Adrian De Berardinis, otherwise known as The Bear-Naked Chef, scored an amazing opportunity to cook for The Real Housewives of New York City last year. The footage from their wild evening will air on the show’s newest episode tonight on Bravo.
These women are the opposite of dull when it comes to their vibrant and charismatic personalities that many of us have come to love (and maybe hate) over the past decade. Did Adrian have an amazing experience with them at Dorinda Medley’s (JOVANI!) country home or was this a run for the hills kind of ordeal?
Adrian spoke with me about all of that and what it was like cooking for Michelle Obama on her book tour recently.
How in the heck did you get yourself involved with the RHONY women?
Well, last summer I did the Joanne Trattoria (Lady Gaga’s family’s restaurant) takeover with Chef Art Smith and Joe Germanotta. RHONY fan favorite Dorinda Medley was one of the attendees. I put a glass of Prosecco in her hand as soon as she entered, and we became fast friends shortly after.
Dorinda was so intrigued by my concept that she insisted we keep in touch and she was going to find a way to get me on RHONY. A month later we got a call from the producers that we were asked to cook a dinner at Blue Stone Manor. I was like, wait… is this a joke???
You are called The Bear-Naked Chef, so I’m if we’ll see most of your body during the episode tonight?
When we arrived I pulled one of the producers aside and asked to clarify if they wanted me in all my Bear-Naked realness and she looked at me with the most serious eyes and said “Oh, without a doubt. You will be naked for this scene: cooking, service, all of it.” I smiled and high-fived her and said,” Atta girl, Bravo TV. Represent!” I was so excited this was about to happen.
What did you cook for the ladies and did they like what you had to offer?
We prepared a delicious 5-course dinner that the ladies were all delighted by. The menu was seasonally appropriate, as it was around Halloween, so it was light but comforting, as per Dorinda’s request.
The first course was my mother’s recipe and one of Michelle Obama’s favorites: zucchini soup. Ramona (Singer) loved it so much she asked me for the recipe. The second course was a simple mixed green salad with pomegranate seeds and candied spiced pecans. The third was a roasted butternut squash raviolo in brown butter and sage. The main course, created and prepared with Chef Art, was a delicious roast chicken stuffed with cornbread, sausage and chestnuts on a cauliflower purée. And for dessert, red velvet cake. Bethenny (Frankel) gave us a 10 on the dinner on her Instagram story. That’s really all that matters, isn’t it?
Can you tell me who your favorite was from that night?
My favorite of the night? That’s seriously a tough one. They all had such amazing, priceless moments. My interaction was somewhat limited as I was slaving in the kitchen, but when they came into the cooking space to play and chat I would have to say Dorinda (such a gracious host) and Bethenny made the most lasting and impressive impressions on me. Both were kind, elegant, friendly and engaging despite the chaos. They all were sweet and appreciative.
You just worked with celebrated Chef Art on Michelle Obama’s Becoming Tour. What was that like?
The Michelle Obama Tour offer came on the heels of the RHONY taping. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than Housewives, Chef Art asked me to join him on the 12-city tour where I would be cooking for the former First Lady.
I was beside myself, really. This was the ultimate career kicker. The tight schedule, constant traveling, food prep, and working in furnished stadium locker rooms prepping her and her team’s food was grueling, but I really can’t complain. I would have done it in worse circumstances. It truly was an honor and privilege. It was the opportunity and ride of a lifetime. She was a total joy to work for, so appreciative and down to earth. She always said thank you and acknowledged us. I could feel she valued our contribution and it was noted. I keep her inscribed book copy she gave me on my nightstand.
What do you have coming up that our readers should know about?
After the high of the RHONY episode airing and bartending appearance on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live wears off I’m slated to cook with Chef Art at the White House Correspondents’ Brunch in DC on the 30th of April. Should be very interesting.
More on Adrian here.