With what started as an introduction to cooking by Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s grandmother and earliest mentor, Maude, while making fudge at the age of four, is now a formidable career in the culinary world.
From countless television experiences raging from his initial traveling cooking show, Surfing the Menu on ABC with Chef Ben O’Donoghue, to hosting international TLC hit, Take Home Chef, and PBS series, Field Trip; to a number of appearances on cooking competitions, including Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America; countless talk show interviews and more, chances are if you love food you know Australian-born, US-based restaurateur, celebrity chef, and author, Chef Curtis Stone.
He’s the author of six cookbooks; owner of restaurants Los Angeles-based Maude and butcher’s shop and restaurant Gwen; and even runs a sea-bound restaurant Share, in partnership with Princess Cruises.
This year fan-favorite Chef Curtis is celebrating a decade of working with the HSN. Since he began with the network in 2012, he has sold over 5.2 million units to date, generating approximately $225M in sales over the past 10 years.
He started off with his sleek, functional cookware and kitchen tools, then added kitchen electrics in 2014. In 2019, HSN launched the Curtis Stone Food assortment, which added seafood and Australian-grass-fed meats to his impressive food lineup. Most recently, Chef Curtis expanded into wine with a curated selection from Vintage Wine Estates in 2021.
“I’ve been spoiled by working in professional kitchens and having high quality cooking equipment at my fingertips,” says Chef Curtis. “When I started Take Home Chef and working in people’s homes, I saw first-hand the issues that home cooks go up against — everything from blunt knives and unstable chopping boards to limited space, and I realized that I could create beautiful, thoughtfully designed pieces to fill that gap.”
I chatted with Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone on his successes, partnership with HSN, his new food line up, signature recipes and more. Here’s what he had to say.
When you first began as a chef, did you ever think you’d become a celebrity, on-air type?
That was never my intention! I was always focused on cooking the best food I could make and learning in different kitchens around the world, with the hopes of one day opening my own restaurant.
I got really lucky when I was asked to co-host Surfing the Menu with my mate, Ben O’Donohue, and had no idea how it would change my life and my career. Becoming an on-air personality has given me the opportunity to work with many talented chefs and heroes of mine, while continuing to teach people around the world how to cook.
Talk about your brand strategy with HSN. What was the trajectory and were there any major catalysts into it becoming what it is today?
I’ve always been solutions-oriented in all facets of my life and in the kitchen, and this was no different. Finding HSN as a partner was a gift because we’re able to create quality pieces that are affordable and available to everyone. HSN provides an unmatched opportunity to speak directly to millions of people about the stories behind my products, the impact they have and how to use them, which gives me the ability to improve and find new ways to excite customers.
What started out as a functional cookware and kitchen tools line when I first launched with HSN in 2012, has grown and evolved into kitchen electrics and gadgets, and now food and wine.
What are the highlights of your food lineup? What’s the inspiration behind it? What are some of the deciding factors when creating a new lineup?
I’m really passionate about people eating high quality food, that is locally and seasonally sourced. We work hard to find vendors who meet our incredibly high standards to bring the best products to HSN. Clearly my butcher shop has been an inspiration for the meat lineup and the salmon and cod additions from the Faroe Islands and Iceland are additions that are healthy, versatile, and so easy to prepare in the cookware.
We’re continuously looking for new and innovative solutions for the customer to make their life easier in the kitchen. When creating a new lineup, we consider many things, but most importantly, we try to uncover what the customer is looking for that doesn’t currently exist and how can we bring that to life in an innovative and attainable way.
What trends are taking place in the market, what new techniques or ingredients have I found in my other endeavors that I can now incorporate into a line for them? It’s with this focus that we’ve been able to grow into one of the top kitchen brands at HSN over the past 10 years.
What are some of your signature recipes?
There is so much good food in the world, but at the end of the day, I love a grilled steak. I’ll pick one up from the counter at Gwen on my way home and it’s perfection. Add a glass of Vintage Wine Estates wine and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.
Talk about your expansion with a curated selection from Vintage Wine Estates last year.
Wine has always been such an important part of a meal for me; for a time, our menu at Maude was actually inspired by different wine regions around the world. A wine can take a good meal and elevate it to a great meal by enhancing the flavors in a dish.