With my new show, Dinner at Tiffani's on the cooking channel!

A little bit about me: I'm a sixth-generation Californian, currently living in Los Angeles. Actress for 32 years, crazily enough! You might recognize me from popular shows like BEVERLY HILLS 90210 or SAVED BY THE BELL.

Victoria's helping me out via phone. AMA!


Update: Thanks so much, you guys, for joining me today! It was really fun to answer a lot of your questions. I hope to get to do it again, and please watch Dinner at Tiffani's on Cooking Channel tonight at 10 PM eastern / 7 PM Pacific!

Comments: 773 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

missingphish568 karma

Did you really sign this postcard I got in 7th grade? http://www.imgur.com/gallery/2S0gz2m

Here's the signature http://www.imgur.com/gallery/078h5Z1

TiffaniThiessen610 karma

I was doing a lot of my fan mail way-back-when, so if it was back then - probably!

Daggaman506 karma

Hi Tiffani! What happened to the "Amber?"

TiffaniThiessen536 karma

Oh! Hahah! it was a professional decision that my agent of 20-some odd years decided I shouldn't use it anymore and just go with my first and last name.

It was nothing crazy.


I love how you play a 'seriously, I'm not an idiot' kind of lady on White Collar. Do you wish you could have taken the character deeper?

TiffaniThiessen227 karma

I always think that characters are fun to explore. They're almost like an onion peeling back the layers. And I don't think you ever get enough time to explore a character, especially if you've been on for 6 seasons. So yeah!

BrandtHasToPay100300 karma

Hi Tiffani, thank you for doing this AMA. My question is simple. Who is a better kisser, Mark Paul Gosselaar or Jaime Pressly?

TiffaniThiessen306 karma


Um... oh gosh, that's such a hard question. It depends on if you're asking a 16 year old little girl, or someone a little bit older! I can't pick just one. I love them both.

cantwaitforthis253 karma

Holy goodness. What was it like to grew up in front of the entire viewing country? Was it strange knowing that you were the first crush for almost every single boy that grew up in the 90s?

Also, if you are ever in Iowa, my wife and I would love to cook you dinner or take you some place to eat! HA!

TiffaniThiessen224 karma

Thank you for the lovely invitation. I will keep you posted when I am in your area.

And you know, it's funny? I never really thought of myself that way. I was kinda just a kid who enjoyed doing what I did, which was acting, and I felt very fortunate to be on a show that I enjoyed working with the people I worked with. I got to do a lot of things that a lot of 14 year olds don't get to do. So I felt very privileged and fortunate in that sense. And that sense of feeling like an icon amongst the boys - my eyes didn't open to that until I was a little bit older, when I was 15, 16, when that sort of became what happens as you're a teenager? And when Mark-Paul and I were starting to travel to different states as well as different countries, and we started to see what types of audiences were for the show, and what types of people were attracted to our show and attracted to our characters.

richardwrinkle228 karma

Can you please share with us your anti-aging secrets? How do I age like you and not like Tommy Lee Jones?

TiffaniThiessen259 karma

That's hilarious. I would say the number one thing that i tell everybody with regards to health and beauty is WATER. You can never drink enough water. Water to me is the secret - even though I don't think it's a secret - to keeping healthy inside and out.

daphan211 karma

Tiffani, your work on White Collar was great. Any word on whether or not there will be a White Collar movie? Also what was the experience like revisiting your past with Jimmy Fallon in the Saved By The Bell reunion.

TiffaniThiessen150 karma

Not that I'm aware of! But sign me up if there was!

Frajer210 karma

What's Kelly doing now in your mind?

TiffaniThiessen494 karma

She'd probably be living in the Midwest somewhere, with 5 children probably and Zac Morris, ahahaha!

courtiebabe420128 karma

Hi Tiffani! So nice to have you here on /r/IAmA with us today!

My question is this - how did Jimmy Fallon convince you guys to do a Saved by the Bell reunion? That was an absolute blast to watch, and us kids of the 90s loved every second!

Also, how much do you keep in touch with your former coworkers from the show?

