Brandi Milloy on the 'Beautiful Choreography' With Her Fellow 'Let's Eat' Hosts
With a popular blog and the YouTube channel PopSugar Food, Brandi Milloy is skilled at blending kitchen tricks and social media trends. That puts the big-time foodie right at home alongside chef Stuart O’Keeffe and Southern-style innovator Jamika Pessoa as hosts of new recipe and lifestyle show Let’s Eat.
"The key is having that great relationship," Milloy says of the trio. "We’re always laughing. Jamika is a prankster and Stuart and I are huge Taylor Swift fans, so we drive everyone crazy dancing and singing." Their camaraderie over a well-cooked meal is addictive to watch, while they share what’s hot both in the kitchen and in the culinary world. Milloy preps some personal faves.
How would you describe your cooking style?
Brandi Milloy: Fun, easy, approachable recipes. I’m a self-taught at-home cook. So, it has to work with real life. I’m also a mom to a 1-year-old, and I love hosting my friends. A lot of my style comes from making food that makes people smile. The best compliment is when everyone is quiet [while eating] and all you hear is this tiny "mmm." That really brings me a lot of joy.
What tips do you have for cooking for a large group?
When I cook for a crowd, I always do as much as I can ahead of time, so I can actually host and be part of the conversation. Also, I love making big platters or self-serving food, like slow-cooker tacos. I set out all the toppings and have my guests serve themselves.
Are there any trends right now that you’re hooked on?
Asian food. I have a Filipino background and it’s cool to see halo-halo and all these taro flavors making a resurgence.
You’re known for meals made with staple ingredients. What do you always have on hand?
Definitely dry pasta. When you know how to make an awesome sauce out of canned tomato paste and fresh herbs, olive oil and high-quality cheese, you can do so much. And I always have refrigerated biscuits.
How do you, Jamika, and Stuart make working together look so effortless?
It’s about everyone having their role, just like if you were cooking with your family. Someone’s on chopping duty; someone else is stirring or setting the table. Everyone knows their role and it’s this beautiful choreography in the kitchen.
Grilled Brie and Strawberries
Milloy calls this delectable appetizer a "party favorite." Plus, it’s weather-proof. "It’s something you can do on a grill pan inside the home or on the grill outside," she adds.
One 8.8-ounce wheel of Brie
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced in half lengthwise
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Pinch fleur de sel
Pinch red pepper flakes
Crackers, for serving
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling (optional)
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush Brie with some oil. Grill until softened and grill marks appear, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Carefully transfer to a serving platter or board. Toss the strawberries and brown sugar in a bowl until coated. Brush grill with remaining oil and add strawberries cut-side down. Grill until the sugar is caramelized and the strawberries are tender, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Arrange strawberries around and on top of the Brie. Garnish with thyme and sprinkle with fleur de sel and red pepper flakes. Serve warm with crackers. Try a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a decadent touch.
Let’s Eat, Sundays, 9am/8am c, Food Network