One-On-One with Chef Robin Miller

Robbie Hudson, Program Director - 15th February 2013

Robin has been a food writer and nutritionist since 1990 and she is the author of Robin Takes 5 and the bestselling cookbook Quick Fix Meals.  Her popular show, Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller aired on Food Network for 5 years and she has a weekly blog, Robin’s Healthy Take on www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats

She has written nine books: Robin Takes 5 (Andrews McMeel, 2011), Robin Rescues Dinner (Potter, 2009), Robin to the Rescue (Taunton, 2008), Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller (Taunton, 2007), Picnics (Potter, 2005), Verdure (Potter, 2001), The Newlywed Cookbook (Sourcebooks, 1999 and 1991), The Daily Soup (Hyperion, 1999) and Jane Fonda, Cooking for Healthy Living (Turner, 1996). 

What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?
My favorite kitchen tool is my very sharp chef's knife! It's an 8-inch gem that does most prep work. A sharp knife is a home cook's best friend because it does most of the work for you. A dull knife is dangerous and requires more work!

What or who inspired you to want to cook?
My mother is an amazing cook - the type of cook that picks from the garden every day and cooks with fresh produce. In the winter (I grew up on the east coast), she cooks with what she's bottled and canned in the warmer months! I also have a passion for healthy cooking and creating gourmet meals that are also healthy is my ultimate pleasure.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My homemade chocolate chip cookies! 

What was you best meal ever in a restaurant?
I devoured a Tuscan-style pasta dish, with beans and vegetables in a small Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village in New York City. It was the night I ran the New York City Marathon and I was famished! 

What is your most used or favorite cookbook?
The Joy of Cooking because it's a great reference for all types of things - from how long to roast a brisket to the perfect measurements for homemade vanilla icing.

What is your favorite herb or spice and why?
I think cilantro must be my favorite - it truly brightens up any dish - from a Thai-style peanut sauce to a Mexican guacamole.

What do you like to cook at home and why?
I love cooking everything! From playing "Chopped" for breakfast (with my two boys) to a quick platter of sizzling fajitas on a busy night of sports and homework!

When did you know you had a passion for cooking?
After I graduated college and started cooking for myself!

What is your “food philosophy”?
Gourmet meals don't require long ingredient lists and hours in the kitchen. Choose the most flavorful, colorful and nutritious foods you can find and you can enjoy a gourmet feast in just minutes. 

What makes a good chef?
Passion for cooking and sharing creations with friends and family. 

How do you relax?
I exercise! I love to speed walk. I also adore watching movies with my boys and we do that EVERY Sunday. 

While cooking, what musician or music do you like to listen to?
Believe it or not, I don't listen to anything. I like the quite background while things are jamming on the stove! 

What makes cooking fun for you?
Knowing that I'm creating meals for the people I care about. Even better? Cooking with my kids!

What is your fondest memory growing up and in the kitchen?
Sitting at the kitchen counter watching my mom cook. I still do that when I visit!

When you are raiding the refrigerator late night, what is your favorite midnight snack?
Popcorn!

What was your favorite pet growing up?
Yorkshire Terrier named Honey and Hungarian Sheepdog named Boytar.

What is your favorite spa treatment? 
smile Swedish Massage!