Celebrities, chefs and charitable endeavors all share the spotlight in Laurie Belle’s Get Cooking with the Stars.
Belle, who has recently moved to Cloverdale from Langley, is host and producer of the show which is entering its second season this year (on Shaw TV 4 and Novus).
The idea for Get Cooking with the Stars came about while dining at Tojo’s Restaurant in Vancouver, home to renowned sushi chef Hidekazu Tojo (the inventor of the California roll).
When Tojo mentioned Kiss frontman and reality TV star Gene Simmons would be visiting, Belle – an entertainment reporter who has covered red carpet events such as the Leo Awards, Vancouver Fashion Week and Vancouver International Film Festival – saw an opportunity to pair culinary adventures with celebrity interviews.
“It [being in a restaurant] is a fun and easygoing atmosphere to indulge your guests,” Belle says. “Where do you find people are most comfortable chatting about different things? It’s in the kitchen!”
Tojo’s has since hosted Belle and a number of her guests, as has La Terrazza, Pink Elephant Thai and EBO Restaurant, among others.
In addition to Simmons, guests who have dined with Belle include CFL star receiver Geroy Simon, actor David Richmond-Peck (Lost Girl), comedian Darryl Lenox, and sci-fi actress Amanda Tapping (Random Acts of Romance, Sanctuary).
“All the celebrity guests and the chefs are amazing,” Belle says. “How can you not enjoy each and every person and what they bring to the show?”
Each guest is always asked to talk about a charitable cause near and dear to their hearts.
Lenox, for instance – whom Belle describes as “ultra funny, and a very sweet, genuine, kind person” – spoke of his support for The Third World Eye Care Society, which provides eye wear to those without access to visual care in developing countries.
And the charity near and dear to Belle? Beauty Night, a Vancouver-based society dedicated to building the self-esteem and well-being of women living in poverty through wellness, life skills development and makeovers (beautynight.org).
Proceeds from Get Cooking with the Stars’ season two launch party this past October went to the organization.
Next up, Belle is set to film a number of episodes with chefs such as Victor Bongo with Establishment Lounge. She also hinted at interviews with guests from the Vancouver Canucks and The Real Housewives of Vancouver.
And while the show has so far focused mainly on chefs in Vancouver, Belle says she hopes to soon partner with a few restaurants south of the Fraser.
For show times and to view past episodes, visit leftcoasttv.com.