I grew up in Midtown Manhattan.

I love to eat. I could make a professional sport out of it.

Winter blues are cured every time with a potato gratin paired with a roast chicken.

I've thrown vanilla beans into mustard. Nothing crazy or grainy, just normal dijon. It's great for duck. Smear some of that right on the duck, coupled with some roast plums, and it all comes together in that savory over sweet over savory over sweet way we all love.

I love it when a few simple ingredients come together on a plate, and I think, 'Wow, that's a dish.'

I really cringe at the sight of pattypan squash. So pretty and cute and having no taste or exciting texture. Dull.

I think unadulterated products and smaller portion sizes mean consumption of less food overall. Portion is everything. The first time I bought a scoop of ice cream in Paris, they weighed the ice cream on a scale before putting it on the cone. It was so small, it fell into the cone as she handed it to me.

Short ribs in the middle of a hamburger? That was pretty groundbreaking.

Make a stir-fried rice dish with some cut-up chicken and any vegetables folded into the rice for a 'one pot' meal lunch that has it all - protein, starch and vegetables.

I am driven by ingredients. My Italian heritage and French training inevitably poke through as well, guiding my techniques.

I love using hummus as centerpiece and then making different containers of vegetables for fun dipping.

The hardest thing for me is restraint. I see fresh beans and ramps, and I start to quiver.

I love 'The Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook' by Dione Lucas. A huge source of information and inspiration. The book is organized by menu, and the recipes are unusual and exciting.

I watched 'Iron Chef ' for years, and I thought, 'That's playing for the New York Yankees.' I made that my version of being Derek Jeter, and I worked really, really hard to win that.

My most memorable meal was with my parents at Joel Robuchon's Restaurant Jamin in Paris. It was Christmas 1982, and the flavors - from cauliflower and caviar to crab and tomato - astounded me. It was the first time I remember thinking that I would like to really learn how to cook.

Give yourself enough time to really learn how to cook.

Food is ever-changing and ever moving forward and getting more and more complex.

Who doesn't love a stuffed cherry tomato?

My last meal on Earth? The obvious answer is a plate of my mother's scrambled eggs.

There's a freshness to the approach of teen chefs. They're lighthearted, and they're not afraid to take risks.

When we talk about chefs, we often talk about their love of food or their passion for it, but cooking is also about making a living; it's a job.

I feel like a princess with a knife. I've wanted to be an Iron Chef forever.

I like food to be really simple but have a lot of technique all the same.

I've roasted a somewhat frozen turkey, and it's come out just fine.

My mom, ever the Italian, made braised chicken with tomato.

I try to sit still for about 15 minutes each morning without making lists or running in overdrive.

I have to be honest and say that I never really feel like there's one person that I really want to cook for. I just want my food to always get better and always be evolving and for there to always be movement in what I make. I would say I strive for that more than anything else.

As a chef, a mom, and a member of Team No Kid Hungry, I believe that every child deserves three meals a day, every day.

Part of health is variety!

I've had the privilege of having a lot of amazing people cook for me.

My father always said, 'If you love what you do, you won't mind slogging through it for several hours a day.'

I think that cakes should have touches of candy bar in order for it really to hit all those childhood notes on the keyboard.

Every once in a while, I want to get up and cook.

I didn't harbor a huge desire to become a chef until I graduated from college.

Repeatedly opening the oven - or worse, taking out the turkey to baste it - slows down the momentum of cooking.

Ganache is a mix of chocolate and cream. Warm cream, warm chocolate, they want to get to know each other - they're happy.

People in professional kitchens may love what they do, but sometimes it's just something that puts food on the table.

I'm interested in food and sharing my passion with a community of like-minded people. All of the celebrity stuff that comes along with that is just an incidental byproduct of being able to do what I love for a living.

People don't take enough advantage of the refrigerator door.

Every time I feel like something is missing from a dish, I think, 'Oh, I know, I'll add a pinch of dry ginger.' If it's not salt and it's not vinegar, it's probably missing dry ginger.

Mashed potatoes with stuff in it? That's '90s.

I don't show just anyone how to crust a sea bass. That's sacred information.

I like all of McClure's pickles, but my personal favorites are the spicy ones.

'Iron Chef America' is so real. Imagine putting on television the whole process of making that food, the technique. It's all about technique. It doesn't even matter if you show the faces sometimes.

I didn't cook that much as a kid. My mother was cooking, and I was her helper. We made dishes together.

I have a daughter who has taught me a lot along the way.

It stuns me how effective children can be in their messaging, and I believe that every child should enjoy that basic right to become an adult. Getting rid of childhood cancers is one effective way to reach that goal.

It's amazing the relationships you forge in a kitchen. When you cooperate in an environment that's hot. Where there's a lot of knives. You're trusting your well-being with someone you've never before met or known.

To make fluffy scrambled eggs, the best trick is to whisk in a splash of water and nothing else. Cream, milk, and other liquids drag the eggs down!