AN INSPIRATION TO EVERY WOMAN!!!
Heading into the finale of ‘My Kitchen Rules‘ Valerie Vasquez does it all…Hair, Makeup, taking care of hubby Andrew Dice Clay, and now we can add culinary cuisine to her list of talents.With 7 escalating rounds of competition, the celebrity duo with the lowest score at the end of each round will be eliminated. The last two pairs standing will battle it out in the final round for a pressure-cooker evening during which they will prepare and present their ultimate dining menu. In the end, only one team will survive the drama and earn the right to claim MY KITCHEN RULES.
Tonight Valerie and her husband Dice compete in the finale against musician Lance Bass and his mom Diane cooking for 6 culinary chefs, their past competition, Grammy Award winner Brandy and her brother, R&B recording artist Ray J; reality TV star Brandi Glanville and her friend, Dean Sheremet; and country superstar Naomi Judd and her husband, Larry Strickland along with two professional chef judges, Curtis Stone (“Top Chef Masters”) and Cat Cora (“Iron Chef America”).
We at Shallow Graves caught up with Valerie after the exciting conclusion of last weeks episode which propelled them into the finals.
Yvette: Hi Valerie, I want to take this opportunity to tell you how addicted we are to ‘My Kitchen Rules’ and that my son Hunter and myself are rooting for you and Dice!
Valerie: Ohhh, that’s so sweet! Thank you so much!
Yvette: So tell us what was it like during the taping of ‘My Kitchen Rules‘?
Valerie: It was so crazy! I am also a hair stylist and makeup artist, I am a behind the scenes girl. This was a little out of my element but so much fun!
Yvette: How did you do it? All that pressure from week to week?
Valerie: You know what is so funny because I didn’t even think of it, I used to do weddings and people ask, “Didn’t you hate it, dealing with Bridezillas?” My answer, “No” this is their day and they are allowed to be stressed my job was to make it easier for them. I built a tolerance of “Nothing you can do, can get in my way when I am focused”.
Yvette: Now you only have 3 hours to prepare a meal, that does not seem like much time.
Valerie: It is literally not as long as you think. I throw parties all the time at my house and if people are arriving at 3, I start preparing at 8.
Yvette: You have no margin for error either in that 3 hours or you could fall behind.
Valerie: Exactly and let’s say I am cooking at Thanksgiving, we eat at 5-6 in the afternoon, I am up at 6 a.m. preparing. I cooked my 1st turkey at 16 and have been cooking my whole life.
Yvette: Do you come from a big family?
Valerie: Kind of. LOL. Andrew thinks my family is huge but I call it medium. My dads side is Mexican and my moms is Italian and Jewish. When the family gets together everyone brings dishes and casseroles.
Yvette: Getting together with family especially that rich in culture and cooking is a fundamental. I am one of nine with an Italian and French heritage and cooking just becomes a way of life.
Valerie: That’s a big family! I agree, and you take that with you in life.
Yvette: I loved the episode where Kelly Osbourne hosted the dinner party and you and Dice had to share the kitchen with Lance and Diane. That was one intense episode and I have to admit I am guilty of making your No Bake Ricotta Cheesecake the next day for my boys and it was a huge hit!
Valerie: Yay! Thank you! Love it! Funny story, I messed up a little on the ingredients, I accidentally took out some of the sugar. The amount of sugar I normally put in there, I didn’t and I will never know why. In my family we have been doing this for 15 years. Like the Cannoli dip, you mix Ricotta, cream cheese, and sugar then sprinkle with chocolate chips and I made it into little cheese cakes and worried it might be too sweet.
Yvette: I will take it that was a part that was edited from the show?
Valerie: Yes, they don’t show every step. You can only fit so much in 1 hour.
Yvette: How in advance do you get to plan your menu?
Valerie: Not a lot of time. The problem is you don’t know if you are making to the next episode. Preparing our 1st meal we had the most time after that, we were given a few days.
