Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate [review, video]

Last night the Food Network aired two episodes of the new show The Best Thing I Ever Ate (normally airing Tuesdays at 9:30pm) — and like whoa we're impressed. The premise: Each show is comprised of eight short segments of Food Network personalities talking about their favorite foods, with each show focusing on a particular theme, from barbecue to fried food to pizza to bacon.

Each mini-documentary has on-location video of the food being prepared (nicely-shot and in HD), and in some cases the stars even head out to the restaurant to sample the foodstuff in question in person. It's a celebration of American food, little love letters to food celebs' favorite restaurants, and you get the sense that they actually mean it.

Of the two episodes we watched, one was the pilot and thus without a theme, the other, titled "Totally Fried," focused on (you guessed it) fried food. Based on the limited evidence, The Best Thing I Ever Ate (gasp) is probably one of the best things the Food Network has ever done. (Admittedly, that's thanks to a low bar. But still.)

We're tossing up a couple of videos so you can check it out: the first of Michael Symon talking up Publican's (Chicago) pork rinds, the second of Aaron Sanchez on the best breakfast he's ever eaten: ebelskivers (Scandinavian pancakes) at Shopsin's (NYC), with Kenny Shopsin notably absent.

The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Pilot

Duff Goldman at Gates Bar B.Q. (Kansas City) for burnt ends on bun
Anne Burrell at Balthazar for roasted marrow bones with oxtail marmalade
Adam Gertler at Bandera's (IL, CA, AZ) for banana cream pie
Sunny Anderson at Upstairs on the Square (Cambridge, MA) for eggs benedict
Aaron Sanchez at Shopsin's (NYC) for ebelskivers
Danny Boome at Jane (NYC) toasted ricottta gnocchi
Alex at Caffe Dante (NYC) for cannolis
Ted Allen at Restaurant Guy Savoy (Las Vegas) for guinea hen cooked inside a pig's bladder

Video: Pilot: Aaron Sanchez at Shopsin's

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The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Totally Fried

Bobby Flay at Balthazar (NYC) for french fries
Alex Guarnaschelli at Rawley's (Fairfield, Connecticut) for deep-fried hot dog with bacon
Duff Goldman at Joss Sushi (Annapolis, MD) for deep-fried shrimp heads
Giada De Laurentiis at Lola (Seattle, WA) for doughnuts
Ted Allen at The Red Cat (NYC) for deep-fried bacon
Michael Symon at Publican (Chicago) for pork rinds
Aaron Sanchez at Lolita (Cleveland) for deep-fried brussels sprouts
Guy Fieri at Benny's Seafood (Miami) for mofongo

Video: Totally Fried: Michael Symon at Publican

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