What’s On Jillian Mele’s Plate at Thanksgiving?
Our favorite Fox News anchor gives us the scoop, along with four things she misses about Philly and an Eagles prediction.
Fox News personality Jillian Mele suffers from serious Philly withdrawal. After working several years in front of her home audience on NBC10 and Comcast SportsNet, the Glenside gal took on a new challenge seven months ago when she agreed to pivot to talking news and politics on the conservative-leaning cable network. Now living in New York full-time, Mele likes to head home as often as she can to visit her favorite haunts and people. Unfortunately for this workaholic, 5 a.m. call times for Thursday and Friday prevent her from celebrating Thanksgiving where she grew up. Philly Mag recently sat down with Jillian to discuss her new gig, favorite holiday foods, and more…
What are three things you miss about Philly?
Three? How about I do you one better and give you four. Obvious answers are first, my family. I go a home a lot and still spend a lot of time with my family. Second – my friends. It’s been hard because when I first moved to New York, I didn’t know anybody. People were always saying, ‘How can you not know people in New York – it’s the biggest city in the country!?” And I’m like ‘I don’t know, I’m from Philly. I work in Philly. All of my friends are in Philly.’ And speaking of, three would be my Welsh Corgi named Tyler. He is my lifeline … my buddy. He’ll turn 14 in January. And finally, the restaurants. Restaurants in New York are great, but I spent so much time in Philly that I’ve got my favorites, the go-to’s – and I miss having them.
So what are some of these favorites around town where we might be able to find Jillian Mele?
If I’m in Center City – I’m a vegetarian by the way – Vedge and V Street are my top two. I just love them. I also tried Wiz Kid two weeks ago when I was home. Had lunch there with (NBC10’s) Bill Henley, Jessica Boyington and Krystal Klei … we’re all still friends. Parc, I feel like that’s one of everybody’s favorites that’s from the area. If I’m in Conshohocken, I’m likely at this little tiny/bar restaurant called Pepperoncini.
Where did you get your start in TV?
My first on-air job was in Presque Isle, Maine. I had never lived away from home before. I was like, ‘Where am I, what’s going on?’ But when you get your first job offer in TV, you don’t think about it – you just go. I covered stories like moose accidents and the world pond ice hockey championship. Fifty degrees below zero. The coldest time of my life.
What do you love most about your new gig on Fox News?
Honestly, the people. I have never been in a work environment that has been so truly incredible, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It’s something that I always hoped for in my career, but I had never experienced before to this capacity. The women here are supportive of one another – which I find inspiring, uplifting and helpful. I find it makes the day better. Because this business can be so competitive, but when you have women who support one another, to me, that’s a difference maker. It’s awesome to be a part of.
Name one celebrity who left you completely star struck.
Phil Mickelson. He was on our show Fox & Friends. We talk to all of the guests during the break and off-air and stuff but sometimes you have a guest that makes you go ‘Wow, this is cool’ because that person is actually asking you questions, asking questions about your family. When people go out of their way to ask questions that they honestly don’t need to – that goes a long way for me. Number one it was meeting this amazing golfer, and number two is how he was as a person.
Biggest misconception about TV anchors?
Life is so glamorous? No it’s not. I’m in bed in my pajamas at 5 p.m. every day.
What’s something we’d be surprised to hear about you?
I don’t know if this is funny, or offensive, but I’ve never had a real Philly cheesesteak. Go figure. I’ve been a legit vegetarian for 10 years now, but my whole life I never really ate much meat. Never really had a reason or want to have one.
So that means no turkey then. What’s on your plate for Thanksgiving?
I always have a massive plate full of mashed potatoes and stuffing. Just give me all of the carbs on the table. Put it all on my plate. I’m going to eat them all.
Are the Eagles headed to the Super Bowl?
Don’t say that word! I’m anti-taking about it because I don’t want to jinx them, but last week I did ask my boss, a Giants fan, if I would be able to go if they got there.
When can we catch you on Fox News?
Fox and Friends First at 5 a.m. with Rob Schmitt, then I do news updates on Fox & Friends from 6 to 9 a.m.