Zooey Deschanel loves to cook. Her specialties include risotto and various French dishes she learned from visiting family overseas.
Even so, her new Max food series, “What Am I Eating?,” is not about her life in the kitchen. “I didn’t want to do a show where it’s like, ‘I’m an actor – watch me cook!’” Deschanel told me Monday night at a dinner celebrating the “What Am I Eating?” premiere. “Nobody wants to see me do that.”
Except maybe her boyfriend, “Property Brothers” star Jonathan Scott. “Whenever someone says something to me like, ‘How was your pandemic?’ I always say, ‘I was living my best life,’” he said. “She is gourmet. She is a great chef.”
Each episode of “What Am I Eating?,” which originated as digital series “Your Food’s Roots,” produced by Candle Media’s ATTN:, about six years ago, dives deep into various food topics, including oils, organic fruits and vegetables, chocolate and breads. “I’m not an expert,” Deschanel said. “I come at this as a mother who wanted to learn more about healthy eating for my kids.” Deschanel is mom to a 7-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, her children with ex-husband Jacob Pechenik.
“Every time we do something on the show, we learn something,” Deschanel said. “We don’t want to scare anybody about what they’re eating. We want to give people ideas, inspire people and do it in a fun way. This is something people can watch with their kids.”
Regarding Deschanel’s cooking, the “New Girl” star said she’s not worried about making mistakes. “Experimentation is the best part,” she said. I made a double batch of popovers last week and I burned them because we got a new range and the top of the range is hotter than the middle. But it was fine. I had to learn.”
Scott didn’t mind. “He ate all the burnt popovers,” Deschanel said.
Scott chimed in, “I like things crispy and burnt.”
Deschanel’s dream dinner party guests would include Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandi. However, she admitted, “I’d be really intimidated so I would probably ask one of the chefs who have been on the show to do the cooking.”
Monday’s guest list for the premiere dinner at Casita Hollywood (a new event space that once housed a Sizzler) included food influencers, experts who appear on the show and leaders of food nonprofits. The six-course meal, inspired by various show segments, started with a dish that featured Japanese yam and shishito pepper hash, five-spice brown butter, quail egg, whipped avocado and togarashi ketchup and ended with a dessert of various sweet treats, including Mexican hot chocolate, white chocolate matcha pot de crème and cotton candy grape coulis.
Guests were also gifted bottles of extra virgin olive oil from the Los Angeles-based Flamingo Estate.
“What Am I Eating? With Zooey Deschanel” is available to stream on Max.