Mary Nolan Bio

With a fun-loving personality and an insatiable passion for all things culinary, Mary Nolan shares her sophisticated yet simple meal ideas and crowd-pleasing tips for memorable occasions on Food Network's Chic & Easy. Mary's unique, stylish and inspiring solutions make entertaining success surprisingly attainable.

Growing up in Davenport, Iowa, Mary spent a great deal of time on her grandparents' rural farms providing an unmistakable appreciation for the origin of food. From casual weeknights to holiday extravaganzas, all meals were a creative outlet for the Nolan family. Mary's mother, Patricia, continually fostered her daughter's epicurean interests through hands-on experience in her own kitchen, as well as culinary-focused vacations and excursions.

While obtaining a journalism degree from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mary enrolled in nutrition and food science courses and worked at a local Italian restaurant - all of which continued to kindle her culinary flame. Word spread about her love of cooking and knack for entertaining, and Mary soon began catering bridal showers and parties for friends.

Mary also spent a semester living in the Tuscan countryside just outside of Florence, Italy - an experience that fed (literally) her obsession with all things epicurean. She relished the Italian culture and cuisine. The markets full of incredible ingredients and the unwavering Italian traditions remain a source of inspiration in Mary's cooking.

After graduating from college, Mary landed a job in New York City that combined her love of words and food, as an assistant at the premier culinary magazine, Gourmet, where she eventually became an advertising copywriter. She is currently attending The Institute of Culinary Education. Mary's desire to share her fresh perspective and her dedication to accessibly chic entertaining now take center stage with her new Food Network series.

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Anne Thornton Bio

As an expert pastry chef, Anne Thornton shares indulgent recipes for tantalizing treats on Dessert First With Anne Thornton. Anne demystifies and simplifies the world of pastry and dessert by showing viewers the ins and outs to no-fear baking. From flaky pastries to ice cream cake, Anne’s approachable techniques prove that any home cook can create impressive desserts. Born in San Antonio and raised in Cleveland, Anne fell in love with food at a very young age while traveling throughout Europe with her family. She spent many childhood days in the kitchen alongside her grandmother, Nonnie, who she credits as her true culinary inspiration and where she gets her passion for baking. At age eight, Anne successfully made her first pie crust, and by college, she served up Sunday supper every week to her friends on the football team. Anne graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with degrees in finance and philosophy. Shortly after college, she lived in California, and then Chicago while working for Apple Computer, Inc. Anne left Chicago and moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. Soon after enrolling in the Institute of Culinary Education, Anne landed a job in culinary production where she gained behind-the-scenes media skills — a glimpse into her future at Food Network. Anne also worked as a personal chef before joining New York’s highly acclaimed restaurant, The Waverly Inn in 2006, where she honed her skills as a pastry chef and assistant general manager working under notable chef John DeLucie. In 2009, Anne made the move to the exclusive New York restaurant, Hotel Griffou, where she worked as executive pastry chef and event coordinator until June 2010. In her spare time, Anne volunteers for City Harvest’s Operation Frontline, a nutrition education and financial planning program, and also writes for LunchNYC, a project that brings nutritional information to families about their kid’s school lunches and how they can improve their diets. Besides cooking and baking, Anne enjoys sailing, writing, football, fashion, interior design and visiting organic farms. Anne currently lives in New York City.

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