Star Kitchen: Melissa d'Arabian
Melissa d'Arabian's Kitchen
Three years ago, Melissa d'Arabian was a stay-at-home mom and Food Network fanatic, standing in line for hours at a Williams-Sonoma in Southlake, Texas, to have Bobby Flay autograph a cookbook: "I asked Bobby to sign the book to all four of my daughters, with hard-to-spell names, and he didn't blink. He was happy to sign away." She would never have guessed that only a year later she'd win Next Food Network Star and that Bobby would award her a cooking show of her own, Ten Dollar Dinners.
Every morning, Melissa's husband, Philippe, makes espresso in this Nespresso CitiZ machine ($279; nespresso.com) and brings it up to her in bed: "I call him my 'snooze alarm.'"
Hand-Crank Pasta Maker
Philippe gave Melissa this Italian pasta maker for her 41st birthday, but he may have secretly wanted it for himself: "He was so excited to try it," Melissa says. "I left town for a couple of weeks and he used it before I had the chance to."
Top-Notch Olive Oil
Melissa's mother-in-law brings back olive oil from France each time she visits. "She says it's a 'beauty product' to get it past customs," Melissa says. "I use it sparingly, like drizzled on tomatoes."
Little Line Cooks
The busy mom can safely situate her daughters at deep counters away from the stove, so they can help prepare dinner: "Charlotte, who's only 4, loves breading food. She can do the entire thing, from egg bowl to bread crumbs, without any help."
Melissa keeps her favorite cookbooks handy, including the copy of Bobby Flay's Grill It! ($35; Clarkson Potter) that the chef signed for her before he ever knew her as the Next Food Network Star.