Food Network chef Sandra Lee quickly found success with her hit series, Semi-Homemade With Sandra Lee. The unique cooking show concept saw the cookbook author use a combination of prepackaged and fresh products to make delicious dishes. The series ended in 2016 after 15 seasons and fans have since wondered what happened to her. 

What Happened to Food Network Chef Sandra Lee?

Sandra launched Semi-Homemade in 2003 but she experienced a taste of fame even before that. Early on in her career, she pioneered her own DIY design kit called Kurtain Kraft which she advertised on QVC and infomercials. After building her home improvement and lifestyle empire from the ground up, the California native decided to put a modern spin on the classic cooking show format. 

What Happened to Sandra Lee? Where TV Chef Is Today
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In the early years of her Food Network fame, Sandra was married to Bruce Karatz, the former CEO of KB Home. The pair were married from 2001 to 2005. She met Andrew Cuomo in 2005 at a party in the Hamptons that he attended with his three daughters, Michaela, Cara and Mariah, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy. Sandra and Andrew began dating shortly after they first met and constantly addressed questions about whether they planned on getting married. 

“I like being independent,” the culinary expert told Harper’s Bazaar in October 2011. “I don’t think that marriage means you’re not independent, but right now, I’m very comfortable and I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been. I feel solid. I feel safe.”

On top of sharing her quick and easy recipes, Sandra won viewers over with her addition of DIY projects and tablescapes in each episode of her show. The TV personality earned an Emmy Award in 2012 for Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host and authored multiple cookbooks in the Semi-Homemade franchise. 

Where Is Sandra Lee Now? 

In May 2015, Sandra announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer during an appearance on Good Morning America. She underwent a double mastectomy soon after learning of her diagnosis. Four months later, the Food Network veteran announced she was cancer free. 

“I was early stage and what the beautiful thing is about early-stage cancer … is it gives you every option in the world, and that is what I took,” Sandra said during another GMA appearance. “My doctors have said that I am cancer free and that I am ready to go.”

In May 2024, Sandra made her TV return with the show Dinner Budget Showdown on the Roku Channel. “This is my first comeback, but I have many coming. I’m ready!” she told Closer.

On top of that, the culinary supertar has made some lifestyle changes.

“I’ve always been a meat-and-potatoes girl, but I really like salads and vegetables and smoothies now,” she shared. “I lean into sleep, and I try to be self-aware about when I need time off. Before, I was just running to get everything done. And I’m a bit clearer about what other people’s agendas are.”

Who Is Sandra Lee Dating Now?

As for her relationship with the former governor of New York, the duo called it quits in September 2019 after 14 years together. 

“Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship,” the former couple said in a statement. “We will always be family and are fully supportive of each other and dedicated to the girls. Our personal lives remain personal and there will be no further comment.”

What Happened to Sandra Lee? Where TV Chef Is Today
Courtesy of Sandra Lee/Instagram

Seven years after her double mastectomy, the Gracie Award winner underwent a complete hysterectomy. She shared in an emotional post on Instagram that her boyfriend, Ben Youcef, was by her side during her recovery. They first began dating in August 2021 and have been inseparable ever since. 

“I am filled with all sorts of emotions,” she captioned the March 2022 post. “I am scared but also happy to be getting this done — strength and courage! We must always remember to have strength and courage. Hopefully, this will encourage anyone who needs to get a concerning procedure done to take the opportunity now so you can live as happy and healthy as possible.”

After making a full recovery, Sandra has continued to post photos with her beau while traveling all over the world. She also reflected on how much her life has changed since her breakup with Andrew and her cancer battle.

“It’s been a journey. The breakup was startling for everybody. The cancer diagnosis was the biggest thing, [along with] the challenge of getting so sick when I was going through the treatment,” she told Closer. “When I went to the [2015] Emmys, I didn’t realize how emaciated I was until I saw the looks on other people’s faces. Then I saw the pictures, and I went, “Wow. My body’s been through it.” I’m so grateful to it for carrying me through those hard times. I had a pretty intense nine years.”