Today we have two special guests with us. Vinny Guadagnino, most well known for his hit reality show, “The Jersey Shore” and his mom, Paola. Together, they make for a hilarious and heart warming duo that everyone is about to get to know even better!
On January 31st, The Cooking Channel will be premiering a new show called “Vinny and Ma Eat America”. Here is the premise of the show: Vinny Guadagnino’s mom, Paola, is the best cook in their big Italian family, but the problem is she only cooks and eats Italian. Now, Vinny is taking his Ma across the country on a culinary road trip of a lifetime, to taste and discover delicious food she’s never tried before. No passport is needed on this trip — this mother and son adventure is all about eating America!
1. Tell us about your new show Vinny and Ma Eat America. What is it about?
My mom is an amazing Italian cook. Everyone who saw her on TV saw her bringing me and my cast mates trays of baked ziti like it was nothing. The only problem is she’s never really ventured out of her own kitchen and tried new things. This concept as sort of my fun way to celebrate food with her while also getting her out of her shell and taking her on the food road trip of a lifetime.
2. What is it like working together? Do you ever disagree on anything?
I’m very close with my mom so it was fun. We can all imagine a long road trip with our moms can have frustrating moments though. She doesn’t believe in using GPS systems. Getting her to try new dishes was a grueling process. But hey, that’s what the show is about!
3. What do you love to cook the most?
Paola: I love to cook my baked ziti and also making bread and pizza from scratch.
4. Do you have any cooking tips to share?
Paola: Less is more. People think Italian food is always drenched in sauce and cheese. But we actually cook very light with a lot of extra virgin olive oil and lemon finishes.
5. Vinny, you were on The Jersey Shore, what was that like?
It was an experience of a life time because it was such a massive hit. Now I enjoy pursuing my passions of entertaining from whatever doors the show opened.
6. Paola, what is it like trying something other then Italian? Did you find something else you really loved to eat?
Paola: I was very hesitant to eat new things but my son forced me. All I wanted while we were filming was a dish of spaghetti with garlic and oil but we couldn’t find it anywhere. I did find a few new foods that I liked. I loved the “hot chicken” in Nashville. There was even some sushi that I liked!
7. What made you guys want to do this Ma Eat America show?
VINNY: Well we love food and I really wanted to get my mom out of Staten Island. So this road trip is perfect. We get to eat, explore new things and share it with the world. Everyone loves watching it because they feel like they are with their mom.
8. What has been some of your best experiences while doing this show?
PAOLA: I love spending time with my son. Even though he can be a pain in my ass for making me try new food, I’m grateful for the experience.
VINNY: Not only do we eat new things we also do activities along the way. I laughed so hard watching my mom wear waders and go fly fishing. She also almost had a heart attack putting on a bee-keeper outfit to forge honey from a real bee farm.
9. Have you ran in to any bad experiences while doing the show?
PAOLA: My son will try anything to eat so when he was eating the extremely hot chicken from Bolton’s in Nashville I wanted to kill him because I thought he was going to hurt himself. He also tried to make me eat disgusting insects. You’ll have to watch the show to see what happens with that.
VINNY: Thank goodness the trip went well. No flat tires or anything and all of the business owners were very nice and welcoming. In fact, even though a lot of these foods were bizarre we found a lot in common with different cultures.
10. Do you guys have a favorite food you enjoy?
PAOLA: Spaghetti with garlic and oil
VINNY: Brick oven margarita pizza is probably my favorite. With some Tiramisu for dessert.
11. Paola, Do you have any favorite ingredients you cook with?
I love cooking with lemon, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Very simple but if you use them the right way it goes a long way.
12. Have you learned anything new from doing the show?
We learned a ton of new things. With every bite of food we took from around the country we also got a history lesson. We learned Chinese noodle pulling, how to make Kurdish naan by slamming it against the walls of an oven, how to milk a cow and much more.
13. Besides cooking, do you guys have any other hobbies you enjoy?
PAOLA: I love to draw. My son and I are both artists. I’m more abstract and he sketches anything. But it’s my favorite thing to do besides cooking.
VINNY: I have a bunch of hobbies. I love playing basketball, studying and performing improv, taking acting classes, writing sketch comedy etc…
14. Is there anything you’d like to add/say to my readers?
VINNY: When the pilot episode aired a few months ago everyone started messaging me that the show reminded me of their dynamic with their mom. Even some people who’s parents weren’t around anymore were loving it because it brought back great memories for them. We love entertaining and hope that you enjoy this show in many ways.
I would like to thank Vinny and Paola for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope you’re all excited to see this show like I am. Tomorrow is the day it will be on the cooking channel.