It's All About the Essentials with Cooking Channel's Kelsey Nixon

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Food Network

We could all use some tips and a little food variation when it comes to the kitchen and if you have thirty-minutes, Kelsey Nixon is here to help you whip up some delicious meals in a super uncomplicated way. Gaining her training from Hollywood's Le Cordon Bleu and the French Culinary Institute, Kelsey's culinary passion wowed the viewers and made her a fan favorite on The Next Food Network Star and her magnetic and bubbly personality is no doubt what earned her a Daytime Emmy nominee for "Outstanding Culinary Host."

Kelsey's Essentials is starting its fifth season on Cooking Channel on July 3rd and if learning how to prepare fabulously simple and tasty recipes for you and your family isn't enough to make you want to watch, then you're either a pro-chef with endless ideas of your own or you just don't eat.


OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Does having a little one now inspire you to create more kid friendly recipes?

Kelsey Nixon: Definitely. I kind of knew that would happen when I had a baby. Every time I think about what I'm making for dinner now, I have to think about what element can be pulled out to feed my son. It's forcing me to get more vegetables and fruits into the household though so it's great. My son Ollie is actually a pretty darn good eater so I can't complain that much. He's extra little because he was born early so I'm constantly trying to fatten him up. I don't know if that's having a great effect on the waistlines of me and my husband though! [Laughs.]

Do you think your next cookbook could possibly be kid inspired?

I'm definitely looking forward to something like that! I really hope there is an opportunity to do it. It's such a privilege to have a voice in the food community so if there are some solutions that I am finding with my family, I'd love nothing more than to share them other people. I'd really love to head down that path in the future if possible!

Are you watching the new season of The Next Food Network Star?

I am watching the new season and it still makes me nervous, every single episode. I'm trying to decide where my allegiance is but I think I like Stacey. She's a mom, a restaurant owner, and I think she is super sharp. I kind of see her being very successful in the competition because she is slow and steady. I'm also interested in moms that have a career and balance it all so someone like Stacey would be interesting to watch. There is also a guy on from Utah and since I'm Utah born and bred, I can't help but to cheer for the local favorite. He's a very well respected chef in Utah so that's been fun as well.

I'm rooting for Stacey too! I know you went to school out here in L.A. so do you miss it at all?

Yes! And every time we go out there my husband will say, "We should really move here!" I'm like, I'm not ready to move there yet! It's just such a lovely place though and oh my gosh, it doesn't get any better than Orange County. We just love to visit California. I definitely have a ping of jealousy every time I talk to someone out there so enjoy that weather of yours!

Oh we do! Don't tell Bobby Flay but, Kelsey's Essentials is one of my favorite shows on Cooking Channel. What's new this season?

Oh thank you, I'm so glad you feel that way! It's still crazy for me to think that people watch the show but I guess five seasons in, people do watch! It's such a dream job and I try not to take it for granted and I just love every second of it. There is a little bit of something for everyone this season so it's really exciting. We're talking about how to embrace what is trending in food and to bring it into your own kitchen. And obviously, we're identifying things that are essentials. There is a whole episode geared to salt because salt just seems to be a very essential ingredient that is kind of getting more attention in the spotlight. We specifically honed in on pink Himalayan seas salt and we found some cool things that people are doing with it from using it as an ingredient, to using it as a tool in the kitchen. We also have a whole episode dedicated to hot sauce. Especially in New York, hot sauce hasn't really been at the forefront of the culinary scene because it's something that you see more in the West or in the South. We had a lot of fun with that one and then, I came back to my home kitchen and made my own homemade version of an essential hot sauce. That was really a fun challenge because I am not that tolerant when it comes to heat. The funny thing is that since doing it, I'm putting hot sauce on everything! I've totally been turned and am now a hot sauce head. Out of all of the thirteen episodes we did this season, I think my favorite recipe is the homemade hot sauce. Who knew?

Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KelseyNixon, grab her cookbook "Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything," and get more info on her website www.KelseyNixon.com. Tune in to catch the new season of Kelsey's Essentials on Cooking Channel this Wednesday July 3rd at 5pm (PST). For more info on the show, go to www.CookingChannel.com.

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"Essentials" not "Essential's"

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