The Real Reason You Never See Sunny Anderson's Real Kitchen

Sunny Anderson always looks right at home in the studio that serves as the kitchen in The Kitchen, the easygoing ensemble cooking show on the Food Network. Once COVID-19 hit, and cast and crew needed to quarantine, the show adjusted by having its co-hosts shoot cooking videos from their own kitchens. Everyone, that is, except for Anderson. She continued to appear in the pandemic-altered episodes, just not in her kitchen. She did her cooking outside at home, even as the weather started to cool – then get downright cold (via Distractify). (Her Food Network bio says she lives in Brooklyn. We wonder if she's been tempted to relocate to Miami this winter.)

Anderson apparently has danced around the question of why she films her segments for The Kitchen outside, especially now that it's cold. After all, you can only do so many things on an outdoor grill. A fan of The Kitchen who posted to Reddit a couple of months ago must have at least thought they heard Anderson say she was outside at the start of the pandemic because her kitchen was being remodeled. "The remodeling the kitchen excuse made sense to me at first but less so, eight months later," the Redditor said.

Sunny Anderson gave privacy as a reason for not filming in her home kitchen

Clearly, some fans of The Kitchen on Reddit were growing impatient with Anderson's decision to remain outside, even during the cold winter. "Cooking everything on the grill is impractical in the north," one commenter said. Another commenter was got a lot more personal and a lot less kind, saying they hit fast-forward every time Anderson comes on the show. "Just unwatchable, unlistenable, and doesn't want to use a KITCHEN, on the show called THE KITCHEN," they complained.

Anderson is active on Instagram, and every time she posted something to promote a pandemic episode of The Kitchen, a fan in the comments would ask her why she was cooking outside. When she posted an image to Instagram of the grilled chicken in a can she made for the show on August 22, she had this to say in response to the constant questions: "Although I'm a public person, I'm quite private," she replied. "Never when taking this job/show was there a line about invading my home and sanctuary."

Sunny Anderson confides that she films The Kitchen outside due to her health

In November on Instagram, Anderson said she was unfazed by the cold. "I dunno about you, but I LOVE layer season," she wrote. Once winter set in, Anderson still felt the need to reassure her fans that she wasn't getting too cold while cooking outdoors. In an Instagram post from January 9, Anderson pointed out an outdoor heater hidden behind a potted plant in a corner. "I was toasty when we shot this," she wrote in her Instagram caption.

In the middle of January, back on Instagram, she said, "I'm also still outdoors by choice because I felt most safe there." By this time, as Distractify reported, production of The Kitchen had returned to the studio. Anderson came back to the studio, too, but she chose to film all her cooking segments on the show's outdoor set. In yet another Instagram photo showing Anderson cooking outside, from February 6, she gets more specific about why she won't film indoors. "I have autoimmune issues as well as my camera man," she wrote in the comments under this post. "Outside is safer with less crew. It's about my health." Which just goes to show that Anderson and her crew had a good reason for staying out of her kitchen all these months during the pandemic.

Black Americans are at greater risk for COVID-19

We didn't find anywhere in Anderson's busy Instagram feed where she discussed race and COVID-19 risk, but it might be worth noting that there are higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death faced by Black people in America. An analysis of the case data in September showed that the hospitalization rate among Black people was about five times higher than among whites, and the death rate among Black people was 2.4 times higher (via NPR). Keep in mind that Anderson lives in New York City, which the CDC singled out as an epicenter of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. And while it may have looked like a positive sign that the producers of The Kitchen called the hosts back into the studio in January, that was actually the worst month so far for COVID-19 in New York City, according to The New York Times. That newspaper still considers residents of the city to be at "extremely high risk" for COVID-19 infection.

Sunny Anderson's fans can stay safe at home and see one of their favorite food celebrities on two new shows: My Fave vs. Your Fave on the Cooking Channel, and Easter Basket Challenge on the Food Network.