Yvette: Once you come up with the menu, do you have to submit it for approval?
Valerie: Everything. My recipes, like the salsa and guacamole I could do blind folded, I don’t even have a recipe for it. I do it from scratch and you had to write down the ingredients with measurements.
Yvette: So, for taping you had to have everything down to the smallest tablespoon?
Valerie: Before each episode we had to give them the recipes and at the very least let them know what was in it. having only a few days it was hard to sit down, come up with a menu, and write up the recipes for meals that I just make. It made me realize, I work well under pressure.
Yvette: Speaking of pressure, you were amazing. You were left in the kitchen alone quite a few times. What is the story behind that?
Valerie: From the beginning going into this Andrew told me I will be there for you and help as much as I can but most of the load will be on you because I am not much of cook, which helped me a lot going into this knowing it would not be split 50/50.
Yvette: That just makes you 2 that much cuter. Even knowing that, I could see the pressure you were under, like when cooking for the L.A. Rams, you cried.
Valerie: I was really freaking out on that episode and Brandi came over and asked if I was OK, and I told her I was good and maybe this happens to you, when someone asks you if you are OK and you’re really not you start crying. I am a cry baby.
Yvette: Me too. My kids tell me all the time.
Valerie: LOL. Same here.
Yvette: These episodes are taped well in advance, and do they let you know ahead of time, who you are cooking for?
Valerie: While they were filming us, i don’t know if you remember at the end of the art show episode, we didn’t know there was another episode coming up. I think that people believe in Reality TV that everything is set up or fake and I was so shocked at how real this show was. Once those cameras are rolling you are on your own.
Yvette: I love the reactions, and you wonder how true they are.
Valerie: I can’t act to save my life. I can’t do a retake, I can’t repeat stuff, I am the worst at it, and what was funny was when we were doing the testimonials and ask me a question, every now and then they would say, “I’m sorry, we didn’t catch that. could you repeat?”
I would become all tongue tied. I was just horrible. LOL
Yvette: How did you both come to compete on ‘My Kitchen Rules‘?
Valerie: They approached Dice and he never told me anything. Turns out, he did everything and comes home and tells me, “I got you a gig“. I was so excited, and asked if it was a TV show doing hair and makeup. He’s like “We’re going to do great”! I said, “We, doing what”? He says, “We are doing a cooking show!“
I told him I could not do it, and he’s says, “You cook all day, you will be fine“! That was it! I was freaking out and he was my biggest cheerleader, my biggest fan. I am so glad because I had so much fun!
Yvette: In the finale, how was it cooking for 6 renowned chefs, your former competitors, and of course Curtis and Cat?
Valerie: It was crazy! I was shaking! I thought when they 1st announced who we would be cooking for in the finale, they were just kidding. I waited for Curtis to say it, but they weren’t and to cook for 6 chefs who don’t know what we have been doing but at the same time it was cool. This was going to be very fair with judging us. They will say it, the way it is.
Yvette: How amazing was it doing Rachel Ray and how has it changed your life?
Valerie: I am loving it! At 1st, I was nervous and now I really like it! That was the one interview, I did where I was scared to death, there was a live audience. We have done morning shows but it is just the camera crew and producers, and to walk out to a live audience and sit there with the Rachel Ray, is unforgettable.
Yvette: Has this opened a whole new venue for you?
Valerie: A couple of months ago, I started writing down my recipes, because I would love to come out with a cookbook. So many people have requested my recipes on Instagram and Facebook. I am crossing my fingers for a cookbook.
Yvette: Please keep me updated. I would be all over that.
Valerie: Of course and thank you.
Yvette: I have one last question from my son Hunter, what is the story behind your Powerpuffs girl tattoo?
Valerie: It is in honor of my sister. I always get stopped on the streets by kids and adults asking me about it. People just seem to love it.
Yvette: That is very sweet and beautiful way to remember your sister.
Valerie: Thank you.
The Finale on ‘My Kitchen Rules’ air this evening at 9 ET on FOX!