Cat Cora

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Catherine Ann "Cat" Cora (born April 3, 1967 in Jackson, Mississippi)<ref name=IMDBbio/> is an American professional chef best known for her featured role as an "Iron Chef" on the Food Network television show Iron Chef America and as co-host of Around the World in 80 Plates on Bravo.

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CatCora375 karma

Oooh. Everyone should know how to make a great roasted chicken. It's something classic that everyone can do. And it's not going to break the budget in case you over or under cook it. And it's one of the first things that young chefs learn how to make, is how to roast a great chicken. That is one dish that everyone should know how to make. If you can do that, you can do a lot of other things.

I think the biggest tip is to really give it a good slathering of good olive oil, a really nice quality olive oil like a cold press. ALways look for cold press olive oil, that will always be high quality, good salt and pepper, and put lemon and various herbs, like thyme, parsley, oregano, rub that on th skin, and then after you squeeze the lemons over the chicken, then put the remainder leftover lemon inside the cavity of the chicken to infuse more citrus into it. And that will really keep your chicken nice and moist. Roast it slowly if you can, 350 degrees, for a good hour, hour and fifteen minutes. Keep basting with juices, the dripping juices, add some more olive oil, just to keep it moist.

CatCora369 karma

Probably a dragon, because first of all, you'd have to capture it, and my kids - since we have 4 boys - they were for a long time into dragons. And they breathe fire, so they'd be really tough to capture. And how gnarly that skin is, to get to the meat.

I'd probably do some barbecue dragon ribs, with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, then slather some bbq sauce on it. Spicy barbecued dragon ribs.

CatCora343 karma

No, I don't think we ever regretted it. We'd do it all over again. Not for another set of babies, but we'd do it for our same set of children. We never had regrets doing it. Definitely there were tough times but it was pretty amazing. The hardest time was AFTER the pregnancy, the first PMS together was super-gnarly.

CatCora338 karma

I came out when I was 19 to my parents, it was after a really shitty blind date with a woman and it went awry, and I was just over the secret. So I went to my parents, I actually called my mom at a dinner party and asked to come home right away, and had a heart-to-heart with her, and it was the best thing I ever did. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I'm glad I did. I was very lucky, even growing up in Mississippi, no one said anything to my face. And I have a strong personality, so when I came out, I held my head up high.

CatCora260 karma

I think that's just right now where the competition is. That's where the ratings are. So Iron Chef was obviously the first real competition show, and after that everyone was doing all these different shows, everyone else wanted to jump on the bandwagon. The reason people love cooking competitions is because it's two of America's favorite pastimes: cooking and sporting events.

CatCora245 karma

No, we haven't ! I love Stephanie and her cooking, but that's a great idea. I may actually pitch that.

CatCora220 karma

Yeah, thanks! I think it's pretty cool too, you know? And I was lucky, i guess my parents named me right and I got that nickname in culinary school. One of my first restaurants I ran with Michael Curiello, he tagged me "Cat" so for my whole life I was called Cathy, a lot of people I know, my family, my wife, called me Cathy, and so when Michael called me "Cat" that was right before I got my Food Network show and got started on this journey.

CatCora194 karma

I would say the top 5 things:

  • have at least one good knife that is sharp, most accidents happen with a dull knife, that you love to use.
  • a decent set of pots & pans
  • a really great blender. If you're going to splurge on anything, get a really powerful blender or something similar to make great sauces.
  • For ingredients, just so you know, I always keep a bowl of great citrus - lemon, limes, oranges, tangerines - just so that I can enhance every single dish with a little citrus. That's a secret ingredient I always use every time in my food.
  • I have my own line of olive oils and ingredients, so I know they are authentic because they come directly from Greece. So investigate the quality of your olive oil.
  • Good vinegars too. Any kind of acid like vinegar or citrus has no fat, no calories, but it enhances the quality of your food like crazy.

CatCora162 karma

It'll get nice and brown if you follow that.

CatCora112 karma

Thank you so much. The toughest Iron Chef ingredient I had were things that were not protein, like milk, coffee, butter, that you usually use within a dish, but they had to be the star of the dish. So those were the most challenging types of ingredients, versus chicken, or fish, or shrimp, something that's a protein.

Who I lost to with the largest lead was Will Shriver, who used to be the White House chef at the time and he smoked me.

Yes, we do know (and this is documented because Food Network did a documentary on behind the scenes) that we know it will be one of 4 or 5 ingredients, but we don't know which one until the chairman raises the top of the ingredient. And we do only get 60 minutes.

Well, there's a pantry that has lots of obscure things. They do have a lot of obscure things, not black truffles, but each chef also gets a $500 budget to bring in anything that they want to bring in. So if I wanted to spend $500 on one black truffle to bring in, I could do that.

I know for a fact that Iron Chef is real. And i know that Top Chef and Master Chef are real so for the most part, they are all legit shows. They are down and dirty competitions. They are really legit competitions and people are really battling it out.