TiffaniThiessen153 karma

We all had a blast! I'm a huge fan of Jimmy Fallon, and it wasn't too hard to be convinced to do something like that with him. I think they'd been pressuring us for the last couple years to do a reunion, and it felt like this was the right time to do it. I keep in contact with all 3 of those people - Mark-Paul, Mario and Elizabeth - and you'll actually see Mario and Elizabeth on Dinner at Tiffani's!

matssundin1392111 karma

I’m Canadian, and last July was on a trip to New York when I saw something being filmed in Lower Manhattan. A person by the barricade told me it was White Collar. I wanted to stick around for the chance to say hi, but the group I was with wanted to keep moving, so I missed my only chance to say hi to Kelly Kapowski :(

Anywho, I’m a big fan, but since I was born in ’92, I never got to see SBTB live, but I watched everyday before school on TBS growing up. My questions, what was it that made you want to start your own cooking show, and what’s your all-time favourite dish?

TiffaniThiessen114 karma

Awwww. I'm so sad to hear that.

I've always had a love of cooking. I've been cooking with my mother, grandmother, my aunt since I was young, and I've always had a love of entertaining as well. So as I've gotten older, I've enjoyed sharing my love of cooking with friends & family, which is how I came up with the show idea, and I was happy to hear that Cooking Channel was onboard to want to do it!

My favorite dish - that's a hard question. The most requested dish I get from friends is my flatbread pizzas, and if my husband is asking, it's anything on the grill. And of course, if it's my daughter, it's ice cream for dinner (but that usually doesn't happen).

suaveitguy79 karma

Your new show has a few guests per episode? Is that turning out to be a challenge - to book enough interesting and complimentary guests?

TiffaniThiessen105 karma

Haha! Well, being that I've been in the business for 32 years, I've met a LOT of amazing people, so I'm hoping that between those people, I have a LOT of episodes I can shoot.

sazzzzy79 karma

Hey! Any chance we'll see Sarah Michelle on your cooking show? Absolutely adore you - you were the reason I watched White Collar!

TiffaniThiessen92 karma

Haha! Yes, Sarah was definitely invited this season, but for her own working schedule and travel, she wasn't able to come this season, so I'm hoping to have her come by next season. Sarah's a good friend of mine.

nygiants65671 karma

What was your favorite behind the scenes moment from your time on Saved by the Bell?

Also, we share the same birthday; I just thought you'd like to know.

TiffaniThiessen91 karma

Well, hello fellow Aquarian! Hope you had a good birthday!

Some of my favorite moments were definitely ones where we were playing practical jokes on each other, offset.

queqt38 karma

Who was the biggest jokester on set? And also, what was the best one that still sticks with you??

TiffaniThiessen71 karma

Hmmm. Oooh, it's a toss-up between Tim Dekai or Willie Garson.

Again, you're asking a woman who's pregnant, and that was over 25 years ago!

TiffaniThiessen72 karma

Oh! The biggest joker on SBTB was Mark-Paul, for sure. And he still is today.

emally65 karma

When you first signed up for Saved by the Bell, did you ever in your wildest imagination expect it to be so popular and such a pop culture staple 25 years later?

TiffaniThiessen82 karma


Ever ever ever.

NEVER! Hahah!

I don't think you ever know what's going to take off, or what's not, when you're auditioning for roles in film or TV. So it definitely exceeded any of our expectations on how much the show has become iconic over the years.

gyropyro60 karma

Hi Tiffani, what is going to make your show different than other cooking shows? What is unique about your point of view? (loved you on White Collar)

TiffaniThiessen72 karma

Hmm. I think my show's very different in that you're seeing a lot of familiar faces in a very organic way. I find that people coming over to someone's house to have a dinner party is a pretty fun, relaxed natural setting, so you get to see these familiar faces in that kind of setting.

suaveitguy57 karma

How surreal was it to watch the SBTB movie? The wrong parts, the right parts?

TiffaniThiessen89 karma

I wouldn't know, because i never watched the movie. I have no idea! I just know that it was based on a book that was completely unreal (from what I know, that people have told me of stories from the book).

FCBarca198452 karma

Loved you on white collar. Looking forward to your new show. What is one of your fondest memories of working on White Collar?

TiffaniThiessen62 karma

Wow! Um... again, such a hard question. There's so many fond memories that I have. I always loved working with the guys - which I got to do a lot. I have fond memories of having my daughter, and literally having a brand-new baby on set - she was half-raised in New York, and that set was like her second home.

theArnoldFans144 karma

How do you stay in shape? Do you lift, pump iron or Run...and Do you have fitness role models?

