Food & dining


Joey Fatone syncs with your family recipe

Joey Fatone, star of “My Family Recipe Rocks”.
Paul Elledge
Joey Fatone, star of “My Family Recipe Rocks”.

Joey Fatone may be known for once singing and dancing alongside Justin Timberlake in the multiplatinum boy band ’N Sync, but now he’s cooking alongside everyday folks in their own kitchens. On the Live Well Network series “My Family Recipe Rocks,” which airs on WBIN in Boston on Saturdays at 9 p.m., the 35-year-old Fatone brings the trademark charm that has given his career remarkable durability since his teen idol days passed, from acting in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” to competing on “Dancing With the Stars.” The food show asks home cooks to submit through its website ( for a chance to have the former pop star join them in the kitchen and learn their dishes.

Q. You come from a performing family. What kind of a food heritage did you inherit?

A. I think for me, as far as cooking, some of it came naturally just from watching my dad. My dad was more of the cook than my mom was, so it’s just handing it down from generation to generation. I just love to cook and have fun. And as performers, we love to cook and we love to entertain people. That’s how it kind of happened in my family and it’s the same for me and my wife.


Q. What’s your specialty when you cook around your house?

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A. We go back and forth. Some days I’ll cook and then some days my wife will cook. For me, obviously on Sundays a lot of times we do the sauce and the meatballs and pasta, the whole thing. Also we make this staple that’s fairly easy. It’s a chicken dish where it incorporates Parmesan cheese and paprika. It’s a very simple, healthy way since it’s not fried. You basically bake it. It’s kind of like a shake and bake where you’ve got a Zip­loc bag and you put it in there. It’s a very simple chicken but it’s really good.

Q. You’re a busy guy, with hosting gigs on red carpets and announcing duties on a rebooted “Family Feud,” among other things. How do you find time to still cook for your family?

A. That’s what’s nice about this show. I have one thing that I’m the announcer for, “Family Feud,” which is pretaped so I did it a while ago and they just fill it in. Here, for the cooking show, we space it out to where we’re doing at least two or three episodes a month, or one a week. And obviously we’re slowing down right now, but we’re picking it up in January. It’s nice because I’m able to come home and be with my family. It’s not where I’m flying out for weeks on end. I’m flying out for two or three days and I’m back home after that.

Q. What attracted you about this show’s concept?


A. I think the fact that you are going into people’s homes and they’re making recipes. They’re not like a famous chef where they’re in a studio or they have these various things as far as utensils are concerned, that people can’t get a grasp of. It’s just simple everyday dishes. Some of them are a tad intricate but nothing crazy and that’s what I love about it. I can go home, which I’ve done, where after this recipe was done and I saw it, I can be like, well, I could make that, and I would go home and I would make it. I’ve made like three or four dishes that I’ve tasted and they’re really good.

Q. What are you looking for from these home cooks’ recipes?

A. Just good flavors. You want good flavors, good textures in it. It’s fun to be able to have a fun palate, and the way I say that, you think about it and it sounds funny but it’s true.

Q. What will viewers take from the show?

A. They get the sense that they can cook. For people that can’t cook at all, I think this will sort of help that these are everyday people and you can cook, you can do it. It’s fairly simple as long as you follow the guidelines of how to make it and then maybe add your own little twist to it if you get a little brave. But that’s the beauty of the show.

Interview was condensed and edited. Glenn Yoder can be reached at