Ten years ago, New York actress Debi Mazar (Entourage) vacationed in Florence, Italy, where she met Gabriele Corcos, a gifted jazz drummer with a lilting Italian accent and a head full of old-school Tuscan recipes passed down by his mother and grandmother. Soon they were married, living in L.A. with two daughters, Evelina and Giulia.
Somewhere along the way, the couple got the idea of translating their passion for cooking into a popular online vlog, the five-year-old "Under the Tuscan Gun" (underthetuscangun.com). Extra Virgin, their new series on the Cooking Channel, is an extension of their website, a reality/cooking-show hybrid with gentle culture clashes and lots of malapropisms. (Think Green Acres laughs peppered with recipes for wood-fired flattened chicken.)
Although three episodes will take you to Gabriele's hometown of Fiesole, where the pair will renew their marriage vows, most of the dishes are prepared in their West Hollywood home instead of in a spacious, tricked-out studio kitchen. "We want to show how to have fun, how to use the crappy little space that you have, how to not be intimidated," says Mazar. "We're not chefs. We're just people who like to cook."
Extra Virgin airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Cooking Channel.