TiffaniThiessen79 karma


Uh, I am someone who gets bored very easily. So I do a lot of different things. Right now, being that I'm pregnant, I train 5-6 days a week. I do Pilates, I do spin classes, I have a trainer so I do circuit training and weight training, and I hike on the weekends with my family.

drake072737 karma

What's your ideal vacation?

TiffaniThiessen83 karma

Oh! Ideal vacation! Um... well being from Southern California, I'm definitely a girl who was raised close to the beach, so it would have to be someplace warm, someplace with an ocean and a pool, and when I'm NOT pregnant, flowing cocktails! Cocktails that keep coming!

Quiggibub33 karma

Why is it when TV cooks/chefs say they're adding a tablespoon of something like flour or oil, they proceed to add at least half a cup of the stuff?

TiffaniThiessen29 karma

Well, I don't know about other chefs, but I don't do that, ahhahaa! I add what I say I'm adding, haha!

DawsonLeerysHair31 karma

Thanks for taking some time to answer our questions! I actually have two questions for you, if you don't mind.

1.) How do you feel about the recent resurgence of Kelly Kapowski as a celebrity crush for teenage guys/young adults? Between shirts with your image on it and you being featured on many Twitter profiles as a "woman crush Wednesday", millennial guys have discovered Saved by the Bell and have taken special interest in you

2.) Did you find it strange when Kelly was dating a much older man in Jeff? If not, was there anything particularly bothersome about Kelly Kapowski to you?

Sorry that my questions are so SBTB centric. I'm only 20, so that's really what I know you from (though I have made it a point to start watching Beverly Hills 90210). Thanks again!

TiffaniThiessen36 karma

1.) I find it pretty funny? I mean, it was a character I played over 25 years ago, so I find it pretty hilarious, at the same time pretty surreal.

2.) You know, I think they were touching on a subject that is sometimes popular - with kids dating people that are older or younger. I didn't find it to be that strange, maybe because growing up in the business, I think I was dating at the time someone who was a little older than me, so it didn't feel that odd to me.

Ribelin200030 karma

Is it true you weren't able to do Scorsese's Cape Fear because of your Saved by the Bell schedule?

TiffaniThiessen53 karma

No. I've never even auditioned for that role, nor have i ever heard that story. You're the first.

Always something new!

potaetoSON30 karma

I watch a lot of cooking shows so ill tune in for sure.

what are you cooking tonight for dinner?

also, please dont over exaggerate the 'tasting' part of your show. i hate that part. bobby flay does it well.

TiffaniThiessen63 karma

Oh, that's funny!

Well, I kinda answered what's tonight - it's a Texas Feast tonight, with the boys of WHITE COLLAR. I'm cooking up bbq ribs, I'm showing them how to do a fun Texas Tea cocktail, I have collard greens, and I do a pimento-cheese spread (which is a very Southern dish that I learned how to make from my best friend from the South).

We eat everything that you see us eat! that's not fake! There's nothing not real about the show. I cook in real-time, I eat in real-time!

zoidboob29 karma

If I were to have breakfast at Tiffani's, what would you make me?

TiffaniThiessen51 karma

Well, funny enough, not tonight but next week I do a special episode of Breakfast at Tiffani's (or brunch as you would say). I cook up a beautiful frittata, a beautiful plum caprese salad, and I show everyone how to do maple-fennel bacon - it's a really fun episode that you'll see Lance Bass in! It's to die for, people who have the bacon say it's the best bacon they've ever had. So...

deltahog26 karma

I really like your genuineness in your interviews. You have a humility about you that a lot of up and coming stars seem to lack.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

TiffaniThiessen39 karma

Mmmm! Thank you for the nice compliments.

I would say the one thing I would love to gain, quality-wise... could I go crazy and say the one gift I would love to have would be to learn how to fly! Who wouldn't love to learn how to fly!?

DaveJC25 karma

Hi Tiffani, over the years, you've shaped my view of a perfect woman with all of your roles. I once told a girl she'll always be number two to you in my heart, which she replied she totally understood. Did you ever have any celebrity crushes you met along your path in Hollywood?

