Tiffani Thiessen Dishes On The Joy Of Cooking For Her “Saved By The Bell” Co-Stars

Tiffani Thiessen

Photo Credit: Lars Niki/Getty Images for Gourmet Garden

Tiffani Thiessen has come a long way from her days at Bayside High and hanging out in the 90210 (although at 46, she still easily looks like she could be in college). She become known for her passion for cooking, which has manifested itself in her Food Network Series “Dinner at Tiffani’s” and her cookbook, “Pull Up a Chair.” Now, she’s working with Gourmet Garden, a division of McCormick, that specializes in herbs and spices that are ready to use, to create her haute cuisine. We caught up with her to discuss her collaboration with the brand, how she discovered the joy of cooking and which of her “Saved by the Bell” co-stars (and his wife) reacted to her fare in a momentous way.

Tiffani ThiessenPhoto Credit: Lars Niki/Getty Images for Gourmet Garden

When did you discover your passion for food/cooking?

Truly watching my mom, my aunt and grandmother cooking together, laughing and bonding over creating a meal, sparked the passion and made me eager to be in the kitchen with them.

Tell us about your work with Gourmet Garden, what it is, how you began working with them, and why others should look to do the same.

I’ve been a fan for a while. It’s a great product that allows me to save time in the kitchen.

Does cooking relax you? What’s your process? Put on some music (what), follow a recipe, trial and error?

Cooking is another creative outlet for me. I don’t tend to follow recipes as that’s where the creativity part comes into play for me.

As a mother, how important is cooking for not only for yourself, but your family?

Cooking together is a way for us all to disconnect from everything going on and truly spend time connecting as a family. I look forward to spending those moments with them.

Tiffani ThiessenPhoto Credit: Lars Niki/Getty Images for Gourmet Garden

What are your culinary “mom” rules? What can’t your kids eat?

I wouldn’t say I have a lot of culinary “mom” rules… other than making sure they eat a balanced meal. And dinner always before dessert, right?

What do you not allow yourself to eat (or eat incrementally)?

I don’t deprive myself from anything. I would say I try to eat pretty clean during the week and have a little more fun on the weekends, but sometimes I break the rules ha.

Has your series and cookbook opened up other culinary opportunities?

Absolutely! Being able to collaborate with brands I love, like Gourmet Garden. As well as being a part of fun food and wine events.

Tiffani ThiessenPhoto Credit: Lars Niki/Getty Images for Gourmet Garden

Do you have a restaurant in the works? If so, what’s the concept and where will it be?

No, not just yet, but something I have thought about.

What are a few of your favorite restaurants around the world?

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Florence, Kutir in London, Pizzana or Petit Trois in LA and ZZ’s Clam Bar in NYC.

Have you ever cooked for any of your former “Saved by the Bell” cast members? Who, if so?

Yes! Both Mark Paul [Gosselaar], Mario [Lopez] and Elizabeth [Berkley] were guests on my show, “Dinner At Tiffani’s.” And the last time I cooked for Mario and his family, Courtney, his wife, went into labor, ha.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

Wine, wine and wine. Don’t think it needs an explanation.