I shared a smoothie yesterday with Cesar Millan, where I got the lowdown on the new season of his wildly popular series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, airing Fridays at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. Cesar revealed that devoted viewers, like my sister and her 2-year-old Jack Russell terrier Dani, get a chance to check up on the dogs (and their human handlers!) he’s worked with in the past. “We were low budget in the beginning but now we can come back and supervise the person,” Cesar laughs. “As I say on the show I rehabilitate dogs and train people.” Taming man’s best friend has put Cesar in touch with some celebrity owners, including Patti LaBelle and Denise Richards. “Denise had three [dogs], and every one had a different aggression issues,” Cesar recalls. “She was concerned if that energy could be transferred to her kids.” With his own pack of 30 dogs at home and a new book out, Be the Pack Leader, Cesar’s ripe for a television biopic, and he knows just the man to star. “Gael Garcia Bernal,” Cesar declares. “I just love him. He’s Mexican so he can portray the experience—crossing the border, the whole thing. And he’s a dog guy.” Don’t worry sis, that signed copy is in the mail!

I spent my birthday snacking on sushi and other delectable delights for the premiere party of Food Network’s new reality series, The Next Iron Chef. Host Alton Brown filled me in on what it will take for these culinary geniuses to be a cut above the rest. “Masterful proficiency, knowledge of food, artistic vision and competitive spirit,” he revealed. I can barely tell a steak from a butter knife, so I was clearly out of my league. But Alton started speaking my language when he talked about his fave birthday meal. “Beef Wellington. I’ll eat it on my birthday, July 30.” We’re going to hold you to that Alton!

The Next Iron Chef premieres Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.

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