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[12/13/11 - 12:50 PM]
Food Network Kicks Off 2012 With New Competition Series "Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off"
Also on tap: new series "Fat Chef", primetime special "The Big Waste" and the return of "Heat Seekers."

[via press release from Food Network]

FOOD NETWORK KICKS OFF 2012 WITH NEW COMPETITION SERIES "RACHAEL VS. GUY CELEBRITY COOK-OFF"

Plus: New Series "Fat Chef", Six Season Premieres and a Star-Studded Special

NEW YORK - December 13, 2011 - Food Network rings in the New Year with a belly full of brand-new programming, including two new series and six season premieres. On New Year's Day, two of America's favorite Food Network stars, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri go head-to-head in Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off premiering Sunday, January 1st at 9pm. During the six-episode series, both have the chance to recruit a roster of well-known celebrities to their team, putting their culinary coaching skills to the test, but only one celebrity contestant can win a $50,000 prize for charity. New series Fat Chef gives viewers an inside look at the struggle chefs face when their love for food becomes overwhelming and affects their health. The series, premiering Thursday, January 26th at 10pm, follows culinary professionals on their four-month journey to overcome weight issues and defeat their abusive relationships with food. Food Network heats up primetime as Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking return to spice things up in season two of Heat Seekers premiering Monday, January 16th at 8pm, while Ree Drummond is back on the ranch with a new season of her daytime series The Pioneer Woman premiering Saturday, January 14th at 10am. During a Food Network primetime special event, airing Sunday, January 8th at 10pm Bobby Flay and Michael Symon go up against Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli in a challenge to prepare a three-course meal for 100 people in only 48 hours, using only food that would have otherwise been trash on The Big Waste. Also, in honor of healthy resolutions, Food Network dedicates an entire weekend of daytime premiere episodes as star chefs share easy and healthy cooking advice on Saturday, January 7th and 8th from 7am-12pm with healthy tips and recipes online at FoodNetwork.com/health. Then, The Big Game Party Weekend kicks off Saturday, January 28th and 29th at 7am as Food Network dishes out tips to help the sports-fanatic foodies plan ahead for the big game, plus a robust online roundup at FoodNetwork.com/biggame. Join the Food Network conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

SERIES PREMIERES

Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off: Premiering Sunday, January 1st at 9pm Two of Food Network's biggest icons, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, will square off against each other for culinary bragging rights in Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. In this six-episode competition series, the Emmy(R)-winning talk show host Rachael Ray and best-selling cookbook author and successful restaurateur Guy Fieri, will each serve as coaches and mentors to eight multi-talented celebrities, all of whom are passionate about food and cooking. Divided into 'Team Rachael' and 'Team Guy', each episode features celebrity contestants battling it out in a fun, fast-paced culinary fight-to-the-finish, with the two bottom-rated contestants from the losing team going head-to-head in a blind tasting elimination challenge. In the end, the last contestant standing is crowned king or queen of the Celebrity Cook-Off and wins $50,000 for the charity they are playing to support.

· Premiering Sunday, January 1st at 9pm - "Celebrity Food Festival" Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri welcome eight celebrity contestants to the first ever Celebrity Cook-Off! The competition begins immediately as Rachael and Guy pick their teams, and after teams are picked it's time to get the party started as the teams must throw a food festival and each celebrity must cook one dish that serves 150 people. At the end of the festival the bottom two celebrities compete in a sudden death challenge, and one celeb isn't cut out for the culinary world and is eliminated from the competition.

· Premiering Sunday, January 8th at 9pm -"Let Them Eat Cake" This week, Rachael and Guy sweeten things up when they challenge the seven remaining celebrity contestants to a dessert-making contest. Each team must create four desserts, including one with a secret savory ingredient. The treats will be judged by 13 pastry students and instructors from a professional culinary institute. A surprising evaluation from the pastry chefs puts Rachael and Guy in a tough position, but they must decide which celebrities performed the weakest. Finally, the bottom two competitors are chosen to go head-to-head in the elimination challenge.

· Premiering Sunday, January 15th at 9pm -"Chopping Block" Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Marcus Samuelsson, and Scott Conant are stepping into the Cook-Off kitchen to judge the remaining six celebrities as they go head-to-head in one-on-one battles. Each team is put on the chopping block when the celebrities are challenged to cook their version of a judge's signature dish. In the end, the judges pick the winners of each challenge leaving two surprising front runners to compete in the elimination challenge. One celeb doesn't make the cut and is "chopped" from the competition.

