What’s the secret to turning a good meal into a spectacular meal? What is it that sets some restaurants above and beyond their competitors? Shaw TV host Laurie Belle investigates with some of Canada’s top celebrities and chefs on Get Cooking With the Stars.
The Walnut Grove resident is currently preparing to launch the second season of the variety cooking show on Oct. 20. A foodie herself, getting the inside scoop from some of the Lower Mainland’s best chefs has been a rewarding experience.
“I have always enjoyed cooking; I get that from my mom,” Belle said.
“I love the entertaining energy that goes around it. So the show is absolutely amazing, I’m learning so much from the guests.”
Being in front of the camera is nothing new for Belle, whose lengthy resumé includes roles on TV shows, in movies and in fashion modeling.
This is on top of earning degrees in business and communication and a master’s in education.
Last season Belle took viewers inside the cookbooks of chefs Hidekazu Tojo, from Tojo’s restaurant and David Rocco from the Food Network TV show Dolce Vita. She has also tested the kitchen skills of celebrity guests Geroy Simon of the B.C. Lions, actresses Amanda Tapping, April Telek and Jennifer Spence, and even Gene Simmons.
“Every endeavor, I learn something about a celebrity chef — they are very adept at what they do,” Belle said, adding that it’s inspiring “when you meet someone superior at their craft.”
While on the show, every guest must also perform some sort of variety act and “sing for their supper,” Belle explained.
“Each show is different because it is tailored to the guest,” she said.
“For example, singer Sara Lynn was on the show and we tailored the menu for her because she has celiac disease. Things like that are very important.”
One of the most memorable interviews she has had is with comedian Darryl Lenox, who she ended up taking on a fishing excursion.
“You have to be ready for any kind of situation,” she said with a laugh.
Beyond learning new cooking techniques and chatting with celebrities, the show is also a platform to highlight local charities.
Belle’s next endeavor is raising money for the Beauty Night Society through the official Get Cooking With the Stars red carpet launch party on Oct. 20.
The society provides wellness, life skills development and makeovers programs for women in poverty.
The launch party is being held at the Howe Street Art Gallery, 555 Howe Street, at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at www.leftcoasttv.com or by calling 604-219-5181.