Cat Cora: Part 2 of Our Interview With the Iron Chef

Yesterday, we gave you an appetizer for next week's main dish: a Chow Bella- and Changing Hands-hosted booksigning with Iron Chef and cookbook dynamo Cat Cora, who's currently touring the country to promote Cat Cora's Classics With a Twist. She'll be at the bookstore at 7 p.m. on June 23, and you can win front row seats in our contest that continues through Friday.

But we know you'd like a second helping.

So here's more from our interview with Cora -- what she thinks about fame, what she eats when she's not at the stove, and what cuisines she wants to tackle next.


Having an audience: Through the media we get to share our knowledge with thousands if not millions of people. And so I think that's a really great thing - you're able to help people have a greater quality of life around food.

Cupcake Wars, and beyond: I think that you gotta have entertainment around food, too, like anything else. I don't think that takes away from anything, I think it just makes people more excited about what they're doing for themselves. When you're cooking anything, you see it through the eyes of several different chefs and how they create, I'm sure people get a lot out different ideas about how to create something like a cupcake.

The upside of fame: It's not all about the flash and the perks. It's about using that celebrity to give back and do good things -- like my work with the White House that I was doing on children's nutrition in schools (First Lady Michelle Obama's "Chefs Move! to Schools" program), and what I do with Chefs for Humanity, my organization.

Multitasking: I have a kids book coming out next year - actually two kids books. I wrote it like a year ago on a plane. One of them is travel-related, talking about parents who travel. And I've got a merchandise line coming out this year, and we're working on opening a restaurant in San Francisco airport at Virgin America... I've got a food line I'm working on, and Iron Chef we're filming next month. It's exciting.

When she's not cooking: I go and have sushi a lot because it's real clean flavors, real healthy and natural, those kinds of things. Just joints that are ethnic - I love Indian food, Thai food, very bold, spicy foods, but simple. Nothing super fancy. I eat like that all the time.

Next cuisines to master: I think African food - South African, North African food. And I'd love to go to Africa and really go out and taste some of the real regional foods. I've cooked some of that on Iron Chef, dabbled in it and researched it. It's such a diverse area.

Eyeing up a Wiseguy: I'll probably get over to Chris Bianco's place for some pizza, and I don't know - that's going to take probably my only night that I have there, waiting in line, so . . . (laughs). He's good with everybody. It's great that he doesn't really play favorites. We'll see.

Visit Chow Bella tomorrow for part 3 on Cat Cora, where we'll share one of her tasty new recipes.

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