Modeling and acting since she was eight, former White Collar and Beverly Hills, 90210 star Tiffani Thiessen is also a maven in the kitchen. Her show, the Cooking Channel’s Dinner at Tiffani’s, debuted last winter to much acclaim and is back for a second helping. In the show (Wednesdays, 8 pm), she gives you a glimpse into how she prepares for dinner parties with her celebrity friends. Bree Turner and Lance Bass visited for a brunch of goat cheese and red pepper frittata, maple fennel bacon and cranberry prosecco fizz, while White Collar co-star Tim DeKay brought his family over for a feast of fried chicken, potato and pickle salad, and root beer floats with homemade vanilla ice cream (Spoiler alert: Saved by the Bell co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar will be a guest this season.)
We caught up with the budding chef during a quick break at last month’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival and learned about her passion for food, her favorite meals and what she has cooking next.
What inspires you in the kitchen?
People, travel, farmers market and, well, my appetite.
When you’re in the kitchen, what’s your must-have cookbook?
Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food.
What’s your ingredient du jour?
If you had to pick one food you can’t live without, what would it be?
Cheese. It is the hardest thing for me to give up.
At home, what’s your go-to meal?
Roasted chicken. Because it’s easy and you can make many different meals out of the leftovers.
That’s a classic. What’s the most bizarre meal you’ve ever cooked?
I don’t do bizarre. I leave that to Andrew Zimmern.
Of all the meals you’ve had and restaurants you’ve been to, what’s the most memorable one?
It’s hard to pick a favorite meal or place in the 42 years I have been on this earth. So, I will say my current favorite is my friend Curtis Stone’s [Los Angeles] restaurant, Maude. It is definitely a memorable meal.
When you’re in Miami, where’s your favorite place to go?
The beach. You can’t go to Miami without spending time at the beach.
What does your ultimate dream vacation getaway look like?
Anywhere that serves memorable food and has a good wine list. And a gorgeous sunset would be an added plus.
You’ve had many great guests on your new show. Who would you like to have over for Dinner at Tiffani’s who hasn’t yet visited?
What do you have cooking next?
I am currently working on my first cookbook.