If there’s ever a time when viewers can use Food Network’s help, it’s Thanksgiving.
Menus and recipes can make or break the holiday, and to that end, the channel offered its first interactive “Thanksgiving Live” special last year. Its success was evident from the number of at-home watchers who sent in questions via Twitter, Facebook and Skype, so it’s happening again: Another all-star team of Food Network personalities assembles for the special’s second edition Sunday, Nov. 18.
Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli and host Alton Brown return for the new two-hour session, joined this time by Giada De Laurentiis, Ree Drummond and Aaron Sanchez. For Guarnaschelli, of such Food Network programs as “Chopped” and the current “The Next Iron Chef: Redemption,” it’s about the camaraderie as much as the food … as it is for so many on Thanksgiving Day.
“To the viewer, it seems as if live television would be simple,” the friendly Guarnaschelli tells Zap2it, “and it certainly wasn’t the first rodeo for any of us, but I think there was a certain excitement to the fact it was done live. It was not only interactive for the fans; it was also interactive between all of us, and on a subject everyone loves.
“Watching Bobby cook was really fun; he got in there and started making a turkey and gravy. I asked him a question, and he was like, ‘Huh?’ because he was so engrossed in what he was doing. It was also neat to watch Rachael Ray (who appeared in the special last year) cook. I’ve seen a lot of these people cook on TV, but I hadn’t cooked with them personally.”
An executive chef at the New York restaurants Butter and The Darby, Guarnaschelli contributed what she describes as “some fried Brussels sprout leaves” to “Thanksgiving Live” last year. “It could have been an appetizer, or it could have been a side dish. And I’m sure you’ll ask next what I’m making this year, and I don’t yet have the answer. I’d probably be the type to cheat and divulge it, but I don’t even know.”