December 18, 2009 09:28 AM by Lisa Princ
Whether you follow BRAVO’s newest culinary show Chef Academy or not, surely you have heard of or seen a clip of Suzanne Winn. Suzanne is the beautiful and bubbly blonde who always brings a breathe of fresh air and some comic relief to the very strict Chef Novelli’s class. I was lucky enough to have the chance to sit down and have a one on one conversation with Suzanne, where she dished about her experience on the show, and all about her life outside the show. If you think she is just a vain housewife, you couldn’t be more wrong, keep reading for all the fun filled details!
I have to start by saying that I was nervous about this interview as I have never done a one on one before, but let me tell you that talking to Suzanne was just like chatting with an ole friend. The Chef Academy student, and mom of one was one of the sweetest women I have ever had the chance to speak to. As we each sat on opposite ends of the country and each with our cup full of coffee, I learned that Suzanne is all about people andÂ living life to it’s fullest while having fun doing it.
She is extremely humbled by her fans. She told me a really cute story about going the mall and a woman coming up to her, hugging her and then Suzanne asked the woman for her autograph instead of vice versa. When I asked her why, she replied “She was the first person to ever recognize me from the show”. As we chatted for over an hour, here is what you need to know about our beloved Suzanne.
Suzanne the Mom
As a mother of one daughter in college, Suzanne is extremely proud of her daughter. She said “It’s not about her grades but how she embraces life. She has learned that when one door closes, another one opens.” Suzanne was thrilled to share with me how her daughter made the first string in the competitive cheer team and she refers to her daughter as a “mini me”. As her daughter was growing up, Suzanne’s house was the home that all the kids wanted to be at and of course eat at, who wouldn’t want to eat there! Suzanne believes in a gentle approach to teaching children and she believes it has worked for her with her daughter.
Suzanne the Novelli Academy student
Suzanne was all too happy to share her experience on the show as well as her thoughts about Chef Novelli and her fellow classmates. While she did admit that she and Chef Novelli have a love/hate relationship, she also stated how much she admires and adores him, although she would like to see him lighten up a little bit. She also let me know what a sweetheart Michelle, Novelli’s fiancee is.
As for her fellow classmates, Suzanne said what a close group they are and she still keeps in touch with them. In Suzanne’s words she said “Leo and I are besties, we text all the time” and then she continued on to tell me how she would call Leo in the morning and sing to him to wake him as Leo is not a morning person. She also let me know that she is still extremely close to Joel, Chef Novelli’s assistant.
Suzanne also shared a funny story about she and Tracie bonding over the fact that neither of them were too familiar with using the newer metric system for cooking as they are used to good ole teaspoons versus milliliters. When she brought this to Chef Novelli’s attention and he advised that the newer system was better, she replied with “Dude, Betty Crocker had no problem”. Her thoughts on Tracie were: “Tracie is hilarious and she is exactly who she is”.
So what does she think of Emmanuel? “Emmanuel is like a magnificent piece of art. That art however, should not be in my house.” as she chuckled. I, personally think Tracie would love him in her house though and then she shared how much fun Tracie had having Emmanuel serve her in his thong.
So what happens next on Chef Academy? Suzanne was very careful not to spill any details to me, but she did advise that the upcoming episode on the 21st will be a teary eyed episode for all of her fans. You can check out the latest video from BRAVO’s website:
I am sure you are all wondering why she tried out for the Novelli Academy. Her expectation was simply to learn more about what she loves, cooking. She was not in it for the media, or to win. She grew with an amazing cook for a father and she has been cooking all her life, it is something she simply enjoys. If you have ever noticed how she doesn’t let the normal stresses of the academy stress her out, this is why in her own words: “Of course I want to nail it every time, but if I don’t hit it out of the park, it’s no big deal. When I succeed, I succeed big, but when I fail, I fail big.”
Suzanne the Real Housewife
Yes Suzanne is a real housewife, but not like the ones you think of when that phrase comes up. A few things I can tell you from chatting with her is that Suzanne is real, as well as true to herself and she believes life is too short to be serious all the time, thus why she overflows with happiness and spills it onto everyone around her.
Contrary to what many believe, Suzanne was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her parents worked hard all their lives, as did Suzanne and her husband. They actually have a business that when short staffed, Suzanne is the first one to go in and work the floor stating that she loves people and helping them.
Suzanne spends her spare time (when she is not cooking for her family and friends that is) doing charity and volunteer work. She does her own little “Meals in Heels” where she cooks and personally delivers meals to the sick, elderly, anyone who needs it. She believes that just because a girl loves diamonds and shoes, does not mean she is selfish or does not care about others. She is out to prove that we can do both, and I completely believe she is correct.
She is a huge advocate for charities of all sorts. As we were chatting and I had mentioned that my youngest son was born with a birth defect, she immediately asked me how she could donate to a charity for him leaving me with tears in my eyes as no one has ever asked me that before. What a sweetheart she is,Â have I mentioned that already?
So what is next for Suzanne now that she is done taping Chef Academy on BRAVO? Suzanne is currently workingÂ on a book and a lip gloss line as you know how much she loves her lip gloss! I cannot wait to see both of these! Suzanne also wanted her fans to know how much you all mean to her and asked that I share with you some links to keep up with her. Here you are:
In closing, this was one of the best experiences of my life. Suzanne is a complete sweetheart with a huge smile and an even bigger heart. My only regret is that I could not be there face to face with her for the interview. I hope this has helped give you all a better idea of who Suzanne is and what she stands for. I know that I personally am looking forward to keeping in touch with her and following where she is headed next, because you never know!
A huge thank you to Suzanne Winn for taking the time to sit and talk to me like an ole friend! Be sure to tune in next week at 10 pm EST for an all new episode of Chef Academy on BRAVO. See you after the show!
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Photos courtesy of: BRAVO and Suzanne Winn