HOUS January 2017 : Page 56

S O C I E T Y & C UL TUR E s ta r 56 HOME AWAY FROM HOME Sandra Lee at home in her Manhattan apartment. C IT Y S EPT EM B ER 2 0 1 5 HAIR AND MAKEUP BY ALX GALASINAO

Society & Culture Star

Phebe Wahl


Entertainment entrepreneur and “first girlfriend of New York” Sandra Lee comes to Texas to play a major role in the 2017 Super Bowl.

Entrepreneur Sandra Lee, best known for her former Food Network series Semi-Homemade Cooking, has always loved entertaining. Even when she didn’t have much, she went out of her way to welcome friends, family and lovely strangers into her home. Now, as she visits Houston over the next two months to captain the Super Bowl Host Committee, a group of more than 10,000 volunteers on hand to help guide visitors, she’ll carry on doing what she does best. As a former television host and the current “first girlfriend of New York”—she’s dating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo—we have no doubt her warm spirit will shine through and help H-Town open its arms to the thousands of visitors soon to arrive. Housuperbowl.com

Where did your passion for cooking and entertaining come from?

My passion for entertaining came from when I didn’t have a whole lot, and I wanted to do something fun for my friends and invite them over.

Why has philanthropy and causes like UNICEF and Stand Up to Cancer always been important to you?

I think that it is really important that when God blesses you with a lot, you are able to give back. Even though I don’t come from means, I have built a nice lifestyle for myself and my family. I think you have to remember where you came from, and I think you have to make sure you participate. We are a global community and a global planet. No matter what your passion is, it is hugely important that you focus on one or two of those passions to make a difference. That is how we change the world.

What does it mean to you to be serving as host of this year’s Super Bowl?

I was raised in the Seattle area, so I am a Seahawk first. I went to high school and college in Wisconsin, so I am a Packer after that. Then I moved to New York, so it’s also about the Jets and the Giants. This is my 10th Super Bowl, and my brother Rich is always my date. This year I am the Host Committee Ambassador and Team Captain for our 10,000 volunteers, which we call the superstar team. It is really important that every Super Bowl city make a wonderful impression. This year it’s my job to ensure everyone’s happiness.

Tell us a little bit about your personal connection to Houston.

I adore Houston. It is a dynamic city. It has a lot of culture. The culinary scene is amazing. One of the best by-the-glass wine lists that I have ever seen anywhere in the world is at the Four Seasons [Hotel] Houston.

Which guests would you host at your dream dinner party, and what menu you would serve?

I would have Daniel Bouloud make a French menu. I wouldn’t do any of the work and [would] just enjoy my guests. It would be a girl gang party—plus Andy Warhol. [I’d have] my grandmother (who is my great love), Eleanor Roosevelt, Cher, Meryl Streep, Lady Diana, Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, my sister Kim, and Andrew and our three girls.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is wearing my flannel pajamas, curling up in my white room (my formal living room) and watching TV while enjoying a big bowl of buttersalted popcorn and a very tall glass of ice-cold root beer.

What’s the next thing on your bucket list?

Organizing my girl gang trip to St. Barts for my birthday.

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Society+%26+Culture+Star/2676481/372404/article.html.

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