What do you do on a daily basis?
I manage the day-to-day operations of our brand extensions, from our wine brand entwine to our Food Network Kitchen restaurants.
Who is your culinary icon?
Julia Child. Maybe it’s cliche, but she inspired me to cook even before I could reach the counter. Now that I know her story, I admire her go-getter attitude and feminist approach. She also settled in Santa Barbara, California, a place that is very near and dear to my heart.
Who is your favorite food TV personality, past or present?
Jacques Pepin. Just finished reading The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, too. Great book! And I just cannot leave out Emeril.
What’s your favorite cookbook?
Ad Hoc is one of my favorites. I love the way Thomas Keller breaks down the recipes. Also having a lot of fun with Momofuku Milk Bar.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
What’s your favorite condiment?
What’s the first dish you learned to make?
An omelet with prosciutto, fresh basil and Parmesan.
Sweet tooth, salt tooth or both?
Definitely salt tooth … or spicy tooth, really.
What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
Chef knife and Dutch oven
What music do you like to listen to in the kitchen?
I like to listen to music inspired by the dish I’m creating. If it’s an old-school recipe from my Sicilian grandfather, you can bet I am blasting Frank Sinatra — his favorite.
What’s your favorite food scene from a movie?
The strudel scene from Inglourious Basterds
What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage?
If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to try?
What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?