Q And A Forum With Sara Moulton
Chef, Cookbook Author, Television Personality
One of the hardest-working women in the food biz, Sara Moulton has been juggling multiple jobs for years. Admired by millions as the host of "Cooking Live," "Cooking Live Primetime," and "Sara's Secrets," Moulton was one of the Food Network's defining personalities during the outlet's first decade. In addition to her work on the Food Network, the energetic Moulton has been the Executive Chef of Gourmet Magazine for the last twenty-three years. She is also the Food Editor of ABC-TV's "Good Morning America," and the author of Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals (Broadway Books, 2005) and Sara Moulton Cooks at Home (Broadway Books, 2002). In April 2008 Moulton launched a 20-episode television series on public television, entitled "Sara's Weeknight Meals," for which she received a 2009 Gracie Award (Local Market, Public and Student) in the category of "Individual Achievement, Outstanding Host - Information or Entertainment."
Ask Sara how it all began and she will tell you, "I've always liked to eat." The idea of channeling this deep affection into a career, however, didn't occur to her until after she graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in the History of Ideas in 1974. And, indeed, it was at the Culinary Institute of America that Sara found herself. She graduated with highest honors in 1977 and commenced working in restaurants immediately, first in Boston and then in New York, taking off time only to apply herself to a postgraduate apprenticeship with a master chef in Chartres, France in 1979. Sara's restaurant experience peaked with a stint as chef tournant at La Tulipe in New York in the early Eighties. It was also during this period that Sara co-founded the New York Women's Culinary Alliance, an "old girl's network" designed to help women working in the culinary field. The Alliance celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2002.
In the interest of starting a family, Sara left restaurant work to pursue recipe testing and development. She worked for two years as an instructor at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School (renamed the Institute of Culinary Education), where she discovered her love of teaching, a passion that would give focus to her subsequent work in television. In 1984 Sara took a job in the test kitchen at Gourmet. Four years later she became chef of the magazine's executive dining room.
Her TV career began in 1979, when she was hired to work behind the scenes on public television's "Julia Child & More Company." Her friendship with Julia led eventually to Sara's gig at "GMA," where what started as another behind-the-scenes position ripened by 1997 into on-camera work. By then Sara had begun hosting the Food Network's "Cooking Live." Six years and over 1200 hour-long shows later, "Cooking Live" ended its run on March 31, 2002. "Sara's Secrets" began the next day. "Other TV chefs may own famous restaurants and perform with theatrical flair," noted TV Guide's Herma Rosenthal, "But Moulton's the one you can actually picture popping over to help you fix the lumpy gravy or the fallen soufflé."
Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, published by Broadway Books in October 2002, embodies Sara's mission as both author and television host: to counter America's disastrous love affair with fast food by encouraging everyone to cook delicious and healthy food at home and to dine with family and friends.
In her second book, Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals, published by Broadway Books in October 2005, Sara delivers a collection of 200 easy-to-prepare, delicious dinner recipes that are ideal for our time-crunched lives and that satisfy the tastebuds. The book is filled with her own versions of American classics; easy and popular ethnic dishes to spice up the repertoire; dishes to whip up from pantry staples as well as supermarket salad bar and deli items; and slow-cooking recipes for leisurely weekends. Sara's new television series, "Sara's Weeknight Meals," is based on this second book. The show will demonstrate the author's rethinking of dinner, featuring fast and tasty entrees that break out of the predictable mold, including ideas for "Breakfast for Dinner," "Soup for Supper" and "The Substantial Sandwich."
Sara lives in New York City with her husband and two children.