photo shoots, develops recipes for Food Network kitchens and Food Network Magazine, picks the “Chopped” mystery basket ingredients and many other projects.  He was also part of the blending team that developed the wine.  Blending wine means tasting and blending lots of wines with the goal of producing new wine.  Many wineries do this to enhance and polish the wines before bottling it.

Chef Rob Bleifer wears many hats at Food Network

Chef Rob Bleifer wears many hats at Food Network

Entwine wines is a collaborative effort by Wente Vineyards (one of Americas oldest wineries) and Food Network.  It’s a line of “every day drinking wines.”  About three years ago, they debuted four wines in the line – a cabernet sauvignon, a chardonnay, a merlot and a pinot grigio.

At the tasting, all four of the wines were available to sample and were paired with simple food items that best bring out the wine’s flavors.  The cabernet sauvignon was paired with blue cheese to bring out its rich and fruity flavors.  The chardonnay was paired with potato chips to bring out its hint of apple.  The merlot was paired with Soppressata because the toasty cherry flavor aligns well with the spicy Italian salami.  The pino grigio was paired with chunks of Grana Padano cheese because the nice acidity rounds out the flavors of the Parmesan.  I sampled the pino grigio and the merlot with their accompanying food items.  I enjoyed both.

Chef Bleifer was available to answer any questions about the wines, sign a bottle of wine or snap a quick photo, which I did.

Me and Chef Bleifer

Me and Chef Bleifer

He and I also chatted about several of the Food Network celebrity chefs (Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentiis, Ina Garten and Ree Drummond) and what it’s like to work with them. It was an interesting conversation.

This was a quick and fun stop on my way home.  A very cool way to end the week!

 

Have you tried any of the Entwine brand wines?

Have you ever been to a wine tasting at a liquor store?