Chefs’ Surprising Revelations From Geoffrey Zakarian’s Food Talk

02/26/2014 at 03:18 PM ET

Anne Burrell
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

Fact: Martha Stewart loves making cocktails so much, she’d be happy working as a bartender in her next life.

That’s just one of the juicy tidbits Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian discovered when he interviewed the domestic doyenne and other foodie friends for his SiriusXM Food Talk radio show during the recent South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami.

Another delicious morsel: Anne Burrell of Worst Cooks in America admitted that while she and cohost Bobby Flay eat the food presented on the show, they won’t touch the grub that contestant wannabes bring to the casting sessions. “I don’t blame her!” Zakarian says.

Other chefs who chatted poolside at the James Royal Palm hotel included Sunny Anderson, Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern, Danny Meyer and Marc Summers.

Zakarian found out that flooring inspired the name of Marc Murphy‘s latest New York City restaurant, Kingside. Turns out the Chopped judge’s wife, Pam, hoping to hit on a name for her husband’s soon-to-be-opened eatery, noticed the checkered-patterned floor in their home, which prompted her to research chess terms. When she saw the word “kingside” — where the kings stand on the chess board — a restaurant moniker was born.

Zakarian’s co-host on The Kitchen Katie Lee — who recently attended an intensive three-day pizza school — gave him two unusual tips on how to make the perfect pie. “She said the sauce has to be applied in a clockwise motion, and when drizzling olive oil, it should be in a backwards 6!”

And then there was this from My Grandmother’s Ravioli‘s Mo Rocca: “Mo told me he did a piece on professional cuddles for CBS Sunday Morning … if that’s not interesting, I don’t know what is!”

You can hear the show on Sirius XM Stars Channel 106 on February 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

—Nancy Mattia


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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