This Is Valerie Bertinelli's Favorite Cooking Partner

Valerie Bertinelli has a favorite cooking partner, but it's not just because that person is a whiz in the kitchen. It turns out the actor, chef, and author enjoys a well-crafted cocktail while she's slicing and dicing her way through a recipe. Perhaps a Lady Greyhound — a tempting concoction made from grapefruit and rose botanicals-infused vodka, grapefruit juice, Aperol, lemon juice, and lime seltzer — she shared with Food Network. And when it's time to indulge, Bertinelli knows just who to turn to — her husband, Tom Vitale. "He's very, very handy in the kitchen," she revealed to Food Network. "He always knows how to make a mean cocktail while we're cooking."

Bertinelli met her husband of 10 years in 2004, according to AARP. Her brother, Patrick, introduced the pair to one another in Arizona when Bertinelli was visiting family. They dated for six years before Vitale popped the question while they were vacationing in Florence, Italy. They married in January 2011. But what makes him such a great cooking partner (besides being a mixology whiz, of course)?

Family cooking is a Bertinelli tradition

It's not surprising Valerie Bertinelli would name her husband as her favorite cooking partner. From what we can gather, cooking has always been a family affair for her. After a successful television career, Bertinelli intentionally stepped out of the spotlight when she became a mother, according to her memoir, "Losing It" (via Showbiz CheatSheet). "Of all the roles I have taken, none has been more satisfying than motherhood. I shunned the spotlight in favor of a normal life, driving carpools, volunteering in my son's classroom, [and] making dinner."

Considering Bertinelli's upbringing, it's easy to understand her priorities. She comes from a long line of home cooks. As she told the Los Angeles Times (via The Free Lance-Star), "My great-grandmother, Maria, was a chef at a summer home in Italy." Bertinelli's great-grandmother emigrated to the United States in 1915 and the family tradition of cooking together began. Bertinelli has fond memories of sitting in the kitchen watching her mother, aunts, and grandmother make gnocchi and cappelletti. Per The Free Lance-Star, the actor added, "I've loved cooking since I was a little girl. This is totally natural for me."