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For one night only, the Chopped Kitchen will turn into a celebrity playground as four television stars take their places at the stove and cook against the clock in three rounds of Chopped competition. Teri Hatcher, Anthony Anderson, Antonio Sabato Jr. and Dawn Wells will face off in the first-ever Celebrity Holiday Bash on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 10pm/9c, and in the spirit of the season, they’ll find holiday-themed ingredients in each of their baskets. While these all-stars may be after personal culinary vindication and lasting bragging rights in the kitchen, they’re also competing for charity, and the winner will ultimately be able to donate $10,000 to the organization of his or her choice.
To prepare for this all-star extravaganza, FN Dish is introducing you to each of the celebrities. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Antonio Sabato Jr., the Rome-born model who played Jagger Cates on General Hospital. Read on below to hear from Antonio, learn about his favorite dish to cook, and find out his guilty pleasure food, a must-have at his last supper and more. Then check back tomorrow for another one-on-one interview.
What’s your background in cooking?
Antonio Sabato Jr: I was born in Italy, so you would think I am a pretty good cook. Basically what my cooking background is whatever I’ve learned from my parents I kind of do and redo and kind of just put my touch to it. I wouldn’t call myself a chef, but I do enjoy myself cooking some stuff. I kind of improvise as I go. I go in the kitchen and I find what’s there, and make it up as I go. I don’t follow recipes or anything of that sort of stuff.
What’s your favorite thing to cook?
ASJ: Bolognese, which is the meat sauce, but I make it Italian-style. I make it the way it’s supposed to be made. I’m pretty good with that. I also make an Italian stew, like chicken stew.
Do you have a particular food style that you enjoy eating/cooking?
ASJ: Italian cuisine. I wouldn’t know how to cook, like, Asian or any of that other sort of stuff or any other type. Usually what I grew up watching and doing, but I do pick up, like. My wife cooks other kinds of stuff, and I see what she does and I kind of can do that.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten from craft service?
ASJ: There’s so much craft service stuff. Those sour candy snakes, those worms. I’m around those.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
What was your most-memorable meal? What, where, Who? Details, please!
ASJ: I would say, going back to Italian food, gnocchi with the Bolognese that my father makes, or tortellini with cream sauce that my mom makes. That’s pretty good, with, like, peas and ham. It’s a pretty noticeable dish in Italy and Rome. But mostly pasta, pasta dishes.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
ASJ: I like good gelato, really good Italian ice cream.
What’s your favorite cookbook?
ASJ: No favorite cookbook. I don’t follow any cookbooks, no recipes.
What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
ASJ: A blender. I blend my tomato sauce. I don’t like any pieces. I don’t like any tomato pieces or leftovers. I blend everything.
What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
ASJ: Rome. That’s where I was born. Nothing like Rome.
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
ASJ: I have this Balance Bar, protein bar, with vanilla that I eat. I like to snack on that a lot.
What’s one must-have at your last supper?
ASJ: Amatriciana. I would say bucatini amatriciana … made right, the way it’s supposed to be made, spicy with ham. A good plate of pasta.
Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Sprinkles