TiffaniThiessen47 karma

Oh gosh. I feel like i've been pretty fortunate to work with some amazing people that I think - sometimes when you have that work relationship, it's hard to have a crush? But the very first one that I had when I was young - and very innocently had a crush - I was a pre-teen, was Ricky Schroder from a show called SILVER SPOONS back in the day.

AlexatRF2121 karma

What is your perfect burger?

TiffaniThiessen63 karma


Well, if it's a burger that I'm making, it would be topped with probably... I'm an old-fashioned girl, so I'd have to say cheddar or American, with avocado, grilled onions, lettuce, I'm not a tomato girl on my burger (I know I'm crazy like that) and you gotta do the sauce. Thousand island! And if I really want to get crazy, I put a fried egg on top.

And if it's a quick trip in New York, it's Shake Shack. And if it's in Los Angeles, it's all about the classic In-N-Out.

dmt172421 karma

Hi Tiffani,

Big fan of SBTB; my twin and I would watch reruns every morning waiting for the bus! Thanks for the memories!

Anyways ... What should I cook for myself tonight for dinner?

TiffaniThiessen19 karma

Umm... let's see, tonight? If you want something EASY, I say my roasted chicken from my special is one of my easiest recipes and a home-run! Recipe can be found here.

insaneluchador21 karma

London fan here! I wonder, if you were to host a Saved by the Bell themed dinner party, what would be on the menu?

TiffaniThiessen35 karma


Well, I just had Elizabeth Berkley on last week, so that hopefully answers part of that question.

I would probably bring it back a little old school, so I'd probably whip up some old school recipes from my mom, my grandmother and my aunt's recipe box.

suaveitguy20 karma

What is it like being a guest on Howard Stern? How is it different than other interview shows, as a guest?

TiffaniThiessen30 karma

Well, you definitely have to have ... kind've, you have to be aware of what's happening. You have to be centered when you go into Howard Stern. I'd heard so many things about him being a nice guy, so I wasn't too too concerned, but I think he actually - I felt that he was pretty nice and pretty easy on me, so I felt like I was able to do a pretty decent interview without getting too embarrassed at times!

emirce869119 karma

What is one food staple you couldn't live without? :]

TiffaniThiessen67 karma



It would have to be cheese.

hoodmizzou19 karma

Isn't Zack Attack like the most radical band ever?

TiffaniThiessen20 karma


I guess that's a question for YOU, not me!

Vanceb1319 karma

Hello!!! Have to ask, how do you feel about Kelly being such an icon for girls and guys, (albeit for different reasons) for so many years? I just saw a kid around 19 years of age wearing a shirt with you on it.

TiffaniThiessen22 karma

Yeah, those shirts are floating around all the time. It's quite interesting to see that old face of mine (even though it's a young face). It's kinda surreal at times. It's funny to see how popular that character has become and still is for 25 years.

theArnoldFans113 karma

What's the 2015 Summer blockbuster film you're looking forward to most? Jurassic World, Mad Max, Furious 7 or Terminator?

TiffaniThiessen48 karma


Well, gosh. You know what, it's hard? None of those are my kind of movies. You could ask my husband, and he's excited about ALL of them. I think I'm most excited about Cinderella, and I got to see an advance screening of it last Sunday, and I brought my daughter to it, and we both loved it.

Nominativ11 karma

Hi Tiffani!

I have a question about Matt Bomer and Willie Garson.

How awesome are they?

Oh and any cool stories with Tim DeKay maybe?

Who was the main prankster on the set? :D


TiffaniThiessen15 karma

Uhh. All the boys of WHITE COLLAR are awesome, yes. And I would say the biggest prankster would be - it's a tossup between Tim DeKay and WIllie Garson.

dimplejuice11 karma

What was it like working with the esteemed Woody Allen?

TiffaniThiessen12 karma

Amazing. Definitely memorable. One of the top, I'd say, 10 best moments, for sure. He is a definite genius, and I enjoyed every moment that I got to work with him. I felt very fortunate to have that opportunity.

Universu11 karma

What is your favorite book?

TiffaniThiessen24 karma

Well, it's funny, I'm not a traditional book person. My husband reads a ton of books. So we have a plethora of books. But the books that I read are cookbooks, or books that I'm reading out loud to my daughter.

dimplejuice10 karma

Valedictorian? What was your graduation speech about?

