Chef Donatella Arpaia Dishes On Her Favorite Shoes And Chefs

Celebrity chef and restauranteur Donatella Arpaia doesn’t want to be overshadowed by her delectable dishes. So when she’s off kitchen duty, she likes to don Jimmy Choo, Brian Atwood, Stuart Weitzman, Tamara Mellon, Ash or Valentino styles.

However, noted Arpaia, who’s also a frequent contributor to “The Today Show” as well as judge on The Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” her stiletto days are over — now, she opts for a comfortable pair of mid-heels. “I like a heel that looks sexy but is not too high,” she said. During the winter, she added, she lives in Ugg boots.

Arpaia, who owns about 50 pairs of shoes, is partial to her gold python strappy sandals from Tom Ford — which cost $1,800. “My husband bought them for me,” she said. “They’re to die for.”

Here, Arpaia answers a few questions from Footwear News.

Chef you’d like to cook for you:

“I’m a huge fan of Bobbie Flay and Masaharu Morimoto, who’s a master. Next to Italian, Japanese is my favorite cuisine.”

Signature dish:

“Orecciette with a tomato ragout — I love to make pasta. I am also famous for my meatballs.”

Holiday plans:

“I’m cooking for Christmas at my home in Connecticut on Candlewood Lake. I have a big kitchen there and have everyone over.”

Favorite store for shoe-shopping:

“Online at The Outnet, discount site of Net-a-Porter. I like to bargain-hunt. But if I totally love [something], I will pay full price.”

Shoe line I’d design:

“They would be dressier heels retailing for $200 to $300 that would steal some [comfort] technology from Rockport for the footbeds. Shoes shouldn’t be torture chambers.”

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