ABOUT ROBIN BENZLE
Contrary to many food experts, I was not raised in an environment of culinary bliss and treasured family recipes. My mother’s menus consisted of spaghetti sauce out of a jar, vegetables out of a can, hamburgers on Friday nights, dry roast beef on Sundays, a staple of plain baked chicken and the thought that TV dinners were a well-balanced meal. Perhaps that was my inspiration. And so it began for me with an Easy Bake Oven and soon thereafter, a kitchen that became a playground of edible experiments. Inspired by world travel and an endless array of exciting, available ingredients, to this day I marvel at how, in my lifetime, I could never possibly try all the food combinations there are to try. So I keep trying.
I cringe at recipes with dozens of ingredients and paragraph after paragraph of steps. My style is simple: interesting dishes with a handful of ingredients. I am facinated by food history and try to include it in my videos. My biggest goal is to take the intimidation out of preparing fine food - and my biggest reward is teaching those who regard cooking as a chore, that it is truly an art and that the kitchen is truly the heart of the home.
Pouring over photographs in National Geographic as a child, I always pictured myself in the photos; hiking those mountains in Switzerland, meeting that African tribesman face to face, touching the walls of that medieval castle in France. My wanderlust started at 18, crossing America in a Volkswagen Bug, spending time in Southern California, living in the mountains of Aspen for awhile and finally realizing my youthful dream of crossing the ocean and traveling around Europe for six months. Fifty countries later, the wish list is still long, but I’ve had the joy of experiencing such things as being chased by an elephant in South Africa, driving a camel cart in India, drinking the night away with ten Portuguese hunters, meeting a remote Indian tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon, snorkeling the waters off Belize, Bora Bora and St. Barths, eating borscht in Russia and herring in Denmark, shopping the food markets of France and Italy and millions of other moments that have enriched my life so profoundly. When travel is in your blood, somehow it finds you. And I have a saying: Travel is one-third anticipation, one-third living the dream, and one-third cherishing memories for a lifetime.
In my life, food and travel go hand in hand as my two greatest passions…right after my husband Eric, who has always made me feel like a newlywed; my daughter Erin, who lights up my life and many others with her huge heart (along with her wonderful husband Russell); my daughter Bailey, who brings laughter to me and the world with her creativity; and her beautiful daughter, Murphy, who makes me smile every single day.
- Author, Cooking with Humor.
- Author, The Ziggy Cookbook – Great Food From Mom’s Diner with illustrations by Emmy award-winner Tom Wilson.
- Host, ‘Food Friday’, Cleveland radio.
- Host, ‘The Back Burner’, Cleveland television.
- Morning Show Co-host, Cleveland radio, 12 years.
- Award-winning food and travel writer for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The Wine Journal, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Magazine, Northern Ohio Live Magazine.
- Public speaker for national and local events.