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ROGER MOOKING SETS OFF THE SMOKE ALARM WITH A SIZZLING HOT NEW SEASON OF MAN FIRE FOOD ON COOKING CHANNEL

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Chef Roger Mooking returns to Cooking Channel with the hottest season yet of Man Fire Food, premiering Tuesday, July 14th at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT. The smoke signals take Roger across the country as he continues to discover the most inventive ways cooking with fire adds flavor and whole lot of heat to delicious dishes. Whether it’s cooking over an open fire, grilling over charcoal, barbecuing low and slow, or smoking in the pit, the heat is on!

 

Trinidadian-born Roger Mooking is no stranger to combining various influences to new and exciting culinary adventures. He is the host and co-creator of his internationally broadcast television series Everyday Exotic. His award-winning cookbook, based on the show, explores pairing ingredients from all corners of the globe with everyday meals. Mooking is also the co-host of the hit show Heat Seekers on Food Network, as well as a recurring judge on Chopped Canada. He recently opened Twist By Roger Mooking, a restaurant that incorporates global flavors into locally sourced, North American comfort food, making him a third generation restaurateur. Taking his talents outside of the kitchen, Roger released his most recent album, “Feedback Acoustic”. For this Juno award-winning recording artist, the music and epicurean world are seamless. One feeds the body, the other the soul; it is all food in all its various forms.

 

Episodes Include:

Premiering Tuesday, July 14th at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Pigging Out on Pork” – SEASON PREMIERE!

One of the great wonders of the barbecue world is smoked pork shoulder. First, Roger Mooking heads to Grand Rapids, Michigan to visit the Pit Stop, a barbecue take-out famous for their unconventional, yet scrumptious, sandwich called the Green Menace Wrap, filled with pork chili and pulled pork, cilantro cream and barbecue sauce. Then, it is over to the barbecue institution, Top Hat Barbecue in Blount Springs, Alabama for a classic Southern-style pork sandwich that has been served the same exact way for 50 years. Low and slow and on a bun is the best way to devour this succulent cut of meat!

Premiering Tuesday, July 21st at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Alabama BBQ”

Roger heads to the heart of The American Barbecue Belt – Alabama. He stops by the family-run restaurant serving Alabama-style ‘cue for four generations, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur. The award-winning Pit Master Chris Lilly shows Rogers how to make their legendary smoked chicken, dunked in a unique white sauce. Next up is The Brick Pit in Mobile, where Roger meets the owner, Bill Ambrecht, who has been serving old school, Alabama-style ‘cue for 20 years.  Locals and visitors from across the country stop in for the chicken and ribs, but the thing everyone talks about is the pulled pork which cooks for almost 30 hours in a smoker called “The Big Red.”

 

Premiering Tuesday, July 28th at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Low Country Cookouts”

Roger is in South Carolina for two spectacular low country cookouts – a traditional backyard pig pickin’, and a classic oyster roast.  In the seaside town of Beaufort, Roger meets Jim Gibson who has been doing pig pickin’s for family and friends for the last 40 years.  Together they build the outdoor pit, smoke a whole pig and then serve it with the traditional side of hash and rice. Then it is over to Bowen’s Island, where the only thing on the 14-acre peninsula is a restaurant that specializes in low country cooking.  Roger meets the owner Robert Barber, and together they build an impressive fire to cook a massive pile of local cluster oysters.

 

Premiering Tuesday, August 4th at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Lone Star Load-Up”

Roger is loading up on the best brisket, pork steaks and sausages the Lone Star state has to offer.  Ronnie’s BBQ in Johnson City houses an open outdoor kitchen with two barbecue pits, two pipe smokers and one giant burn barrel.  Roger helps Pit Master Ronnie Weiershausen smoke brisket, pork steaks and sausages. Ronnie’s wife, Cindy, teaches Roger how they combine all three meats for a one-of-a-kind breakfast treat. Then, it is over to the Pecan Lodge restaurant in Dallas, where dynamic duo Justin and Diane Fourton smoke some of the best barbecue in town.  They show Roger how to make their popular sandwich, the Pit Master, packed with brisket, pulled pork, sausages and then topped with coleslaw, jalapenos and barbecue sauce.

