'80 Plates' host Curtis Stone dishes on show, NYC food scene
Cooking competitions get an international edge with Bravo's newest addition, "Around the World in 80 Plates," in which 12 chefs travel the world and throw down in challenges inspired by city they're in that week.
The lucky guy along for the culinary adventure: celeb chef Curtis Stone, who's hosting the show alongside chef Cat Cora. amNewYork caught up with Stone while he was in New York this week.
What were some of the best cuisines you tried on the road? It was my first time in Buenos Aires, and in Argentina they had asado. There was this big fire pit, and we grilled meat around it - it just came out in the most delicious way you could imagine.
You traveled to five continents - how long were you away from home? We were on the road for 40 days, which was a long time. And[partner Lindsay Price and I] were just about to have our first baby, too. I was worried I wouldn't make it back in time! I got back two days before the baby was born.
Any big plans for your first Mother's Day as a family? It's a bit of a surprise. I haven't told her what we're doing yet, but we're going to have a big family day.
Have you brought anything you learned during "80 Plates" into your home kitchen? That's the beautiful thing about cooking. Everything you see you can create. I've [been inspired by a] lot of the Asian-style cooking we had in Hong Kong - really simple stir fries and healthy salads. Stir fries are so versatile - you can literally pull any kind of vegetables, and make it seafood- or meat-based. All you have to remember to choose a protein that's naturally tender - you don't want to use a stewing steak.
I know you're a big proponent of locally sourced food. What should New Yorkers buy at a farmer's market versus a regular grocery store? At the farmer's market, stuff is so fresh, [so] you normally get a longer shelf life on it. Get your leafy greens and beautiful fruits and veggies that are in season. Your staples, of course, you can get from the grocery store - rice and pasta and beans.
What would you buy at an NYC farmer's market if you were going today? Asparagus has just sprung. It's absolutely great right now. I'd start there. You could steam it, and serve it with a poached egg and salad. Peas and beets are also in season and really delicious right now.
Any favorite spots for international cuisine in NYC? I just went to a great little Moroccan place in the East Village called Nomad. It had really, really good, simple Mediterranean cooking.
"Around the World in 80 Plates" premiers Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
Follow Style/Entertainment Editor Julie Gordon on Twitter: @jbgordon