Ask the Chef

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone Stops in Winn-Dixie to Talk Family Meal Times and Cooking for Celebs

If you enter a nondescript building, beyond a dark wooden door marked only with an “M,” and hear the Sex Pistols blaring from the kitchen, you will know you are in the right place. But unless you find yourself in Beverly Hills with a fist full of cash, that is unlikely to happen.

Celebrity chef and Food Network star Curtis Stone’s award-winning Maude restaurant remains an elusive dream for most. But in partnership with Southeastern Grocers, Stone is bringing a little bit of Maude’s fresh concept to your local Winn-Dixie with his Cooking With Curtis for Under $10 program.

At 6-foot-3, the 40-year-old Australian is as well known for his good looks and charisma as for his prowess in the kitchen. Named one of People magazine’s 2015 sexiest men alive, the award-wining chef, restaurateur, author, media personality, and businessman is tempting families back to the table with recipes that are both inexpensive and easy to prepare. 

“There’s such a huge difference, opening a door, smelling that someone has cooked for you, setting the table, talking throughout dinner. There’s appreciation and cooperation and all these great family values that come from a home-cooked meal,” Stone says in his native Aussie accent.

His goal for "Cooking with Curtis" is to encourage people to gather together at the dinner table, which he believes is the core of a happy home.

Stone’s budget conscious recipes run the gamut from breakfast to dinner and range from meat heavy to vegetarian. His strategy is to create a menu around ingredients that are fresh, abundant, and in season. It is the same strategy he uses at Maude though without the dining in price tag, explaining that not only does seasonal produce taste better, it is usually less expensive. 

“Let’s talk about what’s really great right now. Blueberries are fantastic in Florida right now. Vidalia onions are sweet and delicious.”

Stone says that to get kids interested in vegetables, parents need to make it fun. He suggests involving children by shopping and preparing meals together. One tactic Stone employs to entice his own children into healthy eating habits is gardening with his family — well, most of his family.

“She sits there and she watches us with a glass of wine,” he says of his wife, actress Lindsay Price, laughing. “She talks to us, but she doesn’t get into it.”

Rubbing elbows with celebrities like Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres cannot trump the one occasion Stone found himself truly starstruck. With no advance notice, Sir Paul McCartney himself walked into a London restaurant where Stone worked as head chef.

Winn-Dixie Cooking with Curtis Welcome Video from Winn-Dixie on Vimeo.

Known for his meat and game recipes, Stone says the vegan McCartney really threw him off.

“I was like, 'Oh no! I love you but I hate you,'" Stone says of having to come up with a vegan dish on the spot. "We did lentils and vegetables but we didn’t have any of it on the menu so we’re literally like, 'Quick! Give me this! Get me that! Stall him! Send some champagne!'"

All’s well that ends well, and Stone was relieved when McCartney asked to meet him afterward.

“He said, ‘Where are you from?' and I said I’m from Melbourne and he said, ‘Oh that’s funny — we played a gig in Melbourne.’ I was like, yeah, you played ‘a gig'. Melbourne still hangs onto that so much because they played at the biggest arena and stayed at the Southern Cross Hotel, which was the first hotel I ever worked in. A ‘gig,’ yeah.”

With a line of cookware, a series of best-selling cookbooks, a new restaurant opening in Los Angeles, and an endless list of television credits, it appears that Stone is poised for culinary domination.

But Stone says he is making a conscious effort to be more grounded and focus on simple things, like picking up his children from school.

“I’m really happy with my life right now. I love being home with my family. I probably don’t get enough of that, truthfully.”

Cooking With Curtis for Under $10 recipe can be found in booklets in Winn-Dixie stores or at

Wendy Rhodes is a freelance writer and award-winning author. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @WendyRhodesFL.
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Wendy Rhodes is a lover of rock 'n' roll and all things vegan. She has witnessed a green flash, kissed a live shark, and stood atop an active volcano. She is always open to new story ideas.