Hollywood's cutthroat acting scene can send even the strongest personalities running for the hills. That's precisely where aspiring actress Manouschka Guerrier ended up, combining her passion for acting with a hearty arsenal of Haitian-inspired recipes on the Food Network's "Private Chefs of Beverly Hills."
In Guerrier's family, Sunday dinners happened every night. "My grandmother and my mother cooked every single day," she says, describing meals heavy on rice and beans and incomplete without a meat of some sort. "The older I got, the more I started resenting having to eat rice and beans all the time," she says, resentment that quickly faded when she got to L.A. 14 year ago and found few, if any, Haitian restaurants to choose from.
Bringing the comforts of home -- Miami, Florida -- to her new digs on the West Coast would become Guerrier's primary goal, lending itself to a blog where Food Network producers spotted her culinary charms and serving as therapy (and extra cash) following a bad breakup and layoff from her job.
"I didn't want that part of my family's legacy to die out," she says, revealing an added incentive she discovered five years ago when she learned that her grandmother had attended one of Haiti's top culinary schools.
Single Serving, the blog which Guerrier says is designed to teach single people how to cook for themselves, not only opened the door for a spot on the "Private Chefs of Beverly Hills," but appearances on OWN Network's "My Own Time" and, most recently, a food styling gig on TV Guide Network's upcoming series "Hollywood Girl's Night."
In honor of another big Hollywood night -- the Academy Awards -- Manouschka serves up three movie-inspired dishes, a slight tweak to her regular Sunday routine, which she describes as a low-key rest-fest, replete with bottomless bloody Mary's and mimosas with friends.