Bethenny Frankel is the token single working gal on the Bravo reality TV show The Real Housewives of New York City. She's also a Pinecrest Prep alum and onetime resident of Boca Raton. Today, Frankel will rub elbows with some of the real housewives of Boca Raton. Frankel, a natural-foods chef, is in town for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. An old friend from Pinecrest convinced her to drive up to Boca, where she'll promote her book Naturally Thin at the clothing store Alene Too. Frankel took the time to chat with us here at the Juice this week. She concedes that the ladies of Boca are just as pampered as those Bravo gals in Orange County, Atlanta, and -- yes -- even NYC. Follow the jump to read of her younger days in Florida, where she used to down wine coolers and dress like Gloria Estefan circa Miami Sound Machine.
How did you get involved with The Real Housewives of New York City?
I was at polo -- the sport not the store -- in the Hamptons, and Jill Zarin came up to me and said, 'Skinny bitch.' I didn't really know her that well, either, by the way, so that's usually the way you greet people that you don't know, right? 'Skinny bitch, you need to come on my reality show. It's about mothers.' I said, 'Well, I don't have kids so it's not for me.' The producers courted me for two months because they wanted a fifth. I refused to do it because I was terrified of doing damage to the brand I was building...Pepperidge Farm had just hired me, and Health magazine -- brands that are very mainstream. I was nervous that if the show came off as a train wreck, then I would be a train wreck. So it was very nerve-wracking. But then something hit me when I was sitting in airport. I was saying to myself, my gut said, It's Bravo, and a lot of my peers that I respect are on that network. It's not easy to get on television to promote what you're doing. It was a crap shoot. And I'm glad I went to the tables.
Do you feel like the show accurately portrays you?
Absolutely. It accurately portrays everybody. Anybody that tells you different is totally full of crap. I had a break-up last season and I drank 16 margaritas. I wouldn't do that every day, but it did happen. So, that's what they chose to air. It's just like in life, once it's out of the tube, you can't put it back in.
You have a connection to Florida, right?
I love Florida. I was a dorm student at Pinecrest for high school. It was a great experience. It was a completely better experience than being in New York. It was football games, hanging out at the 7-11, going to the beach, and drinking wine coolers.
What do the housewives of Boca have in common with the housewives of New York City?
I would say the housewives of Boca have more in common with the housewives of Orange County because they live in gated communities. Everything is a mall or a strip mall. They dress a lot like Orange County. A lot of boobs hanging out. You can get your breasts done like getting your teeth cleaned in Boca. But there are a lot of New York transplants in Boca, too.
What do you like (or not like) about Boca?
I love Boca. It's easy. You have your car. You can go to the bagel store. There's 97 bagel stores. Everything is nice and new. There's no garbage on the streets. It's easy breezy. You can wear the cheesiest clothes. You can wear rhinestones. You can wear leg warmers. You can wear anything you want and get away with it. And I like that, because I really miss all those old Florida fashions.