Archive for the ‘Chefs’ Category

Celebrity Chef And HSN Pot Peddler Todd English Skewered By New York Post Again

May 17, 2011

The New York Post will not let celebrity chef/HSN pot peddler Todd English alone. And we’re more than happy to share the dish, so to speak.

The Post’s gossip column, Page Six, lead off one day last week with an item that said that some of English’s “Boston brethren think the celebrity chef is full of stale air.”

The headline was “Chefs say Todd’s out to lunch.”

Beleaguered chef Todd English

As it turns out, Boston magazine has done some very unflattering stories about English, with jabs such as he has turned into a “tourist-feeding hack” and is just “half the chef he used to be.”

Needless to say thems’ fightin’ words. So English apparently circulated a letter in his own defense, and tried to get his colleagues in the cooking world to sign it. He didn’t have much luck.

According to Page Six, Boston magazine has been brutal to English, who is best known in New York circles for leaving his bride-to-be at the altar. He later took her to court for hitting him in the head with his own watch.

The magazine skewered English for appearing in Michelob ads, hosting the Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas and being caught chasing skirts in the Big Apple.

“You claim you got clocked in the eye by a wristwatch-wielding fiancée,” the magazine wrote, charging that English was making a “laughingstock” of himself, according to Page Six.

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HSN Says Bon Appetit, With Bon Appetit, With Celebrity Chef Spring Weekend

March 18, 2011

We wish we could get excited about big cooking events, but we just can’t. But here goes.

HSN will be featuring more than 24-hours of celeb chefs and more than 75 kitchen products during its HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit on March 26 and 27, the home shopping network said Thursday.

“The epicurean event will feature extraordinary chefs including Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Padma Lakshmi preparing mouth-watering springtime dishes alongside an unprecedented lineup of top kitchen and food brands,” or so we were told by HSN’s press release.

HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit will mark the HSN debut of several culinary experts:

• Southern-food enthusiasts Matt and Ted Lee will introduce an exclusive new line of beautiful Graniteware.

• Chinese-American chef and author Ken Hom. Known for making wok cooking an art form across the globe, Hom will be presenting his signature wok collection and healthy stir-fry cooking guide.

• Jacques “Mr. Chocolate” Torres. French pastry chef and chocolatier Torres will launch his collection of chocolate treats to HSN customers.

“HSN is thrilled to add highly respected figures such as Ken Hom and Matt and Ted Lee to our council of culinary experts,” Sandy Conrad, senior vice president of merchandising – electronics and household said in a canned statement. “HSN has long been a culinary destination for our customers and we look forward to hosting our biggest HSN Cooks event yet.”

Here’s Hom’s canned ham:

“I’ve been an admirer of HSN for some time and am impressed with the company’s ever-expanding culinary category,” Hom said. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to join such legendary chefs as Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck for my U.S. return and look forward to bringing my 51 years of wok-cooking experience to life while showing the HSN customer how to use my products to cook easy, delicious and healthy meals.”

And Matt and Ted Lee remarkedly responded in unison about their love of HSN.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing a Southern accent to this exciting HSN Cooks weekend, and so honored to be in the company of food experts — chefs and cookbook authors alike — who have literally inspired us to become better home cooks,” they both said, according to HSN’s opress release. “That’s really the greatest hope we have for our own product line: that our high-performing classics (along with a little Southern know-how!) will enable viewers nationwide to enjoy their kitchen more often, preparing scrumptious meals from scratch.”

Additional brands participating in the HSN Cooks Spring Weekend Event presented by Bon Appétit include: David’s Cookies; Debbie Meyer; The Beverly Hills Kitchen; Kent Island Crab Cakes; Leonetti’s; and Aunt Ida’s Baked Goods, among others.

Bon Appétit editor, Dede Wilson, will be on-air providing cooking tips exclusively for HSN customers.

