Many of you know Haylie Duff as an actress, singer, and songwriter, but she is most at home in the kitchen. “I started cooking for my friends and family and realized people loved my recipes! I decided to share them and started The Real Girl’s Kitchen blog.”

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With that in mind, we thought Duff was the perfect person to lead BELLA readers through her hometown of Los Angeles to show how her love of food can be found not only in her kitchen (her recipes are amazing!), but also in her top five dining locales throughout the city.

Join us as we an inside look at life as a Cooking Channel star foodie…


What is your favorite place to eat in LA? What are your top 5? 

1. Trois Mec

2. Terrine 

3. Barrel & Ashes

4. Knuckle & Claw

5. Free Range LA Food Truck 

What is the first thing you look at when you enter a restaurant?

The menu – I usually check it out before I even get there!

Does location play a part in choosing restaurants?

Not really. I like an adventure, so a faraway restaurant won’t deter me. It just means we have to make an afternoon out of it!

What drew you to the blogger world, and how does your cooking blog engage your readers?

I never really knew about it or set out to be in the “blogger world,” but what a fun world it is! I started RealGirlsKitchen.com before Instagram was around, so the blogger world has changed quite a bit. I find it fascinating, actually. All the creativity out there is inspiring. 

Are the recipes in your cookbook all of your own creations, or have you found inspiration from your favorite LA eateries?

Yes, all my recipes are my own creations! At this point, I think it is pretty hard to not find something out there that is similar in some way though. I am always finding inspiration from great meals. Even just one great ingredient can inspire a whole new dish. 

What is the secret ingredient you almost always use in all your meals?

I don’t know if I have many secrets at this point! But some of my favorite ingredients are fresh herbs, good oils, good salts, and good cheeses. 

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have when it comes to cooking?

That you are either “good at it,” or you “aren’t.” Cooking is all about having fun in your kitchen, being creative, and falling in love with the experience! Some people start out a little better than others but everyone can learn to make some great dishes.

What are some easy pointers to give someone who wants to learn how to cook?

Just get there! Don’t be scared to make mistakes, and start small. Don’t try to make anything too complicated. Then when you nail the simple stuff, you will be more confident tackling the bigger recipes. 

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