kitchen, tastes and chats as she cooks. And that makes the rest of us feel
Of course she has her chef whites, but the
host of Food Network’s Saturday series Secrets of a Restaurant Chef tends to
not wear the double-breasted starched coat that chefs favor in restaurants.
Instead, on her program, she wears what so many women do — fun skirts and casual
tops. Burrell is the size of most American women, meaning she actually eats the
delicious food she cooks, and she has curves, making her easier to relate to
than the size zeros.
“Mostly I think of myself as colorful,”
Burrell says. “I dress mostly for color and comfort. And because of what I do,
I have to be comfortable. I try to do what I do with practicality, but I am a
girl in a man’s world. I try to do so with some sort of femininity and flair.”
Like other chefs, Burrell spends an
inordinate amount of time on her feet. And like Mario Batali, she wears clogs,
though hers (sorry, Mario) are more fashionable than day-glo orange.
Burrell favors Sanita.
“I try to find them in colors and patterns
that are not always readily available,” she says.
“I’m not neat; that’s where Marni comes
in,” Burrell says. “Marni keeps me cleaned up.”
Marni is Burrell’s costume designer, who
goes by one name. A Hawaiian native who lives in Brooklyn, Marni describes
Burrell’s look as “basically happy, fun, sparkly. She wears a lot of color. And
that’s what I love about her, especially for someone living in New York.”
Marni refers to the basic Manhattan uniform
of black with splashes of navy and gray.
Burrell’s personal style dictates that she
always wears mismatched socks.
“She is completely comfortable in her
skin,” Marni says. “And that makes my life so easy.”
“All the old ladies in Italy cook in
dresses,” Burrell says. “I haven’t cooked in pants in years. It’s so
comfortable; free to be you and me.”
Plus, her fashion feeds her food.
“I just think that cooking starts with your
mental attitude,” Burrell says. “If you feel you look fun and look cute, it
permeates everything. Everyone does a better job when they feel they look good.
Wearing a skirt to me is as easy as wearing a pair of shorts. And you feel good
and girly in the summer. That and a T-shirt and a pair of flip-flops is low
maintenance. If you are feeling good when you are cooking, it tastes good.”