Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home. I always tried to make my home like my mother's, because Mom was magnificent at stretching a buck when it came to decorating and food. Like a true Italian, she valued beautification in every area of her life, and I try to do the same.
I felt I'd earned the Good Housekeeping Seal when I designed an oval-shaped spaghetti pot, because spaghetti is long.
I used to work in kitchens, doing 12 or more hours a day of physical labor, so today, eight to 12 hours of cooking, chatting or filming feels like a vacation. When I have a scheduled 'day off,' I spend several hours writing, then I clean until I crash from fatigue. I don't relax well.
It only looks like I get to eat a lot of food on TV. I really just get the one bite and the crew and guests eat everything else.
The most essential part of my day is a proper dinner.
I live in, literally, the same home when I was swiping my first bank card and wondering if I'd have to put back the Charmin. We still don't have a dishwasher. My mom has done all these gardens so now my house looks like the garden shack in the middle of Versailles.
I tried to bake a cake for my mother's birthday - it took me four hours. It was terrible, and I cried for three days.
Never be a food snob. Learn from everyone you meet - the fish guy at your market, the lady at the local diner, farmers, cheese makers. Ask questions, try everything and eat up!
You know, food is such - it's a hug for people.
I like feeling like an ox at the end of the day. I like working hard.
I measure in my palm and use my eyes to estimate amounts; a tablespoon is a full palm of dried spices.
I've never been a huge sweets eater, and I've always loved a Mediterranean diet. We eat a lot of dark leafy greens, and a couple meals each week are meat-free. We enjoy eating a balanced diet.
Work hard. Laugh when you feel like crying. Keep an open mind, open eyes and an open spirit.
My dream job is to be a rock drummer and the alternate drummer for the Foo Fighters.
It's continuously humbling to work hard, you know? As long as you've got a good work ethic and a sense of humor, I don't think anybody can become too much of an egoist under those circumstances.
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