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Sandra Lee Makes "Semi-Homemade" a Household Word

Celebrity Chef

How Did Celebrity Chef Sandra Lee Build Her Career?

When Sandra Lee Christiansen was just 9 years old, her divorced mother passed away. With the help of her grandmother, the young Sandra took on the responsibility of caring of her four younger siblings and also managing the household finances. The family lived on welfare and food stamps, challenging Sandra's resourcefulness and creativity. She learned how to stretch meager ingredients and turn budget foods into special meals.

Culinary Arts

In 1989, after attending the University of Wisconsin, Sandra Lee created a line of home, garden, and craft products, and launched her first company, Kurtain Kraft. By 1993, the products were selling on QVC and Sandra had her own home improvement television series. She attended Le Cordon Bleu and learned how to apply her already well-known "semi-homemade" philosophy--use 70 percent ready-made ingredients and 30 percent homemade ingredients--to gourmet food.

What Makes Sandra Lee a Celebrity Chef?

Sandra Lee describes herself as "the foremost advocate to the over-extended homemaker." The popular host of Food Network's award-winning Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee has changed the way people think about cooking and entertaining. (In keeping with Sandra's craft expertise, each episode's set is a different color and Sandra builds a "tablescape" with the dishes she's made). Sandra is also the author of 17 popular cookbooks, with more in the works. Some of her best-selling titles include: