Bitchin Kitchen is like the Pee-Wee’s Funhouse of cooking shows. I almost think it could fit in with Adult Swim programming, it’s that quirky and awesome. What’s the inspiration for the show?
HA! Pee-Wee was my childhood idol, along with Chris Farley, Garth and the Golden Girls. People always ask me where I came up with the idea for a crazy comedy-cooking show, well, I basically grew up in a crazy comedy-cooking show! The women in my family are hilarious, and the kitchen was where we had our biggest laughs and gossip-fests. The food just set the stage… until it was time to eat, then ‘Shaddap and pass the Parmigianno!’, but you get the picture. And that’s pretty much how we roll on Bitchin’ Kitchen, each week we choose a topic: whether its Breakup Brunches, Rehab Recipes or Dysfunctional Family Pizza night, have a few laughs about the theme and cook up a simple, succulent meal to go along with it.
While, yes eccentric and often zany, the show is very sharp and funny. What’s your process writing an episode? Do you write the dialogue for all the characters as well? Do you have a writing team?
Blush. I write the episodes myself. The first thing I do is lock down a theme, choosing a topic that everyone can relate to, like: Impressing the In-Laws: “You’ll never be good enough, but at least this meal will be” …Then I get down to business creating the recipes. I bang them out first because it sets the episode structure, and makes me feel productive, instead of staring at a blank page stressing about jokes. Once the recipes are down, I start hacking away at the comedy: my twisted advice on the topic, skits, songs, top 3 lists. Because I created this new comedy-cooking format (and it’s one of Cooking Channel’s top shows), I pretty much get free reign with the writing. Not too many comedians get this opportunity fresh out the gates, I’m pretty lucky. (PS: that word “zany” kills me, it reminds me of Joey from Full House, and 80’s t-shirts splattered with neon unicorn barf. Nice.)
I LOVE the cut-aways to the side characters and your interaction with them. What’s the inspiration for these characters and how did you decide on their brilliant personalities?
I loved the Daily Show format where they cut to correspondents. I figured this structure would be perfect for a comedy-cooking show where you sometimes need in-depth food info. As for the characters, truth is stranger than fiction. All their parts are based on their actual personalities. The Spice Agent truly is a sketchy, manic-depressive Israeli — he reports on exotic herbs and spices. Panos is a hot-blooded, fist-pumping, wife-whipped Greek. His family has been in the fish & meat business for generations, so when it comes to finding the perfect prime rib (or getting that wet-look with hair gel) he’s the master of disaster, bro. Hans — our resident muscle-queen nutritionist — may be shirtless and greased up, but that doesn’t mean he’s mere eye candy. He knows a lot about… bah, who are we kidding.
Are there any other characters in the works we haven’t seen yet?
I’ve got a crazy, hot Amazonian chick that makes a few appearances this season (6 foot tall, DD’s, a mere look from this she-beast could crush a dude.) Anyhoo, in one episode a dry meatloaf sends her into a rabid rage, and she proceeds to destroy a wall with her forehead… Yeah, dry meatloaf sucks.
Why the accent? (Is it real?)
Hehe, I get this a lot. I think people are so used to hearing Italian accents from NYC, they sometimes forget Italians immigrated to other places in the world besides Brooklyn. So when it comes to accents, the question is more ‘where’, than ‘why’ . My parents immigrated from Italy to Montreal. I grew up in an Italian borough – St. Leonard – where everybody speaks a mix of Italian, English and French. When I yap, you’ll hear glimmers of these influences… and sometimes, if you listen really closely, you can also hear dolphins cry. It’s a beautiful thing.
Who are some of your cooking idols?
My mom, my grandma, my aunts… These ladies can whip up a 6-course spread from scratch in under 20 minutes. I’d sic them on a 3-star Michelin chef any day.
What’s another talent other than cooking we are not aware of?
I sing, I’m a web ninja (I designed the Bitchin’ brand, website, cookbooks, spear-headed our social media strategy…) and I’m pretty good at building Ikea furniture.
Any other projects? I think someone should develop a sitcom around you. Turn the whole traditional format on its head.
