Meet Worst Cooks Celebrity Recruit Nicole Sullivan, TV Actress and Comedian
For Season 9, Worst Cooks in America has invited nine celebrities who can't cook to take on the challenges of Boot Camp. Mentors Rachael Ray and Anne Burrell have lots in store for these unsuspecting individuals. In their daily lives, these celebrities are comics, TV actors and reality stars, but when it comes to the kitchen, they're disasters waiting to happen. Tune in to the premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9|8c to see the hilarious bumbling unfold. Every day leading up to the premiere, we'll be revealing a star contestant on FN Dish. Today it's funny lady Nicole Sullivan.
Nicole Sullivan has been acting since she was 7 years old. She attended Northwestern University, where she studied the classics. In 1995, Nicole joined the original cast of MADtv, where her numerous memorable characters included the Vancome Lady, Antonia and Darlene McBride. Nicole has also appeared in King of Queens, Scrubs, Law & Order: SVU, Boston Legal, Monk, My Boys, Whitney, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy and Cougar Town. And as a voice actor, Nicole has lent her voice to numerous animated features such as The Ant Bully and Meet the Robinsons, and to animated TV shows such as Kim Possible, Family Guy, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, BoJack Horseman and the Emmy Award-winning Penguins of Madagascar. Nicole currently appears regularly on the hit show Black-ish. Even though Nicole thinks she can cook, her family doesn't necessarily seem to agree. So she's signed up to get some pointers from Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray. Learn more about Nicole.
How would you describe your cooking style presently?
Nicole Sullivan: My cooking style is oversalt it, overcook it.
What made you sign up for Worst Cooks? What do you plan to gain from this competition?
NS: One day I would love for my kids to say, "Oh, Mom, can you make us your famous blank?" I just don’t know what that blank is right now. I’d like to cook so my kids are excited to eat.
Is there anything that makes you nervous about competing?
NS: Everything makes me nervous about competing. It’s terrifying, make no mistake.
Besides Anne or Rachael, is there a chef or a food personality you admire?
NS: I mean, Rachael Ray is sort of my jam, but who else do I like? Giada, I think, is very good. Barefoot Contessa I enjoy. I also like that Pioneer Woman. She’s kind of cute. I mean, it’s kind of weird. It’s a silly show, but I really like her.
After this competition, what cooking skill level would you like to reach?
NS: I mean, I want to be brilliant, but that’s probably not going to happen, so I’ll settle for "Hey, she’s a good cook."
Have there been any really good or really bad cooks in your life? Do you think that had an effect on you?
NS: My mom is a really good cook, and she makes things up, she doesn’t follow the recipes. That’s why I get the false confidence to do the same thing, but I can’t do it the way she does it. And then I have a relative that is the worst cook I’ve ever — I mean, I can’t say who, but like holy cow. One time I ate a pork chop and I almost threw up because it was so bad.
Is there something that’s prevented you from getting into the kitchen more or doing more cooking?
NS: I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. That’s the irony. I cook a lot; just no one wants to eat it.
What's your most-loved or most-hated kitchen tool or appliance?
NS: I love my mandoline, that slicer thing, but boy, it could take off your thumb if you’re not careful.
What are some of the foods you like to eat? Do you have a guilty-pleasure food?
NS: I mean, 70 percent of what I eat is a guilty pleasure. I love pizza. What do I like to eat that people cook? I love a good shortbread. I love a good pot roast. I love chicken piccata. That’s my favorite to order in a restaurant.
Is there something that we’d never catch you eating?
NS: Oh, there’s, like, so many things I wouldn’t eat. ... I hate raw onions more than anything, and raw tomatoes. That’s gonna be tricky if I have to taste that down the line. If the onion's been in the sandwich, the sandwich is dead to me.
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
NS: Some bread-cheese combo. Bread and melted cheese. Any carb with melted cheese on it.
What’s a favorite dish you remember from your childhood?
NS: My mom’s spaghetti Bolognese. She makes it for me every time I see her. It’s delicious.
What is the weirdest thing that we'd find in your fridge if we were to open it today?
NS: I have two things of baking soda in my fridge, because I hate when fridges start to smell.
When you get into the kitchen, what are some of the things you cook? Do you have a signature dish?
NS: My chicken chili. I’ve made it a bunch of times … . My kids won’t eat it. My husband likes it OK, but when I give it to strangers when they’re watching football they seem all right with it. They seem pretty happy.
What’s the worst kitchen disaster you’ve had or the worst dish you’ve made?
NS: I remember the first Christmas I tried to cook, I literally lit the oven on fire and had to spray it with the fire extinguisher, so my turkey was covered in white foam. … I ruined a really expensive piece of steak once. It was just black and then brown on the inside, and my family was chewing it; it was like chewing gum.
What’s the most-memorable meal that you’ve ever eaten? Tell us about the place, the people you were with and the meal you ate.
NS: There’s a meal at a place called Mozza in Los Angeles, and it’s orecchiette, which is like pasta with toasted sage, sausage and Swiss chard on top. I ate it and I literally started crying. It was the most-delicious thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. I was pregnant, though, so I was a little emotional.
Thinking of your competitors here, which of the other celebrities do you want to take down? John said it was you.
NS: OK, if John has me in his crosshairs, then I have him. Touché, John.
Which charity are you competing for? What would it mean for you to hand them a check for $50,000 if you win?
NS: It’s Bianca’s Furry Friends at the North Shore Animal League. It would mean a ton. The work they do [is] to get feral cats into their place and to get them so they can be adopted. You know, I’m a big cat lover, I’m a big animal lover, and North Shore Animal League has been one of my favorite charities for a long time. As far as no-kill shelters [go], it’s a really amazing one.
NS: I would go out and eat, because then they’d be like, “You won with this?” No, hopefully, if I win or not, if I can stay for a couple weeks and learn some more stuff, that’s thrilling to me. I mean, I really genuinely want to learn how to do a few things.
Watch Nicole Sullivan on Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition. Tune in to the premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9|8c.