The event will begin at 6 a.m. during a special HSN Today show March 26 and continue throughout the weekend with “Top Chef” star Padma Lakshmi hosting the finale at 11 p.m. March 27, featuring new additions to her line of tea pots, teas and spices.

HSN, Kraft Foods Cook Up Tasty Alliance That Tosses Celebrity Chef Todd English Into The Mix

March 10, 2011

HSN Thursday unveiled its multi-year partnership with Kraft Foods, the world’s No. 2 food company, in a deal that marks the home shopping network’s first alliance with a consumer products company.

“The program will combine innovative content and commerce across multiple platforms and will allow consumers to purchase HSN cooking products on Kraftfoods.com’s recipe pages while enabling them to access Kraft Foods content on HSN.com and other HSN distribution channels,” the press release says. “The initiative is designed to offer people compelling food ideas, quality cookware products and a richer experience in the kitchen.”

Starting next Tuesday, the Kraft Store on Kraftfoods.com will be “powered by HSN” and will showcase HSN cooking-related products from its experts such as Todd English, Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse. HSN.com will soon start integrating Kraft Foods recipes on product pages in the kitchen category.

Todd English

Other plans include featuring Kraft Foods products in HSN programming; developing cooking video that connects Kraft Foods recipe content with key HSN products for the kitchen and leveraging the video across multiple platforms. The partnership is also leveraging the Kraft Foods portfolio, with a number of power brands developing innovative multiplatform marketing programs with HSN:

HSN’s marketing guru, Bill Brand, had this to say about the pact.

“This partnership further deepens the relationship with our customers by providing them more of what they love about HSN — great experiences and great brands,” said Brand, HSN’S EVP of marketing, programming and business Development for HSN. “We are also excited to introduce new customers to HSN through this initiative while reinforcing our leadership position in the kitchen category.”

Kraft Foods and HSN plan to leverage all of their distribution channels to reach their combined consumer bases. Kraftfoods.com is one of the Top 20 Consumer Products Goods Company food and cooking sites. HSN is available in about 96 million homes. HSN.com Top 10-trafficked e-commerce site that attracts roughly 250,000 unique users every day.

“This partnership is truly unique as it led us to the development of a groundbreaking business model, marrying highly relevant content with interactive shopping and creating multimedia platforms for new product launches,” Julie Fleischer, director of Consumer Relationship Marketing Content Strategy and Integration at Kraft Foods, said in a canned statement. “It will enable us to expand and deepen our consumer engagement with exclusive recipes and brand programs.”

This Saturday Philadelphia Cooking Creme, one of Kraft Foods’ biggest product launches this year, will partner with English (quite the ladie’s man) and HSN for a “unique multi-channel social experience.”

English will appear LIVE on HSN at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. showcasing his GreenPan, cookware as well as cooking recipes featuring Philadelphia Cooking Creme.

On the same day, more than 10,000 homes across the country — a record number for an event coordinated by the company House Party — will be hosting a “Philly Dinnertime Dilemma House Party.”

English will also be chatting llive with home cooks via SKYPE. Let’s hope his ex-fiancee, who he left at the altar, doesn’t call in.

In addiiton, Maxwell House International and HSN have combined for a year-long partnership that integrates Maxwell House International into HSN programming, HSN.com and multi-channel interactive games.

HSN consumers will be encouraged to take a moment in their day to enjoy a cup of Maxwell House International coffee while shopping on HSN. Good luck with that.

During the month of March – International Women’s Month – Maxwell House International will sponsor an interactive game on HSN.com that offers HSN customers the opportunity to win HSN and Maxwell House International coupons and prizes.

TV Chef Lidia Bastianich Lands First QVC TSV Wednesday

March 8, 2011

TV chef Lidia Bastianich will have her first Today’s Special Value on QVC Wednesday, a three-piece hand-painted stoneware set. It will be selling for $49.38.

Here’s the scoop on it:

Add a touch of Italy to your table with this beautiful stoneware trio from renowned chef Lidia Bastianich. Showcasing a handpainted scroll motif designed by Lidia herself, the bakeware set makes supper extra special–and oven-to-table convenience more attractive than ever.

