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Candice Kumai’s Sexiest Recipes, Secret to Staying Fit, and More…

Candice Kumai’s Sexiest Recipes, Secret to Staying Fit, and More…


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We spoke with Top Chef contestant and host of Cook Yourself Thin Candice Kumai about how she balances staying fit with a food-obsessed career, what the sexiest recipes from her new cookbook, “Pretty Delicious” are, and what she suggests cooking for Valentine’s Day dinners. Check out what this spunky girl has to say.

What are three of your ‘sexiest’ recipes from your book and why?

The Sexy Swiss Chard recipe would have to be the first, because it is full of vital nutrients and vitamins that will keep you healthy and sexy forever. Secondly, I would say the Chocolate Covered Banana Bonbons, because they are made with dark chocolate and bananas. I consider both ingredients to be two of the sexiest foods. Last but not least, I would say the Omega Omega Salmon because all the flax seed and omegas are great for your skin, heart health and brain. Nothing is sexier, to me, than having a man that has a brain and knows how to use it.

You seem have found the balance between eating healthy foods and staying in good shape to feel sexy and confident while also enjoying great food – how do you manage that connection while working in the food industry?

It is all about balance and moderation. If I work out hard, I can eat hard. That is my motto. Quite frankly, I feel everyone can fit into their jeans happily, everyday, if they were conscious of what they were eating and making proper time to work out and stay healthy.

What are five of your go-to ‘skinny’ or ‘low-fat’ snacks?

Raw almonds, bananas, Fuji apples, Pure Dark's chocolate, and the recipe for Asian almonds in my cookbook is fabulous.

How do you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

OH LORD! I haven’t had much time to date lately and I spend a lot of time with my girlfriends. I feel like I always want to spend time with them and at their life changing events over dating because I haven’t found anyone special enough yet. I would love to find someone, but it just doesn’t seem like now is the time to date. If there is anyone interested, you know where to find me at StilettoChef.com.

When cooking dinner for special occasions, are there certain types of foods or cuts of meat that you tend to use?

It is always good to have fresh fish, if you can get it. Fresh tuna or salmon is my favorite. It is expensive and hard to find, but definitely worth it. For holidays, I like fresh vegetables and healthy side dishes. For example, my Simple Obsessed Baked Potato recipe in my book is a great side dish. Also, my Roasted Garlic and Buttermilk Smashers are a classic staple at my holiday dinners. I always have fresh vegetables on the table. To me, it’s not about meat. Meat is secondary to a good plate of vegetables.

If you were cooking for your girlfriends this Valentine’s Day, what kind of foods would you make?

I would make them my Quinoa and Crab Stuffed Roasted Red Pepper recipe, in the book. I also like making them a couple of salads, because come on, what girl doesn’t like salads? I would make my spinach, strawberry, feta walnut salad with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. And of course you can’t forget my Strawberry Baby cakes and Homemade Peanut-Butter Crunch Cups.

When cooking for men, do you have any go-to ingredients or dishes that you like to make?

Ha-ha I can’t remember the last time I cooked for a man. But if we are speaking hypothetically, I guess I would make my Miso Glazed Salmon with a side of Ginger Soy Bok Choy and a side of brown rice. Of course I would also serve a big, tall bottle of red zin. I would finish of the night with Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Candice Kumai has gone from 'Top Chef' to 'Stiletto Chef'

Food and fashion provide the backdrop for Candice Kumai's life.

As a teen, she modeled to earn money. But food was her passion, and she headed to culinary school. Surrounded by food, she packed on a few pounds. Focusing on healthy options, she lost the weight and kept it off.

A recent New York transplant, the California native known as the "Stiletto Chef" got her start as a contestant on Season 1 of Bravo's "Top Chef." She's gone on to host Lifetime's "Cook Yourself Thin" and TLC's "Home Made Simple."

She has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, cheering on linebacker Brandon Chillar, a childhood friend.

She shares tips and recipes in her new cookbook, "Pretty Delicious" (Rodale). Find her blog and 20 webisodes created for the book at stilettochef.com.

Q. How did that first season of "Top Chef" influence you?

A. That season is what catapulted me into food TV.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI think I was the only culinary student on the show. I was 23 and did not know what I was doing.

Q. What's the idea behind your cookbook?

A. I was really inspired by "Cook Yourself Thin," by the women that we helped.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspPeople are looking at you as an example of health and beauty, if you will. So why can't I share my everyday eating with everyone? It's 130 recipes.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspI eat real food. I don't drink Diet Coke. I don't eat Lean Cuisine. I'm not a fan of processed food. I realize the importance of taking control and reclaiming my health. Doing that in a fun, stylish, girlfriend way was the only way I knew how to do it.

Q. Growing up Polish and Japanese must have influenced your cooking.

A. Everyone just assumes I'm Japanese because of the way I look. I'm actually half Polish. My father is Polish-American from Connecticut. Kielbasa, pierogies, sauerkraut, borscht soup, so good&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

My grandma and my aunt taught my mother, who is Japanese, to cook golabki (stuffed cabbage), pierogies. My mom is so cool and artsy, she took things her own way and changed them to make them a little leaner, just like her daughter does now. That might be where I kind of learned that.

Q. What are some tricks you've learned?

A. My big trick is called "foods with benefits."&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspMake sure everything you eat gives back to you. Balance and moderation are key.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp

Q. Is that harder for you on the East Coast?

A. I definitely gained the extra weight everyone talks about packing on in winter. It is part of New York culture. It is way harder to stay fit here. I can't go out and run the way I did in California. I also can't surf anymore. I've taken on workout classes indoors at the end of the day. The cool thing is in summer you can walk everywhere.

Q. How would you describe your approach to food?

A. I want them to sit down at the table and have a meal with their family. I want people to love what they're eating and say, "This is delicious and I made it myself." Too many times people are not mindful when it comes to eating. We're accustomed to grabbing a Pop-Tart or Lean Cuisine. We think that's food, but 50 years ago it wasn't food because it doesn't exist. I always call us the Pop-Tart generation.

Q. Why Stiletto Chef?

A. Kind of a fun and silly way of getting people to think about eating healthy again.&ensp.&ensp.&ensp.&enspYou can call food sexy because it is keeping you sexy.

Q. Best foods for people in a hurry?

A. I always keep rolled oats in my pantry for the morning. You can cook them up really fast. I actually microwave mine, add bananas, brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. I call it Gone Bananas Oatmeal.

Q. What's always in your refrigerator?

A. I keep mesclun greens on me at all times. If I want to make a really good meal, I make what I call poor man's Nicoise: good greens, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a can of tuna.

Then you make an easy dressing of lemon, olive oil and sea salt. You can whip that up in no time. If you want to bulk it up for dinner, just add more tuna or egg or throw some avocado on it.


Watch the video: Candice Kumais Japanese Recipes (June 2022).


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