In 2005, I was 29 weeks pregnant with Davy and all of a sudden one day I just wasn’t feeling so good. About half way through the day I ran into my very good friend Debbie and at the time colleague (which being an outside sales rep was completely random) and I asked her about the horrible stomach pains I was having in which she replies, “That’s not normal at all! You should go straight to your OB and call them while you are on your way.” I am so thankful for her that day because I was in the process of going into premature labor and was having contractions. I probably wouldn’t have called or gone in when I did, I mean after all when you are pregnant all kinds of crazy things are going on (and it was my first baby) so I never expected this at week 29. I had a positive FFN test, meaning that there was a 60% chance that I would go into full preterm labor within 48 hours to 2 weeks. Needless to say, I was placed on strict bed rest for the next five weeks. I moved from the bed to the couch and then back to the bed. I watched a lot of movies and TV, two shows in particular “A Baby Story” and “Take Home Chef”. I loved this show, watched it whenever I could, and dreamed of having Curtis Stone come to our house to cook dinner. I even made poor Andy watch this show. Anyone who knows me knows that I love cooking, food shows, and Curtis Stone.
About a month ago, I received an email from the Rolling Pin, www.rollingpinonline.com, saying that he was coming to Florida, making this his only stop, launching his new cookware line, and doing a cookbook signing. I immediately called mom to see if she wanted to go with me and of course she did, so I went on-line and booked our tickets. This 50 person event sold out in less than an hour and a half. Squealing with delight I called Andy while he was at bible study (something that I never do), I tell him about the two tickets and he says, “Awesome! When are we going?…”. The crickets started chirping and after about 10 seconds or so I say, “Well…you aren’t, I asked my mom.” I could tell he was disappointed, but happy for her and I.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been talking about how I can’t wait for my date with Curtis, mind you it doesn’t bother me at all that there will be 49 other people there (including my mother). This is the closest I’ll ever get to it!!…
Earlier in the week Andy says, “Wait a second… Isn’t he in your top five?” Now we don’t really have a top five, nor could I even come up with five people, but it’s still funny. He says, “But I don’t look anything like him.” In which I reply, “Yeah so, and I don’t look anything like Ivanka Trump. What’s your point?”
Mom and I met for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and around 12:30 made our way over to the Rolling Pin. Surprisingly to me, the place was very calm. They really did a great job getting prepared for this. We were checked in at the door and the place settings were assigned based on when you ordered your tickets. Ha! We were at the kitchen bar, directly in front of him!!! We were so happy.
He originally intended on doing around a 10 minute cooking demonstration, but it turned out to be more like 30. He made a shrimp stir-fry demonstrating his new cookware. The cookware line idea came up after he was done with the TV show “Take Home Chef”, and he says the thing that most anyone will tell you is that they wish cooking equipment was more user-friendly. For example, the mixing bowls in the picture above have a handle: easy to mix, even easier to pour. I completely agree with that! My own personal experience of a large mixing bowl filled with pound cake batter and then trying to lift, tip, and pour or scrape it out is really hard (I bought these bowls!!!Yay). I’m gonna share the rest in interview format…I think that it will be easier. Some of the pictures are blurry and the lighting wasn’t the best…but I don’t care! We had fun and I love him!
How did you decide that cooking was going to be your thing? Most people are either a cooker or a baker, and well my mother was a baker. She really was a terrible cook. My best friend however was Italian and I used to eat at his house all the time. I loved the food and also, I love to eat!
Tell us about your cooking journey. I started off in a Culinary school in Australia, where I’m from. From there I went to Melbourne and worked for the Savoy Hotel, they had a 3 year program. Next, I went to Europe and worked for a guy named Marco Pierre White. We worked together for about 8 years. After that I returned to Australia and hosted a few cooking shows like Surfing the Menu. Shortly after that I got a call from the Discovery Channel wanting me to come to the states and do a show called Take Home Chef and I’ve been here ever since and live in LA.
Tell me a little more about how Take Home Chef came about. Well, like I said Discovery Channel called and pitched the idea to me. They said you are young, good-looking, and can cook…here’s what we’d like to do. My response was, “Ok, so if I am understanding you right you only want to target young attractive-looking women because they are the target demographic, I’m supposed to just walk up to them in a supermarket and ask if I can go home with them, and then cook this beautiful girl dinner for her and her mate?” They said, “Yep, that sounds about right.” I called my dad to run it by him and he says, “What? Are you an idiot? You are going to go home with these women and cook? Don’t you know that over in the states those people have a lot of guns!” We taped a lot of shows, but never made it to Florida. I wish you had of… 🙂
In all of your traveling, is there one thing that Americans do that is the same? No, it’s all different that’s why it’s called the United States. Every state and everyone is different from cultures to family values. And the food is different here, I had never heard of meatloaf before. Someone was trying to explain it to me and I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around the idea of a loaf of all meat.
Of all the places that you have traveled, where is your favorite? Most memorable? It would have to be Thailand. Cat Cora and I were there and we had a little extra time so we went to an elephant refuge. We got to help with elephants and that was a really neat experience. I also like Buenos Aires.
Of the latest food trends that are out, what is your favorite and what is your least favorite? My most favorite would have to be Mexican food. You see it all the time now, it’s everywhere, but we didn’t have it in Australia so it was completely new to me and I just love latin cuisine. I would have to say my least favorite is molecular cooking. The best way I can describe it is, you know how you go to a fashion show and there are some really outrageous outfits that come down the runway and nobody could actually wear them day-to-day, that’s how I think of this. It keeps it entertaining and has to be done and I do go to places like Fat Duck and try the food…it’s just not my thing. Food should be about love and the people you love.
What is your favorite comfort food? Ohhh, it would have to be a roast. It doesn’t even matter if it is chicken, lamb, or pork, just walking into a home and it smells of chicken, garlic, and onions…that’s comfort food to me.
About this time, they wrapped him up and set up for the cookbook signing. A few of things that we picked up were the mixing bowl set, a woket (he says it is a cross between a wok and a skillet), and what he calls a bump and grind (a mortar and pestle) which I had signed as well. One of the neatest products that he is launching is bakeware where the bottom is made of silicone so that you can pop out your food versus scraping, lifting, and shaking. They were handing out individual baking cups just for showing up today…so fun! We had a great time, were photographed by Creative Loafing, and I still want him to come home with me to cook…. 🙂