With summer being the season of picnics, cookouts and festive get-togethers, Food Network is dishing out new shows centered around tasty topics, ranging from budget-conscious competitions to star-studded party games.
Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman) focuses on big flavors, real budgets and smart shopping in the competition series "Big Bad Budget Battle," which debuted Tuesday at 9 p.m. In each of the six hourlong episodes, three home cooks with a knack for transforming everyday affordable ingredients into mouthwatering meals will be challenged to shop on a budget and buy all the ingredients needed to make the best inexpensive and delicious dish they can. The best cook who also is the thriftiest shopper gets to take home the trophy and a year's worth of groceries.
"I can't wait for viewers to see these awesome home cooks in action, both with their creativity in the kitchen and their budget-shopping skills — they are truly something to behold," Drummond says.
It has never been harder to make one meal to satisfy all the people at the dining table, and on "It's CompliPlated," vegan author Tabitha Brown does just that. She challenges chefs to create dishes that will please a rotating panel of guest judges, each with a very particular palate and tricky food requirements.
"I know folks can relate to the daily challenge of making the whole family happy with one meal, so we decided to make a game of it," explains Brown about the show, which debuts at 9 p.m. Thursday.
Food Network's omnipresent star Bobby Flay and his daughter Sophie Flay take a delicious tour across the California coastline in a three-episode series, "Bobby and Sophie on the Coast," which debuts at 8 p.m. Aug. 22. In each hourlong episode, the Flays explore Los Angeles and what makes it a treasure trove for restaurants and chefs.
"Sophie and I have always loved to use food to explore the neighborhoods we visit," says Flay. "Now we have the opportunity to visit the local establishments on the West Coast and get to know the talented chefs who continue to utilize the local ingredients that reflect what L.A. cuisine is all about."
It's all fun and games as host Guy Fieri welcomes his chef friends to the Flavortown Lounge for food-inspired diversions on "Guy's Ultimate Game Night," premiering at 8 p.m. Aug. 31. The show puts a culinary twist on classic party games as they compete before a studio audience to win prizes for their favorite charity. Chef Antonia Lofaso of Bravo's "Top Chef" will assist Fieri in games that include "Cooktionary," a food riff on Pictionary, blindly decorating cakes and "Some Assembly Required," which involves designing a pizza that looks like Fieri.
Contestants include actors Ben Feldman, Vivica A. Fox, Cheech Marin, magicians Penn Jillette and Teller, Olympian Tara Lipinski and singer Brett Michaels.
With millions of online followers, the Try Guys — Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld and Eugene Lee Yang — are known for their willingness to try anything, often with hilarious results. In "No-Recipe Road Trip With the Try Guys," premiering Aug. 31 at 10 p.m., they try to re-create signature dishes with zero instruction from restaurants nationwide.
"It's a wonderful blend of comedy and deliciousness that combines our passion for food and trying new things," the BFFs say.