Credit: Cooking Channel

Haylie's America

For Haylie Duff, food and family go hand-in-hand. And she really loves food… enough to take some time away from her growing family to hit the road in her new Cooking Channel series, Haylie’s America, where she travels all over the country to hit local foodie havens.

EW chatted with Duff, who also hosts The Real Girl’s Kitchen for the network, about her new gig, her guest stars (Trisha Yearwood!), and which family members might be stopping by (she is Hilary Duff’s older sister, after all).

Do you remember as a kid the first time you had one of your favorite foods?

I grew up in a family loved to cook and we all love to eat. I’m a kid from the South. I think that probably my favorite food as a kid was like fried okra with ketchup. I made okra actually for Ryan [Duff’s 16-month-old daughter] as one of her first vegetables. I threw okra with tomatoes, made it really soft so she could eat it. She ate so, so much of it. She loved it ,so I thought, “Maybe I’ll fry it and see if she likes it like that.” And she was like, “What is that?” and I thought, “Oh, I have a L.A. girl.”

That’s cute. Did she come on the road with you at all?

She did more of our locally-based episodes. When we were traveling too far, it’s too hard to take her out of her little routine. I would only leave her a day or two at a time so I would go by myself and get on red-eyes and get back home to her as soon as I could.

I love seeing you and your mom on Real Girl’s Kitchen. There’s a real family aspect that you bring to the show.

My mom is a riot. I’m always trying to get her to come and do the show. I basically force her. She’s like, “Please no. Please don’t make me.” I think she’s hilarious and the fact that she doesn’t want to be on it makes her funnier to me.

Does she or your sister, Hilary Duff, appear at all in Haylie’s America?

You know what? They didn’t this year because I’m traveling and on the road so much. Isn’t that crazy? Matty [Duff’s fiancé Matt Rosenburg] is not in this one either. Ry-baby is on this year, but for the most part, I’m away from home.

You have so many fun guests on the show. Are there any surprise appearances?


What can viewers expect to see that’s new compared to The Real Girl’s Kitchen?

We’re taking everything on the road. We’re going to some of my favorite cities and cities that I have always wanted to go to. One of the things that I really love about this show is that it really has this new energy, but it also has the same kind of heart and feel that Real Girl’s Kitchen has.

Would you say that healthy foods still have an influence in this new show?

Yeah for me, my outlook on food is healthy decadence. I’m about balance. If you’re eating healthy most of the time then you should be able to indulge in things that you really want to. That’s something that comes across in this series too. We are definitely getting into the naughty foods in the South, but then I clean my act up when we go to cities like Denver, where the food scene is very health focused.

Every episode kind of has a different feel because every city is a little different. I’m not cooking in a restaurant every time or a kitchen every time. In Grand Isle, Louisiana, I’m cooking on the shores of the Gulf in a big cast iron pot on top of cinderblocks with a propane tank. Then we go places like Round Top, Texas where I’m cooking at Rachel Ashwell’s stunningly beautiful bed and breakfast.

Haylie’s America premieres Thursday, Sept. 8 at 10 p.m. ET on the Cooking Channel.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Haylie's America
  • TV Show