Cat Cora, the first female Iron Chef on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, has a culinary background that includes schooling at the Culinary Insittue of America and cooking in France. She’s also the author of Cat Cora’s Kitchen and Cooking from the Hip.
But it’s her Greek heritage that helped bring alive the 2002 comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, for her. It’s a story about a 30-year-old Greek woman who works in her family’s Chicago restaurant, Dancing Zorba’s. Her father wants her to marry a Greek boy, but she falls in love with a non-Greek, which causes a stir among her huge Greek family. The movie stars Nia Vardolos, John Corbett and Michael Constantine.
“I live My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” Cora laughs. A food inspiration from that movie is leg of lamb with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh oregano, garlic, sea salt and cracked pepper. It’s a traditional and satisfying Greek dish. “A meal shared with friends and family,” she says, “is a wonderful meal.”