If you watch Iron Chef America, you'll recognize Anne Burrell. She the spiky blond-hair sous chef who assists Mario Batali as he battles challengers. Well, Burrell's going to be stepping out of the background and into the limelight this Sunday as her own show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, debuts (Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Food Network). We talked to Burrell for our Meet & Eat series.
Name: Anne Burrell
Location: New York City
Occupation: Executive chef of Centro Vinoteca
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? Breakfast for dinner: poached eggs, crunch toast, and bacon at Centro Vinoteca.
Favorite comfort food? Hot dogs.
Guilty pleasures? Fries and gravy.
Describe your perfect meal. Outside with warm ocean breezes, perfectly fresh, perfectly seasoned food—very flavorful and fresh—like seafood with plenty of wine and good company.
Food you won't eat? I'll try anything.
Is there anything you wish you could cook better? Everything. There's always room for improvement.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? My friend Jim Kuhner of Vestry Wines.
What's the best recommendation he's given you? Momofuku Ssäm Bar.
Most memorable New York City meal? So many! The one that probably sticks with me most was the first super swanky meal I had when I moved to New York—it was at Lespinasse (now closed).
Best pizza in the city? Frank's on 23rd and Lexington.
Favorite burger? Daddy-O's (44 Bedford Street, New York NY 10014, at Leroy Street).
Favorite bagel? Toasted everything bagel with cream cheese.
Best late-night eats? Florent.
Undiscovered gem? Haven't discovered it yet.
What is New York missing, foodwise? More girl chefs.