The big Italian family dinner–it’s something every household can appreciate. With three beautiful bakers of different sizes, this set is perfect for serving favorite recipes, family-style. Use the large dish for roasting meats and veggies or other main courses. Prepare side dishes like casseroles or stuffed shells in the medium baker. The small baker is perfect for desserts and smaller sides–or just meals for one or two. Because the dishes are stoneware, they can go right in the oven and then straight to the table. They make a pretty presentation for any occasion.

Bellisimo! The bakers’ design, inspired by a salad bowl owned by Lidia’s grandmother, has an intentional time-worn beauty that looks like it’s been in your family for generations. Graduated shading and a subtle hammered-like texture help achieve the rustic, antique look–it’s an old-world style you can appreciate now.

Already love Lidia? The set matches her other popular QVC serving dishes perfectly. Just getting started? The pieces are subtle enough to work in almost any kitchen. Choose your favorite from the decorative colors offered, and serve friends and family with unmistakable Italian flair.

And here’s QVC’s description of Bastianich, information courtesty of Lidia:

Lidia Bastianich has contributed significantly to America’s burgeoning appreciation for Italian cuisine over the past two decades through her cookbooks and television series. Now she wants to bring some of her kitchen into the homes of her loyal fans.

HSN Vendor And ‘Top Chef’ Babe Padma Lakshmi Is House Shopping

February 4, 2011

HSN vendor Padma Lakshmi, in between being involved in a custody fight, has still found time to go house-hunting in Manhattan.

The New York Post reported Thursday that Lakshmi, of “Top Chef” fame, was spotted being chauffered around in a stretch BMW to check out places to live downtown, including a $11 million five-bedroom condo in the Greenwich building on West 13th Street.

That humble abode was a mere 4,535 square feet. The brunette beauty has also scoped out “Upper East Side mansions” and “funky downtown pads,” according to the Post.

Lakshmi recently made tabloid headlines because the father of her daughter Krishna, Adam Dell, is suing for custody of the baby. Lakshmi, who does the “Easy Exotic” tea and spice line for HSN, is no longer seeing Dell. Her squeeze now is trillionaire Teddy Forstman.

HSN ‘Food Fox’ Padma Lakshmi Is Sued For Saying ‘Go Daddy’ To Her Baby’s Father

January 26, 2011

When sexy HSN vendor and “Top Chef” judge Padma Lakshmi was pregnant, she was totally mum about the paternity of her baby. Now the whole world knows.

Lakshmi made the gossip columns Wednesday after the father of her baby Krishna filed suit against her.

Lakshmi sells teas, and her books, on HSN

The New York Post’s Page Six reported that venture capitalist Adam Dell, the brother of Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell, had filed suit against Lakshmi seeking custody of their 11-month-old baby. Lakshmi, who the Post dubbed “the food fox,” has only been permitting Dell to spend seven hours a week with their baby girl.

The Post dug up the legal papers Dell filed against Lakshmi, and they don’t paint a very pretty picture of the very pretty Lakshmi. The two apparently started hooking up in November 2007 and were still intimate until the summer of 2009, when Lakshmi was suddenly not so into Dell.

According to the suit, Lakshmi was being bitchy because she was pregnant, and she was hoping that Dell wasn’t the father of the baby. She had also been sleeping with zillionaire financier Ted Forstmann, and was banking that he was the Popi.

But a DNA test found out otherwise: Dell, not Forstmann, was the father. Yet Dell’s name is nowhere to be found on the baby’s birth certificate.

Have you got all this? We wish were we fooling around with two guys with a lot of bucks.

To add insult to injury, the Post reported that Forstmann had said he wished Dell would “f–king disappear.”

Lakshmi, for those who care, sells exotic teas and some of her books on HSN.

