How does Devin Alexander create her recipes?

It’s so many different places. I’m sort of slightly odd in that when I go to a restaurant I read every word on every menu; it’s kind of a compulsion. Then I tend to order what I want to see as much as what I want to eat. Sometimes I’ll see something that looks really interesting — and my brain is very visual with food — so I’ll read and think, “How would I do that?” Or I have a vision of how I’d do it and then I want to order it to see how they do it. Sometimes I’ll end up going home and doing what I thought it was going to be, which I obviously think is better. Other times I think that’s a really good idea and I could do a healthy spin on that.

I’ll go to parties and sometimes try something healthier or an amazing dessert. Then I work with the Biggest Loser TV show and someone will say I’m dying for this, and I’ll do that. I shot a show that I traveled for this summer called America’s Chef on Tour, which is on PBS, and a couple of the chefs use techniques that I hadn’t really seen before. I instantly was like, “I could make that healthier without all the oil they were using.”

I think everybody learns from somewhere. I don’t ever take anyone’s proprietary information or anything like that, but you always try new flavors or see something. Like I’ll be walking to Trader Joe’s and see Philly cheesesteak pizza. I never even look at the box or ingredients, but just hearing the name I can make that and do my spin on it, which would be a different thing if it were for a boyfriend’s Super Bowl party or the Biggest Loser cookbook.

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