TiffaniThiessen24 karma

Yes, I was valedictorian. But it was for a private school that wasn't probably more than 100 children? It was a school meant for professionals - anyone from actors to musicians to Olympians. So yes, it was neat to be Valedictorian, but it wasn't a normal high school! I was a straight A student, though.

I was!

Oh, good question. I have NO idea what my speech was. You're talking to a woman who's pregnant right now, so I have massive baby brain!

llano1110 karma

Hey Tiffani, with your success in Saved by the Bell and 90210, during their most popular years, how often did people see you on the street and have trouble differentiating you from your characters? Do you have any funny stories about any of those interactions if so?

TiffaniThiessen27 karma

I've had a lot of that, over the years, yes.

It was a tossup between people recognizing me from SBTB or 90210. Probably the most memorable fan interaction was in Las Vegas, with a woman who had a little too much to drink, and thought that I was really Valerie Malone and wanted to pick a fight with me. As my mother taught me, I walked away like a lady.

gdyetrauda9 karma

So, first of all, you should know that you have played (in my opinion) the best law enforcement/gov't agency spouse in any medium I've ever seen. Loved you on White Collar, obviously.

My question is-- was the chemistry among the cast regulars as good off-screen as on, or was it just really spectacular acting? The chemistry is what majorly sold that show.

TiffaniThiessen12 karma

I wish I could say it was our AMAZING acting skills that allowed us to be that amazing with our chemistry on screen? But i will say it was definitely real. We all enjoyed each other's company, we all loved and respected each other, and we had such an amazing time that we were sad to see the show end last year.

kilotone8 karma

Do you actually have any personality or quirks that you share with Kelly on SBTB, and if so what are they?

Even after growing up it always seemed like a natural part of your acting. It might just be my teenage perception though. Thanks for your hard work, you've always been fun to watch!

TiffaniThiessen13 karma

Well, that's very sweet of you to say, thank you for the nice compliments.

I would definitely say that I share some similarities with Kelly. Being that i was portraying a young girl in high school, it was very much true to my heart in that sense. Dancing was a big part of my life, and even though she wasn't a dancer, she was a cheerleader, that was definitely part of it. She's very close to her family, and I can say that's a similarity. I remember her having a lot more brothers and sisters than I did - I only had 2, but she had a ton. That's why if you asked where Kelly is today, I feel like she would probably have a ton of children.

suaveitguy8 karma

Who are your favorite TV chefs? Any other shows you looked at when getting ready? (Dinner for Five, Politically Incorrect?)

TiffaniThiessen11 karma

Hmm! Dinner for Five was actually a show I did look at a lot. I did enjoy that show a lot. I love Bobby Flay, the Barefoot Contessa, all the mainstream chefs, and then I have personal favorites, friends of mine who have influenced me in the cooking world as well as my family.

chaz91w8 karma

Thanks so much for doing this AMA Tiffani! Everyone has a sort of golden rule they try to follow in life, whats yours?

TiffaniThiessen10 karma

I think to live my life loving the people that I love, and cherishing them, and making sure they know how much they mean to me, and living an honest life. Living a life that allows me to work hard (because I actually enjoy working hard) and hopefully staying as healthy as possible!

justinscouse8 karma

You were in two of my favourite programmes shown over here in the UK, and we're almost the same age. I had quite a crush on you - still do in fact! What was your favourite show when you were a teenager? Do you get over to the Uk much? x

TiffaniThiessen14 karma

I wish I would come and visit the UK more than I do. I haven't been there in AGES.

My most popular shows that i watched when I was young were the COSBY SHOW and SILVER SPOONS.

swishmon8 karma

What's your favorite sandwich?

TiffaniThiessen24 karma

My favorite sandwich?

It would have to be a good classic grilled cheese with caramelized onions.

That does sound delicious right now, doesn't it?

tiffanithiessenfan7 karma

Hi Tiffani! What kind of role would you like to play next, and when do you plan to get back into acting after having your son? I'd really like to see you step into a more family oriented drama (tv show) and play a wife and a mom. Is this something you see happening?

