Claire Robinson,the vivacious and spirited host of Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix, combines her love for cooking and education to bring you infotainment at it's best. This Florida native started her career behind the camera but quickly found her groove after attending NYC's The French Culinary Institute and turned her passion into a career. Claire's vibrant personality shines through whether she's making her straightforward bacon and egg salad, or taking the audience through some nail-biting minutes of pastry debacle as host of the Food Network Challenge.
She's in town for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this weekend and will be hosting the Barilla Interactive Lunch at the Biltmore Hotel on Saturday with Top Chef's Bryan Voltaggio. Tickets for the lunch are $150 and still available. Sunday, make your way to the Whole Food Market Grand Tasting Village and look for her on the Green Stage. Tickets are $225.
Short Order chatted with Claire right before she jumped on a plane towards our warmer weather.
New Times: Tell us about 5 Ingredient Fix.
Claire Robinson: I always had a passion for cooking and growing up my parents would give me gift certificates to cooking classes where I'd make all sorts of amazing and complex dishes that I would not recreate at home. So my goal is always to keep it simple and teach recipes that the audience can recreate at home. I use techniques I learned in culinary school but I take away the complex language and use an approach that is easy to understand.
Why five ingredients?
I recall spending time cooking on a barge in France where I quickly learned to make delicious dishes with the few ingredients that were available around me. The key is to make sure each ingredient has a voice in the dish, and there is balance in both flavors and texture. I want to be able to taste each ingredient in the dish.
You're cookbook, 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant and Irresistible Recipes, came out in October. What makes this book different?
It's a collection of my favorite five ingredient recipes. It's an easy book to follow full of pictures. I want people to see how amazing a dish can look even when using few ingredients.
As the host of the Food Network's Food Challenge you are more a commentator than an educator. How do you enjoy this new role?
It was really hard at first. It is such a fast-paced competition and the challenges are made to be near to impossible for the contestants. We try to push their limits. But I always want to be able to teach people, even talented cooks. I remember before I was on the show, watching it at home and having all sorts of questions about why things were falling apart or not working. So I try to give the audience the answers to those questions. I feel I have found my voice.
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Do you have plans for any other shows?
I did compete on the Chopped All Stars that starts airing next month. That was honestly the hardest thing I have ever done!
So what will you be making on Saturday at Barilla's Interactive lunch at the Biltmore?
I am in charge of dessert so am keeping it simple with some bananas foster. Everyone loves ice cream and who doesn't love to flambe? But most importantly it's something you can recreate at home.