The Surprising Way Laura Vitale Learned To Cook

Every celebrity chef has a story of how they got into cooking. Gordon Ramsay learned how to cook by training under master chefs in Europe. Rachael Ray learned how to cook from her restaurant-owning parents. Emeril Lagasse learned how to cook at the famous culinary school, Johnson and Wales. But not every on-air chef had such a traditional journey into the food world.

Take Laura Vitale, for instance. Known for her obsession with Nutella and her trademark Jersey girl accent, the home cook rose to internet fame with her show on the Cooking Channel, "Laura in the Kitchen." She's since garnered thousands of fans as much for her delicious Italian-American dishes as for her bubbly personality. But how did the YouTube cooking sensation get her start in the kitchen? Here's what most fans probably don't know about the New Jersey native and where her love of cooking came from. Hint: It wasn't culinary school!

She got long-distance lessons from her grandma

According to a video on her YouTube channel, Vitale learned how to cook from her Italian grandma. But she didn't learn face-to-face — she learned from a distance. Because her nonna lives in Naples, Vitale was taught how to cook traditional Italian dishes over the phone. "It brought me back home in a way and made me feel better," she said in the clip, adding that the first thing she cooked on her own (while her grandmother gave her instructions from afar) was a hearty "Sunday Sauce."

She learned a lot from her nonna, from homemade gnocchi to ribollita, an Italian soup (via PhillyVoice). But one of the best cooking tips she got? To always cook from the heart. "[My grandmother] says, 'Half the time I don't even want to eat, I just want to cook for people because it makes me feel good,'" Vitale said in an interview with PopSugar.