Sandra Lee has a passion for simple solutions that create dramatic results in all areas of home life. She is editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine, the host of two highly rated television shows (the multi-Emmy-nominated Semi-Homemade Cooking and Sandra's Money Saving Meals), as well as a New York Times bestselling author of seventeen books. An internationally-acclaimed home and food expert, Sandra has revolutionized the way people think about traditional, time-consuming, "from-scratch" methods. With her trademark 70/30 philosophy, which combines 70% ready-made products with 30% fresh touches, Sandra creates aspirational meals and breathtaking living environments that are affordable and attainable, making her the foremost recognized advocate to every over-extended person.
Sandra's philosophy was born out of necessity and the challenges she faced throughout her childhood. The oldest of five children, Sandra was responsible for caring for her four younger siblings and managing the household. Forced to live on welfare and food stamps, Sandra quickly learned how to turn budget-friendly foods into delicious and special meals for her family while stretching every dollar and every minute.
In 1989, after attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Sandra was faced with her own home decorating dilemma: How to decorate her home with style and flair on a limited budget. She invented a quick, easy way to re-create her home and realized that others could use the same solutions. She invented her own line of patented home, garden and craft products and launched her company in 1993. Sandra quickly became the retailers "go-to-girl" for innovative, smart consumer products, working with Walmart, Target and QVC-USA. The product lines were so successful that she was asked to anchor the on-air launch of the home, garden and craft categories for QVC-United Kingdom and QVC-Germany. This success motivated Sandra to produce one of the first Do-It-Yourself home improvement video series, which sold over a million copies. Her product lines garnered numerous industry awards, including Wallcoverings, Windows & Interior Fashion's "Achiever of the Year" and Profitable Craft Merchandising's "Home Decorating Product of the Year."
Sandra then attended the world's leading culinary art institute, Le Cordon Bleu. She learned how to apply her Semi-Homemade(R) philosophy and savvy shortcuts towards gourmet recipes so that anyone could create and savor delicious dishes at home in less time and at a fraction of the cost. Since then, Sandra has become a New York Times bestselling author and has written sixteen cooking and entertaining books. She has sold more than 3 million books since the fall of 2005 and has been awarded the prestigious, International French Gourmand Award for "Best Easy Cookbook". In fall 2009, Sandra will release three new books: Easy Weeknight Wonders, Money Saving Slow Cooking and Cocktail Time.
Semi-Homemade(R) moved seamlessly from books to television, radio and the Internet. In 2003, her Food Network TV series, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, debuted as one of the highest-rated show launches in the network's history and celebrated its 200th episode in 2008. Nominated for numerous Daytime Emmy's, Semi-Homemade Cooking remains a top performing program. Sandra has also hosted ten one-hour primetime specials. Her personal story was documented by Food Network's Chefography to rave reviews and high ratings, and her memoir, Made From Scratch, was a Barnes & Noble bestseller. In May 2009, Sandra launched a second Food Network series, Sandra's Money Saving Meals, which will save viewers an average of 39% - 50% on every grocery store bill. In fall 2009, Sandra will become the first cross-over talent on the Scripps Network, with HGTV's Sandra Lee Celebrates.
Sandra was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award for her involvement with many charitable and philanthropic organizations, as well as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2009 by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for contributions made to society. Sandra is the national spokesperson for Share our Strength's Great American Bake Sale and Operation Frontline, two groundbreaking programs focused on ending childhood hunger in America. She is a founding member of the Los Angeles chapter of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and has served on the board of directors of Children's Hospital. Sandra is a generous supporter of God's Love We Deliver, Project Angel Food and the Central Park Conservancy. She was the celebrity chef for DineOut LA in 2008 and GoEat LA in 2009, raising funds for Aid for Aids International (AFAI). She participates in Harvard Business School's annual Woman's Entrepreneurial Conference and is a lecturer at Yale University's School of Management.
Sandra's passion and enthusiasm is contagious. Her attainable, couture-styled, approach allows her the privilege of being a frequent guest expert for many national TV shows including Good Morning America, Today, Weekend Today, Fox News Channel, Ellen, and Tyra, among others. She is a bankable personality having appeared as the cover celebrity on many national magazines including Ladies Home Journal, Redbook and TV Guide.