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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sandra Lee (born Sandra Lee Christiansen[1] on July 3, 1966 in Los Angeles, California) is an American television cook and author. Lee is best-known for her "Semi-Homemade" cooking concept which involves 70% pre-packaged products with 30% fresh items.


Early life

Sandra Lee was born July 3, 1966 in Los Angeles to teenage parents. By the age of two, Sandra and her one-year-old sister, Cindy, lived with their paternal grandmother, Lorraine. By 1972 her parents had divorced and her mother remarried moving them to Sumner, Washington. At age 11 her mother divorced for a second time and became depressed and very ill. Sandra then took on the role of surrogate mom to her four younger siblings. Her responsibilities included buying groceries, preparing the meals, and handling the family finances.[2]


In the early 1990s, Lee created a product called "Kurtain Kraft", a home decorating tool using a wire rack and sheets or other fabric samples to create the appearance of decorative drapery. The product was sold on infomercials and cable shopping networks.[3] Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee premiered on the Food Network in 2003. Each episode contains an arts and crafts element, in which Lee decorates the table setting in accordance with the theme of the meal that she just prepared. She refers to these as "tablescapes". Lee's second Food Network series, Sandra's Money Saving Meals, began airing on May 10, 2009.[4] Since that time, she has released 16 books, many of them New York Times bestsellers.[5] A magazine based on her show, "Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade," was released in 2009.[6] Her memoir, Made From Scratch, was released November 6, 2007.[7]

In 2009 she received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling.[8]

Lee's official Food Network bio states that, "Lee then attended the world's leading culinary art institute, Le Cordon Bleu."[9] Lee enrolled in a recreational two-week course at the school's Ottawa outpost, which she acknowledges that she did not complete.[10]

Critical reaction

Amanda Hesser in The New York Times writes, Lee "...seems more intent on encouraging people to create excuses for not cooking than on encouraging them to cook wholesome simple foods," concluding that "...she has produced two books in which she encourages a dislike for cooking, and gives people an excuse for feeding themselves and their families mediocre food filled with preservatives."[11]

Personal life

Lee has been dating New York state attorney general Andrew Cuomo and shares a home with him in New York.[12] She was married previously to KB Home CEO and philanthropist Bruce Karatz.


  1. ^ Food Network star Sandra Lee peeled onions as a youth at the Puyallup Fair - Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle):
  2. ^ Sandra Lee. Chefography. Episode CHSP06.
  3. ^ [1]Gourmet: Good-bye to all that, Sept. 2003
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]Reuters
  7. ^ [5]ABC News: Interview with Sandra Lee interview
  8. ^ "The National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Announces The 36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations - Official Press Release" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  9. ^ [6] Sandra Lee bio
  10. ^ [7]Gourmet: Good-bye to all that
  11. ^ TEST KITCHEN; Homemade Or Semi? A Bake-Off - New York Times
  12. ^ [8]Newsweek

External links



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