Sandra Lee (cook)

Sandra Lee (cook)

Sandra Lee (born Sandra Lee Christiansen [ [ Food Network star Sandra Lee peeled onions as a youth at the Puyallup Fair - Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle): ] ] on July 3, 1966 in Sumner, Washington) is an American television chef and author. Lee is best-known for her "Semi-Homemade" cooking concept. She describes the philosophy as "70% store-bought/ready-made products accompanied by 30% fresh and creative touches, allowing you to take 100% of the credit."

Early life

Lee was born in 1966, to teenage parents, who divorced in 1972. By the age of 9, Lee became a surrogate mother to her four younger siblings; her responsibilities included buying groceries, preparing the meals, and handling the family finances. ["Sandra Lee." Chefography. Episode CHSP06."]


In the early 1990s, Lee created a product called "Kurtain Kraft", a home decorating tool using a wire rack and sheets or other fabric samples to create the appearance of decorative drapery. The product was sold on infomercials and cable shopping networks.

"Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee" premiered on the Food Network in 2003. The program is taped in a custom-built studio in Brooklyn, New York. Each episode contains an arts and crafts element, in which Lee decorates the table setting in accordance with the theme of the meal that she just prepared. She refers to these as "tablescapes".

Lee's first cookbooks, "Semi-Homemade Cooking" and "Semi-Homemade Desserts", were originally printed by Talk Miramax, but are now distributed by Meredith Corporation. She has also released "Semi-Homemade Cooking 2", along with revised editions of her first two cookbooks.

In 2006, Lee released four new cookbooks: "Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals", "Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes", "Semi-Homemade Great Gatherings", and "Semi-Homemade Cool Kids Cooking". Another, "Semi-Homemade Light and Healthy Cookbook", was released in January 2007. [ [ Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade ] ] Three new cookbooks, "Semi-Homemade Cooking 3", "20-Minute Meals 2", and "Slow Cooker 2" were released in November 2007. [ [ 2007 New Cookbooks] ] Her memoir, "Made From Scratch", was released November 6, 2007.

Critical reaction

Lee's cooking style, like other television cooks, has not always been well received.

Amanda Hesser in "The New York Times" writes, Lee "...seems more intent on encouraging people to create excuses for not cooking than on encouraging them to cook wholesome simple foods," concluding that "...she has produced two books in which she encourages a dislike for cooking, and gives people an excuse for feeding themselves and their families mediocre food filled with preservatives." [ [ TEST KITCHEN; Homemade Or Semi? A Bake-Off - New York Times ] ]


External links

* [ Official site]
* [,,FOOD_9889_2294808,00.html Sandra Lee's Food Network Page]

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