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Sep 10, 2007 11:39 AM

FN Mac&Cheese Challenge: Barbara Lynch

Did anyone else watch the mac & cheese challenge? Barbara Lynch came across as a total witch. She kept running down the one contestant about not making his gnochi; no one else had home made pasta. She also seemed to harrass the contestants when they were cooking. I do not know much about this woman, but this first impression is not very good. What do ya'll think?

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  1. Didn't see the show but I am a HUGE fan of her cooking and a patron of her excellent restaurants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      I didn't see it either. Is this the Barbara Lynch from Boston?

    2. Yes, I totally agree - Barbara Lynch is the worst boss from hell that we have all had at one time in our sorry restaurant worker lives or another. But then a la TV land the more evil the judges I would imagine the higher the ratings, no?

      Now, let's get down to the food. Bottom line - I WANT 2 recipes - the lobster and mac n cheese, and Delilah Winder's "Ah Ha" mac and cheese that was apparently featured on Oprah's show. If anyone has these recipes could you email me from my "my chow" page e-address, or put up your facsilmile recipe on the Home Cooking board here?


      My greatest regret about that throwdown was that the charming Delilah Winder did not even place! Where's the justice! She admitted to, and was dissed for having, some processed cheese among the many cheeses in her first "classic" version. This is the recipe I want to get. I think she must have used eight or nine different cheeses, but her first version style is THE classic soul food custard rendition and I am salivating wanting some right this minute! And what a cutie pie - I would love to see her with her own FN show.

      13 Replies
      1. re: niki rothman

        Niki, agree with you re: Delilah. I think her "classic" mac & cheese was the best, and she placed among the first of the pack on the first challenge, and I don't get that she didn't win ANYTHING at the end!!!
        On a related note, an old Throwdown with Bobby Flay just re-ran, and it happened to be with Delilah over mac & cheese - and guess who won? Bobby Flay!!!!
        Go figure.

        1. re: aurora50

          Quel surpris? Bobby works for the TVFN. Ms Winder does not.

          Isn't she from Philadelphia? if so, her mac and cheese is something imbedded in my taste memory!!! Ican't imagine Flay even coming close to how good hers was!

          1. re: ChefJune

            They bring in at least supposedly independent judges for the "Throwdown" shows, the tasting and judging is done blind and each contributor's dish is only identified by a number. I have often seen the person challenged by Bobby Flay win, (in this case, Flay is really the challenger) though not a FN celebrity or affiliate.

            1. re: susancinsf

              Throwdown Crepes here in Austin, Texas. Judges: Chefs from two local restaurants. Flip Happy won.

              1. re: amysuehere

                in the earlier episodes there was only one judge and the tasting wasn't blind...and i think as a result those battles were less genuine or realistic.

                now there are two judges and they have no idea whose dish theyr'e tasting...although i get the feeling that sometimes bobby's dishes scream 'bobby flay' thanks to the southwestern spin he sometimes puts on tried & true traditional american preparations.

                regardless, he doesn't always win. and sometimes when he does, he looks sheepish and almost embarrassed to have taken some innocent, unsuspecting challenge victim down on his or her home turf in what was supposed to be their shining moment of 'food network special' glory.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Bobby usually loses, BECAUSE he tweeks the dish - often for the better IMHO, or at least it looks/sounds that way.

              2. re: susancinsf

                In most of the Trowdown episodes I've seen, Bobby loses...YIPPEE! I think it's because he puts his own "spin" on what is supposed to be a regional dish aka the muffelatta (sp) challenge. No self respecting Cajun would DARE put mayo on a muff

              3. re: ChefJune

                a) Bobby won because he had bacon in it.

                b) If it weren't for Flay and his Throwdown I would never have heard of a lot of these brilliant little cooks. Her included. Sorry, real men don't watch Oprah.

            2. re: niki rothman

              Lazy Niki! Niki just googled Delilah Winder mac cheese and got several postings of Delilah's recipe - so it is easy to find for those who want a classic soul food mac n' cheese to stick into their binder or computer file it...

              Trouble is - it is HUGE! Two pounds of macaroni and a total of NINETEEN cups of cheese and a DOZEN eggs. So just cut it down, cut it WAY down!

