Aria Kagan is one of the finalists this year, and although I did not have the chance to interview her in person, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to submit some questions to thisThe Next Food Network Star finalist. As a mom, big family gal and supporter of fresh farmer’s market produce, I am definitely routing for her in this year’s competition and was thrilled to see she is still in the run after last night’s eliminations (although I do not doubt that she will make it to the top 3, and hopefully she’ll snag her own show!). If you haven’t watched the season yet, start tuning in on Sunday evenings 9/8c, although I think they are skipping a week for the 4th of July.
Q & A
1. What (or who) gave you the confidence to try out for The Next Food Network Star? Where do you see this journey taking you?
My mom was the one that really gave me the push to go to the open casting call in Atlanta. She bought me the ticket and drove me to the airport to make sure I went. Sometimes you need someone to believe in you a little bit more than you believe in yourself.
2. What are some of your essentials tools in the kitchen?
I love my Microplane zester!!!!
3. What is your first food memory with your son and how do you get him involved in the kitchen?
I was baking a cake. Luca, who was 2 at the time, decided he wanted to bake
a cake too. I set up an area for him that was identical to mine. As I scooped flour, he scooped flour. When I mixed, he mixed. It was such a special time. He wasn’t a baby anymore
and we were able to interact in a whole new way.
4. Any tips or tricks that have worked for you to get him to try new things.
I have a little garden that Luca and I planted. I think it is important to teach our children at a young age where our food comes from. It also makes new food more exciting to
5. Favorite ingredient or spice to use in cooking?
Lemon and lemon zest. This is my secret ingredient. Whenever I feel a dish is missing something, a squeeze of lemon or a little lemon zest brightens everything up!
6. Do you have a favorite cookbook or recipe that my blog
mamas just have to buy/try?
I am attaching one of my favorite summertime recipes.
7. Anything you’d like to share about yourself or advice you’d like to give to my readers?
When I decided to have Luca, I knew my life would never be the same. I now shared my life with him, and him with me. My role as a parent is to show Luca the beauty that is life. Live it to the fullest! Be proud! Be confident! I always encourage parents to cook with their kids, not to be afraid of it. They most likely will make a mess. Relax and enjoy the time with them. A mess can always be cleaned up.