If you're preparing a dinner for friends or a holiday dinner, make sure to only prepare recipes you are comfortable with and have cooked before. Cooking for others is not the time to try out a recipe for the first time. You end up spending all your time in the kitchen instead of enjoying your company.
Television itself is an intimate medium. It's in your house. You're visiting with these people... Not everybody's going to like it, just like not everybody likes everybody on the playground. I mean, that's life - especially if your job is to just go out there and be yourself.
I was always a person on my mother's hip in the kitchen. My mom really wanted her kids at her side as much as possible, and she worked in restaurants for over fifty years. And my grandfather had ten children, and he grew and prepared most of the food. My grandmother, on my mother's side, was the family seamstress and the baker. So my mom, the eldest child, was always in the kitchen with my grandpa and I was always in the production and restaurant kitchens and our own kitchen with my mom. And it's just something that has always... Read more »
I do sit-ups and push-ups at home, and that's about it. I have a gym card, but I never go there. It's a front. I pay for the membership every couple of years, thinking I'll be embarrassed enough to go. But every time I go, there's like people twice my age that look twice as good!
I am burger obsessed and I love playing with the idea of what a burger can be for people. I make burgers out of everything from grains to seafood to, of course, browned meats of every kind. What I love about the burger is it makes food accessible and fun for everyone.
I did 30 Minute Meals for five years on local television, and I earned nothing the first two years. Then I earned $50 a segment. I spent more than that on gas and groceries, but I really enjoyed making the show and I loved going to a viewer's house each week. I knew I enjoyed it, so I stuck with it even though it cost me.
I used to work in kitchens, doing 12 or more hours a day of physical labor, so today, eight to 12 hours of cooking, chatting or filming feels like a vacation. When I have a scheduled 'day off,' I spend several hours writing, then I clean until I crash from fatigue. I don't relax well.
When I do a 30-minute meal, for instance, on Food Network, that's my food you see at the end of the show and it's not perfect. And if sometimes things break or drop or the pasta hits the wall when I'm draining it, they never stop tape. They just kind of let me go with it.
I don't know that I have a favorite meal. When I'm cooking I'm thinking about the person I'm feeding and I want to make them whatever they want. My husband's favorite meal is carbonara. I guess my favorite food is anything my mom makes. Because like anybody who loves their mother's cooking, if you try and make your mom's recipes, they never taste quite the same. And I don't know if that's because she's lying about what she's putting in there and just not telling me. Like when I turn my back, she's sneaking something in there. It just never... Read more »
Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home. I always tried to make my home like my mother's, because Mom was magnificent at stretching a buck when it came to decorating and food. Like a true Italian, she valued beautification in every area of her life, and I try to do the same.
My mom worked in restaurants for 60 years, and what I learned from her is a lot. But if I had to boil it down, take your work very seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously. Work harder than everyone else and never complain about it. Don't go to bed if you're not proud of the product of your day; stay awake until you are.
We created a line of pet food called Nutrish that's made to human standards, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to animal rescue. One of our top-tier donors is the ASPCA, and they help us challenge animal shelters all across the country to get more animals placed in homes.