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Celebrity Chefs Love Candy as Much as the Rest of Us

Celebrity Chefs Love Candy as Much as the Rest of Us

We caught up with some of the country's best chefs to find out their favorite Halloween candy

Over half the chefs we asked cited candy corn as their favorite Halloween treat.

Halloween is great for all the spooky decorations and fun costumes, but let’s be real: at the end of the night, it all comes down to the candy haul.

But if your whole world revolved around food, do you still have room to munch away on store-bought sweets? We caught with some of the country's best chefs at New York City's Wine and Food Festival and discovered the answer is a resounding yes. We heard a lot of fun favorites, but there was one big surprise.

For many it was the classics. Marc Forgione, of Iron Chef fame, likes to stick with Butterfingers. The Cecil's chef J.J. Johnson is all about tasting the rainbow with Skittles. And Atwood Kitchen & Bar Room's Brad Warner says you "Gotta go with Reeses."

For many, candy favorites have been cemented since childhood.

Rachael Ray still chows down on classic candies like Mary Janes and Shake Shack's Mark Rosati agrees-- although his favorite is Whatchamacallit.

But the real nostalgia winner is candy corn. Over half the chefs we asked cited the ubiquitous Halloween treat. The Melt Shop's Spencer Rubin even admitted that he "hate[s] candy corn but it's my favorite Halloween candy because you see it everywhere."

If you're expecting something a little fancier, then leave it up to a pastry chef. Quality Meats' Cory Colton suggests making your own confections by taking different chocolate candies to "mash together and make new combinations."

But the biggest Halloween tip we got was to head over to Rachael Ray's house. She admits that "no matter how many bonfires I put out no one comes. My mom buys Reeses [Peanut Butter] cups and we eat them all week long."

When it comes to candy tastes across the U.S., Americans are just as divided as the chefs.

Product review network Influenster created a heatmap with a state-by-state breakdown of the most beloved candies. Floridians love to chow down on Nestle Crunch bars while Californians suck on Lifesavers. But candy corn came out on top in several states including Tennessee, Texas and Oregon.

This Halloween, are ready to try something new? Or will you be sticking to classic candy corn? With only a few days to go before Halloween, it's time to get ready for some serious trick-or-treating.

This article was originally published on October 21, 2016.

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Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

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Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.


Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.