· Premiering Sunday, January 22nd at 9pm -"Lunch Cart Showdown" With five celebrity contestants remaining, it is time for Rachael and Guy to wheel out the next challenge. The celebs discover that each team will operate their own curb-side lunch cart to serve more than one hundred New York City pedestrians. The customer is always right, and in this challenge the patrons will decide which lunch cart was able to serve up the more delectable lunch to determine the winner. Then, the bottom two celebrities battle it out in a sudden death elimination challenge to decide who remains in the competition.

· Premiering Sunday, January 29th at 9pm -"Friends and Family Favorites" Things get personal this week when Rachael and Guy invite their closest friends and family over for an intimate supper club catered by the four remaining celebrity contestants. Each contestant prepares a family-style meal for the table to be judged by the hosts nearest and dearest. The winners are picked to go onto the finale and compete for the coveted prize of $50,000 for their charity. Two celebrities are eliminated in this round, but the bottom two will have a chance to compete in the "last chance challenge" to earn some last minute money for their charities before they get sent home for good.

· Premiering Sunday, January 29th at 10pm -"Restaurant Battle" In the final round of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, the two remaining celebrity contestants face the toughest challenge yet. Each will open up their very own restaurant where they will design everything from the menu to the theme and décor in one day. With the help of surprise partners, each restaurant serves a packed house full of hungry guests including Tim and Nina Zagat, founders of the Zagat Restaurant Guide. The Zagat's reveal the winner and one celebrity contestant earns the $50,000 grand prize for charity.

Fat Chef: Premiering Thursday, January 26th at 10pm For overweight chefs, working in the food industry is a double-edged sword. While indulging their love of food has brought them success, money and respect, it's also the root of a very unhealthy lifestyle. Fat Chef follows overweight food professionals over the course of four months as they confront their food issues and, with the help of therapists, nutritionists and trainers defeat their abusive relationships with food.

PRIMETIME SEASON PREMIERES

Heat Seekers:

· Premiering Monday, January 16th at 8pm -"Dallas" Chefs Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking hit Dallas for a tongue-torching challenge of "Hotter than Hell" sliders, but the loser looks like a clown. Plus, the combo taste test Texas-style "wangs" and creole-style enchiladas with ghost pepper sauce.

· Premiering Monday, January 23rdat 8pm -"Las Vegas" Chefs Roger Mooking and Aarón Sanchez face off to see who can handle the hottest sushi roll on the Vegas strip, the Fire Breathing Dragon. Also, the duo take dive into a Mexican chicken dish called "Cry Today, Cry Tomorrow" and jalapeno-drenched potato twisters.

DAYTIME SEASON PREMIERES

The Pioneer Woman:
Premiering Saturday, January 14th at 10am - "Big Calf Working"
Premiering Saturday, January 21st at 10am - "All Stocked Up"
Premiering Saturday, January 28th at 10am - "The Big Game"

Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa D'Arabian:
Premiering Sunday, January 8th at 9am - "Wallet Friendly Wraps"
Premiering Sunday, January 15th at 9am - "Accessible Yet Exotic"
Premiering Sunday, January 22nd at 9am -"Paradise by the Cooktop Light"
Premiering Sunday, January 29th at 9am - "Big Buffalo. Ten Bills".

Barefoot Contessa:
Premiering Saturday, January 21st at 11am - "Miguel While You Were Out"
Premiering Saturday, January 28th at 11am - "Drill Dinner"

Down Home with the Neelys:
Premiering Saturday, January 7th at 9am - "Healthy Habits"
Premiering Saturday, January 4th at 9am - "Food Memories"
Premiering Saturday, January 21st at 9am - "Money Saving Party"
Premiering Saturday, January 28th at 9am - "Game Night Grub"

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef:
Premiering Saturday, January 7th at 10am - "Cod and Blood Orange Glaze"
Premiering Sunday, January 15th at 11:30am - "Grilled Skirt Steak"
Premiering Sunday, January 22nd at 11:30am -"Crispy Stuffed Chicken Breasts"

PRIMETIME SPECIAL

The Big Waste: Premiering Sunday, January 8th at 10pm Every year Americans waste 100 billion pounds of food - food that could have easily been eaten. To get to the heart of this issue Bobby Flay and Michael Symon go up against Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli to create a three-course meal for 100 people in 48 hours using only food that would have otherwise been trash.

THEME WEEKENDS

Healthy Resolutions Weekend Cooking Block: Premiering Saturday, January 7th and Sunday January 8th from 7am - 12pm Start the New Year with a weekend's worth of quick and easy healthy cooking tips featuring new episodes from 30 Minute Meals, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Giada at Home, Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian, Hungry Girl, Guy's Big Bite and Down Home with the Neelys.