 

Premiering Tuesday, August 11th at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Meat on a Stick”

Roger visits two chefs in Texas who created the craziest cooking contraptions, and prove that everything’s bigger in Texas.  Chef Johnny Hernandez designed a massive grill for his restaurant El Machito in San Antonio that takes fire and food to the extreme.  Roger and Johnny skewer every meat imaginable — chickens, pork and beef sausages, racks of ribs and whole goats.  Homemade salsas and warm corn tortillas complete this carnivorous spread.  Next, Roger heads to Vintage Heart Farm in Stockdale to meet Chef John Russ who designed a 7-foot tree made out of stainless steel that can roast food over a wood fire.  Roger and John fill the tree with quails and sausages for an outdoor feast.

 

Premiering Tuesday, August 18th at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Rib-A-Licious”

Roger is on the hunt for lip-smacking barbecue ribs and he found two places where the racks of meat stack up to perfection.  The first is Leatha’s Bar-B-Cue Inn in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where Roger learns how to make these Southern-style ribs from Brian Jackson, a third generation pit master who continues the barbecue legacy that his grandmother Leatha created.  Next, Roger heads to New York’s Hometown Bar-B-Que where Brooklyn native Billy Durney gives his ribs an ethnic spin.  The Jerk Baby Back Ribs are seasoned with the earthy, spicy flavors of Jamaica, while the Sticky Korean ribs are glossed with a sweet and savory Asian glaze, and then topped with cashews and scallions.  It’s a finger-licking mash-up of Texas low and slow, Jamaican Grilling and Korean-style barbecue.

 

Premiering Tuesday, August 25th at 8:00pmET/5:00pmPT – “Backyard Blowouts”

Roger is in Southern California for two unbelievable backyard blowouts. Roger meets Chef Ben Ford in Tarzana for a unique New England meets California-style clambake. Instead of burying their seafood feast in the ground, they use an old wine barrel as the cooking vessel for clams, mussels, crabs, artichokes, corn, potatoes and onions. Hot rocks provide the heat, while fresh seaweed helps creates steam. In Chula Vista, Roger meets Francisco “Paco” Perez for traditional Mexican barbacoa which is a whole lamb cooked in the ground, low and slow. Together they preheat an underground brick pit with a wood fire, and then season the lamb with a bright red chili marinade. The next day, they serve the barbacoa with fresh corn tortillas, and different salsas for family and friends.

 

Plus much more this season on Man Fire Food.

 

Man Fire Food is produced by IW Productions LLC.

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‘Abigail’: Bite Me Harder Tiny Dancer

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A gang of misfit kidnappers find their tiny target far more bloodthirsty than they bargained for! 

So, unfortunately, the trailers gave it away and let’s be real that’s why most of us are here, the knowledge that the kidnap victim Abigail (Alisha Weir), codenamed by the would-be kidnappers appropriately as ‘tiny dancer’, is in fact, a vampire. Not a spoiler, point of fact, one of the film’s actual great selling points. And the reactions from the misfit club when faced with a real actual f*cking vampire, range hilariously from the blunt “no such thing as vampires” all the way to, “Are we talking True Blood or Twilight rules or what?” all while covered in buckets and buckets of blood. 

Anyway, the gang manages to subdue and abscond with the aforementioned Abigail, in a pre-prepared duffle bag, like you do, and converge to a new location, a house oddly similar to the one she was just taken from. Welcomed and given codenames by a man who introduces himself as Lambert (Giancarlo Esposito), our misfit club is told to simply hold down the fort in this strange old house with the girl chained up in a room and one person to attend her, for twenty-four hours, and they’ll all get paid. 

