If you don’t think food is funny, you haven’t met Nadia G. The L.A.-based, Canadian-born, heavily tatted host of the Cooking Channel’s Bitchin’ Kitchen doesn’t take eating or cooking too seriously. Her new show, Bite This, premieres on the cooking channel tonight at 7 p.m. Pacific and follows her and her hilarious band of foodies as they travel around the country seeking out incredible eats. We had the opportunity to talk with Ms. G about her new gig, as well as L.A.’s best Indian food, and how one can’t underestimate the importance of proper footwear.
What inspired you to come to L.A. from Montreal?
I have always been in love with Los Angeles. Back in the day, I remember being on a treadmill and visualizing the palm trees on Sunset Boulevard. I love the weather; I love the laid back feel of the city; I love that L.A. has so much diversity that you can
be at the beach one day and two hours later you could be skiing.
Why make food funny?
I have always been a huge comedy fan. As a kid, I remember watching a bunch of Carol Burnette, the Golden Girls, and Saturday Night Live back when Chris Farley was the man. Also, I grew up in a large Italian family where all of our best conversations happened in the kitchen. We would always be having a laugh and food would be the centerpiece. What brings people to the table and what keeps them there are the good times—for me, that’s magical.
Tell us a about your new show, Bite This.
The new show incorporates everything that I love about Bitchin’ Kitchen: the comedy, the food and the absurdity that allows me to interact with some of the best chefs in America. We have so much fun on this show, but what I love about it is getting chefs out of their comfort zone. In the beginning, I would come in guns a’blazing, but I had to realize that I can’t really do that to a chef—I have warm up first and have a conversation. Then once their comfortable, I hit hard with the funny stuff and they’re super into it. I get them to laugh with me, I ask them personal questions, and I catch them off guard. I believe that food is an extension of our personality, so to be able to get myself into the chef’s psyche in a comedic way adds so much more flavor than the traditional travel show. If you laugh out loud a handful of times while watching the show and you get hungry, then we’ve met our goal. The things that people will let you do to them when you’re wearing Prada heels is quite interesting.
Your wardrobe is incredible—where does one find a pair of ice cream cone stilettos?
I do all my own styling. Opening Ceremony, that has the sickest selection and a lot of really cool, high-end stuff, but not the typical stuff you’d find at Barney’s. I like to mix the high fashion with vintage stuff.
Where do you love to eat in L.A.?
I definitely like Badmaash, which is a sweet Indian gastropub in downtown—it’s seriously one of my favorite restaurants. Their Indian Fusion is out of this world and I simply cannot get enough of it. I also really enjoy tacos and burritos and there is this one place in downtown that caught my eye, though I can’t remember the name of it. The texture of the tortillas that they serve is similar to that of naan bread, so you can see why I liked it so much. I love little eateries that do one thing and do it really well and this place was the embodiment of that. You can go there and have any kind of taco you can possibly imagine and you can taste the quality of the food there.
What advice would you give to aspiring food personalities out there?
Number one, find your voice and find a unique voice. When we were pitching Bitchin’ Kitchen years ago, people were like, “You’re crazy. You’re never going to get a show called Bitchin’ Kitchen on Food Network.” So, we just waited it out and kept doing our thing online and eventually we were able to get on the Cooking Channel. Perseverance and believing in your vision is super key. You don’t need to be created by a network – you can have a really successful business putting your videos up on the internet, so less talk, more action, you know, start building your brand from the ground up and once you prove that enough people are interested then it is simple to take it to the next level and get a network salivating for your product.
Bite This premieres on the Cooking Channel tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific