Playing With Fire! Cast Interviews!

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New York City is known for being one of the fashion capitals of the world. It’s known for the crazy amount of crime, the Upper East Side, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.  E! is introducing us to another world, another part of New York City that is just as competitive as the fashion world, as cut throat as the crime that roams the city, as polished as the Upper East Side, as sleepless as Times Square, as elegant as Lady Liberty, as busy as the traders on Wall Street and as incredibly dramatic as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.  World…meet the culinary expertise of the new reality show Playing With Fire! Meet Anna Maria Boiardi, Julie Elkind, Candice Kumai, and Derek and Daniel Koch the cast of Playing with Fire, a new series airing Sundays on E! at 10-11pm E.T. And see what this culinary world of the restaurant scene is all about!

Playing with Fire - Season 1

 

Candice Kumai

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1. Describe yourself using only 7 words.

Fun. Witty. Charming. Empathetic. Loving. Honest. Creatively-Brilliant. 

2. What is something you wouldn’t know about the NYC culinary scene?

It’s very, very intimate, close-knit-scene, (almost a club in its own right.) It’s wildly important to be hard-working, to be kind, to have the right intent. You can usually gauge if someone is successful (or going to be) upon first meeting. All of us work like dogs. If you don’t stay at the top of your A-Game, there are thousands of individuals right behind you ready to take you down. Survival, hard work and the right support is key.

3. What should we expect from you on Playing with Fire?

Have no expectations. Drop them. Allow yourself to be surprised and thrilled and captivated by the show, organically. The show is so well-produced with the most beautiful cinematography; the backdrop to the greatest city in the world is just enough to want to watch this show.   

I am a mere writer. I am a solo business-woman trying to make each day count in the toughest-city-in-the-world. I am a former California-surfer-girl, a two-time author, a daughter, a friend, a boss, a client, a lover of beautiful things and people. I am Candice. An artist, a former model, turned philanthropist. I have a massive passion and deep love for food writing and improving others’ lives. I happen to have a “thing” for sunglasses, chocolate and shoes. You’ll have to watch the show to see more. After 10 years in this business, I’m finally opening up.

4. How do you define sexy?

Sexy is merely a perception, a point of view, from any-given individual. We all find different things to be sexy. Anything that plays with my five senses. That to me is sexy.
Someone who reads, is brilliant, funny-as-hell… that’s sexy; Having great arms and abs, that’s a total bonus.

5. What are your three simple luxuries?

1. An incredible, cozy night-in with someone I Iove. (This entails: Laughter, great conversation, chemistry, sushi, Champagne, and a bit more to burn off those calories.)
2- Dark chocolate
3- A nice cup of Japanese genmaicha tea (in my own bed), a really amazing book. Reading something that helps me acquire more knowledge to help others. And a call from my sister in London, or Mom and Dad in San Diego. Being able to stay in touch with my family and stay grounded, that’s the greatest luxury of all.

 

Anna Boiardi

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1. Describe yourself using only 7 words.

Nurturing, Creative, Enthusiastic, Passionate, Principled, Deliberate, Wanderlust.

2. What should we expect from you on Playing with Fire?

The balancing act of being an entrepreneur , a mother and wife all while trying to inspire people to cook.

3. What is something you wouldn’t know about the NYC culinary scene?

Something that surprised me was how much interest in learning to cook there is among  New Yorkers – we tend to think of the New York culinary scene as restaurant-based because we have so many incredible restaurants in New York.

4. How do you define sexy?

Mastery is seductive.

5. What are your three simple luxuries?

Handmade pasta, Cappuccino from Sant Ambroeus and Imported Burrata cheese found at DiPalos in Little Italy

 

Julie Elkind

firejulie

1. Describe yourself using only 7 words.

Creative, driven, bubbly, social, kooky, passionate, competitive 

2. What should we expect from you on Playing with Fire?

On “Playing with Fire” you can expect to see me do everything I can in my creative power to grow as a chef and prove that in my industry age is only a number. You can also expect to see my boyfriend Kyle and I go through the growing pains and pleasures of serious relationship while trying to balance the growth of a serious career.  There’s also a lot of fun! Seeing my friends, shopping for my weakness…shoes…and a new home.

3. What is something you wouldn’t know about the NYC culinary scene?

Things most people don’t know or understand about the food scene is the pressure and the unglamorous moments that happen every day in real life versus what everyone sees on TV  and assumes about kitchens. They are HOT, vulgar, pressure cookers but if you love food and the job the way I do, you love everything about the stereotypical “boy’s clubhouse” that I call my home. Other things that people don’t know are that in my kitchens absolutely EVERYTHING is made by me and my staff. It breaks my heart when people are surprised that I make my own ice cream,  but it is also an eye opener to how little people who work outside the restaurant industry know about what goes on behind the kitchen doors. The best part about people not knowing is the opportunity to teach and educate about the fabulous career I indulge myself in as a chef.

4. How do you define sexy?

SMART is sexy to me. I am attracted to brain power and passionate intelligence. Common sense is also SUPER sexy to me. It seems these days it’s a rare trait to find because common sense is NOT common at all.

5. What are your three simple luxuries?

My luxuries: Shoe shopping, beauty days (spa days, hair styling) and running in Central Park and seamless web.

 

Derek Koch

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1. Describe yourself using only 7 words.

Determined, Hard-working, Generous, Restless, Busy, Detailed, Restaurateur

2. What should we expect from you on Playing with Fire?

A real no holds barred view from inside. A better understanding of who I am as a person, what makes me tick, and what it takes to keep my businesses up and running amidst the challenges faced by small business owners across the country and the world. You’ll see both my serious side and hopefully my playful side as well.

3. What is something you wouldn’t know about the NYC culinary scene?

People often see the glamour and the celebration of life when they step in to restaurants. What they don’t see is the years it takes to get to the top. Often I liken it to an iceberg… what you see when you enter the culinary scene is only the tip.

4. How do you define sexy?

Confidence, style and the ability to carry oneself with dignity.

5. What are your three simple luxuries?

Good food, great wine and dinner at our restaurant for two.

 

Daniel Koch

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1. Describe yourself using only 7 words.

Creative, Passionate, Risk Taker, Appreciative, Respectful, Caring

2. What should we expect from you on Playing with Fire?

A peek into what it takes to continuously stay ahead of the competition, delivering every creative juice I have while making the client feel like they are all that matters.

3. What is something you wouldn’t know about the NYC culinary scene?

It’s not about “build it and they will come”… it’s create something great, wow the client and keep them coming back for more.

4. How do you define sexy?

Being the best at your passion and making no apologies for striving for perfection.

5. What are your three simple luxuries?

An energy drink, my favorite soft t-shirt, central park.

 

Playing with Fire premieres Sunday, March 17 at 10 PM / 9 PM Central on E!

Check out all of our reality star interviews in our Interview section!

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*Images provided by E! Entertainment.

 

 

 

 

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