Tiffani Thiessen talks love for cooking, being seen as a sex symbol

Tiffani Thiessen may have broken plenty of hearts as cheerleader Kelly Kapowski in “Saved by the Bell” or bad girl Valerie Malone of “Beverly Hills, 90210” fame, but these days the actress is keeping busy in the kitchen.

Since finding fame in Hollywood, the teen star-turned-TV pinup has discovered newfound success in the culinary world. Not only has the 43-year-old mother of two launched a lifestyle blog for families, but she’s also the star of the Cooking Channel show “Dinner at Tiffani’s” where she shares her beloved recipes.

Fox News spoke with Thiessen on how “Saved by the Bell” helped spark her love for cooking and what’s next on her plate:

Fox News: Is it true you fell in love with cooking while traveling for ‘Saved by the Bell?’
Tiffani Thiessen: It was part of it. I grew up in a family where all the women cooked. I was that little girl who peered around the kitchen and wanted to be with my mom, aunt, and grandmother — and they were all in there. And they were looking like they were having a blast cooking together.

When I got old enough and was able to be a part of that, my love of cooking definitely started there. And it developed a little bit more as I got older… and yes, it was definitely traveling for ‘Saved by the Bell,’ going across the country… going to France, Belgium, and all these places and learning different cultures and different types of food, which totally expanded my horizons of my love of food.

Fox News: You seem to be very close with Mark-Paul Gosselaar [Zack Morris].
Thiessen: Look, we’ve known each other since we were 15. I probably almost consider him a brother. We had a lot of firsts together. You know, first big TV show together, first success that we had, we traveled to places we’ve never been before. There were a lot of firsts. And he was really like a brother to me. Still is. He and his family and kids, they don’t live too far…

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