Stanley Tucci explains why he can’t stay out of restaurant kitchens

New episodes of “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” begin this Sunday, October 9, at 9:00 p.m., only on CNN.


Stanley Tucci knows a lot more about food now than he did before.

Which makes sense considering the second season of the Emmy-winning CNN series, “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” is now airing. The show follows Tucci as he travels around Italy, learning and educating his audience about the country’s food, people and culture.

The lessons have come in handy for the Oscar-nominated actor, who also loves cooking.

“Now I know why something isn’t working and that’s very important to know,” Tucci recently told CNN. “It seems like a negative thing, but it’s not. You say, “Oh, this is all you need.”

For example, on the day she spoke to CNN, the star described a delicious dish she had just made in which she sauteed beans in onion and garlic, added carrots and celery, turned it into a soup with chicken stock, and added it to pasta. , by itself.

Tucci also seems to have found the right recipe for a high-profile food show. He recalled that a friend had told him about a family member who was a driver in Italy and was getting requests from tourists for a “Stanley Tucci tour.”

Tucci said the new season of “Searching for Italy” includes footage shot through a wider lens to better show viewers Italy’s “connection between the people and the food and the space.”

It’s the kind of aesthetic adjustment one would expect from a man who has spent decades telling stories through film and television.

“The great thing was that we were always learning and discovering new things, but you were also discovering all these incredible people and incredible new places,” he said of “Finding Italy.”

One of the first episodes of Season 2 puts Tucci in a particularly significant place.

The star’s parents, Stanley Tucci, Sr. and Joan (née Tropiano) reunited in Calabria, where her family has roots.

“It was great,” Tucci said of walking the same streets with his parents where his ancestors lived. “It was really emotional for me.”

Family and food go hand in hand for Tucci. He said he wants to pass on his love and respect for food to his children.

“That people appreciate the effort it takes to grow good food, grow good food and then cook good food,” she said of her hopes for her children. “That they really appreciate that in the end. And then cooking good food and sharing good food, all the wonderful things that come out of that.”

Tucci told CNN that he has always had an intellectual curiosity about food.

“When we did it [his 1996 film] ‘Big Night’ a long time ago, we made this film almost 30 years ago, I thought I would get the love of food out of my system,” said Tucci. “But no, the opposite happened and I became more and more interested.”

Cheesemaker Vito Dicecca created something that no one else had done in this region of Puglia: Apulian blue cheese.  Over time it has developed 66 different types of blue cheese.

So much so, Tucci says it’s hard for him to walk into a restaurant he likes and not end up “in the kitchen.”

Does that mean the chefs don’t invite Tucci, cookbook author of “Taste: My Life Through Food,” into the back of the house?

“Well, yeah,” Tucci said with a laugh. “They usually do.”

This is a unique position for a man who was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017 and had his tongue removed.

She said her metabolism is even higher now that she underwent radiation as part of her cancer treatment and that – along with working out – has helped her not pack on the pounds during lunch for work.

Tucci said the show began filming a little over a year after she finished treatment.

“I don’t even know how I did it, I’ll be honest,” he said. “I was probably about 15 pounds lighter than I am now. I could taste everything, but I couldn’t eat much. I had to be careful.”

“Luckily I’m an actor, and sometimes I pretended to swallow something,” she added with a smile.