7 things you don’t know about La Crosse native Sandra Lee

7 Things You May Not Know About La Crosse Native Sandra Lee

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Holly Garcia

March 21, 2024

When you think about your favorite “Lee” in cooking, does Sara or Sandra come to mind? While they’ve both created delicious foods, La Crosse native Sandra Lee is so much more than just a celebrity chef.

Did you know Sandra didn’t even plan on making cooking a career? After attending high school in Onalaska, she briefly attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and being a DIY diva and chef wasn’t the plan. It seems the change of pace was meant to be.

Today, we celebrate Sandra and all she’s accomplished. From her cooking and home decor to her philanthropy and advocacy, enjoy a few fun facts about Sandra Lee.

Fact #1

You might know Sandra Lee from the Food Network’s show “Semi-Homemade With Sandra Lee”. But before being a chef, she dabbled in DIY — well, more than just dabbled. Focusing on home decor, she created Kurtian Kraft, and it was a huge hit! Her products would be featured at big box stores and QVC in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

7 Things You May Not Know About La Crosse Native Sandra Lee

Photo courtesy of Sandra Lee via Instagram.

Fact #2

Sandra attended a Cordon Bleu cooking school. While the experience gave her incredible cooking skills, it also birthed her Semi-Homemade® philosophy. Essentially, it takes some of the complexity out of cooking, allowing even the busiest person to find time to cook at home. The philosophy follows the 70/30 rule — 70% of the food is packaged, and the other 30% are fresh ingredients.

7 Things You May Not Know About La Crosse Native Sandra Lee

Photo courtesy fo Sandra Lee via Instagram.

Fact #3

Sandra is truly a jill of all trades: an entrepreneur, a chef, a TV personality, and also a writer. She’s put out over 20 books since she began writing, including several cookbooks. However, she’s also dabbled in fiction with a romance novel “The Recipe Box”, and a touching memoir called “Made From Scratch.”

Fact #4

Even though she’s risen to fame through the Food Network and other endeavors, Sandra came from humble beginnings. She is the oldest of five children, born to a young mom who struggled to care for them. Stepping up as the big sister, she relied on public assistance and charitable donations to help provide for herself and her siblings.

Fact #5

Sandra’s childhood contributed to Sandra being passionate about philanthropy. She was involved with Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale — which focused on ending childhood hunger, donating 25% of the proceeds from her book, “Semi-Homemade Bake Sale.Additionally, she’s received many recognitions for her involvement in various charities including the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2009.

7 Things You May Not Know About La Crosse Native Sandra Lee

Photo courtesy of Sandra Lee via Instagram.

Fact #6

In 2015, Sandra was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. As a result, she became a fierce advocate for other people living with cancer and for early detection efforts. She even shared her journey with HBO through a documentary, “Rx: Early Detection, A Cancer Journey with Sandra Lee.”

7 Things You May Not Know About La Crosse Native Sandra Lee

Photo courtesy of Sandra Lee via Instagram.

Fact #7

Sandra’s show on the Food Network ran for an impressive 15 seasons, earning her one Emmy nomination and another win. But this wasn’t the only place on TV she was featured. She’s also been on Good Morning America, the Cooking Channel, HGTV, and more.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.7 things you don't know about La Crosse native Sandra Lee7 things you don't know about La Crosse native Sandra Lee

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