I recently caught up with Top Chef Antonia Lofaso, author of The Busy Mom’s Cookbook, on her Satellite Media Tour for Campbell’s Address Your Heart campaign for American Heart Month. We have a few moments to talk heart health, Valentine’s Day and I can’t resist asking about mussels and fennel…
Despite the two-page roster of TV and radio station interviews starting at 4AM, Chef Lofaso is more vibrant than her slick, red kitchen set.
From one interview to the next, Lofaso doesn’t miss a beat. (Get it? Beat?)
On camera, she prepares a Goat Cheese Panzanella with Chicken, Tangerines and Tomato Vinaigrette using Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato Soup to cut the fat and boost the flavor.
For radio, she describes the preparation of the salad and dressing, interweaving stories of her mother and daughter to highlight her heart healthy message.
The Top Chef also shares information on how to win a $50,000 kitchen makeover from Address your Heart and Campbell’s.
It’s easy to enter, just take a photo of your kitchen and share how you care for your heart. But hurry – the contest ends on February 28, 2013.
Between satellite TV and radio interviews from all over the country, and a quick snack, I get to ask the Top Chef a few questions…
What are your goals with the Address Your Heart Kitchen Project?
It’s really about inspiration. You know, really inspiring people to live healthier lifestyles… making choices, having options… Giving [people] that idea of how… can you make it more heart healthy for you?
And exercise. Really being that inspiration. Being that change. I’m that person who, when I’m at home, absolutely, I’m watching what I eat.
I’m trying to model that for my daughter… So when I’m my Mom’s age she won’t be scared that something will happen to me because of choices I’m making now, as we’re growing together.
Can you give me a heart healthy idea for Valentine’s Day?
Oh! Heart healthy idea for Valentine’s Day. Well, I would go with a Panzanella Salad as a start, the oranges– and what you could add to it, I know this might sound super cheesy, but edible rose petals. (laughter) For the record, we are doing chicken hearts at Black Market.
If you could throw down with one person from Top Chef Season 8, who would it be? Would it be Fabio? Whenever I see you, I think about the mussels and the fennel and Fabio.
Do you know that man still like follows me and posts strange things on twitter about that fennel and mussel thing?
Fabio! This is like two years later and he still — He came into my restaurant not too long ago and I sent him mussels and fennel. He opened up my cookbook at Barnes and Noble and apparently the first page he opened to was mussels and fennel and I was like, Good! Keep watching! Keep looking!
Um, I’m going to say, No. Not necessarily Fabio… I’m gonna say more Mikey. Because we kinda had this feud that lasted throughout 8 and it kinda calmed down when I found out I was related to him. And we never really had the cook-off between, you know, what I can do, and what he can do, together. I want a rematch because that one bite thing that he beat me, well…