Why We Want to Marry Art Smith from Top Chef Masters

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

July 20 2012 5:00 AM ET

What’s the biggest surprise about doing the show?
That I was invited back to do it a second time. What I realized is that being me was something people loved. I became a fan favorite. Yes, I am a big gay former fat funny man but even with my new sexy [look] — because I was really scared to lose the fat and find the funny would go with it.  Yes, I am flirty and a name-dropper but, hello, I know these people. [Laughs]

You lost a lot of weight. How did that affect your cooking?
Yes I lost over 100 pounds working with one of the sexiest hottest trainers in the world, Az Ferguson. I share him with a Duchess! Let’s put it this way, pretty will make you do a lot of things. Run and complete two marathons in a three-week time period; run in snow and stormy weather. I found my sexy and it has changed me in many ways. My attitude, the way I dress, and yes the way I cook. Trust me I am never abandoning fried chicken, and I love to bake, but I’ve learned most importantly how to take time for myself. I eat primarily a fish and vegetarian diet. Do I push it on others? No. Oprah Winfrey taught me not to do that! That when you cook for people and invite people in, you feed people. I am not their doctor, I am their chef. As Az flits around the world with the Duchess, Joey Thurman — another beautiful man —keeps me fit in Chicago.

Do you cook differently since your diabetes diagnosis?
Diabetes is a serious illness that millions of people deal with on a daily basis. I lost my father from diabetes, and it’s important to learn how eating a plant-based diet can really help reverse the symptoms in many cases. I reserved mine through cooking vegetarian based dishes, and including one hour of exercise a day. Since my blood sugar is normal, I still have a piece of chocolate every now and then. Chocolate is my weakness.

You’ve cooked for Obama and the King of Sweden and other heads of state. Anyone you’d love to cook for?
Honey, I’ve about ran out of people to cook for, but I would really love to cook for Prince William and Kate. Love them, and who doesn’t love a love story like theirs? I cooked for the late Princess Diana, and it would be so cool to cook for her son.

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