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 Teri Hatcher, who played Lois Lane on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and, most recently, Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives. Read on below to hear from Teri, learn about her experience in the kitchen, and find out her most-memorable meal, must-have kitchen tool and more. Then check back tomorrow for another one-on-one interview.
What’s your background in cooking?
Teri Hatcher: I have cooked my whole life, but … my parents used to pay me a quarter to cook dinner for them when I was … an early young teenager because they both worked. And I have cooked really big sort of traditional Christmas Eve dinners for, like, 25 people or Thanksgiving. But I feel like, especially when you’re thinking about in comparison to this show or being a quote unquote chef … it’s totally different to be able to follow a recipe than to be able to cook. So I’m definitely a really great recipe follower.
Do you cook for yourself or your family on a regular basis?
TH: I do.
What’s your favorite thing to cook?
TH: I didn’t come from a sort of cultural tradition. For me it’s more just what I’ve come to like over the years: fish and meat and vegetables.
What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
TH: I eat everything.
What was your most-memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please!
TH: I’ve had a lot of memorable meals. I feel like I’ve been fortune enough to hit a lot of the classic sort of, French Laundry, those type of places. But I guess, in particular, there was this one meal I had in Australia on a place called Kangaroo Island at the Southern Ocean Lodge. And it was some sort of insane steak that might have been Wagyu, but it was some sort of crazy-amazing steak …. And I was with a girlfriend of mine … it’s the thing where, when we talk about it … you can, like, literally still taste the flavor. I think when I ate it, I remember saying, I’m not going to brush my teeth for days because I just don’t want this flavor to go away.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
TH: It’s an interesting question because it kind of implies junk food, and I’m really not a processed-food person. So I guess like a guilty pleasure for me would be … 12 oysters, 12 Kumamoto oysters … I’d feel guilty because it was so expensive.
Do you have a favorite cookbook?
TH: No, but I have a lot of them. I actually collect books, period. So I have quite a few first-edition books, and I sort of got very focused and sad about the idea of the book becoming … obsolete, so many years ago I sort of started collecting them, so I have a lot of cookbooks — a lot of 1950s cookbooks.
What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
TH: New York is the first thing that came to my mind …. I think I may have had some of the best pasta I’ve ever eaten in Florence …. That was a pretty crazy steak in Australia … Napa Valley’s got some amazing stuff. And Los Angeles has some amazing restaurants too. … I just went to Providence, which was great, in Los Angeles. At Barbuto [in New York City], kale salad, egg and pancetta pizza and roast chicken. This is, like, the best bacon and egg sandwich I’ve ever had in my life … it seemed weird conceptually, but it was unbelievable. And then [someone else and I] both had the roast chicken, which apparently [Chef Jonathan Waxman] is famous for. It was a perfect meal.
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
TH: I try not to eat at midnight, but if was going to be forced to, it would definitely be salt, so rather than just having a salt lick, I would probably go with organic popcorn that I pop myself on the stove, and then real butter and salt.
What’s one must-have at your last supper?
TH: Lamb. Perfectly cooked lamb. Oysters. That would be on the list. Lobster. Some sort of french fry. Risotto, maybe. All, of course, cooked perfectly. It would be huge. It would include tiny bites of almost everything.
Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Neither
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Neither