Your Top Picks: Who’s Coming to Dinner?

It’s Friday. Or maybe it’s Saturday. Either way, you’re having a dinner party. Normally that means friends or family, sometimes even both. But what if you could invite over one Cooking Channel chef or host for the evening? That’s the question we posed to Cooking Channel fans last week.

From United Tastes of America host Jeffrey Saad to Debi and Gabriele from Extra Virgin, and Kelsey Nixon to the Two Fat Ladies, your 400+ responses spanned the entire gamut of Cooking Channel stars. After reading your list and checking it twice, we narrowed it down to the top 5 most dinner-worthy chefs. Who made the cut? Read on to find out.

Invite #1: Chuck Hughes (pictured above)
Whether it’s the suave, Montreal accent, boyish good looks or laid back vibe, one thing’s for sure: Chef Chuck Hughes is in high demand. With so many stars to choose from, nabbing a quarter of the votes is no easy feat, but that’s exactly what Chuck did. Champion of the legendary turducken, Chuck has also happens to shuck a mean oyster. If you’re going to have him over for dinner though, you may want to consider cooking up one of his top recipes.

Chuck’s Top Recipes:
Doughnut Extravaganza
Short Rib Ravioli with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Tequila Lemonade
Red Velvet Cupcakes

Invite #2: Kelsey Nixon
A close second, Kelsey’s warmth and charm won over a fifth of your votes. The queen of all things essential, remember to ask her for tips on roasting chicken, making her glazed pecan cinnamon rolls, and cooking the perfect homemade pasta?

Kelsey’s Top Recipes:
Simple Pizza Dough
Buttery Garlic Herb Knots
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork
Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese
Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary Balsamic and Orange Sauce

Invite # 3: Debi and Gabriele
He’s a soft-spoken Tuscan native, she’s a charismatic American actress, and together they make for quite the entertaining duo. With just under a fifth of the votes, it’s clear Cooking Channel fans are feeling the Extra Virgin love. Whether it’s pizza made in their backyard brick oven or fresh pesto the way Gabriele has been making it for years, bringing their love for simple, Italian cooking into you kitchen is una buona idea.

Debi and Gabriele’s Top Recipes:
Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi
Margherita Pizza
Grilled Tuscan Chicken
Bruschetta Pizaaiola
Risotto Croquettes: Arancini di Risotto

Invite #4: Nadia G.
Funny, beautiful and fun-loving to the core, when it comes to being a rock star in the kitchen, few chefs can contend with the always glamorous Nadia G. Electric guitar-shaped spatulas or not, having Cooking Channel’s kitchen diva over for dinner would be a blast. Garnering 15% of the vote, and 4th place, it’s clear Cooking Channel fans agree.

Nadia G.’s Top Recipes
Filet Mignon with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan Potato Croquettes
Candied Pecan and Strawberry Salad
Italian Stracciatella with Mini Meatballs and Tender Cheese Tortellini
Aztec Soup
Mediterranean Chick Pea Stew

Invite #5: Roger Mooking
Whether it’s a duck sandwich with mango chutney and salted pickled onions, or creamy curried pear cole slaw, Roger brings balance and flair to every dish. Call him the the king of all things exotic, or master of mixing it up; either way, he’s high on your invite list and hot in demand. With nearly 10% of the votes, Roger rounded off the top 5.

Roger’s Top Recipes:
Pasta Salad with Green Onion Dressing
Shrimp and Pork Tacos with Tomato Salsa and Creamed Avocado
Grilled Flank Steak Taquitos with Black Bean Puree
Lime Leaf Chicken Salad with Lime Aioli
Peanut Butter Chicken Wings with Rice Noodle Salad

Did your favorite Cooking Channel chef/host miss the cut? Call them out in the comments, and tell us why you love them!