As inevitable as the tides, the dopey druggie Dean (Angus Cloud) is the first to die, and we’re going to give that death-style points for inspiring terror right off the bat. The very controlling Frank (Dan Stevens, holy crap yes that is the guy from FXs Legion) is also of course the most suspicious – of everyone around him, sure, but also he himself is totes sus. We don’t learn terribly much about the musclebound tank who gets dubbed Peter (Kevin Durand), he’s your pretty typical little-brains-heart-of-gold muscle-for-hire any proper gang needs, right down to the bottle problem. Sammy (Kathryn Newton), well, even for being a purported hacker-type, she has, like, reality issues. Rickles (William Catlett), he’s arguably the most dangerous among them, ex-military and yet somehow here and involved in kidnapping for a few mills. Joey (Melissa Barrera) is our Final Girl, and though she has the inevitable problems in her recent past, she seems more capable of doing the hard thing and still somehow empathizing at the end of the day. Must be her burning desire to get back with her son. 

The fit hits the shan pretty quickly, and Abigail morphs from tiny dancer to tiny monster, though honestly, the way Abigail spoke the entire time in the film, if the ‘nappers had been paying close enough attention, would have been a solid clue. The performance from Alisha Weir as Abigail is incredible, as she literally dances a fine line between comedy, tragedy, and outright monstrosity. With a face full of makeup and the force of a tiny tornado to back it up, Weir brings to mind the great performances of the vampires in 30 Days of Night who saw the practicality in the need to trap their food, but also, play with it a bit first before feasting! Anything else would give away the absolute fun time that is Abigail, so you should go see it, out in theaters now!

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Scrubs Reunion: The Band Gets Back Together

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Fans of the beloved medical comedy series Scrubs were recently treated to a thrilling surprise when John C. McGinley, who portrayed the iconic Dr. Perry Cox, dropped a photo on Twitter hinting at a potential reunion project. The image, showing McGinley alongside his former co-stars, sparked a wave of excitement and speculation among fans who have been longing for more adventures with the beloved Sacred Heart Hospital staff.

While details about the reunion project are still scarce, the mere possibility of seeing the gang back together again has sent waves of nostalgia through fans who fondly remember the show’s original run from 2001 to 2010. Scrubs was not just a sitcom; it was a heartfelt exploration of friendship, love, and the chaotic world of medicine, all wrapped up in a quirky and often hilarious package.

At the heart of the show was the bromance between JD (played by Zach Braff) and Turk (played by Donald Faison), whose antics and deep bond served as the emotional anchor for the series. Their dynamic, along with the sage wisdom (and relentless sarcasm) of Dr. Cox, provided viewers with memorable moments that have stood the test of time.

As we eagerly await more news about the Scrubs reunion project, one thing is for sure: it’s time to dust off those old DVDs, rewatch our favorite episodes, and get ready to welcome back our favorite gang of doctors, nurses, and janitors for what promises to be a memorable reunion.

But Scrubs was more than just its main characters. The supporting cast, including the eccentric Janitor (played by Neil Flynn), the neurotic Elliot (played by Sarah Chalke), and the wise-cracking nurse Carla (played by Judy Reyes), each brought their own unique flavor to the show, creating a rich tapestry of characters that fans grew to love.

While the photo shared by McGinley has fueled speculation about what the reunion project might entail, whether it’s a one-off special, a new season, or something else entirely, one thing is certain: fans are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to dive back into the world of Sacred Heart Hospital.

In an age where reboots and revivals are commonplace, Scrubs stands out as a series that has the potential to recapture the magic that made it a fan favorite in the first place. With its blend of humor, heart, and unforgettable characters, a reunion project has the opportunity to not only satisfy longtime fans but also introduce a new generation to the joys of life at Sacred Heart.

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‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’: Rebellion with a cause

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The story of the rise of Coriolanus Snow, from teenage Capital City pawn to rising Dictator of the Hunger Games! 

