16 Things You Didn't Know About Valerie Bertinelli

Get the dish on Valerie Bertinelli with these fun facts.

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Photo By: Justin Lubin ©2015, Television Food Network. G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Justin Lubin ©2015, Television Food Network. G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Justin Lubin ©2015, Television Food Network. G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Justin Lubin ©2015, Television Food Network. G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Justin Lubin ©2015, Television Food Network. G.P. All Rights Reserved

Get to Know Valerie

Love watching Valerie cooking with friends and family on her show Valerie's Home Cooking or as co-host of Kids Baking Championship? Learn even more about Valerie, like her dream dinner party guests, her cooking mentors and the strangest thing in her fridge.

The First Dish She Learned to Make Was Lasagna

Valerie cooks plenty of classic Italian dishes on Valerie's Home Cooking, but lasagna was the first she ever made. "I love lasagna," she says. "I must have been a tween."

Get the Recipe: Lasagna alla Besciamella

Family Recipes Are the Most Memorable

"I do always come back to my grandmother’s soup, and there’s something so full of love in it. It’s a cappelletti in brodo. … It’s so simple; it’s just a perfect broth and a perfect cappelletti, and that’s all it is. I used to try and make it for my son, and I never quite perfected it," Valerie admits. "One of these days I will."

Ina Garten’s Cookbooks Are Her Favorites

"You know what? I love all of Ina’s cookbooks, because they’re spot-on," Valerie explains. "She makes it really easy, and when you follow her directions, it really comes out perfectly. Her cookbooks are probably my favorite."

Coconut Creamer Is Her Must-Have Grocery Item

"That’s what I put in my coffee every morning," she says. "I seem to go through it very quickly."

She's a Condiment Hoarder

When asked about the strangest thing in her fridge, Valerie admits that she tends to collect condiments. "I have one whole shelf that is just condiments," she says. "I think I probably have 15 different kinds of mustards, [and] a couple different kinds of mayos."

Her Dream Dinner Party Has an Interesting Guest List

When asked who she would invite (dead or alive) to her dream dinner party, Valerie responded, "This sounds so corny, but Jesus. I want to pick his brain." Who else makes the cut? "Pope Francis, President Obama, Marilyn Monroe. That just sounds like such a weird list, but these are people that I find fascinating."

Her Favorite Food Cities are LA and New Orleans

"LA is damn good," she says. "I love New Orleans, but I don’t get there enough, so I’m loving LA. There’s a lot of fabulous restaurants here."

She Loves Lemon Desserts

Anything lemon is on Valerie's list of go-to desserts. "I love lemon meringue. I love lemon curd. I love lemon cookies," she says. "And then you put ginger in there — lemon and ginger — and I’m in heaven."

Get the Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

She Prefers Savory Over Sweet Food

"I would say mainly I’m a savory girl and every so often I like a sweet," Valerie explains. "If I was stranded on a desert island, I would want savory food, because then I could always grab a piece of fruit from any tree that was there. But I don’t think I could live without any really great pasta sauce."

Her Favorite Cooking Partner Is Her Husband, Tom

"He’s very, very handy in the kitchen," says Valerie. "He always knows how to make a mean cocktail while we’re cooking."

She Plays Music While Cooking

What kind of music is her favorite? "Usually Tom and I will put on some cool jazz, or we’ll put some hits on, you know, of the season," she says. "I love cooking with music on in the house."

She Learned Her Love of Cooking from Her Mother and Grandmother

"I [remember] sitting on the stool watching my nonni roll out gnocchi, cappelletti and fry bread, and asking me what I wanted in the fry bread, whether I wanted it sweet or savory, jelly or cheese," Valerie says. "I still have her rolling pin, and it’s probably one of my most-prized possessions." Another childhood kitchen memory: "Watching my mom cook three meals without a microwave."

Her Favorite Kitchen Tool Is a Really Good Knife

For Valerie, this is the one tool that's indispensable. "You can't do anything without it," she says.

The Women in Her Family Are Her Cooking Mentors

Valerie is still amazed by her mother's ability to make perfect dishes every time — ones that she herself still hasn't mastered. "My mom had a wonderful risotto that I still haven’t perfected," she says. "She really makes a mean roast chicken. I mean, it was perfect every single time, and I still don’t know how she did it."

Gumbo Is Her Most-Requested Dish

"It’s something that I make once or twice a year … and it takes me all day to do it, and I do it with my husband, which is always nice," Valerie says. "We freeze it. It’s my brother Patrick and his wife Stacy’s recipe that I’ve changed a little bit, and they still have their version, but it’s their version, and I love the way Stacy makes the recipe. And it’s fun to make and it’s so damn delicious."

Get the Recipe: Valerie's Very Best Gumbo

She Loves Grilling with Her Family

When asked what she likes to cook for her family, Valerie says that grilling is at the top of the list. "We like to grill chicken, salmon, crab legs. We definitely get a lot of use out of our grill," she says.

Get the Recipe: BBQ Chicken Kabobs with Tequila Lime Cilantro

Want More Valerie Bertinelli?

Get Valerie’s favorite recipes and a look behind the scenes of Valerie’s Home Cooking.

Valerie's Home Cooking