'Saved by the Bell' star has a travel-inspired cookbook on deck

Stacey Lastoe, CNNUpdated 20th August 2018
(CNN) — Sixteen-year-old Tiffani Thiessen began learning about French wine on press tours with the 'Saved by the Bell' crew in the early 1990s when the American sitcom was soaking up its big moment in the spotlight.
It was in France, Italy, Belgium and Holland that Thiessen, a teen star for her role playing Kelly Kapowski on the aforementioned series, was introduced to new cuisines and unfamiliar flavors.
Not yet of legal drinking age in the states, in Europe Thiessen could have her wine and drink it too -- often with cheese or other appropriate food pairings.
Peruse the recipe section of her website and blog, and you'll see that her tastes are wide-ranging, a reflection of her time abroad. From roasted vegetable lasagna to blueberry Thai basil tart to balsamic glazed barbeque ribs, Thiessen's offerings are diverse.
When we sit down to chat about her most recent endeavors, Thiessen admits she "lucky" to have the travel experiences she had as a teenager.
While most ordinary teens were thinking about pop quizzes and prom, Thiessen was falling hard for the food of the world.
And though it would be many years before she would dive into the lifestyle space via her blog -- and before that, through her dinner parties -- the seed was planted during her time in Europe with the "Saved by the Bell" cast.
People can tell when things aren't real and organic, and Thiessen wants to make it clear that she has always been passionate about food. "My love of food is purely organic," she tells the group gathered at the #BlogHer18 conference.
For her, breaking bread is about so much more than eating.
And developing her forthcoming cookbook was about so much more than compiling recipes.
"Putting a cookbook together is like birthing a child with four hard corners," Thiessen, who has two kids, says, addressing the audience.
In our one on one, I meet Harper, Thiessen's eight-year-old daughter, as well. Though she is perfectly polite, she doesn't say much until the conversation turns to travel.
Then, her ears perk, and she looks up beaming: "We're going to Spain and Italy next year," she tells me.
She's a few years away yet from being able to drink the local juice, but in the meantime, there's cheese.
Thiessen's cookbook -- 'Pull up a Chair'-- will be out in October.