No you’re not dreaming. Southern California native, Actress, Chef, Vegan Personality Leslie Durso represents the younger, chicer vegan movement that isn’t sacrificing style for sustainability. A practicing vegetarian since eight years old, Leslie shares her farm-to-stylish-table recipes daily – integrating an array of local growers and organic wineries along the way. From raw to remarkable, Leslie shares her passion for the “whole” food daily on her website, lesliedurso.com, in live appearances, on TV and throughout the web – most notably as the new face of Mother Nature Network, CNN‘s newly launched eco-lifestyle brand. Her site is seen daily in 130 countries and boasts half a million viewers monthly. She and her food have been featured in Glamour Magazine, Maxim Magazine, US Magazine, Yummly, Foodgawker, Tastespotting, Gojee, Tasteologie, Seriouseats, Dailymotion, Mind Body Green, Mother Nature Network and on Food Network and Discovery Channel’s: Stuff Happens with Bill Nye the Science Guy. Maxim recently wrote: ”We want to hire Leslie Durso as our own personal chef! We’ll even eat vegetables for her.” And who wouldn’t? Leslie’s girl-next-door persona attracts everyone from carnivorous males to blogging grannies. Through her engagement online and in the media, Leslie hopes her passion will inspire life-long eating habits and longer life for her audiences and fans.
California born, Grandma-inspired.
Born on the cusp of America’s entrepreneurial generation known as The Millennials, Leslie Durso took an early interest in food. She was fascinated to watch both paternal grandmother and great grandmother hold court in their Brooklyn kitchen while creating traditional Italian feasts of luxurious pastas, slow-simmering sauces and hand-crafted pizzas. Fortunately for Leslie, they indulged her curiosity not only with patience and step-by-step instruction, but a treasure trove of family recipes that migrated from to Naples, Italy to Little Italy’s Mulberry Street and eventually Brooklyn.
Leslie and her family grew up in San Diego. At the ripe age of 8, she declared herself a vegetarian— a lone decision within a household of meat-eaters. By now she was already preparing the bulk of the dinners for her family of six. When Food Network launched in 1993, 13 year-old Leslie found herself glued to cooking shows. While her friends were dishing 90210 drama, Leslie was literally dishing Italian food, TV-side with Lidia Bastianich.
At age 19, the University of Colorado English major broke with a degree pursuit to embark on a modeling career in Los Angeles and New York City. Acting quickly followed. From theater to comedies to SOAPS, Leslie thrived in front of the camera. But it wasn’t until a hosting stint on Discovery Channel with Bill Nye that she realized she preferred to do educational television. After a nearly 10–year stint acting in Hollywood, Leslie decided to combine her love for TV with her true passion: Food. From home cook to private chef to the rich and fabulous, Leslie established herself as a private chef for Hollywood elite. Entertaining for 1 to 1000, Leslie was hired by some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Now Leslie fuses her on-air talent as engaging host to bring her message of wellness and good living to the masses. But she has no intention of preaching. For Leslie, it’s all about reaching – out…Even to the carnivores! She is currently producing her first cookbook in a collaboration with Bravo Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani. Find Your V-Spot: A Collection of Italian Recipes to Love is a multi-media venture which features a downloaded e-Book for tablets along with a corresponding multi-episode web cooking series.
Leslie Durso regularly extends her personality as Veggie Dreamgirl to non-profit health campaigns such as Livestrong, City of Hope, and Save The Ta-Tas. A devoted animal lover and mom to rescue-pup –Pepé– Leslie gives her time and enthusiasm to a number of animal rights organizations including Molly’s Mutts & Meows, The Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Rescue and Farm Sanctuary, through promotional support and appearances.
Unless cited, all of the recipes featured on lesliedurso.com are self-generated or inspired by a lifetime of Italian family home cooking instruction and recipes passed down from generation to generation.
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To interview or schedule Leslie Durso for an event or media appearance, please contact her publicist:
Andonia Public Relations
Direct: (617) 416-4897