              I see from a quick google check that Ms. Winder also has a cookbook out called "Delilah's Everyday Soul" - I'm going to buy it. I just liked her so much.

              1. re: niki rothman

                Delilah's mac and cheese recipe is posted widely around chowhound and the internet.I am not sure if this is "the" recipe, this is the recipe used on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Be prepared to break out the pocketbook, last time this topic came up someone made the recipe and it cost somewhere in the area of $20-30 to make.

                Here is a quick link:

                1. re: mkel34

                  Thanks mkel34, I DID google it and found a couple of different versions - with the same ingredients, but with different directions - and I will be looking forward to all that unctuous oleagenous comfort food! I think the key is that she has given a restaurant sized batch recipe and we home cooks are probably going to want to quarter her recipe amounts - even for a dinner party.

                  1. re: mkel34

                    I don't think $30 is too much to pay for a large amount of excellent mac&cheese, but I admit I'm a helpless fool for it...

                  2. re: niki rothman

                    I believe you can find Delilah's on the Food Network. I looked it up awhile back after a trip to Philly and sampled her AMAZING mac and cheese. I looked up the recipe because I was certain there was dijon mustard in the recipe because there was a distrinctive tang. Turns out there is no mustard but at least 5 different types of cheese...including Velvetta!! :)

                  3. I sort of half watched while doing some catch up work, and yes, I agree with your impression. I know nothing about her, but she didn't come off well. The gnocchi thing really bugged me too since everyone else was using dry pasta. She also told one contestant that she looked 'uncomfortable' cooking: what does that have to do with the taste or presentation of the food? (It was only supposed to be about the product, not about how they performed...)

                    but what I really want to know is: all the times I've been to Philly and the Terminal Market, and I've never noticed Delilah's Place, or whatever her stand there is called....have I really missed out on some great mac and cheese?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: susancinsf

                      Delilah's Place is at the end near the Ice cream or a little further down by the oyster bar. It is good standard mac n cheese - exactly what you expect at a souther BBQ. The fried chicken there looks great and there is always a line.

                      1. re: meginAB

                        Wowie! I just found Delilah's book, "Delilah's Everyday Soul: Southern Cooking with Style" for sale on for $6.99 in hardcover new! It's list price is $18.99 so that's a great price for what should be a great cookbook. All you have to do is search her name on the site under author to find it.

                        She shoulda won that cookoff on FN - she wuz robbed!

                        1. re: niki rothman

                          The recipe she used on Throwdown is on FN

                    2. I was at this taping. It was taped in Denver in April. I haven't yet seen the episode. When the chefs were cooking all the judges were walking around talking to them but it was hard to hear what was going on. We only stayed for the Classic Mac challenge, which took over 6 hours. By then we were tired and hungry so we left. They were having problems with the ovens and the reheating for the judges so it took a lot longer than they were expecting.

                      What I found interesting during the judging was if a judge was not saying enough "bad" comments or only "good" comments on the recipe, they would stop the taping and tell the judge to make more critical-type comments. It will be interesting to see what is said on the final version.

                      It looks like all the recipes for the challenge are on the Food Network website. If any of them are missing, I might still have the recipe handout around somewhere.

                      They had taped the Extreme Cake challenge with Duff Goldman and crew judging the same week, for which we also had tickets. There was a huge snowstorm that day in the mountains where we live and we couldn't make it to the studio. I really wish I could have seen that one too!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Squint

                        Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, that was the one where the "Revenge of the Sock Monkey" won? That would have been awsome to see!!!

                        1. re: aurora50

                          Yes, that's the one. It was taped 2 days before the Mac and Cheese challenge. Keegan Gerhard was telling us that it was pretty wild for the whole taping. He said the studio was even colder than it was for the Mac challenge, which makes sense since no ovens would have been on. Seeing how the studio was absolutely freezing when we were there I can't image how cold it was.

                          I've seen the Ace of Cakes episode where they are discussing the challenge filming but haven't seen the actual challange show. Stupid mountain snowstorm...I would have love to been there!

                      2. i watched it too-- to me, it seemed like she highlighted that one contestant b/c he was the only one who used a fresh pasta though he had a friend make it -- everyone else used dried pastas. Her point was that if you are going to do fresh, do it right.