Carla Crudup's killer smile, effervescent personality, and delicious eclectic yet homey recipes have rendered her online television show, “Make Yourself Comfortable American Style,” the top spot out of 28,000 submissions on Foodbuzz since August 2010.
“Make Yourself Comfortable American Style,” which is hosted by the Multicultural Cooking Network, beat out big-name chefs such as Bobby Flay and Mario Batali. Crudup creates recipes for her show that are healthy and while cooking, emphasizes the importance of cooking with organically and sustainably grown food. “I cannot stress it enough. When I do my live shows, I like to emphasize organic. I explain that organic food is pesticide-free, hormone-free. I try to explain that when you are buying products that have the hormones and pesticides, your liver and kidneys have to filter it out. It weakens your immune system. It's so important to do it for your body, your health, your immune system. You won't get the carcinogens and free radicals. I like to stress to people to go to the farmers' market, walk around, talk to the people growing your food,” said Crudup.
Influenced by Mom and Dad
Crudup's drive to create original and tasty recipes was spurred by a familial love of cooking around the age of eight and by the time she turned 13, Crudup was cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Raised in California but born in North Carolina, Crudup had access to a wealth of knowledge about different cooking styles from both of her parents. Crudup's father, who was in the Air Force, traveled extensively through Europe bringing international cuisine into Crudup's culinary world. “Both of my parents are from the South. Just watching them inspired me to cook. We'd always look at different cookbooks and recipes,” Crudup recalled.
About 15 years ago, Crudup began creating her own recipes and quickly earned a food column at Bahiyah Woman Magazine called “Bahiyah Café.” Her column became very successful and she was promptly contacted by Lender's Bagels, Macy's and Whole Foods to create healthy and original recipes for their customers. Crudup's careful eye for nutrition and striving for originality caused her to create the tropical pizza bagel and chicken panini recipes for Lender's Bagels to celebrate their 80th anniversary in business. The recipes were published in press releases worldwide and on their website. They were also published in magazines, journals and newspaper publications worldwide.
Crudup's attention to detail is illustrated not only in the food she makes but also in the products she uses to cook and clean. Crudup uses pots and pans made of hard-anodized aluminum, which have a protective surface that makes the pans non-stick and also makes the surface nonporous which prevents metals from leaching into food. Crudup cites brand name products such as Seventh Generation, Method, Meyer and Trader Joe's all-purpose cleaner that can be found in many large chain stores and are thus accessible to almost anyone.
Crudup's warm and loving way of sharing her love for food is sure to lighten your mood and bring a bit of flair and passion to your cooking. “At the end of the day, if I can put a smile on their face and entice them to try something new, I'm happy.”
Watch Crudup's cooking video that continues to be #1 on Foodbuzz, “Make Yourself Comfortable – Meatloaf.” Check it out here.