Cooking up a meal for family and friends can be a daunting task but Daphne Brogdon is here to show us that it's not that frightening at all. Matter of fact, when Daphne is involved, it can actually be a lot of fun. Blogger, comic, wife, mamma of two, and So Cal local Daphne interjects plenty of humor into her show Daphne Dishes on Food Network. So if you need and want to get the party started (And who doesn't?), this is the show for you! We hit her up to dish on the new season, to learn about her and her hubby's new restaurant Bombo in LA, and to get some tips for ourselves that we could take and make. Literally.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I think people really appreciate the humor you inject into your cooking because for some people, cooking is really stressful!
Daphne Brogdon: Oh thank you! I'm glad to hear you say that because I feel like there is this weird dichotomy side of it where people sort of fetishize food and fancy restaurants but then they go to Trader Joe's and pick up frozen food. And by the way, I do too sometimes. [Laughs.] But really, there is a middle there because you could make something great if you poach fish with a very simple wine and butter sauce. It can be simple and still be amazing. I think so many people just look in the pantry and do that "there's nothing to eat" thing but if you look at it differently, there really is and you can do it right. You only need a few on hand things to make something incredible if you approach it right.
Well now you're in season two of the show so it would seem that people other than me are catching on and feel the same.
I'm really trying to help out home cooks with the expertise I've learned from working in restaurants and from my husband who is a professional chef. I just try to be very down to earth because you know, I'm not an over earnest person. I share my shortcuts and blogs because when there are too many steps to a recipe I'm like, forget it. I'm not doing that either! So I get it, I wouldn't share those kinds. In season two we are having a lot of fun but with this cooking, it's like the hardest thing I've ever done. It's not like anything else because you're actually doing this process in real time, explaining what you're doing, and keeping a smile on your face the whole time while you have a mic pack on your back. [Laughs.] It was a challenge but with season two I feel like I really got it and am able to bring more of the natural humor that I wanted to bring. We always want to find the story and then find the recipe that goes with it so I talk about stuff that's going on in my life. It's a lot of fun.
When you are in a pinch, is there a go-to meal you rehash for your family? Also, I need something quick for dinner tonight.
Oh god, I have a few! If I'm feeding a lot of people, I'll do chicken thighs. They don't have to look perfect so I'll give them a rough cut, cut a big onion and throw it all over, add soy sauce, honey, and salt and pepper. Right there? You're fine! You could do other things too if you have wine, scallions, and garlic on hand but that right there is good. I bake it until it falls off of the bone and serve it with a side of rice and I'm done! That's a killer meal. Also a chicken Milanese my kids will always eat. I just pound out some chicken tender's flat, chop up parsley with Italian breadcrumbs, and then do an egg wash to dip it in. So I dip them in the wash, then the breadcrumbs, and then do a shallow fry. That goes so fast. Everyone in my house loves that!
OK thank you, now I'm starving. So are your kids loving being on TV with you?
I think they're used to it at this point. They don't even notice the crew in the house anymore. What's fun is that they're very social and my daughter loves being the helper to the wardrobe and make-up gal and the camera guys play with my son. It was very important to me to make sure I had a producer with a very warm and nice demeanor, you know, a real family man. You have to be a certain type of person to be in my house. So yeah, I think they enjoy the excitement and I know my daughter loves when kids at school will be like, oh we saw you on TV!
Do you ever hold it over their heads like, hey if you don't listen or you talk back then you can sit out this week? I would think it'd be perfect for that.
[Laughs.] That's funny and I hate to admit it but, sort of! I never really have to do that with my daughter but my son can be a little rapscallion. [Laughs.] I did have to use that trick when we started shooting the second season and he wouldn't sit down and listen. I had to pull him aside and go look, I'm not going to force you to do anything you don't want to so do you not want to do this? There have been a few times but then we found that maybe I'm not the best producer for my kids. [Laughs.]
Ohhh kids. Since your husband is a chef, do you guys ever partake in a little Iron Chef action of your own at home?
That's so funny! [Laughs.] We actually did a version on the show where I did the home version of a dish and he did a restaurant version that was more complex. So basically, it was a different take on two dishes. I know he likes a more vinegary taste than I do so say I'm cooking up Brussel sprouts and walk away from them, he'll splash a little vinegar in at the end and I'll be like, god dammit! I didn't want them like that! [Laughs.] But for the most part, I guess he knows what he's doing!
Ha! I bet you both know what you're doing and it's so awesome. Before I let you go, tell me about your new restaurant Bombo. It sounds incredible!
Yes! My husband and I just opened up our first casual concept down in Grand Central Market in LA called Bombo and it all revolves around steam kettles. It's hard to get local fresh fish so we also have a fish mart there which is great. So the food comes out really fast but the preparation still takes a long time because it's all broth based. Let's say you order the Seattle Fish Stew, in goes the fish, shellfish, lobster broth, and in 3 ½ minutes, it comes out with some flax seed rice and it's just fantastic. We also have this rock cod sandwich that I think is just delicious and even though it's a sandwich, the fish is also cooked in the steam kettles. We also have some non-fish items as well so there's something everyone can enjoy. We've actually talked about doing one in Orange County also because we really enjoy ourselves when we are down there!
Ummm hi, Daphne? We'd really love that too! (Hint hint)
Make sure you tune in to catch Daphne Dishes on Sunday's on Food Network at 11:30am. For more info on the show, go to www.FoodNetwork.com and for more on Daphne, follow her on Instagram, on Twitter @DaphBrog, and check out her blog at www.CoolMom.com.