Lorena Garcia Debuts Cookware Line on HSN, Mentors Local Chefs
Walking into the two-story modern house tucked off Biscayne Boulevard, guests are greeted by a bartender with a glass of champagne as servers pass around bite-size portions of Thanksgiving treats. Stuffing, turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce, and cheese puffs are all served on colorful enamel pans from the celebrity chef's new Lorena Bella Kitchen Collection for HSN.
The party, attended by Garcia's friends and business relations, is being filmed for the Shopping Network, presumably to be aired at the premiere on Thursday, November 14, from midnight to 2 a.m. (and again from 10 a.m. to noon, 3 to 5 p.m., and and 9 to 11 p.m.) -- just in time for holiday shopping.
The chef works the room. "Eat, eat. This stuffing is vegetarian. You have to try the butternut squash soup." The videographer stops the petite ball of energy for a quick shot. "Pretend you're cooking," he says. "Pretend? Pretend?" she quips. "I've been cooking for two days preparing for the party."
But Garcia obliges, getting behind her fantasy kitchen to stir the pots. Two local food truck owners -- Giselle Pinto from Sugar Yummy Mama and Alfredo Montero from Mr. Good Stuff -- are assisting Garcia in the kitchen. Apparently, Ms. Garcia is a fan of the two trucks and is mentoring the chefs' careers.
Asked why she hasn't opened a restaurant in Miami that people can get to without purchasing a plane ticket (her Lorena Garcia Cocina is located at Miami International Airport -- past the security checkpoint), Garcia is frank. "It's about time and commitment. If I open a restaurant in Miami, I want to be there. Right now I have four productions; I have the airport restaurants. It's a matter of choice. I also think the right partners are key. I have some offers right now to do a restaurant. Maybe in Chicago, maybe here in Miami. But everything has to be right."