Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Netflix, Tom Smyth
Every time I watch Nora Ephron’s 2009 movie, Julie & Julia, which often inspires me to embark on a culinary journey similar to that of the real Julie Powell, who cooked all the recipes for Julia Child’s cookbook in 1961, Mastering the art of French cuisine, and blogged about it. Not because i want actually learn cooking per se, or even blogging, but more so because I want Amy Adams to play me in a movie. The problem is, I don’t plan on boning a duck. So naturally, instead of cooking through Child’s cookbook, I decided to cook through Paris Hilton’s new Netflix cooking show, Cooking with Paris.
Like Child, Hilton is a culinary icon. And like Powell, who was cooking in a small apartment kitchen above a pizzeria, I will cook in an even smaller kitchen above a downstairs neighbor who hasn’t complained yet. the volume I’m playing. “The stars are blind.” We’ve both bravely taken on serious culinary assignments: her, cooking 524 recipes from a world-famous chef, and I, following the instructions of a woman who once cooked bacon with an iron. Simple life.
Of course, Hilton has since added to her repertoire with viral YouTube last year. video in which she made lasagna. This lasagna earned him a series that joined the new wave of celebrities learning to cook by getting a cooking show. Cooking with Paris follows Hilton’s misadventures in the kitchen alongside famous friends (and family) like Kim Kardashian West, Demi Lovato, and American sweetheart Kathy Hilton. Paris admits that she’s not a trained chef, but with fingerless “sliving gloves” and dazzled cookware on hand, she’s ready to learn.
“Excuse me, sir, what does chives look like?” Are the first words Hilton speaks in the series as she browses a Gelson’s supermarket while wearing a hot pink dress searching for ingredients to make breakfast with her former cupboard organizer, Kardashian West. The menu is a chewy frittata and Frosted Flakes French toast, topped with a glittery blue marshmallow.
The handwritten cookbook she cooks from actually includes a marshmallow recipe from scratch – but Hilton ignores it and simply microwaves a bag of marshmallows, then mixes the blue food coloring into the goo. I followed suit, and let me tell you: Don’t play with marshmallows, even if someone as trustworthy as Paris Hilton tells you it’s okay. My cooking will be sticky until the day I die. She roasts the filling with a mini blowtorch, while I do my best with the same BIC lighter that I use for my Bath & Body Works candles.
After this tumultuous start, I am tasked with a fairly simple brioche French toast, which Hilton breads in Frosted Flakes. As I dip the bread crumbs into the cereal, I stop dead in my tracks, struck by the same dilemma I see appearing on Kardashian West’s face. “I think we have to cook… no…” she tapers, frozen in place. We are both puzzled. The thing is, there is no end to this sentence. There are no right answers or logic when dipping French toast in frosted flakes. It’s an anarchy you just gotta embrace
Photo: Tom Smyth
With the frittata comes meaning. I replaced the suggested turkey bacon with regular bacon because unlike Hilton, I didn’t have a pet pig named Princess Piggelette. As I watched Kardashian West and Hilton mistakenly try to identify which countertop appliance is a blender, I whipped the eggs and cream and poured them over the bacon and fried tomatoes. “What is a clamp? I hear Hilton say. I am in good hands.
Overall, my results were fair. While the frittata was a hit, the main issue with French toast was that the cereal prevented the bread from toasting properly. While this sheds the texture, leaving the bread soggy under its Frosted Flakes shell, the taste still holds. Hilton and Kardashian West are also thrilled. “This is one of the best French toast I’ve ever had,” Kardashian West said before pausing and adding, “Wait, I spoke too soon,” after nearly breaking up. the tooth on a hardened Frosted Flake. While she has luckily avoided serious bodily injury, Kardashian West breaks a tooth on Hilton’s Frosted Flakes French toast is camp.
I was excited to finally try Beyond Beef, but found the bright red goo, which Hilton described as “gooey balls,” a bit haunting. I mixed the sticky concoction with chopped onion and seasonings before cooking them. As Hilton burned the rhinestones with her dazzling spatula, I waited for my vegan meat to turn less red as it cooked, but to no avail. I’m sure it works in the right hands, but for me the bright red patties made me think of something scary. Like the crushed placenta.
She garnishes the burger with “pink sauce,” which she says is “really just Thousand Island dressing,” and when I heard that, I heard an invitation not to make the sauce. rose and buy instead of the Thousand Islands vinaigrette.
Photo: Tom Smyth
At the same time, Hilton set out to recreate her beloved McDonald’s fries, which she rightly crowns as the best fries of all. The main difference between McDonald’s fries and the fries I made is that McDonald’s fries are good. While Hilton has been luckier, mine has gone horribly wrong. Things were going well when I cut, simmer, bake and freeze them. But when it came time to fry, they took a turn. I suspect the oil was not hot enough as they were soft, pale, and tasted disgusting. But I learned an important lesson: Before you fry, you need to be able to look at your oil and say “It’s hot” accurately.
Things got a bit more advanced this time around; making fries from scratch and navigating vegan beef for the first time is no small feat, and I failed my instructor on both points. My consolation was watching Charlotte, the nervous “staff chef,” frantically supervising party planners decorating the Hilton dining room like an old-fashioned restaurant to match the burger and fries motif.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that “family steak night” for the Hiltons translates into filet mignon, edible gold leaf and caviar. I was shocked, however, to find that my local Super Foodtown didn’t offer any of these key ingredients. So, unfortunately, we will have to do without it. In my biggest difference from Hilton recipes, I replaced the tenderloin with a New York striploin. I prepared it as directed, rinsing the steak as Kathy had ordered despite her daughters’ objections.
Our first side is a neighborhood salad (chopped salad transformed when Hilton cuts it) with a home-made ranch. Normally I wouldn’t even consider doing such a thing unless there had been some sort of explosion at the Hidden Valley factory. But alas, since I went easy on the rose sauce, I made the ranch. I had to rewind several times to catch all the ingredients the Hilton women were throwing chaotically without warning, like witches making some sort of reality TV potion.
Finally, what I decided is the piece de resistance of this whole experience: the onion rings, which Kathy, Nicky and Paris wore sunglasses to cut. I soaked the rings in the buttermilk, then the flour mixture, before frying them. On the other hand, our instructors dumped the flour mixture into the buttermilk, causing Kathy to rinse the onions to start over. (Much like a raccoon, Kathy seems to intend to rinse everything she eats.)
Photo: Tom Smyth
The fanciest meal in the series also turned out to be the best. I of course corrected my frying skills after the fries incident which resulted in phenomenal onion rings. It’s hard to go wrong with a steak, even if you sprinkle it with water, and I was pleasantly surprised that the homemade ranch tastes like the ranch. We ended this trip on an overwhelmingly positive note, not only because the meal was a success, but because the episode showed Paris feeding her dog caviar and Kathy drinking Diet Coke from a champagne glass.
As the series progressed and the revenue grew, I think Hilton and I stuck it out. And while the intent of the show isn’t strictly educational, sometimes it’s more helpful to see what not to do than to see what you’re supposed to be doing. Even if you don’t cook, you are greeted into Hilton’s home as a member of the Bling Ring and have the privilege of watching her navigate the kitchen – a seemingly brand new room to her – with great comedic effect.