Five Questions: Katie Cavuto of The Next Food Network Star

Katie Cavuto may be familiar to Philly folks who’ve seen her on the local news as a nutrition expert and chef, but she’s about to achieve a new level of celebrity as one of the contestants on the latest season of The Next Food Network Star, which begins this Sunday at 9 p.m. We chatted with her on the eve of the show’s debut about cooking, eating, and the big premiere.

What is your favorite dietitian-approved, healthy restaurant meal in Philadelphia?
Healthy restaurant meal? I eat well at home most of the time, so when I go out, I splurge. I love fine dining: Tinto, Amada, and Vetri are my favorites.

As a registered dietitian, you know the right things to eat, but do you mess up like the rest of us and eat things you know you shouldn’t? What are your guilty pleasures?
I’m very forgiving of myself and my clients. I don’t believe that there are good foods and bad foods — everything in moderation. I indulge, but I always keep portion control in mind. Have the cheesecake, but just a few bites, not the whole thing. I do have a secret thing for bacon and homemade mac and cheese.

Sustainability is a prominent part of your cooking style. What is your favorite Philly-area farmer’s market?
I love Reading Terminal Market and the market in Rittenhouse Square. I also love my CSA from Red Hill Farm in Media.

On your video at FoodNetwork.com, you describe yourself as a Philly girl from an Italian family. Do you like to shop the Italian Market? What is your can’t-miss stop?
I do love to shop there, though I don’t get there as often as I’d like. I love DiBruno’s for their cheese selection and their prepared foods.

Will you watch the premiere? Is there anything you are nervous about seeing on TV?
I’m 100 percent going to watch it — with 100 friends and family members. I know what my high and low points were, and I know that that’s life. It’s impossible to be perfect. The only thing I’m nervous about is how the editing turned out. That’s really nerve-racking, waiting to see how they put it all together.