Juggling motherhood with a hectic work schedule is a never ending puzzle.
Having to critique other people’s cooking when it’s awful is part of the gig.
The craziest thing an aspiring chef has ever said to you after a critique is “I don’t agree.”
You never fathomed you’d be on reality TV.
The most rewarding thing you’ve done professionally so far has been writing a book and becoming an entrepreneur in residence at Babson college.
Having a baby girl is pure joy.
Her name, Dahlia Rae, was inspired by my favorite flower and my husband’s aunt “Rena” who passed away 2 years ago.
You first felt like a mom when I first held her in my arms.
The moment you realized your first child was a girl was exhilarating.
Working so closely with food during pregnancy can be bliss or a total nightmare, depending on how you feel. For you, it was three months of indifference followed by six months of my usual, insatiable appetite for adventure!
Your strangest pregnancy craving was the daily need for a frozen treat, from Snoballs in New Orleans to shaved ice in Hawaii.
The best advice you’ve heard as a new mom is to take one day at a time and lose the guilty expectations.
The thing that’s surprised you most about motherhood is how she can brighten my mood the moment I see her, no matter what else is going on in life.
You hope your daughter loves to cuddle, dance, sing… and sleep in!
But she better never bungee jump, which you did when you were 19!
Your love of food and cooking comes from my parents and how much they loved to cook/eat/travel.
Chocolate or cheese course? Both! Cheese first, then chocolate!
Wine or beer? Wine. Except with Japanese, Korean, or Mexican food.
Dinnertime in your house is hearty, healthy and a necessary balance to eating out so often for work or travel.
Your favorite thing to make for Dahlia right now is bananas with cinnamon, peas with fresh mint, peaches and plums, squash with fresh dill, and swiss chard sautéed in olive oil and garlic.
Your signature dish is bread pudding — chocolate banana in winter, peach maple in summer.
But you don’t like to cook veal.
If there was one food you could enjoy every day it would be sweet corn.
This year you’re most excited about my new show The Feed on FYI.
The one thing you wish you could do more is throw more dinner parties.
Next, you hope to write a cookbook.
Photo: Melanie Dunea