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LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
- February 04, 2008
- Vol. 69
- No. 4
Laila Ali Hosts the Gladiators
To Celebrate the Hit Show, the Former Boxer Serves a Knockout Meal to Her New Costars
Boxing, dancing, cooking. Is there anything the woman can't do? ("Come back to that question," she jokes.) If she got her moves in the ring from her dad, Muhammad Ali, she got her kitchen credentials from her maternal grandmother, Ethel. "My mom didn't cook," says Ali, 30. "I would call my grandma and ask, 'How do you make potato salad?' I'd listen to her, then make up my own recipe." These days she's confident enough to forgo measuring spoons and cook "by taste."
Married last July to former NFL player Curtis Conway, 37, Ali cooks dinner most nights for the two of them or for pals who stop by to watch a boxing match. "All I have to do is say I'm cooking, and people come," she says. Her style mixes high and low—she'll hire a florist, but "most times my guests get paper plates." An informal lunch party like this one is a good way to get to know new colleagues, and Ali is learning a lot. They don't always use utensils (witness Wolf—real name: Don Yates—having at the chicken), they can be picky (Mike O'Hearn, a.k.a. Titan, chooses to eat only fruit), and they can strike fear in a cook's heart. Asks Mayhem: "Food fight, anyone?" Luckily, Wolf steps in saying, "No way! This is too good to waste!"
For Ali's recipes, go to People.com/Laila
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