Big Game Party Weekend Cooking Block: Premiering Saturday, January 28th and Sunday January 29th from 7am - 12pm There is only one way to plan the next blowout sports party, and it's with the help of fan-favorite Food Network chefs. Catch premiere episodes of 30 Minute Meals, The Pioneer Woman, Paula's Best Dishes, Barefoot Contessa, Giada at Home, Rachael Ray's Week in a Day, Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian, Guy's Big Bite, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Down Home with the Neelys.

NEW EPISODES

Chopped:

· Premiering Tuesday, January 3rd at 10pm - "Chop on Through" Competitors: David Ward, Johnny McLaughlin, David Nichols, Elise Kornack Judges: Marcus Samuelsson, Geoffrey Zakarian, Scott Conant

· Premiering Tuesday, January 10th at 10pm - "Far, Far Out" Competitors: Faye Hess, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Joe Simon, David Seigal Judges: Alex Guarnaschelli, Chris Santos, Maneet Chauhan

· Premiering Tuesday, January 17th at 10pm - "Frozen Fries with That?" Competitors: Adrienne Grenier, Clark Barlowe, Dan Giusti, Ian Friedman Judges: Amanda Freitag, Chris Santos, Maneet Chauhan

· Premiering Tuesday, January 24th at 10pm - "Redemption Competition" Competitors: Anna Maria Santorelli, Tryg Siverson, Michelle Garcia, Sammy Davis, Jr. Judges: Amanda Freitag, Chris Santos, Maneet Chauhan

· Premiering Tuesday, January 31st at 10pm - "On The Line" Competitors: Dewey Losasso, Ronit Penso, Sylvain Harribey, Marcus Lepke Judges: Aarón Sanchez, Marc Murphy, Missy Robbins

Cupcake Wars:

· Premiering Sunday, January 1st at 8pm - "Wicked" Four cupcake bakers battle for a place at the star-studded party for the Los Angeles opening of the hit Broadway musical 'Wicked.'

· Premiering Sunday, January 8th at 8pm - "Soccer Final Cup(Cakes)" Four cupcake bakers try to score their way into the celebration of the Major League Soccer Cup Finals.

· Premiering Sunday, January 15th at 8pm - "American Music Awards" Four returning Cupcake Wars champions fight to present their cupcakes to music's biggest celebrities at the after party for the American Music Awards.

· Premiering Sunday, January 22nd at 8pm - "The Rose Bowl" Four talented bakers battle their way to the end zone for a place at the VIP party for the 2012 Rose Bowl.

· Premiering Sunday, January 29th at 8pm - "I Love Lucy Anniversary" Four cupcake bakers vie for a place at the star-studded celebration of the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy.

Iron Chef America:

· Premiering Sunday, January 1st at 10pm - "Flay/Valladolid vs. Morimoto/Zimmern

· Premiering Sunday, January 15th at 10pm -"Garces vs. Raij

· Premiering Sunday, January 22nd at 10pm -"NIC Winner vs. Sawyer

· Premiering Sunday, January 28h at 10pm -"Tailgate Showdown"

Daytime: Bama Glama, Diners Drive-ins and Dives, Paula's Best Dishes,

Primetime: 30 Minute Meals, Giada At Home, Guy's Big Bite, Hungry Girl, Restaurant Impossible, Sandra's Money Saving Meals

DIGITAL CONTENT

Healthy Every Week: http://www.foodnetwork.com/health

Launching on New Year's Day, Food Network's January "get back on track" franchise gives users the delicious recipes and ideas they expect from Food Network chefs without the guilt.

New for 2012:

· Bobby Flay's tips and tricks on how to cook healthy, yet still delicious meals

· A month-long challenge calendar with healthy eating tips

· Daily blog posts on how to stick to resolutions and live a healthier lifestyle

Big Game Bash: http://www.foodnetwork.com/biggame

Beginning January 6th, gear up for the biggest game of the year with Food Networks chefs. Get the best chili, wings and potato skins for the big game parties, as well as easy cocktails the whole gang will love.

New for 2012:

· Exclusive online video of star chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay's nacho cook-off- Italian vs. Southwest

· Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell's individual videos on how to throw the perfect game day party

· Anne and Bobby's top ten game day tips on how to impress any football fanatic

###

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.3 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (www.gactv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), and Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com), is the manager and general partner.





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· CHOPPED (FOOD)
· CUPCAKE WARS (FOOD)
· DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES (FOOD)
· FAT CHEF (FOOD)
· HEAT SEEKERS (FOOD)
· IRON CHEF AMERICA (FOOD)
· RACHAEL VS GUY (FOOD)
· RESTAURANT: IMPOSSIBLE (FOOD)











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