During the time I’ve been an interviewer (almost a year now), I have kept my eyes peeled for interviewers who do something rather unique in this realm, and I remember noticing this program called Get Cooking With the Stars. More often than not, the show either featured people I had just featured on my site or those I hoped to eventually highlight, and I was simply intrigued with the whole idea of pairing cooking with interviews (I do watch Food Network fairly regularly after all). Recently, I had the opportunity to ask the creator and host of this show, Laurie Belle, a few questions, and she agreed to give me some splendid details concerning how she got started in the business, what some of her most memorable episodes have been, and even a hint of what her future may hold.
RH: What inspired you to pursue entertainment as a career? What kind of training have you had?
LB: In my teens, I was enrolled in etiquette courses and dance training. At a dance recital, I was approached by a model /talent scout who told me I had great stage presence and to visit her agency. I had numerous opportunities in modelling and acting. I’ve studied with great coaches and directors in both Vancouver and Los Angeles while developing my career in TV/ Film.
I’ve also studied business, communications, and have an M. ED, BSc, and have taught fashion marketing, communications, and business marketing at Art Institute and Trinity University.
Where did you get the idea for Get Cooking With the Stars? How long did it take you to bring this idea to fruition?
Haha, Great Question Ruth! I am still developing the series. We are in season two, full steam ahead.
It started with my agents at Lloyd Talent who hired me to host a magazine tv show, then Leftcoast TV, which I now own. On one of my first assignments, I met Japanese Chef Tojo at his restaurant and he invited me to interview Gene Simmons and the KISS band who were dining at Tojos. I thought, “Wow! A host, renowned chef and a star, cooking and chatting while teaching our audience famous recipes.” We take you on a tantalizing journey on Get Cooking With the Stars.
Who was your first guest on the show? Your most recent guest?
My first guest was Gene Simmons with Tojo, other notable guests: Scifi queen Amanda Tapping, Olympic Gold medalist Ashleigh Mcivor, New York Comedian Darryl Lenox, BC Lions All-star Receiver: Grey Cup champion Geroy Simon, Blues Musician Jim Byrnes, and supermodel COCO Rocha. My most recent guest was Alan Thicke.
Before this show, what was your relationship with cooking? Who has helped you focus on the cooking aspect of the show?
I have always loved cooking and entertaining. Even from my first tea party with my grandma, I knew. I learned cooking with my mom as she instilled family values in me and how to put on a great dinner party for family and friends! I train and apprentice with famous chefs while developing the show. I recently took a Thai cooking class with Chef Parinya Loptson (Ban Chok Dee Thai Cuisine) and received an A and my diploma. I continue to hone my skills. I’m preparing a series celebrity cookbook featuring the stars, chefs and dishes we’ve cooked!
Any behind-the-scenes stories to share?
Oh, sooooo many to share. That would be a great show itself: “The Making of Get Cooking With the Stars!”
I remember when we were filming at Ban Chok Dee Thai Cuisine and during shooting my foot swelled up unbelievably. Karen Holness was my guest and so gracious as she taught me her ” black marker trick”! Chef Parinya Loptson also applied her Thai remedy. Haha, we filmed sitting at the table the rest of the show. Karen also taught me how to crack coconuts 🌴 Jamaican-style.
What is your go-to favorite food to eat? To cook/bake?
I’m an appetizer queen. I love making crudités and dainty appetizers for entertaining my guests. Lasagna is a great recipe when you’re in a pinch! I also enjoy cooking Thai food as I learned how to make Pad Thai and Tom Ghai with
Chef Parinya and succulent braised beef ribs with Chef Elliot.
Where and when does this show air in Canada? Outside of Canada?
We air in Canada on Shaw TV, NOVUS TV daily/weekly and currently are distributing to other Canadian, US networks and abroad.
How many episodes have been filmed and how many are projected to be filmed?
Our production has developed and filmed one season and currently we’re filming season two. This year we’ve filmed: Alan Thicke, David Lewis, Karen Holness, Devin Townsend and Jaime Callica.
As one of the last interviewers of the late Alan Thicke, what were your impressions/memories of him?
From the moment I met him, he had me smiling. He had warm eyes, a kind soul, and was oh so very funny! Alan Thicke was gracious, engaging, kind and magnetic. He was very proud to be receiving the Canadian icon award at the Whistler Film Festival. We sampled fine foods and wine prepared by Chef Elliot (Westin Whistler Hotel) Alan was excited about his foodie appearance on our show as well as Chopped (Food Network) and he talked about the love for his family. I can see why so many people adored and loved him. He kept commenting on my hospitality and on my red velvet dress.”I’ll see you at the prom,” he said. It was a moment I’ll treasure always. I am grateful to have had the opportunity.
We are planning a special tribute episode in his honour and I’ll be including film clips from It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyways, the film he was promoting at Whistler Film Festival and Unusually Thicke.
I’m currently developing the series and cookbook. Lately, I’ve been featured in TV Week, Real Style Magazine, ET, Vancouver Fashion Week, Girl in Betsey, Shelley Klassen Designs, Leo Awards, and have worked with great directors, producers, and TV networks.
I’ve just been asked to be a spokesmodel for Contessa Designs, a couture label (Hellen Torres) and being the brand ambassador of Leftcoast TV, Get Cooking With the Stars is leading to vast opportunities as we continue to bring on new sponsors and produce new episodes.
If you could interview/feature one person on your show, whom would you choose and why?
Robin Thicke as I just had the pleasure and honour of spending time with his magnificent father who had amazing things to say about Robin and the entire Thicke Family. I’d like to have him on Get Cooking with the Stars to try out the famous College Casserole and hear all about his career.
I’d like to please pass on my sincerest condolences to the entire Thicke family at this time.
I truly am impressed by people who think outside of the box, and Laurie is one such person. She has seamlessly melded two of her loves to form a medium that allows us to witness a different side of established and up and coming celebrities. Her graciousness and hospitality continue to be her hallmark as she builds this show from the ground up, and I anticipate exceptional things as this concept catches on and enters other markets. As the world is currently mesmerized and enchanted with cooking shows, I believe that Laurie’s success will continue to rise and propel her to accomplish her dreams and even go beyond them. There is no doubt she has discovered her niche, and I am exhilarated to see her star on the steady ascent. Be sure that you follow her and her show at the links below because as an entrepreneur, this alluring, sophisticated, and progressive professional is more than deserving of all the support we can muster and then some!
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