By Laura Nachman
April 5, 2001
Philadelphia’s Christina Pirello, entering her fifth season as star of the PBS
series “Christina Cooks,” cooking is not just for a television show, but an
entire way of life. Pirello, author
of “Cooking the Whole Foods Way,” and “Cook Your Way to the Life You
Want,” believes that her macrobiotics diet saved her life.
“When I was 26, I was diagnosed with terminal leukemia.
Since I was afraid of needles, I decided to try an alternative approach
to treating the disease. With the help of a good friend, who later became my husband
(Robert), I changed my diet to whole foods—grains, produce, beans, tofu, and
things close to the land. I was cancer-free within 15 months.”
Now almost twenty
years later, Christina and Robert Pirello run the production company
“Christina Enterprises,” the magazine, “Christina Cooks,” and the web
If that’s not enough, Christina is also an instructor at Drexel
University and conducts seminars nationwide, making her one of the country’s
most popular celebrity chefs.
did this happen? “Around six years ago, after hearing about us from a friend,
Ray Murray and Jan Dickler, the owners of Philadelphia’s Banyan Productions
attended one of my cooking classes. Working
with Banyan, we took the idea to PBS, secured an underwriter (Eden Foods, the
country’s largest independent producer of organic foods), brought a
“treatment episode” to a PBS convention and were picked up by 55
affiliates.” Now five years
later, “Christina Cooks” which is produced at WHYY studios in Philadelphia
is seen on 125 PBS stations.
determined to make America healthier. “What’s happening with mad-cow disease
is just a tip of the iceberg.” We
are in more trouble than we can suspect,” she said.
Her three main culprits are chemical additives, white sugar, and animal
foods. “If we can devote just one
hour a day to a healthy meal, the other 23 hours would be so much better.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could have peanut butter that actually has
peanuts in it, or jam that has real fruit in it?”
The new season of
“Christina Cooks” debuts Saturday, May 5th on PBS at 11 AM.
Guests throughout the season include actor Dirk Benedict, Nell Newman –
daughter of Paul Newman – and owner of Newman’s Own Organics, and Sixer Todd
Part one of the
mini-series about Thomas Capano and Anne Marie Fahey,“And Never Let Her Go,”
earned a 15.3 rating/21 share for KYW-3 Sunday night. Nationally, it got an 8.8 rating/13 share.
Part two starring Mark Harmon concludes Wednesday.
On April 6th,
fans at Great Adventure will be lining up for “Eden’s Crush.”
It’s not the amusement park’s latest ride, but the
made-for-television musical group of WB’s “Popstars” who’ll be
performing in their first east coast concert at 7 PM.
Fox-Philadelphia’s “Good Day Philadelphia” which celebrated its fifth
anniversary on April 2nd. In
the February ratings, the local program hosted by Mike Jerrick and Donya Archer
almost tied the CBS “Morning Show” for third place behind “Good Morning
America” and “The Today Show.”
Janet Zappala was on HBO recently playing herself in the 1993
straight-to-video thriller “Dangerous Touch” with Lou Diamond Phillips.
Phillips asked Zappala to be in the film after she interviewed him while working
for the E! Network in the early 90’s. Zappala
also played a news anchor in “12 Monkeys” which was filmed in Philadelphia
and is working on the independent film “Casanova’s Demise,” playing…a
Allen Iverson can be seen on HBO every week as part of the opening credits for
the new Bob Costas program “On the Record” Wednesdays at 11 PM.
The newest reporter
on NBC-10 is a familiar face, Kim Adams, formerly of KYW-3, and most recently
the court correspondent for the “Judge Mills Lane Show” now on hiatus.