Chef/HSN Vendor Todd English Eyes Blond Rump Roast At Party, As His Main Squeeze Looks On

January 22, 2011

It used to be that only the New York Post picked on celebrity chef and HSN pot peddler Todd English, but the New York Daily News jumped on that bandwagon Friday.

Horndog celebrity chef Todd English

English, who made tabloid headlines when he left his bride-to-be at the altar, was out breaking another woman’s heart this week. On its gossip page The News reported that “playboy chef” English got his current squeeze, 27-year-old Candice Sonneman, in a teary-eyed tizzy when he started making a play for a blond model right in front of her.

The scene played out at a party given by Ne-Yo and real estate developer Avi Oster at the Carlton Hotel in Manhattan.

“English sidled up to a tall blond model and — placing his hand on her lower back as if he was seasoning a succulent cut of veal — began whispering in her ear in full view of his gal pal,” the News wrote.

Sonneman left, followed by English. She must be a forgiving soul, because Sonneman returned to the party later that night with English.

If it was us, we would have hit him upside the head with a big watch, which is what his ex-fiancee did. Or better yet, we’d use one of his HSN GreenPans to whack him.

The New York Times Reveals QVC’s Secrets: Not, But Honchos Mike George And Greg Maffei Surface

November 21, 2010

First The Wall Street Journal, now The New York Times, have woken up and figured out that home shopping is a booming business. And there was not one mention of cubic zirconia in either story.

While The Journal recently wrote about HSN with a trip to Florida, The Times headed out to West Chester, Pa., to do its take on QVC. The headline on the story this weekend is “Can QVC Translate Its Pitch Online.”

As a veteran journalist, we found that this story didn’t quite gel because although it’s supposed to be about QVC’s online strategy — and its growing online sales — much of the piece reports on the home shopping network’s TV side.

QVC CEO Mike George dissed a gift box with Santa's face on it, to the horror of a QVC PR person

Our guess is that when The Journal wrote about home shopping networks booming and attracting names like celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and others, The Times had to find a different angle for its story. And it made its angle about QVC.com.

A big thesis of The Times story is that people thought the Internet might hurt home shopping channels. Why would you think that? The Web lets QVC, HSN and ShopNBC sell their vast inventory 24 hours a day, not just a few items every day. But what do we know.

And once again, as we read in The Journal, home shopping hosts and vendors — via those pesky earpieces — are coached by producers about when items are selling, and when they are duds and it is time to move on. Big whoop!

Lisa Robertson says QVC viewers don't want polished professionals

You have the link so you can read The Times story yourself, but here are some points that stood out for us:

— QVC CEO Mike George finally came out of the woodwork and was interviewed for the story.

— George dissed one of QVC’s products, prompting “an anguished sound” from a QVC PR person.

— Greg Maffei, CEO of QVC parent Liberty Media, came out of the woodwork and was interviewed for the story.

— Host Lisa Robertson’s quote, “They (QVC viewers) don’t want to see a bunch of polished professionals. They want to see the real people.” So Lisa, what are you saying? That you and your fellow hosts are a bunch of unpolished amateurs?

— Zoe has brought a ton of new customers to QVC.

— Milinda Baker Weldon from Graham, Texas, is a self-admitted QVC addict who has the network on six hours a day.

— Rachael Ray sold $350,000 worth of cookware on QVC in 12 minutes.

HSN Promotes Holiday Plans With A Mariah Carey Promo

November 18, 2010

A day after QVC said it was bringing back the “new” Black Friday, HSN put out a press release about its star-studded Thanksgifting Weekend festivities. The biggest attraction will be pregnant pop diva Mariah Carey.

To promote this shindig, HSN has come up with a holiday TV campaign featuring Mariah Carey, Iman and Twiggy as guides on a virtual shopping journey that delivers “the greatest names in gifts.”

It’s kind of cute.

This promo is set to Carey’s single “Oh Santa” from her new album Merry Christmas II You, and showcases an array of products.

