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Kidsday talks ‘Top Chef Jr.’ with Vanessa Lachey, Curtis Stone

Kidsday reporters Alex Brookstone, second from left, James

Kidsday reporters Alex Brookstone, second from left, James Haupt, center, and Scott Sukiel interviewed "Top Chef Jr." host Vanessa Lachey and head judge chef Curtis Stone at Rockefeller Center on Oct. 13, 2017. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

Walking toward NBC studios in Rockefeller Center, our palms were sweaty and our stomachs were in pain. This was our first time interviewing celebrities. Once we said our goodbyes to our parents, we were prepared to say hello to Vanessa Lachey and Curtis Stone.

They are two of the celebrities on the new season of “Top Chef Jr.,” Vanessa is the host and Curtis is the head judge chef. It started airing Friday evening on Universal Kids network. It is 14 episodes that will have team challenges, trips around Los Angeles, elimination challenges and, of course, lots of cooking by kids who want to be the top chef.

When we walked in the remarkable and beautiful 30 Rock building, we knew it would be an experience we would never forget. The walls were covered in black and brown polished marble. It was a first-class experience.

Once we reached the 11th floor, we had to wait for about 10 minutes to meet Vanessa and Curtis. We had our questions prepared and we had no clue how the celebrities would react to us. Finally, it was time to meet them.

We walked into the room, and our fear of how they would react to us went away. They smiled, shook our hands and instantly made us feel comfortable. We sat on a couch, and they opened our interview by asking us general questions. We each took turns asking very specific questions. Talking to them made us feel like we knew them for a long time. We each had our top two favorite answers from both of the celebrities.

Alex asked Vanessa about her cooking experiences. She said she started cooking at age 18 in an attempt to impress her boyfriend. Vanessa said, “A way to a guy’s heart is through his stomach.” Alex said his second favorite answer was when Curtis explained that he prefers his son to take a different career path besides cooking.

Scott asked Vanessa about being the host on “Top Chef Jr.” and if the kids ever showed disappointment in themselves when they don’t get their full meal on the plate in time during the competition. Vanessa explained how serious these kids on the show are about making the food look and taste good. Scott then asked Curtis if he didn’t like being recognized in public. He said he didn’t, but he found it humorous when people ask him for recipes that he doesn’t have with him.

James read that Vanessa Lachey’s husband, singer Nick Lachey, never cooks for the kids. He asked her about that, and Vanessa told him that her husband did not cook for her. She told us they found a way to be in the kitchen together. She would get the groceries, he would put them away, she would cook, and he would clean up.

We know that Vanessa has starred on “Dancing with the Stars,” but we wanted to know if Curtis ever tried dancing. He gave us a much unexpected answer. He told us that when he tried to dance at his wedding, he ripped his pants while bending down. That made us laugh, because we realized that they, too, have moments like that.

This experience was the best hour of our lives. It is a moment we will never forget, and we will never take it for granted.

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