Get to Know Guy's Grocery Games Judge Melissa d'Arabian

Get to know Guy's Grocery Games judge Melissa d'Arabian and tune in for new episodes every Sunday at 8|7c.
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Photo by: Jeremiah Alley ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Jeremiah Alley, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

As the winner of the fifth season of The Next Food Network Star, Melissa d'Arabian went on to host Ten Dollar Dinners on Food Network and Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping on Cooking Channel. She's also authored two cookbooks, most recently Supermarket Healthy. And on FoodNetwork.com she's hosted the Web series The Picky Eaters Project, which aims to make family mealtime planning easier. This television host, author and busy mom of four also serves as a judge on Guy's Grocery Games. Find out what's Melissa's go-to guilty-pleasure food, what she loves to pick up at the supermarket and more.

Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Melissa on Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.

Do you prefer shopping in a small market or in a supermarket?

Melissa d'Arabian: I love small markets if I’m in Paris and there are tons of them around! Otherwise, I am quite happy in a large supermarket.

Do you prefer self-checkout, online ordering or a real person?

MD: Real person.

Is there one thing you can't leave a grocery store without?

MD: Whatever meat is advertised in the flier. I always buy it then and take it home to freeze.

What's the one thing you love/hate most about grocery shopping?

MD: I love the supermarket when I am not in a rush. I hate the supermarket when I need to hurry to get home and make dinner. So I avoid last-minute and late-afternoon market visits.

Give me five ingredients or less in coming up with your best dish, and describe what you'd make.

MD: Potatoes, cream, bacon, puff pastry and fresh herbs — my Potato Bacon Torte.

What's your favorite game on the show?

MD: I love Watch Your Weight. I think having a limit to the amount of groceries you can buy keeps the chefs focused, and they can really treat the ingredients right, rather than trying make yet one more dish.

What's your first food memory?

MD: My first annual Mother-Daughter Holiday Tea — we made cookies and hot cocoa for my kindergarten girlfriends and their moms. I fell in love with cooking for loved ones that day, and I continue the tradition with my girls every year.

What's your guilty-pleasure food?

MD: Ice cream. Creamy, cold — I could seriously eat a pint a day (something I may have actually proven during one of my pregnancies).

What would you want to eat at your last supper?
MD: Something with my family.

What's the most-surprising or oddest thing we'd find in your fridge, food or otherwise?

MD: I have a big bottle of Valentina hot sauce that no one eats. Yet we keep it, because my daughter’s name is Valentine. It’s huge and takes up tons of space, but so far we’ve kept it for two years.

Where do you see dining trends going? Do you have one you absolutely love or hate?

MD: I think people are becoming more mindful of the food they eat, and they are realizing how important it is to take back our cooking. Even having a few recipes in our repertoire can really improve our nutrition. And sitting around a table with our families has huge benefits both nutritionally and socially. I love this trend!

Quickfire (Name the first thing that comes to mind)

Favorite condiment: Dijon mustard
Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Favorite childhood dish: Mom’s flank steak
Favorite food city to eat in: Paris
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite kitchen tool: Microplane
Favorite sweet or dessert: Ice cream
Favorite salty snack: Popcorn

Tune in to Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.

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