For an exclusive look at the cover of Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, Simmons tells PEOPLE the title really says it all.
“This book is about taking all of the inspiration from my whole life, starting with my childhood and into my adventures traveling, working with chefs, sitting beside them at judges’ table, exploring new cities, new towns, new nooks and crannies all over the world,” she says. “Whether it’s a flavor combination that I saw or discovered or an ingredient or a technique or just a piece of advice from a chef that inspired me to cook a different way—and bringing all of that inspiration home to my own home kitchen.”
Inside the book, which will be released October 24, are recipes dear to her heart including a dark chocolate licorice cake that she created for her father, and a spaghetti pie (pictured on the cover) inspired by the spaghetti sandwiches she adored eating while traveling through New Zealand over 20 years ago.
“Every recipe I think really has a twist or an ingredient or a little snippet of information that makes the recipe a little bit special,” says the Food & Wine contributor. “It’s a really approachable home-cook book.”
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In between the bountiful supply of “kitchen wisdom” she sprinkles throughout the book—like the best tool for peeling vegetables or the pantry items you need to up your cooking—are also dishes that serve as an “homage to a lot of the chefs and mentors I’ve had in my life,” says Simmons.
“There’s a recipe for Tom [Colicchio], there’s a recipe for Padma [Lakshmi], there’s a recipe for Hugh Acheson and Marcus Samuelsson,” she says. “All of the chefs or people who have been mentors of mine and really taught me how to cook. So this is a little bit of a love letter to them.”