Chef Anne Burrell has taken her love life off the back burner and is serving up a whole new future! The host of Food Network’s “Secrets of a Restaurant Chef” is engaged to Stuart Claxton, who works in ad sales marketing at Univision.
Burrell, 50, announced the news on Tuesday that Claxton, 48, had proposed in her hometown of Cazenovia, New York, where the pair are quarantining with her family. People first reported the news.
“I mean, I am 50. It didn’t seem it would be in the cards for me,” Burrell told TODAY Food. “I had always been so focused on my career. [Marriage] wasn’t something I thought of.”
The couple first met on the dating app Bumble nearly two years ago. Claxton said he had no idea the lady he matched with was a Food Network star.
“When they made Anne, they broke the mold,” Claxton told TODAY. “It was a wonderful surprise. You know, on social, the photos are never as good as the real thing. When she sat down in front of me, I was like, ‘Wow, she’s so hot.'”
Burrell said she was equally smitten.
When the coronavirus shutdowns happened, the couple decided to quarantine in Burrell’s hometown to be near her mother. Claxton had already been planning a proposal but decided he needed to come up with a plan to pop the question in quarantine.
“Fortuitously, I brought the ring,” he said. “Anne’s mother has a townhouse and lovely apartment. I asked her for permission to ask Anne to marry me and we then started planning and getting things together.”
With the help of Anne’s 75-year-old mother, Claxton set up a romantic dinner date in the townhouse for the couple.
“Anne’s mom dressed up the room and decorated it and set the table. It was better than I would have come up with myself,” Claxton said. “We had a lovely dinner. I kept bringing the conversation around to our past and relationship and kept getting these bemused looks from Anne.”
Finally, he got down on one knee and Burrell enthusiastically said yes.
“We finished dinner and I had to clean myself up because I was bawling,” Burrell said. “And then we met up with everyone else. My mom had Champagne ready and we had a toast and that was really fun.”
Burrell said the “silver lining” of getting engaged in quarantine was being close to her mother and Claxton’s 15-year-old son, Javier.
But don’t expect wedding bells just yet, considering how difficult it is to plan during a pandemic.
“We haven’t started talking about wedding planning yet because stuff is so up in the air,” Burrell said. “We just want to bask in the glow of this right now.”