Matilda Cuomo, the mother of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, talked politics, parenting and even cooking in an exclusive interview Tuesday with NY1. Political reporter Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Matilda Cuomo has been down the road to the governor's mansion before with her husband, Mario Cuomo. This time, though, it's her son, State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is gunning for the top job in Albany.
"I am very happy, but then I get sad, because I know he is going to have a lot of work to do and I know how he works," said the state's former first lady.
Cuomo was in Harlem Tuesday to promote Mentoring USA, a program she founded back in 1995. After the event, NY1 asked whether she had any words of wisdom for her son's celebrity companion, Food Network host Sandra Lee. Lee, after all, could be the state's next first lad, or at least its first girlfriend.
"She is so poised and elegant in her way and knows what her position is in all of this. So I don't have to give her any advice," Mrs. Cuomo said.
Lee and Cuomo have been an item for the last few years. Last month, she was at the state Democratic convention and by his side when he announced his run for governor. Both of their previous marriages ended in divorce.
When asked if she thought wedding bells were in her son's future, Mrs. Cuomo took the motherly route.
"That's so personal. I'm his mother, I wouldn't ask. I think that's up to him. They know best," she said.
But Mrs. Cuomo wasn't afraid to stir the pot when it came to another issue near and dear to her heart -- lasagna.
The dispute is over Lee's recipe for the Italian staple. The TV food star uses canned tomato soup and cottage cheese. And the dish is reportedly Andrew's favorite. But his mother says she doesn't buy it.
"I don't know that that's true. You know, maybe she puts cottage cheese because he doesn't want to put on weight. That's not the way you make a lasagna," Cuomo said.
Mrs. Cuomo tells NY1 she prefers to use fresh ricotta cheese, herbs, and parmesan in hers.