Stars turn to Stone

Oprah, Ellen and Don­ald are queu­ing for a chat with Aussie chef Cur­tis, writes Erin McWhirter

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

COprah’s Sand­wich Show­down Chan­nel 10, Fri­day, 1pm Cook­ing spe­cial Du­ra­tion: 1 hour Surf­ing The Menu Lifestyle Food, Satur­day, 3pm Cook­ing road trip Du­ra­tion: 30 min­utes URTIS Stone had been en­joy­ing a dream run in Hol­ly­wood un­til he joined A-lis­ters Mis­cha Bar­ton, Paris Hil­ton, Mel Gib­son and Robert Downey Jnr in climb­ing be­hind the wheel af­ter drink­ing too much.

Stone pleaded guilty to drinkdriv­ing in Cal­i­for­nia, was fined $350 and given a three-year pro­ba­tion li­cence.

He has since apol­o­gised, say­ing he’d learned a big les­son.

‘‘Drink-driv­ing is a very se­ri­ous thing and I’ve al­ways re­spected it,’’ Stone said.

‘‘It’s not worth think­ing, ‘Am I close to the limit?’ You should just think, ‘I’m not go­ing to drink when I’m driv­ing my car’.’’

The May 30 run-in with the law, how­ever, hasn’t slowed Stone’s ca­reer. The Surf­ing the Menu and My Restau­rant Rules host has fol­lowed in the foot­steps of Jamie Durie and wooed talk-show queen Oprah Win­frey, ap­pear­ing on her Sand­wich Show­down TV spe­cial.

Stone’s mis­sion to crack the US mar­ket be­gan two years ago, af­ter mak­ing his US host­ing de­but with pay-TV se­ries Take Home Chef.

Take Home Chef is sim­i­lar to Sur­prise Chef, which in­volved chef Aris­tos Pa­pan­droulakis ap­proach­ing women in su­per­mar­kets and cook­ing a meal us­ing in­gre­di­ents in their trol­ley.

‘‘It never gets eas­ier to just walk up to some­one com­pletely ran­dom and strike up a con­ver­sa­tion,’’ Stone says. ‘‘Quite of­ten they get para­noid with the cam­eras, so it’s hard.’’

With Stone ap­peal­ing to the ladies of Amer­ica, Win­frey has signed him for more seg­ments. That has led to the food whiz se­cur­ing his own slot on Amer­ica’s high­est-rat­ing break­fast pro­gram, the To­day Show.

‘‘About seven or eight mil­lion view­ers per morn­ing watch,’’ Stone says of the To­day Show.

‘‘For a lit­tle Aussie boy you hear those fig­ures and think, ‘Man, that’s half my coun­try back home’. It’s very ex­cit­ing, but with the Aussie ac­cent you can just about do any­thing.’’

Stone has in­ter­ested Win­frey and Ellen DeGeneres and been asked to par­tic­i­pate in Don­ald Trump’s Celebrity Ap­pren­tice and re­al­ity dat­ing se­ries The Bach­e­lor.

‘‘I have been asked to do shows and en­dorse some hor­ri­ble prod­ucts that you would never ever go near,’’ Stone says.

‘‘When they asked me to do Celebrity Ap­pren­tice I re­ally con­sid­ered it be­cause I love the show and fancy my­self as a bit of a wannabe busi­ness­man. Then with The Bach­e­lor I said I would do it if they didn’t bring the cam­eras on set,’’ he says. ‘‘Be­cause the no­tion of hav­ing 15 women fall in love with you was pretty fan­tas­tic but also pretty cheesy.’’

Things haven’t al­ways been smooth sail­ing. Stone vividly re­mem­bers mov­ing to Amer­ica alone and with no one to call.

‘‘When I first got here and you get given the keys to your lit­tle apart­ment and the new keys to your car and mo­bile phone, you just look at the phone and there isn’t a sin­gle num­ber in it to call,’’ Stone says.

‘‘You don’t have a friend in the coun­try. It’s a grad­ual thing and I re­mem­ber just com­ing down to Hol­ly­wood and look­ing around for celebri­ties, won­der­ing what all the hype is about.

‘‘Then things hap­pen slowly and ev­ery now and then you stand back and think ‘S---, look at this’. It’s pretty amaz­ing.’’ Stone says Win­frey is in­spir­ing. ‘‘You ar­rive at her stu­dio and there are pho­tos of her with Nelson Man­dela and th­ese in­cred­i­ble world fig­ures and friends of hers who have been monumental in shap­ing the world,’’ Stone says.

‘‘She is so pow­er­ful and done so much, then you meet her and she is so chilled, re­ally funny, quick-wit­ted and all those things that would bring suc­cess in TV.’’

Pre­cious Stone:

Cur­tis Stone is in de­mand in the US de­spite his re­cent run-in with the law.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.