I’m home in time to get lost in a mini-marathon of Extra Virgin, my favorite show on the Cooking Channel. The series chronicles American actress Debi Mazar’s travels and kitchen escapades with her Italian husband, Gabriele Corcos, as they explore areas of Italy and New York. With their two beautiful daughters in tow, the pair make a perfect team in every episode as they find simple, fresh ingredients in local markets and take them back to their kitchen to make a meal together.
I’ve always thought Debi was fabulous; not only was she spunky as publicist Shauna Ford on HBO’s Entourage, she’s one of Madonna’s BFFs in real-life, which makes her one of the coolest side-kicks of all time. (Let’s face it, Madonna is pretty awesome, but imagine what kind of amazing best friend one must be to deal with that kind of ego.) To top things off, Debi’s always dressed to the nines, and her vintage wardrobe is always complete with a red manicure, winged eyeliner, and a Hollywood-glam hairdo. After watching her effortlessly scurry about the kitchen in a body-hugging, knee length number, I feel a little embarrassed that most of my cooking attire looks like a combination between outdated gym clothes and a Jackson Pollack masterpiece, created with flour and bacon grease.
Debi’s husband, Gabriele, is absolutely adorable and devoted – perhaps due to having a wife that cooks in body-hugging dresses – and the two share most of the duties in the kitchen. Though he has a history in the culinary arts, they both know a thing or two about cooking, and I find myself not only drooling over the classic Italian dishes they make, but also of the romantic looks they share throughout the process. They gracefully ease in and out of each others’ paths as they tend to the stove and oven, most of the time carrying a sharp object or boiling pot of water, and sometimes share a kiss or feed each other in between steps.
While Debi and Gabriele may make the perfect team, some couples can’t play nice in the kitchen. As much as watching them wistfully and playfully make delicious meals together arouses my own hopes for making the next big dinner at home a “date night,” I can’t possibly bear to share the limelight in the kitchen. Neither my husband nor I enjoy being told what to do, especially when it comes to taking direction from each other. The last meal we made together was Valentine’s Day 2010; our homemade lobster ravioli took hours and, by the time they were ready at 11:00 p.m., I had a migraine and he was ready to order pizza. I’ve learned on too many occasions that it’s better for me to take the reins, let him actually enjoy his meal, and get my culinary couple fix from Debi and Gabriele.
What are your thoughts on making meals a team effort? Do you enjoy cooking with your partner, and share duties in the kitchen? Or is one of you perpetually on dish-duty while the other cooks everything? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’d like to spice things up, check out this episode of Extra Virgin; Debi and Gabriele renew their vows in Tuscany. How’s that for romance?
Images courtesy of Cooking Channel