Ever wonder what the child of a Nobel Prize-nominated scientist and a beauty queen would be like? It turns out she’d be as ridiculously successful, and beautiful, as you’d think — at least if Nicole Lapin’s any indicator. Lapin was a CNN anchor by the time she was 21 (that makes her the youngest CNN anchor ever, a title she also holds at CNBC), but she’s also worked for CBS, First Business Network and was a regular contributor to MSNBC. Most recently she launched her own multimedia company Nothing But Gold Productions which delivers accessible financial content across print, web and TV platforms. And she’s only 28.
Lapin took a moment out of her busy schedule to talk about her changing diet, where to take CEOs out to dinner and the scary state of eating at Disney World.
You‘ve been a vegetarian or vegan pretty much your entire life…
I have been a vegetarian long as I can remember. Since I was 10 or 11, and then for about half of that time I was vegan. I dabbled in the raw food movement and more recently I started incorporating fish into my diet. I had a new relationship and felt the need to be adventurous. But I don’t love it so I don’t have it a lot.
Was it hard to give up dairy as a kid?
I’m actually allergic to dairy and I just found out I’m allergic to carrots and string beans too. There are lots of great alternatives though like nut cheeses and yummy almond milk.
Do you cook?
I do — I like to keep it really simple. I “cook” a lot of salads and I’ll grill. I can’t do any fancy sauces, but I use lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. My idea of the perfect night is a full-bodied Cab and a loaded playlist.
What’s the best meal a guy’s ever made you?
Actually, my man grilled me up something this weekend. It wasn’t fancy or even expected. I came into the kitchen and he was making shrimp to put on a salad. It was simple, nothing fancy. For me the extraordinary ones [meals] are the ordinary ones. There’s enough drama out there, so keep food simple.
Wait, who are you dating?
His name is Michael Rubin. He’s my better half, but he’s also a CEO and an Internet entrepreneur. [Editor’s Note: Michael Rubin founded GSI Commerce].
What’s it like to break bread with a billionaire?
I have taken lots of CEOs out. I took the CEO of Subway to Pure Food and Wine and he didn’t know it was vegan and raw, but he loved it. I think it was right around the time when Subway started incorporating avocados into their sandwiches. I feel like I was an avocado muse.
Where do you usually take CEOs to dine?
Definitely not anywhere out of the ordinary. There are a couple of spots that I frequent a lot. Like Perry St, which does great food and has a great atmosphere. It’s super cozy, you can actually hear what the person is saying and Jean-Georges is involved, which is helpful.
What are your favorite vegan restaurants?
I’m so not picky and just like simple clean food. I’ve been on the road so much I can eat at a gas station. I don’t go to a lot of vegetarian restaurants. Inn of the Seventh Ray is my favorite hidden gem in LA. The food and environment are so stunning it feels like you’re in enchanted forest. We went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago and I think that is the most adventurous thing I’ve ever eaten. Anything that you have to stand in line for and that comes on a stick is questionable.