Apparently no one out here in post-apocalyptic Panem has heard of irony and so they name their children things like Coriolanus (Tom Blyth), Tigress, and further off in Hunger Games lore, after swamp plants like Katniss. Corio’s father was a legendary general and that is pretty much the only reason young Snow and his meager family of grandmother called Grandma’am (Fionnula Flanagan) and sister Tigress (Hunter Schafer) are tolerated here in the Capital City at all. 

Most of the snotty youngsters at the academy won’t let Snow forget how far his family has fallen, but he’s generally not concerned with them. What is concerning is the strong disapproval of the drugged-up Dean Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage) and the creepy attention of Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) as she lurks in the classroom sniffing out talent. The Dean feels very strongly the annual Hunger Games should end, while Gaul is violently adamant that not only do the Games continue, but that they get as much more attention as possible. And young Snow is stuck in the middle, when the yearly prize money normally awarded to the academy student with the best grades gets switched out for, you guessed it, the student that can make this years’ Hunger Games as entertaining as possible. 

Whilst the students are protesting this sudden change, the annual Reaping is about to commence, and big shock and surprise, Corio’s candidate from District 12 Lucy Grey Baird (Rachel Zegler) is chosen as a Tribute. This is where the film begins to really take off on musical wings, for as it turns out, Lucy Grey can sing. Boy, can that gal sing! She can sing, she can play guitar, she can work a crowd, she can calm things down, she can fire ‘em up too! And Corio, being no dummy himself, instantly plots ways to use his Tributes amazing voice to draw attention to her, and admittedly his own, plight! 

Though far too many people sneer at the idea, Corio takes his position as Mentor to his Tribute seriously enough to sneak onto the tram taking the Tributes to their habitat, which turns out to be a completely appropriate moniker, as this year the Tributes are held before the Hunger Games in a large zoo habitat so the weatherman ‘Lucky’ Flickerman (Jason Schwartzman), host of this years games, can MC the hell out of everything up close and personal! 

What happens at this years Hunger Games and the subsequent consequences to both Corio and Lucy Grey is actually only half the story, and the movie. Coriolanus has always had to be opportunistic, but learning to be absolutely ruthless when necessary under the tutelage of Dr. Gaul, who basically thinks it’s always best to be merciless, is an eye-opening education indeed.  Even after they’ve both been consigned to military service and his friend Sejanus Plinth (Josh Andres Rivera) decides to finally rebel, Corio and Sejanus continue to deceive each other and themselves, to accomplish their separate goals. Not even the love Corio swears he feels for Lucy Grey can save him, or them, from the adamant absolute necessity of the Hunger Games continuing. And after all that’s happened, Coriolanus Snow has gotten a terrific education in the best way to be the absolutely ruthless next Hunger Games advocate, and oh yeah, President of Panem. 

The movie does itself no favors by trying to stuff not one but two major storylines and a bunch of side storylines sadly introduced and then ignored, into the film. It would have been entirely possible to turn Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes into two different movies, separated between feathers and scales if you like, and do justice to the major storylines in both. Blyth gives a fine  performance as a young Coriolanus Snow, but the fact that President Snow is played by Donald Sutherland in all three of the Hunger Games films means Blyth has incredibly large shoes to fill. Rachel Zegler as Lucy Grey is absolute fire, and yes the actress did sing the songs in the film herself, including the Hunger Games franchise epic song, ‘The Hanging Tree’. Every time Lucy Grey opens her mouth and sheer soul-searing music comes out, it provides a distinct counterpoint to the soul-crushing ambition of Coriolanus Snow and further demonstrates the District and Caste separation Hunger Games is known for. And if, by the end of the film, Coriolanus Snow has come to agree that the Hunger Games must continue but perhaps under his own auspices, he has no one but himself to blame when another younger but still rebellious female blows it all up in his face! 

Choose rebellion or conformity for yourself in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

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