Best of New York Videos — 09 December 2011
Cooking Channel Chef Chuck Hughes Talks NYC, ‘Chuckmas’ Special

As we countdown toward Christmas day, there are just tons of great holiday specials that capture the mood and the spirit of the season. Earlier this week, we ran a preview piece on Chef Chuck Hughes, the Canadian host of ‘Chuck’s Day Off’ on the Cooking Channel and recent competitor on the Food Network’s ‘The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs.’ This weekend, Chef Hughes gets his first crack at his own holiday special as the Cooking Channel premieres ‘Chuckmas’ on Sunday, December 11th at 8pm ET, 5pm PT. For the first time, Chef Hughes will welcome cameras into his new home as he prepares a fun and festive holiday dinner for his entire family, sharing holiday hints and seasonal recipes along the way to point you in the right direction for preparing your own feast.

For those of you that can’t wait until Sunday, we’ve got yet another of Chef Hughes’ awesome recipes below for your tasting pleasure, exclusive to today’s post! For his unique take on carrot cake, make sure to look below! was fortunate enough to meet with the esteemed Chef Chuck Hughes during his visit to New York City and get together for an exclusive video interview. Watch as we kick around his favorite haunts to visit in Manhattan, what we can expect from this weekend’s ‘Chuckmas’ special, and why this year’s holiday is such a special time for him.

Check out Chef Chuck Hughes’ site here for more information about the energetic chef and for all the details on the Cooking Channel’s ‘Chuckmas,’ replays, and how you can watch the special, check out the Cooking Channel.

Carrot Cake

Recipe courtesy: Chef Chuck Hughes


2 cups/500 ml all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon/15 ml baking powder

2 teaspoons/10 ml baking soda

1 teaspoon/5 ml ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5 ml allspice

1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5 ml ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5 ml ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5 ml salt

1 1/2 cups/375 ml sugar

1 cup/250 ml canola oil

4 eggs

3 cups/750 ml peeled and grated carrots

1 cup/250 ml chopped pineapple

1 cup/250 ml walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup/125 ml dried cherries

1/2 cup/125 ml dried golden raisins



2 packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup/125 ml butter, softened

2 1/2 cups/625 ml icing sugar

Zest and juice of 1 orange


Maple Walnuts:

1/2 cup/125 ml maple syrup

1 cup/250 ml toasted walnuts


For the cake: With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line two 8-inch (20-cm) springform pans with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the sugar, oil and eggs with a whisk. Gently stir in the dry ingredients. With a spatula, gently fold in the carrots, pineapple, walnuts, cherries and raisins.

Divide the batter between the pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in the pans on a rack. Run the blade of a knife around the cakes and unmold. 

For the frosting: In a bowl, cream the cream cheese with the butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer. Add the zest and juice and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Spread the frosting over the top of the cakes and stack them on a platter.

For the maple walnuts: In a skillet, bring the syrup to a boil. Add the walnuts and stir continuously until the syrup has crystallized around the walnuts. Pour onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and let cool. Garnish the cake.

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Inactive Prep Time: –

Ease of preparation: easy

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minute

- Jane Van Arsdale

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. .
    Great interview and write up. You guys captured the essence of live entertainment. I especially enjoyed all the references to the chef’s eateries in the city.

    Justin, there is no one better than u at interviewing. Your eyes and expressions bring forward all the wonders and excitement that u so sincerely enjoy bringing to your audiences.

    happy holidays

  2. Incredible Spot.

    “…Morimoto for some sushi…” – Chef Chuck Hughes

    “Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah” – Justin