TiffaniThiessen9 karma

Yeah, it all depends on what comes down the pipe, you know, after I have my son! I hope to do many more seasons of Dinner at Tiffani's. But I love acting, acting is my first love, and I never want to give that up, so hopefully I will find another show or something creative that I can do as well as Dinner at Tiffani's.

twogunsalute6 karma

Hi Tiffani, how does it feel being a part of such an iconic show like SBTB?

Also if you could move to another country to learn to cook their food, which country/cuisine would you choose?

TiffaniThiessen7 karma

Ooh, that's a good one! France, for sure. French food is my weakness.

Universu5 karma

Iron Chef, Master Chef, Top Chef and who's your favorite chef?

TiffaniThiessen11 karma


That's hard. I would probably have to say, it's a toss between - that's so hard, I watch all 3 of 'em!


I watch more TOP CHEF and MASTER CHEF. So it's probably a toss-up between those 2.

landmule5 karma

Does your show involve inviting other celebrities in to cook with you? If so, who can we expect to see as guests? What's your favorite one dish meal? Do you have a minivan? Can you drive a car with a clutch? What's your favorite brand of marshmallow? Cats or Dogs? Beer, wine, mixed drinks or sparkling water?

TiffaniThiessen11 karma

Yes, there's lots of people that come on the show! You can take a look at some of the guests on the website: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/dinner-at-tiffanis.html

But tonight was a bit of the reunion for the WHITE COLLAR boys. Next week you'll see Lance Bass and Bree Turner. And in following episodes, you'll see people like Bill Bellamy, Mario Lopez, you'll see my husband and daughter, there's a plethora of very familiar faces.

One-dish meal would have to be my enchiladas. Or tacos.

Yes, I do. I am a minivan mom. And I am proud of it.

No. I cannot drive a car with a clutch. Hahaha! Why are you calling me out?

It's actually a natural marshmallow that I buy at Whole Foods... let me walk to my pantry, because of course I don't remember, but my daughter loves marshmallows and we toast them quite often. It's called... very weird, strange writing - ELYON. Pulled that right from the pantry!

I have both. So I can't answer that question. I have a cat. I've had cats. Dogs my whole life. And I'm also an owner of 5 chickens.

Wine, for sure!

SarahMarshall135 karma

I grew up watching Saved By The Bell everyday. What was your favorite episode to film and why? And who was your favorite cast member? Looking forward to your new show!

TiffaniThiessen10 karma

I would have to say probably my favorite episodes (and it was plural) was when we shot a few episodes on the beach. Those were my favorites. Definitely fondest memories there.

Oh, I can't pick a favorite! There's no way! That's an impossible question.

randyplayer5 karma

Prefer making savory or sweet dishes?

TiffaniThiessen9 karma

I would definitely say that i prefer making savory. I'm much more of a savory person in the kitchen than sweets. But I do find myself making desserts from time to time in the kitchen, just not as much as savory.

ask_me_if_im_burning5 karma

What's the most bizarre food you've ever cooked?

TiffaniThiessen9 karma

Oh gosh that's a hard one too!

I cook a lot of things that are amazing, you can't pick just one! Tonight on my show, check out the Big Ol' Texas Feast that I whip up tonight for the boys of WHITE COLLAR. You can check it out here.

jabb04 karma

What was the last album you purchased?

TiffaniThiessen8 karma

The last album I purchased, I think, was the Fresh Beat band for my daughter, hahaha! And the last album for myself I think was... I think... Taylor Swift, if I remember right!

But that also was for my daughter too. But I like Taylor Swift. I think she's adorable, and very talented.

jenludek2 karma

What is your favorite beauty product to use?

TiffaniThiessen4 karma

That's hard too, because I love so many different beauty products! I think my all-time favorite right now is anything from BeautyCounter.com - it's a great all-natural line of beauty products that does really well with making sure they using all natural, all real, no chemicals, no parabens, nothing.

Hrgreen762 karma

I loved you on Covert Affairs, Beverly Hills 90210 and Saved by the Bell and particularly love your new cooking show. Which favorite dish have you made was/is the hardest dish to make and why?

TiffaniThiessen8 karma

Well, let me just correct, I was never on Covert Affairs, I was on a show called WHITE COLLAR for the same network, but thank you for the lovely compliment!

I don't believe in complicated recipes. As you see on my show, everything is pretty level 1, level 2. I enjoy not being in the kitchen all day long. I'm not a professional chef, this is just a love that I have of cooking.