Bring it! These days I’m working on a new series, a feature film, and expanding my shoe closet.
What’s an ideal day in the life of Nadia G?
Ooo! …Wake up to a massive trucker’s breakfast: crispy bacon and juicy sausage smothered in maple syrup, baked beans, home fries with sweet onions, 2 eggs over medium, raspberry jam on buttered toast… Then off to the pool, ice-cold margarita in hand, the sun beaming down on me and Chuck Palaniuk as he reads aloud from his new unreleased book. After that: a 2 hour massage, shopping, and plans that involve a 9-course tasting menu and getting kicked out of some dirty rock bar in 4-inch heels.
Current location and expression as you answer these questions:
I’m in my condo, at an extremely messy desk (4 dirty coffee cups, 1 empty can of organic soda, a passport and a dirty steak knife… wtf?). Expression: a little squinty-eyed… just got done shooting my new music video which consisted of dancing around in a red spandex catsuit in 4 cities, I’m pooped.
I think my best physical feature is:
I’ve got amazing hair. People think I have extensions, but no siree Pashquale! I was just born with natural, mermaid-like hair. (It was a complicated delivery.)
Men say my best physical feature is:
Most men say things like “you’re hot”. There are a few that actually get down to specifics, declaring their undying love for — believe it or not — my shoes.
9 and counting. 4 I designed myself, the other 5 are from what I like to call the “Young & Inebriated Collection’.
Favorite musical artist:
Last music show I attended:
Sexiest woman ever:
This burlesque dancer named Scarlett at Jumbo’s Clown Room. *Miiiiiiii. (Psst: tell her I sent you
Sexiest man ever:
Christian Bale in American Psycho, he could chase me with a chainsaw any day. Grrr.
My best trait is:
My sense of humor.
My worst habit is:
Seeing the glass half empty and filling it with Pinot Grigio.
The key to my heart is:
My idea of a sexy night is:
Rose petals on the bed, the fireplace flickering wickedly as I whisper: “Foie gras, I love you.”
Most important rule or rules of bedroom etiquette:
Guys gotta stop doing that weird wedgie-thing they think turns us on. Seriously. Yanking up a pair of panties isn’t foreplay, it’s a wedgie guys, a wedgie.
Physical feature I like to show off:
Arms and abs. I’m ripped.
A superficial thing I am attracted to:
My favorite physical feature on a man:
Manly hands. The only thing worse than ‘man hands’ on a woman, is dainty fingers peeking out of a power suit, eww.
My favorite trait in a man:
Fearlessness. Not in a burly ‘Let’s-Pound-15-Shots-of- Jack-and-Start-a-Barfight’ kinda way — I prefer that trait in women — but fearlessness in knowing what he wants and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to get it.
A man will impress me if:
He owns a pair of spiked Louboutin loafers.
A man will turn me on if:
He owns a pair of spiked Louboutin loafers.
A man will disappoint me if:
If he’s lazy.
I will not even give you a second look if:
You wear Ed Hardy.
Something stupid men do or say when they first meet me:
“Call me if you ever need a sous-chef”. Yea OK.
Don’t you dare:
Ask me about my accent again.
I am the best in the world at:
Getting shit done.
In my opinion, astrology:
Is something you grasp at in desperate times.
The last movie that made me laugh:
“Bad Writing”, a doc about some dude’s breakdown re: his crappy poetry, complete with famous writers like Sedaris ripping him a new one due to aforementioned crappy poetry.
The last movie that made me cry:
I get sucked in by soundtracks, it could be the most ridiculous film, but when I hear those swelling violins I start blubbering “DON’T DIE TRANSFORMER BOT! PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD!!!”
My philosophy of love:
Men, you can’t live with them… nope, they’re too messy.
My philosophy of sex:
Go big or go home. Wait, that’s my philosophy for hair and jewelry… never mind.
My philosophy of life:
The hand that rocks the ladle is that hand that rules the world.
Check out Bitchin Kitchen on the Cooking Channel Wednesdays at 10pm ET or click here for more information about the show.