The Julia Child of the Net generation.
Nadia G. can cook up a storm. She’s the creator and host of Cooking Channel’s Bitchin’ Kitchen, and she certainly knows how to make a meal rock ‘n’ roll. We chat with Nadia about humor, music and what makes a kitchen bitchin’.
AndrewZimmern.com: What five things does a kitchen need to make it bitchin’?
Nadia G.: A bitchin’ attitude, fearlessness, love, a good chef’s knife, and an even better pair of heels.
AZ.com: Bitchin’ Kitchen started as a Web series. Why did you decide to create a show for the Web? How did it move from online to television?
NG: There’re three things that I love: food, comedy and rock ‘n’ roll. The Web gave me the creative freedom to combine all three into Bitchin’ Kitchen. We launched the webisodes online in 2007, they were a huge hit! I guess the food community was hungry for something a little less vanilla. As our popularity grew, it provided us with a solid proof of concept for the TV networks. In October 2010 we launched on Cooking Channel, making me the first woman to go from Net to Network, and the rest is herstory.
AZ.com: Not only do you show us how to make some awesome recipes, you also make us laugh. How do you think humor relates to cooking?
NG: Humor relates to cooking in a big way for me. See, I grew up in a food-obsessed Italian family, all our biggest laughs and best conversations always took place around food/ the kitchen table. On Bitchin’ Kitchen we do the same thing: Choose a juicy topic, have a coupla laughs, and cook a great meal to go along with it.
AZ.com: With a spatula shaped like a guitar, you have to be rockin’ out in the kitchen. What music do you blast while you’re cooking?
NG: Oh so many to choose from! I love The Kills, Santigold, La Roux, Old school GNR, Italian Folk music… I like to mix it up.
AZ.com: Your favorite Italian phrase?
NG: TSAKETA! (tsack-et-tah) It means “let’s go!”, and is a take on the obligatory TV chef tag-line. Kinda like ‘BAM’ or ‘Yumm-O’, but Bitchin’.
AZ.com: What is your go-to meal to impress a love interest? What if you never want to see him again?
NG: When impressing a new lover lots of people make the mistake of cooking up an elaborate spread. This makes you seem desperate, and nobody likes a sitting duck (a l’orange.) I’d go with my simple and delicious ‘Sirloin Shepherd’s Pie’, a hearty meat-n-potatoes dish that proves you’re a sturdy catch, but have better things to do than slave away in the kitchen all day for a quasi-stranger. As for the break-up meal, you wanna keep it light. The idea here is to get them out, not passed out on your couch. A friendly burger and salad combo is perfect for this. Cam’an, who can cause a scene when they’re presented with a juicy burger? …Vegans maybe. But you can’t please everyone.
AZ.com: Do you have any cooking “nadvice” for the followers of AndrewZimmern.com?
NG: Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, experiment, and have a blast in the kitchen! Cooking is supposed to be fun, as the old Italian saying goes: “It ain’t rocket surgery.”
AZ.com: What’s in your fridge?
NG: I just did the groceries, so I’ve got tons of tasty stuff: Baby arugula, a coupla mahi-mahi fillets marinating in garlic, soy ginger and maple syrup… Tons of fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, parmigianno, organic Greek yogurt, blueberries, a bottle of Veuve… Mmm, now I’m too hungry… What was the question again?
Nadia G.’s (Giosia) passion for food and cooking came from growing up in Montreal with a boisterous Italian family consisting of cooks and caterers who never quite gave up the belief that Casalinga-style cuisine is the centre of the universe. Nadia G. is home-schooled, DIY and proud of it. She says “You don’t have to look far to taste some of the best food the world has to offer. I’d pit my grandmother against a 3-star Michelin chef any day.”Nadia is the creator and host of the new Cooking Channel series Bitchin’ Kitchen. In 2007 Bitchin’ Kitchendebuted as a three minute mobile show. A runaway success, the show quickly gained the attention of mainstream broadcast media. In 2010 Bitchin’ Kitchen premiered on Food Network Canada and became the first ever first online lifestyle entertainment brand to successfully transition from internet to primetime. In October 2010, Bitchin Kitchen made its’ primetime American debut on Cooking Channel. Nadia is the author of a best-selling book The Bitchin’ Kitchen Cookbook: Rock Your Kitchen and Let the Boys Clean Up the Mess. She is also the winner of nextMedia’s Interactive award for the ‘Hottest Emerging Digital Brand in Canada,’ and the 2007 Wave Award for favorite mobile comedy series.