“This was one of the most creative campaigns HSN has ever produced and was designed to give our customers a window into the best of the holidays and gifts,” Andrew Sheldon, HSN’s EVP of Television & Executive Creative Director, said in a canned statement Thursday.

“It was exciting to shoot on the back lot of Universal Studios to capture the winter scenes and shopping windows — and to work closely with Mariah Carey and her team. Setting the promotion to Mariah’s new holiday release was a great opportunity to tie her music with her new lifestyle brand launch on Cyber Monday.”

HSN’s holiday campaign is airing on all of its shopping platforms and will also be in rotation on cable operators covering 95 million homes as part of HSN’s cross-channel marketing efforts.

Here is HSN’s line-up over the holidays:

• Nov. 19 – Twiggy presents her LONDON fashion line, while TV actress and fashion model Molly Sims offers the latest in fashion jewelry.
• Nov. 29 (Cyber Monday) – Carey launches her exclusive collection of jewelry and footwear, as well as her limited-edition fragrance and a “Merry Christmas II You” CD/DVD bundle. Also, TV actress Kathy Najimy debuts her new shapewear concept “Ch’arms.”
• Dec. 2 – Iman showcases newest fashion, jewelry and accessory designs.
• Dec. 3-5 – Chef Wolfgang Puck provides cooking tips for the holidays.
• Dec. 3 – Entertainment expert Colin Cowie presents the best in holiday entertaining.
• Dec. 4-5 – Decorating expert Nate Berkus offers distinctive styles for your home.
• Dec. 7 – Serena Williams serves up more of her jewelry, accessories and more.
• Dec. 8-9 – Culinary celebrity Padma Lakshmi showcases her collection of natural spices, teas and teapots.
• Dec. 10 – Mary J. Blige returns with her exclusive fragrance with HSN, My Life.
• Dec. 12 – Chef Todd English with his cookware.

As part of its efforts to make shopping as convenient as possible over the holidays, HSN is leveraging all of its platforms to enable customers to shop where, how and when they want – on TV from the comfort of their home, on hsn.com, or “on the go” on their iPad, iPhone or android handheld device.

Exciting surprises are also available online. Customers can play HSN’s “Great Gift Giveaway” and have the opportunity to win $100,000 in gift prizes, including HSN gift cards, and eight electronic packages, each valued at $2,000. The game is also available on HSN’s Facebook page and mobile app on the iPhone – and is featured on-air ever Friday at 4 p.m. during the Gift Friday hours.

Spicy-Tongued Chef Gordon Ramsay Returns To QVC Wednesday

November 15, 2010

Celebrity chef and reality TV star Gordon Ramsay often uses spicy language on his shows, and now he will “spice up the holidays” with his QVC collection, the home shopping network said Monday.

British restaurateur Ramsay is coming back to QVC to unveil the latest additions to his specialty cookware collection.

Reality TV star Gordon Ramsey will be back on QVC

The “culinary connoisseur,” as QVC called him, enjoyed a successful QVC debut in late September. Now he is scheduled to make appearances on Wednesday with special shows at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.. He is also scheduled to return Dec. 5.

“After his exciting debut, we are thrilled to have Gordon returning to QVC,” John Kelly, QVC vice president of merchandising, said in a canned statement. “Whether it’s a gift or to help create a memorable meal, his cookware line is the perfect present this season.”

Ramsay’s first cookware line was inspired by the tools that he uses in his own kitchen – both at home and in his award-winning restaurants.

The items are priced from $22 to $70, and his collection includes an assortment of culinary pieces that are designed for experts and novices alike, we are told. Put us in the novice category.

The product lineup will include the Gordon Ramsay Six Quart Nonstick Low Pressure Stovetop Cooker, Gordon Ramsay Signature Three-in-One Hand Blender with Cup, and Gordon Ramsay Nonstick Aluminized Steel Two-Piece Muffin Pan Set.

The Gordon Ramsay Signature collection will be available through QVC starting Wednesday.