Co-Hosts Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian Join Daytime Lineup on Saturday, January 4th at 11am ET/PT
Food Network kicks off the New Year with five times the food and fun in the brand-new series The Kitchen, co-hosted by culinary favorites Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian. From food trend discussions and family meal tips to trivia games and twitter questions from viewers, the entertaining one-hour, thirteen-episode series will cover all things culinary.
Each episode takes place in the show’s casual, inviting kitchen-living room set, where the five co-hosts come together for lively discussions, recipe demos, guest interviews and, at the close of each episode, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” a special cocktail segment with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, also a master mixologist. Other recurring segments include: “Simple Suppers,” where hosts prepare an easy weeknight dinner dish along with tips and ideas; “Personal Faves” featuring co-hosts and their loved ones preparing a favorite family recipe; “Cookbook Club” welcomes cookbook author interviews and demos; and “Myth or Fact” where the co-hosts guess whether a common cooking belief is true or false. The Kitchen premieres Saturday, January 4th at 11am ET/PT.
“Everyone knows all good parties end up in The Kitchen, where the conversation, laughs and food flow,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “Sunny, Katie, Jeff, Marcela and Geoffrey each have a distinct food voice, engaging personality and sense of humor that together make The Kitchen a delicious way to spend an hour.”
While growing up traveling the world as an Army brat, Sunny Anderson’s parents always encouraged her to indulge in the local cuisine. When she joined the Air Force as a radio broadcaster and journalist, she continued her trek through the world for news stories while indulging in culinary finds along the way. After leaving the Air Force as an award-winning broadcaster, she continued her travels as a radio DJ in many cities, culminating in her dream job in New York at a number-one rated radio station. There, as a hobby she began cooking for her friends in the entertainment business and turned her growing client list into a catering company. That led to a guest appearance on Food Network’s Emeril Live! in 2005 and shortly after, she left her radio career and closed her catering business to focus on chasing yet another dream – sharing her recipes with the Food Network audience. Her first show Gotta Get It, a food gadget show, premiered in 2007, followed by Cooking for Real, How’d That Get On My Plate and Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson. Her cooking style combines classic comfort foods along with unique flavors inspired by her many travels. With an understanding of everyday life and the belief that real people deserve down-to-earth, delicious meals, Sunny offers real food for real life. In September 2013, she released her New York Times Best Selling debut cookbook, “Sunny’s Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life” (Clarkson Potter). Sunny lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with her four rescue cats: Cheddar Cheese, Truffle Tycoon, Milky Mouth and Sea Salt.
Growing up around expert and traditional cooks in Tijuana, Marcela was raised to be passionate about food, and she jumped straight into a culinary life with her first job working at her aunt’s cooking school in Baja, Mexico. She realized she too wanted to pursue this growing love for food full time and enrolled in the Los Angeles Culinary Institute. She then went to the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris to become trained as a classical French pastry chef. Marcela later returned home to run a catering company and teach children about the culinary arts in Tijuana, all the while, collecting recipes and applying her knowledge and skills of her family’s cooking traditions to map out her dreams. She successfully translated her culinary knowledge and passion to the small screen as the host of her own Food Network series, Mexican Made Easy, which premiered in 2010. Wanting to share her expertise on great Mexican food that combines freshness and flavor with kitchen ease, Valladolid published “FRESH MEXICO: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor” (Clarkson Potter) in 2009 and “Mexican Made Easy” (Clarkson Potter) in 2011. Marcela lives in San Diego with her nine-year-old son, who often doubles as her sous chef.
Geoffrey Zakarian, a master of Modern American cuisine, has presided over some of the country’s top kitchens over the past 25 years. He opened two New York City restaurants, Town and Country, both of which received three stars from The New York Times. Currently, Geoffrey is Chef/ Partner at The Lambs Club and The National in New York City and the Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City. Outside of his restaurant ventures, Zakarian’s cookbook, “Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table” was widely acclaimed when released, and his second cookbook will be published by Clarkson Potter in Fall 2014. Zakarian is also the host of Sirius XM’s “Food Talk” radio show, which premiered at the 2013 South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Zakarian has partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line in a three-restaurant deal aboard their newest most luxurious ship, Norwegian Breakaway, that set sail in May 2013. Zakarian will also bring these concepts aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway in 2014. In August 2013, Zakarian was named Culinary Director at The Plaza, New York City’s most iconic hotel. He will oversee The Palm Court, The Oak Room & The Oak Bar, The Rose Club, The Champagne Bar and In-Room Dining. Geoffrey is an Iron Chef, having won the title in The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs in 2011. He is a regular judge on Chopped and has also appeared on Best Thing I Ever Ate and 24-Hour Restaurant Battle on Food Network.
Born in Chicago, Jeff Mauro was a ham on a roll from the very beginning. Raised in a large family with four kids, he competed for attention not by making his sisters cry, but by making his family laugh. Jeff’s flair for the stage was discovered early, and from that point on, he immersed himself in the performing arts. When Jeff discovered the power of food, all bets were off. After graduating from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., he opened up Prime Time Deli & Catering in Westmont, Ill., with his cousin and instantly fell in love with cooking. During the day Jeff would craft sandwiches, soups and salads and at night, he satisfied his performing bug playing the role of ‘Tony’ in Chicago’s Tony and Tina’s Wedding. With both his professional cooking knowledge and his acting and improvisation skills polished, he moved to Los Angeles in an attempt to meld his two loves – cooking and comedy. After a few years in Hollywood, he upped the ante and enrolled in the le Cordon Blue Culinary program to refine his cooking skills. Jeff graduated Valedictorian, packed and returned to Chicago, where he taught cooking lessons, was a successful private corporate chef and sandwich artist, and performed on stage during the weekends. He won season seven of Food Network Star and currently hosts the Emmy-nominated series Sandwich King, which begins its fifth season in 2014. Jeff lives in Chicago with his wife Sarah and five-year-old son Lorenzo, and his favorite color is pastrami.
For Katie Lee, cooking wasn’t just a hobby growing up – it was a way of life. Raised in a modest, tight knit West Virginia family, each evening centered around the dinner menu. Eager to get involved, Katie began cooking at the tender age of four under the guidance of her mentor Grandma Dora. Using fresh vegetables from her grandpa’s garden and meat from the family’s cattle and pig farms, Katie quickly learned the value of seasonal ingredients. Katie’s first cookbook “The Comfort Table” was released in 2008, soon followed by “The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions” (2009). In addition to her “Comfort Food” cookbooks, she writes a column for SELF and published her first novel “Groundswell” in 2011. Outside of her culinary and literary adventures, Katie sits on the Celebrity Board for Feeding America. When not working or volunteering, she enjoys surfing, traveling and playing with her pug Fionula. She resides in the Hamptons.
The Kitchen is produced by BSTV Entertainment.