How Celebrity Chef Sandra Lee and I Became Friends
In some photos, celebrity chef Sandra Lee reminds me of Princess Diana.
It was 2003, and television chef and author Lee was red-hot on the Food Network. She was promoting her newest book at the time, Semi-Homemade Cooking, a concept created by Lee using 70 percent pre-packaged products and 30 percent fresh items.
Basically, the cooking concept was created to make your time in the kitchen much less and enjoying life much more.
I had her as a guest on American Breakfast, the syndicated radio program I hosted on the Talk America Network from the Shawmut Diner here in New Bedford.
After I welcomed Lee to our national audience, the first question I asked was if it would be okay to call her Julia – and in the same breath, both of us broke into mirthful laughter. After the show, I called to thank her, and the conversation continued.
Among other things, we talked about passed-down recipes used at the diner. Lee was genuinely surprised when I told her that the broadcast originated from a neighborhood diner.
Can you imagine my excitement the day Lee called and asked if I'd consider writing up a short synopsis and comment that, if chosen, would promote her cookbook all over the world?
I was blown away to see my name, along with four others, including Wolfgang Puck and Dick Clark.
In our days, parents say they don't have extra time to prepare a full dinner because of work and the kids' schedule. That's when Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking cuts the mustard.
Lee received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Show Host. After an impressive 15-season run on Food Network, Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking came to an end.