1) Let’s assume that I don’t know you. In a few sentences, please share with my readers why the world can use more of you?
Although I’m best known for my recurring role as head judge on “Iron Chef America,” I’m also a working mom and restaurateur,
With my recipes and entertaining tips, my intention is always to take out the stress out of cooking and entertaining, but to do it with style.
2) What is one food you love and could not live without? What is your least favorite food that you wish would disappear from the face of the earth, and why?
Meatballs are really special to me and my recipe has been passed down through generations. I’ll always remember when I was a little girl: I would stand on a stool and peer up at my mom to watch her and learn from her. Fast-forward and those lessons from my family helped me to win New York Wine & Food Festival’s Meatball Madness twice! Now, I’ve adapted that recipe into a frozen product, which I sell on HSN with homemade sauces. I guess you could say that meatballs have always played an important role in my personal and professional life!
My least favorite food is Lamb. Since I was a young child I have had a real aversion to lamb, which is odd because I can pretty much eat anything.
3) What is one thing you wish you had time to do but currently doesn’t fit into your busy schedule?
Exercise! I’m trying to get into Shaun T’s T25- which is a 30-minute workout tape. It’s really short and intense, but as a working mother it is sometimes hard to fit even a 30-minute workout into my schedule. Ideally I’d be doing it 5-6 times a week, but I probably only get to it 3-4 times.
4) What is the weirdest things you have ever eaten and where were you?
There was an episode on Next Iron Chef on Unusual foods. I had to eat un-laid eggs and fried insects!
5) What is the one meal that reminds you most of your childhood/family?
Orrecciatte with ragu along with meatballs and brasciole. In any Italian household, it’s all about Sunday dinners. That was the day above all others that revolved around food and family. It was also a day that the cooking process started at 9am in preparation for a 3pm meal of slow-braised ragu and meatballs.
6) What would be the last meal you would want to eat/make if you only had 1 more day to live?
Ohhh, thats a tough one! I am a carb lover- Neapolitan Pizza!
7) What is the hardest dish that you have ever had to make?/ Is there a dish that you have still never successfully completed?
I am never happy with my pork loin. It’s still not juicy enough. Also- my mother’s zucchini fritters. No matter how many times I make it, it never comes out as good as my mom’s.
8) Breakfast, lunch, & dinner: What would be your perfect 3-square meal?
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs & bacon
Lunch: Roasted tomato soup & grilled chicken salad
Dinner: Bucatini Amatriciana and Endive salad
9) Of course you want 2014 to be a good one. If all else fails, what would you want your one and biggest success to be?
Not working so hard that I miss being present for my 2-year-old son. Everyone says they grow up so fast.
10) What is your most prized possession?
My Lakefront house in Candlewood, CT. It has the most spectacular outdoor kitchen.