Cat Cora, Chef. She is a host of Around the World in 80 Plates and was previously an “Iron Chef” on the Food Network show.
On her greatest influence in cooking: "I have to say, it's actually split. It's my family and Julia Child, because [my family members] were big influences early in my career. [Julia] was a big influence when I got to spend time with her when I was beginning my career."
"I'll tell you one person I would have loved to eat with that's has now passed away, and I never got to meet her but I love every single book she's ever written—M.F.K. Fisher, who is like the queen of culinary literature. I would have absolutely loved to have a meal with her. [Her book] The Art of Eating is great, and I give that to all of my cooks when I open a restaurant. I say: 'Go. Take this home and read this because you're going to have a deeper passion for food, a deeper understanding of food.’”
Oprah, Photo via NYEater