The Interns Tell All


Learn what Trish and I really think about Sandi and our internship journey!!

The Vegan aka Sara Santarossa

As a child, when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”…many little girls may say…A princess!! A dolphin trainer!! A movie star!!… NOT ME. My 10 year old self would have told you “a host of my own cooking show!!” (OR “a bug doctor!!”, depending on the day…10 year olds can be unpredictable). ANYWAYS, as a 10 year old I was pretty well established in the kitchen – I had transformed my 7 year old brother into my sous chef and was forcing my delicious creations (what my mother called concoctions) onto my family at dinner time…you may think this sounds bossy…let’s call it being assertive!

SO obviously, hearing that I would be getting to work with Sandi made me feel very excited and kind of like my life was coming full circle!

However, this was not without some reservations…

Like a good little intern (and researcher), I did my homework before starting my 1st day of work. I watched countless YouTube videos of Sandi, read through her blogs, did some social media creeping. My findings…

(1) Like I had been told, Sandi has this amazing ability to make you feel like you are the only person in the room!

(2) Cheeseburger Soup, Mexican Hamburgers, Thai Chicken Wraps, Peanut Butter and Honey Chicken, Chicken and Mushroom Tortellini…what do all of these recipes have in common?! MEAT! EKKKK! Some meat-eaters just don’t understand us vegans!!!

This brings us to that 1st day on the job…I proudly proclaimed that I was a vegan…her response…”THAT’S AWESOME!!!!”…she had whole heartedly accepted my veganism! YAH! Not only has she been accepting BUT she was actually EXCITED about getting to experiment with making her recipes vegan-friendly!!


Although my dream of hosting my own cooking show had become a distant memory, I have never stopped enjoying the creativity that comes with cooking, kind like creating edible art pieces! Getting to work with Sandi has not only further fueled my passion for creating healthy, delicious food, but has given me some amazing opportunities – getting to create a 1 min cooking demo with a real cinematographer, experimenting with recipes, learning food styling and what it takes to get TV ready…my 10 year old self would totally be giving me a high five!!

I can’t wait to see what the weeks ahead will have in store, and what other vegan concoctions we will get to create!!

The Kitchen Newbee aka Trish Dubé

There’s nothing more nerve wracking than meeting a renowned Food Network Canada host and an International Bestselling Author on the first day as an intern for (get this) Sandi Richard. Well… generally it is. For someone like me, try amplifying that by 95 percent, emotions running through the roof. You see, I had little to no kitchen experience before I ventured into Sandi’s kitchen. The thoughts that ran through my mind the morning before we met….What did I have to offer? Would she be disappointed? Will I have what it takes to work alongside this ASTOUNDING woman? In moments of meeting her, these fears vanished. NO EXAGGERATION! I’ve heard stories of Sandi’s friendship and kindness… but trust me, there’s no word in the English vocabulary to describe the woman she is. Scratch that. No word to describe this super woman!

After initial introductions, it was clear that this internship wasn’t about how I could help her, but, more like how she could help me. Yeah that’s right, how SHE could help ME, the kitchen newb! I know what you’re thinking… trust me… been there, done that. Why would such a successful woman invest her time with a couple of interns? Especially at this time… right smack in busiest part of her life. Some would say crazy. But, that’s just it! Life is crazy, it’s a part of our lives… I say bold, intelligent! Why? Chocolate and hot peppers… an unlikely match, complementing each another. From the week that has past, the relationship developed burns strong!


The first time I cooked for her, she taught me the most important rule in the kitchen; confidence! Knowing my cooking background, she never doubted me, even after seeing my recipe selection. Mind you, there were some stumbles here and there (of course), but, not once did I feel any sense of failure…because Sandi always turned my mishaps into something positive (like the deli roasted chicken… remember?!).

Second rule in Sandi’s kitchen…. too many cooks in the kitchen… yeah right! It’s actually the opposite. Help is ALWAYS encouraged! You’re not alone; I learned that quickly, no shame asking for assistance or having questions. Face it, when you don’t know something, you don’t know something. You’re better off eating sawdust… dry and messy! Every opportunity is a chance to learn something new, I promise, the kitchen boundaries extend further than the four walls. Sandi has never once given the impression as though this statement was not true (especially since she has been learning quite a bit of stuff since, we, her interns entered her life). Sandi’s passion lies in the kitchen, yes! But make no mistake, it runs deeper! For her, cooking dinner is more than food; it’s an art form that can bring families together; hence her Together/Apart™ technique. Most ingenious, yet simple tip ever! Dinner time is not meant to be stressful BUT in today’s society there is a still disconnect between meal preparation and spending quality time with the family. My problem: anxiety and perfection in the kitchen. Sandi’s insistence and support (with NO JUDGEMENT) has ignited an interest for food by simply breaking down the process. Cooking with Sandi’s tips is so easy!


From the week that has past, Sara and I have learned many aspects of the food industry with passions unified. Time with Sandi has allowed us to incorporate her many but easy tips in the kitchen; like learning how to make a 60 minute meal into 1 minute (mind-blowing right???). What has Sandi have in store for us next??? Regardless, we are ECSTATIC!!

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