Debbie Matenopoulos is the co-host of “Home & Family” on the Hallmark Channel. She chatted with HNA’s Markos Papadatos about her show, cookbook, and Greek heritage.
For almost two decades, this five-time Emmy-nominated TV personality has successfully sustained her career as a journalist, talk show host, lifestyle expert, and best-selling cookbook author. She is one of the most recognized and respected personalities on television today. “It really was an honor to be nominated all of those times since you are amongst your peers,” she said. “Just to see the categories I am in is quite amazing.”
She is the co-host of Home & Family alongside Cameron Mathison. “Home & Family has been amazing. Cameron and I love working together,” she said. “I feel like my entire career has led me here. I definitely feel that everything I’ve done, I have done to get to where I am today with Home & Family. It’s my favorite show I’ve ever done,” she admitted.
“Home & Family has kindness, and warmth to it. It’s very welcoming and extremely family-friendly. It is such a wonderful and heartwarming show,” she added. “Our main goal is to spread goodness and sunshine. You can turn our show on and you can relax for a little.”
On the title of the current chapter of her life, she said, “Love in the time of Corona.” “You just need to go with the flow and let the universe do its thing,” she said. “Everybody needs to slow down and they need to remember what is really important. We all need to be kinder and gentler. We need to care more about our neighbors, and not just about ourselves. At the end of the day, it’s all about how people make you feel. The same thing with our show, Home & Family, we want people to feel good about themselves and the world.”
Her cookbook, It’s All Greek to Me, is available in stores and on Amazon. This family cookbook was inspired after the loss of her father from ALS seven years ago. “It was so devastating,” she said, about the loss of her father from ALS. “I went home from Los Angeles to Virginia to be with him and to take care of him with my mother. It was such a beautiful experience to be there for him.”
She subsequently decided to do this cookbook in his honor since she wanted him to be proud of her, as well as to raise proceeds to help the ALS Foundation, in an effort to help find a cure. “I went to Greece and I got all the family recipes from my parents and family there, as well as some neighbors there, and I compiled this cookbook,” she said. “This cookbook was like a love letter to my country, Greece.”
“I am working on a second cookbook,” she hinted.
Matenopoulos shared that both of her parents are from Xanthi, Greece. “I am the first in the whole family to be born in the United States, and I want to visit Greece more than my older siblings,” she said with a sweet laugh. “I am so proud to be of Greek origin.”
This November, she revealed that she will be launching a new Greek skincare line titled “Ikaria,” which is all organized and comprised of Greek olive oil, Greek honey, and all-natural Greek ingredients.
On the Greek-American community here in the United States, she remarked, “I love our Greek-American community. It is so welcoming and it feels like a huge, extended family. They celebrate all of your successes, and that’s really nice. They are constantly helping their other fellow Greeks succeed as well.”
Matenopoulos defined the word success as “having the love of my family and for all of them to be happy and healthy.” “Peace of mind,” she added.