We had a great time in Providence, Rhode Island visiting my daughter and son-in-law. They moved there just a few months ago and are settling into Northeast living. Loved spending time with them, seeing where they are live and work. Now, when I call my daughter, I can picture her in her home!

I’m now an official fan of Rhode Island. Providence is a beautiful little city…its gotten a great face lift. I remember it looking more industrial, with smoke pipes and tired old buildings. No longer! It’s tres chic.

One evening, we went to a very upscale restaurant called Il Forno (Italian for The Oven). Seated inside was one of the contestants for The Next Food Network Star, Katie Cavuto! She’s the nutritionist who had the tagline of “Green Cuisine.” I mustered up my courage and went up to her…and am so glad I did!

Turns out that Katie got cut the first year she tried out, then wasn’t going to try out again the following year because she was getting married, but Food Network let her skip the preliminary process.

So…this year…Katie made it into the Top Ten, and lasted all the way down to the Top Six, which is darn impressive. She said that they taped hundreds of hours for the nine episodes that we see on television.

Anyway, we exchanged business cards and took pix and hugged and now we’re BFFs!

Katie is charming and very “real.” And if you saw Sunday night’s finale, did you notice how audience applause spiked when she walked out? Spiked! Bet she’ll be a fan favorite and come back for her own show.

Maybe she’ll want me to be her sous chef.

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