As the five hosts of
The Chew prove, cooking up a hit talk show is like creating a memorable Thanksgiving: Take several cups of laughter, mix in a few spoonfuls of teasing, add a pinch of drama—and top with heaps of love.
When a TV show boasts a cast full of foodies and a lineup dedicated to the art of eating (family-style meals! potluck parties!), a deli salad for lunch or a sandwich from craft services simply won't do. And so on a recent fall day at the daytime talker The Chew
, homemade lasagna is making the rounds backstage, whipped up by cohost Mario Batali
, 52, he of orange Crocs–wearing, Gwyneth Paltrow
–hanging, Italian cooking fame. "The first year, I didn't moderate my eating habits at all, just ate the entire plate of food," says Carla Hall
, 48, a Top Chef
finalist and The Chew
's dessert diva. "I gained 20 pounds!"
Hall has since learned to stick to only a few bites of the dishes prepared on set and off, and she's not alone in making some adjustments. Meat lover Michael Symon
, 43, a restaurateur and Iron Chef America
star, credits healthy-eating author Daphne Oz
, 26 (yes, the daughter of that Dr. Oz
), for teaching him to put low-fat ingredients in his recipes; and fashion expert Clinton Kelly
, 43, who also stars on What Not to Wear
, has come to appreciate Batali's, uh, unique style sense, which usually includes a fleece vest and colorful socks. "It works for him," Kelly says.
The group's chemistry is working, too: The show's ratings are up in its second season, and a cookbook collaboration, The Chew: Food. Life. Fun.
, was an instant best seller. What do these kitchen gurus know that we don't about throwing the perfect holiday get-together? Read on to find out.
Shoot us your kitchen queries, share your opinions, or just come and say "Hi!" on Facebook
and on Twitter @dashrecipes